A film festival will be the next stop for EthicsDaily.com’s most recent documentary.
“Different Books, Common Word: Baptists and Muslims,” which aired on ABC-TV stations in January and February, is now an official selection at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville, scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 3.
“Different Books, Common Word,” produced and directed by Robert Parham and Cliff Vaughn, aired on more than 130 ABC-TV stations across the country. It has been available on DVD but now is set to make its festival debut.
The IBFFN says its mission is to use film art to “celebrate the richness, diversity and creativity of storytelling for the cultural enrichment, progression and education of communities worldwide.”
The festival, founded in 2006, also “strives to insure culturally accurate depictions in film with special emphasis on providing a forum for unheard, unseen and unknown viewpoints, and to showcase the rich creativity and diversity found in communities of color locally, nationally and internationally,” according to its website.
“Different Books, Common Word” runs nearly 58 minutes and features five stories of Baptists and Muslims working together to advance the common good.
Shooting on “Different Books, Common Word” began in January 2009, when 40 Baptist and 40 Muslim leaders gathered outside Boston for the first-ever national dialogue between the two Abrahamic faith traditions. Shooting continued for six months and covered stories in other locales:
· Washington, D.C., where the Islamic Society of North America maintains an interfaith office;
· Oklahoma City and Norman, Okla., where Baptists and Muslims have developed friendships and humanitarian partnerships amid the legacy of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that initially was blamed on Muslims;
· the Texas-Louisiana border, where a Baptist pastor and Muslim businesswoman have pooled resources for hurricane relief and other community needs;
· Memphis, Tenn., where a Baptist professor and Muslim medical physicist struck up what initially seemed an unlikely relationship to many;
· and Columbia, Tenn., where the Islamic center was firebombed in February 2008 by white supremacists, prompting various community responses.
Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington saw the documentary when it aired in Los Angeles and spoke favorably about it on at least two different occasions – first during an interview on BET and then to Relevant magazine.
The festival premiere will open the documentary up to still more audiences.
The IBFFN accepted another EthicsDaily.com documentary, “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism,” for its 2008 festival. It also awarded “Beneath the Skin” the Best Documentary prize.
“Our experience last time with IBFFN was terrific,” said Cliff Vaughn, EthicsDaily.com’s managing editor and media producer. “The venue and projection were first-rate, and the audience response was enthusiastic.”
“Importantly, it gave us and our project a profile beyond our normal circles,” Vaughn continued. “We hope and believe that will be the case with this project on Baptists and Muslims. The current mosque controversies certainly show the need for better relationships, and ‘Different Books, Common Word’ captures some fascinating relationships already out there – but unfortunately underreported.”
Festival organizers have yet to release screening times, but all information, including schedules and ticket prices, will be posted as it becomes available at www.ibffnashville.com.