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Exclusive: AFFRM Sets Initial Theatrical Engagements For Gulf BP Oil Spill Doc Acquisition ‘Vanishing Pearls’

Exclusive: AFFRM Sets Initial Theatrical Engagements For Gulf BP Oil Spill Doc Acquisition 'Vanishing Pearls'

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster (aka the BP Oil Spill), is officially registered as one of the worst oil spill disasters in an unfortunately rather lengthy history of similar devastating occurrences all over the world; The people who live in the Niger delta, for example, are just one ongoing example of a population that has had to live with resulting environmental catastrophes for decades. Their story has been documented on film more than a few times – films that were highlighted on this blog.

The Deepwater BP Oil Spill takes center stage in this specific case, in Louisiana native Nailah Jefferson’s feature documentary, Vanishing Pearls – a 2014 Slamdance Film Festival selection.

An all-too familiar David vs Goliath story, the film follows the battle between the multinational oil and gas company, BP, and a 300-person Louisiana Gulf community dependent on oyster fishing, in a region where the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened, where more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Many thousand total miles of coastline were affected, including the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and even though the well was capped in July 2010, oil is still washing up on shores, which might cause long-term damage to people living in the area.

The initial oil rig explosion killed 11 people and injured 17 others, and over 8,000 animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead just 6 months after the spill, including many that are already on the endangered species list. 

Over 30,000 people responded to the spill, working to clean up the coast, take care of animals and perform various other duties. 

As of 2012, the Gulf was still polluted with oil.

Nailah Jefferson’s film (also her directorial debut), which should act as a propogator of information on a situation that many may still not know about, was picked up (worldwide rights) last month by ARRAY, the multi-platform distribution label of the

African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM), who, today, has announced the documentary’s initial release schedule.

AFFRM will open the film in NYC and LA on April 18, to coincide with the 4th anniversary of one of America’s worst environmental tragedies, followed by successive play-dates around the country. To find out it it’ll screen at a theater near you, take a look at the first schedule of engagements schedule below (trailer underneath):

April 18 | NEW YORK | Imagenation RAW Space (Presented by AFFRM partners Imagenation and Urbanworld Film Festival)

April 18 | LOS ANGELES | Downtown Independent

Day 5 of the BP Oil Spill | April 25 | DETROIT | Cinema Detroit

Day 6 of the BP Oil Spill | April 26 | MONTGOMERY | Pure Artistry Literary Cafe

Day 6 of the BP Oil Spill |April 26 | ATLANTA | Morehouse College (Presented by AFFRM partner Bronzelens Film Festival)

Day 7 of the BP Oil Spill | April 27 | SEATTLE | Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (Presented by AFFRM partner Langston Hughes African American Film Festival)

Day 9 of the BP Oil Spill | April 29 | NEW ORLEANS | Sync Up Cinema

Day 19 of the BP Oil Spill | May 8 | HOUSTON | Houston Museum of African American Culture (Presented by AFFRM partner HMAAC)

Day 28 of the BP Oil Spill | May 17 | AUSTIN | Alamo Drafthouse

Day 30 of the BP Oil Spill  |May 19 | WASHINGTON, DC | Anacostia Art Center (Presented by AFFRM partner Parallel Film Collective)

Day 32 of the BP Oil Spill | May 21 | PHILADELPHIA | International House (Presented by AFFRM partner Reelblack)

Day 48 of the BP Oil Spill | June 6 | CHICAGO | DuSable Museum of African American History

Day 52 of the BP Oil Spill | June 10 | BIRMINGHAM | Sidewalk Film Festival

Day 55 of the BP Oil Spill | June 13 | COLUMBIA, SC | The Nickelodeon

Watch a trailer for the film below (poster underneath):

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