Saturday, May 18, 2013

11 Questions: Yor-EL Francis, Writer, Director, Producer

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Francis hails from a prominent Liberian family; the Martins of Grand Bassa County and the Francis from Marshall. He is well traveled and holds a Master of Arts in Film Directing from the City University of New York.  His career began as an intern at MTV Networks, then a stint at the Black Entertainment Television [BET], before landing a job at FOX. 2003 saw the Liberian born filmmaker accepted into the esteemed two-year Directors Guild of America’s Producer Training Plan in Los Angeles. In 2005, Yor-El won the African Film Commission’s top prize for screen-writing for his screenplay, “Fire of the Sun,” a story based on the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, Piankhi, who is an unwilling hero compelled to bring together his country’s fractured lower and upper kingdoms. As a source of national pride, Francis beat out a Ghanaian and a Nigerian, [who were numbers 2 and 3, respectively] to win the Grand prize that year. Back home in Liberia, he has been busy directing and producing Liberian films and short videos, it was his innovation that brought to life Bai T. Moore’s “Murder In the Cassava Patch,” the adaption was also the late Peter Ballah’s final on-screen appearance.  Francis last worked on the POT NOT BOILING REMIX video with Liberian all stars Xpolay, Romeo Lee, Takun J, JD Donzo, Bentman tha Don and Luckay Buckay.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The True Meaning of Independence: Reflection of Our Yesterdays and Vision for Our Tomorrow

Syrulwa Somah [Ph.D]

It is a unique privilege and honor for me to speak before this august gathering at this moment. Today, all over this land of our parentage, from its hilltops to its valleys and plains; from its villages to towns, to districts and cities there is a celebration going on with our famous request for gift, “My 26th is on you-o, ba.” I, too, want to say “My 26th is on you-o, ba.”