Filmmaker Mateen Kemet Screens New Film About Oakland, California, At the Oakland International Film Festival
Film commissioned by Port of Oakland’s local public art competition is one of 51 films showcased in 9th annual festival
(OAKLAND, CA) March 31, 2011—The Oakland International Film Festival, Port of Oakland, and the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) announce the screening of a new film by Oakland filmmaker Mateen Kemet at the 9th Oakland International Film Festival which was founded and is sponsored by the Oakland Film Society. Shot in 16MM film at 49 locations around Oakland, California, the film titled “Oakland B Mine” showcases neighborhoods throughout the city in a silent narrative that expresses the filmmaker’s deep association with his hometown.
Mateen Kemet’s connection to Port of Oakland and the Oakland Museum of California began in May 2005 when he entered a Port-sponsored local public art competition and was one of five selected and commissioned to create new artwork for display on a large-scale media wall at Oakland International Airport, which is owned and operated by the Port. Located in the Terminal 2 baggage claim, the media wall was developed, and is annually curated, by OMCA staff with the goal of educating travelers about the natural, artistic and social forces that affect California and its people.
“Public art displays are an important part of the overall customer experience at Oakland International Airport as they help communicate the local culture and give passengers an opportunity to slow down and take a deep breath while moving through our terminals,” said Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland. “We are proud to feature Mateen Kemet’s Oakland B Mine on the media wall in the Terminal 2 bag claim. The film gives travelers a glimpse of the many wonderful neighborhoods in Oakland—a city that offers so much to both residents and visitors alike.”
From the start, Kemet was committed to creating a project that had a distinct Oakland personality. The unique short film, Oakland B Mine, showcases the best of Oakland—its travel conduits and neighborhoods, its landmarks and topography, its diversity of people and its beauty. The result is a silent film that is both travelogue and narrative.
“I feel my job as filmmaker is to elucidate—to pull the cover off issues or subjects that aren’t readily visible. Oakland is not what it seems on the surface nor is it what the media has made it out to be. With my storytelling, my artistic viewpoint, and my camera, I am able to convey to viewers that Oakland is a gem,” said Kemet. ”With the film, I felt I could convey this message by filming vignettes that show Oakland in new, unexpected ways. By looking in the right places, you see the city’s true value.”
Using the age-old story line of “boy meets girl,” Oakland B Mine follows a young man (played by Oakland’s Anthony Haynes) who discovers the woman of his dreams at Oakland International Airport. Within seconds of seeing her across the baggage claim—where ironically, the film now plays—he realizes he will do anything he can to get close enough to meet her. As their game of cat and mouse unfolds, the viewer is treated to a whirlwind tour as the leading lady (played by Oakland’s Erinn Anova) winds her way through the city, seamlessly switching between love interest and tour guide. The ensuing love story between characters is at once humorous and poignant, yet the real love story is with the city itself.
A filmmaker since 1997, Kemet has written and directed 12 short films, one music video, and 11 screenplays. His work has been viewed in over 60 countries and been awarded 17 film prizes, including a Directors Guild of America Student Filmmaker Award. In 2005, Kemet was invited to FESPACO in Burkina Faso, West Africa, the largest Arts Festival in the African Diaspora, where he won the Director’s Prize. He is a former Fox Searchlight Studio Fellow, and has been nominated for a Rockefeller Foundation Media Fellowship. Recently, Kemet appeared on the Steven Spielberg/Mark Burnett reality competition On The Lot. Chosen from over 12,000 applicants, Kemet competed against 49 other filmmakers from around the world—all vying for a $1 million development deal with Dreamworks Studios. Kemet placed in the top 10, finishing seventh.
ABOUT THE OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Sponsored by the Oakland Film Society, the 9th Oakland International Film Festival begins April 7 and runs through April 15. Sponsored by the Oakland Film Society, the festival will showcase 51 films at four different venues in the East Bay. For a complete schedule, visit www.oiff.org. On April 8 and 9, the Oakland Film Market will be held at the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Market will bring together distributors, film buyers, and producers with over 20 Oakland independent filmmakers. While promoting community development and sustainability in Oakland, the mission of the Oakland Film Society is to improve the mental, physical, and spiritual health of the diverse East Bay population through inspiring film and community collaboration.
ABOUT THE PORT OF OAKLAND
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport and fourth largest airport in California, offering over 130 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Visit portofoakland.com and oaklandairport.com or Facebook / Oakland International Airport.
ABOUT THE OAKLAND MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA
The Oakland Museum of California partners with the Port of Oakland to create multi-disciplinary, community-focused exhibitions at the Oakland International Airport. Exhibitions are curated by Museum staff with the goal of educating travelers about the natural, artistic and social forces that affect California and its people. Three times annually, OMCA’s Professional Services staff develop and install exhibitions in the Airport in Terminal 1 (outside security check point), the walkway between Terminals 1 and Terminal 2, and in the newly renovated area of Terminal 2.
The Oakland Museum of California, conveniently located one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, on the corner of 10th Street and Oak Street, brings together collections of art, history and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future. For more information visit, museumca.org.