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“Rainbow Town” Documentary to be Shown with Director Present

26 April 2011 No Comment
photo of documentary director Lauren Selmon Roberts

photo of documentary director Lauren Selmon Roberts

The award-winning documentary “Rainbow Town” will be shown on Wednesday, April 27 at the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The director, Lauren Selmon Roberts, will be in attendance for a reception slated to begin at 6 p.m. The screening of “Rainbow Town” will start at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session with the film’s director, Lauren Selmon Roberts.

Roberts has been honored with a variety of awards for her feature-length documentary including an award from the Director’s Guild of America. The film was featured in Korto Momolu’s show at New York Fashion Week and the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival. It is currently scheduled for various national and international festivals from around the world. The documentary follows the plight of Feeta Naimen (called “Ma Feeta”), an inspiring woman who made the selfless choice to devote her life to protect orphaned Liberian children during one of the longest and most brutal civil wars in modern history.

Filmed in the country of Liberia, “Rainbow Town” welcomes the viewer into the orphans’ lives, revealing how they survived one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars and how they cope as a family in its aftermath. Narrated by Ma Feeta, three of the children, Alice, Taylor and Faith, and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the story unearths the price of war, while illustrating the strength of the human spirit.

Fueled by an original soundtrack by the children and an assortment of unscripted footage, interviews, songs and photographs, this documentary captures the extraordinary life of Rainbow Town. Above all else, Ma Feeta desires that her children have faith and education so that when she dies her effort will not go in vain. Major problems face Rainbow Town, but clinging to faith and each other, Ma Feeta and her children must find a way to overcome.

The director hopes audiences will be inspired by the story of the children who inhabit Rainbow Town and the perseverance of Ma Feeta. Roberts worked with Ma Feeta and her children in Liberia for nearly two years prior to cameras rolling. With a background in broadcast journalism and a Master of Fine Arts degree, she merges the news and fine art. Roberts noted, “When I left Rainbow Town in 2006, I wrote in bright letters on my journal: Rainbow Town, I promise to tell your story.”

The dire situation of the living conditions of the orphanage appalled the director, but the determination of Ma Feeta and her charismatic children inspired the director to capture and distribute the tale to the rest of the world.

The children make vibrant original paintings that are sold to pay their school fees and will be on display and for sale during the event.

The director combines many elements to bring awareness to the effort to help Rainbow Town. “We join the effort, which Ma Feeta started, to work so that war-affected Liberian students have improved access to education. All proceeds of ‘Rainbow Town: The Documentary’ will go to the education of war-affected Liberian students.”

The event will be held in the Lakeside Theater, room 102 in Seedfeldt Building on the Woodbridge campus.

The Woodbridge campus is located at 15200 Neabsco Mills Road.

For more information on the film, the effort or to donate, visit rainbowtown.org.

By: Contributing Author

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