Producer/Director: Laila Petrone
Cast: Courtney Charles, Ellie Diez, Alexandra Fagins
Runtime: 11:24 minutes
Director Biography - Laila Petrone
Laila Petrone is an Italian/Dominican filmmaker. Born in the U.K., she was raised between Rome and Los Angeles. As a child of an actress, she spent most of her youth on Italian film sets. Laila went on to study International Affairs (John Cabot University) and Media and Communications (University of Florence). In 2007, she appeared as Pina in Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. The experience inspired her to pursue a career behind the camera. In the following years, Laila worked as an Assistant Director and Producer.
In 2014, Laila's directorial debut Your Love premiered at Urban World Film Festival in NYC. The short was awarded "Best of Festival" at the Black Women Film Network Summit in Atlanta, and was selected to screen on Aspire TV as part of the ABFF Independent series’ short films program. She recently completed her second short film ‘No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You’, conceived in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Laila is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors.
Sometimes an event catapults us into an unexpected journey. It was in mid-November 2017 that I couldn’t help but cry at the news of Puerto Rico’s state of recovery two months after Hurricane Maria. I felt a deep connection with the American citizens of Puerto Rico, a connection that came to be more personal as well.
I was moved to write the story “No me olvidaré de ti - I Will Not Forget You”. I wasn’t quite sure where the story would take me. All I knew was that I was writing as a Caribbean woman, as a Dominican woman, a neighbor and friend of Puerto Rico, as a human being. The words kept resonating in my mind: water, electricity, children – followed by something I hadn’t previously understood – just how many Puerto Rican men and women are veterans or in active duty in the U.S. military.
The final result of my journey turned out to be a short, a family moment, a Christmas story for all audiences. My intention was not to strive for complexity, but rather to inspire audiences to reflect on how they might further engage and understand more about what was, and is still, transpiring in Puerto Rico. Shortly after I directed the project, I discovered that my great-great-grandmother, a woman by the name of Dolores, was from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The discovery gave me insight into my visceral empathy with the people of Puerto Rico and my motivation for completing this project
Kareem Waris Olamilekan, an 11-year-old artist based in Lagos, is receiving global recognition due to his phenomenal artwork. Describing his style as hyperrealistic, Olamilekan began drawing at the tender age of six. By eight years old, he became a professional, making him the youngest professional artist in Nigeria.
To succeed at hyperrealism, extreme patience is required. While drawing, Olamilekan precisely captures even the most minuscule details in order to bring his works to life. “I try to focus on it to get the detail in the picture and in the artwork too,” he told DD News, adding that those who lack patience will not achieve hyperrealism.
Olamilekan’s typical subject matter includes drawing from everyday life in Lagos, his personal experiences, and family. However, similar to all great artists, his work has a more profound meaning than what initially meets the eye. Take “Daily Bread,” for example. “The inspiration behind it is that something going on around me, especially my family,” Olamilekan explains. “The sweat on it symbolizes hard work and struggling. And the spoon symbolizes food. Everybody in my society has little now, or my streets, they struggle, struggle, they sweat for their eats.”
The child prodigy began receiving worldwide attention after recently meeting with the French president, Emmaneul Macron, who was deeply moved by his work. At only 11 years old, this is only the beginning of Olamilekan’s accomplishments. His art teacher, Adeniyi Adewole, believes that he is one of the most gifted of his students, saying, “He can go far, farther than even beyond our expectations because I believe with what he has been doing, he’s going somewhere greater.”READ MORE........