Ma’s new doc on Berkeley’s silver screen

El Cerrito resident & former commissioner Eve A. Ma announces the upcoming screening of her documentary, "A Zest for Life," in the Berkeley Video & Film Festival.

Prize-winning filmmaker Eve A. Ma, has learned that her documentary film, A Zest for Life:  Afro-Peruvian Rhythms, a Source of Latin Jazz, will be included in the upcoming Berkeley Video & Film Festival.  Ma is a resident of El Cerrito and former member of that city's Arts & Culture Commission, as well as of AC5 (the Arts & Culture Comission of Contra Costa County).

The Berkeley Video & Film Festival will take place Dec. 7-22, 2012 in the screening rooms of East Bay Media located at 1939 Addisson, in Berkeley's Art District.  Ma's documentary, which examines the culture and history of Afro-Peruvians through their music and dance, has already been in a festival in Germany and is slated to appear in a festival in France this coming spring.

Afro-Peruvians are a minority in Peru, but an important one.  Inventive, resilient and with an infectuous zest for life, they have much to teach us about survival with dignity.  The community has much in common not only with African descendants in other countries of Latin America, and also with African-Americans in the United States. 

Ma explains that “Afro-Peruvians have created many percussion instruments. Their music and dance are very lively, and also reveal critical aspects of the community´s history and culture.  Their music has also influenced Latin Jazz, especially groups such as Gabriel Alegria´s.”  The Peruvian cajón, now heard in music around the world, comes out of the Afro-Peruvian tradition. 

The star of the documentary A Zest for Life is a percussionist, dancer, choreographer and folklorist named Lalo Izquierdo.  A few years ago, he came to California from Peru to teach, and this allowed Ma to film both performance and interviews without having to “leave the confort of her own home.” 

The documentary also contains footage of celebrations and performance in Peru, recorded in Afro-Peruvian communities.  One very interesting segment shows three famous Afro-Peruvian percussionists improvising on the checo, a giant gourd made into a musical instrument.  These percussionists Juan Medrano Cotito, from the well-known group. Novalima, and Hugo Bravo, percussionist for the singer Susana Baca,

In honor of the acceptance of her documentary in the Berkeley festival, Ma is giving away a free track of Afro-Peruvian music from the web site www.PalominoProDVD-CD.com.  She is also presenting visitors to this site with a link to a video about a very interesting Afro-Peruvian celebration, full of singing, dance and local color.  This will only be available until the end of November, however.

Eve A. Ma is a producer-director of documentaries, dramas and experimental shorts that have been aired over PBS channels and projected in four countries. She is sole proprietor of Palomino Productions, under which she creates and markets her video productions.

We don't yet have the exact date and time of the screening of A Zest for Life, but will post it when we have it.  In the meantime, for more information, contact Ma at PALOMINO Productions at (510) 236-3257 or e-mail PaloPro2004@yahoo.com.  Or visit the web sites www.AZestforLifeDVD.com and www.PalominoPro.com.

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