Mende Film & Cultural Arts Festival
The purpose of the Gullah Geechee Group, Inc. is to support the four coastal states of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor – South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, through education and communication about the history, culture, arts, land, food, music, religion, health, business, housing and community development of the Gullah Geechee people. Mende Film & Cultural Arts Festival: In furtherance of the Gullah Geechee Group’s mission, the idea of producing a cultural arts, and film festival celebrating the Gullah Geechee culture was formed. Through the hard work and dedication of the Gullah Geechee Group, and in partnership with other individuals and organizations, the Mende Cultural Arts and Film Festival was launched. The Mende Film & Cultural Arts Festival included film screenings of various genres, live performances, storytelling, and demonstrations of ancient arts and crafts such as basketmaking, quilting, and ring shouting. The festival shared traditional health remedy lessons, African dance, drumming and singing. Although other independent films were shown, the focus was on films produced, written, edited and/or directed by Gullah Geechee filmmakers. Additionally, awards were given in various categories to indie films submitted, and a town hall forum was held where the community discussed domestic terrorism in the face of the Mother Emmanuel AME Church shooting. The Gullah Geechee Group, Inc., was successful in accomplishing their goal of educating attendees about the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, people, culture and issues. In addition to educating attendees on the Gullah Geechee culture, the Mende Cultural Arts & Film Festival helped in creating an economic impact for the site location and for the State of Florida.