Inspiration, Hope and Dignity were the messages that highlighted the Sarasota Film Festival 2014’s Tribute Luncheon with honoree Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe from Uganda.
By Sherry Janes
‘Sewing Hope,’ one of the documentaries featured in the festival, reveals the plight of women and children in Uganda who had formerly been considered worthless and discarded. For 25 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army terrorized the people of this nation, kidnapping and stealing their children. Forced to serve as sex slaves, “wives” and soldiers after having been violently abducted, they were then shunned by their own communities.
‘Sewing Hope’ tells the story of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a nun who has become a beacon of light to these women and their families.
Flown in from Uganda as the honoree of the Tribute Luncheon, Sister Rosemary was an inspiration to each of us attending the luncheon. She spoke of how she teaches these women to live above their pain and learn to love themselves and their children, a reminder of their horrific past. At Saint Monica’s Girl’s School, as well as healing their wounds, Sister Rosemary teaches them new skills to provide for their families. They are now known internationally for their unique ladies’ handbags made of the most unlikely blend of silver pop tabs and hand stitchery. Selling for $175. – $400., each one of a kind bag takes a week to create, but pays for an entire semester of school. Through love and vocational training, thousands of women have regained the hope and dignity that was stolen from them.
Following Sister Rosemary’s moving and inspiring talk, a young man at my table offered further insight as to the impact the Sarasota Film Festival has made on this community. Samuel Curtis graduated from high school in Sarasota not having a particular career in mind. Through serving as a volunteer at the Sarasota Film Festival, he was inspired to then attend and graduate from the FSU School of Filmmakers. Just seven years later, Samuel was once again attending the film festival, but as a filmmaker. His film, ‘The Piano. The Ballerina. The Rain,’ was featured in the Sarasota Film Festival 2014. Samuel will be returning to participate in the SFF Film Camp for youth this summer. Now a recognized filmmaker, he will be using his talent and expertise to help educate those attending in the art of filmmaking. He wishes to inspire the next generation of filmmakers coming out of Sarasota.
Sewing Hope: Video Interview Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe
Sewing Hope SFF 2014 Interview
Sarasota Film Festival
Frank PR: Public Relations New York City