Int'l Motion Art Awards 7 Winner

It is my pleasure with immense gratitude to announce that my short video following the women’s march in Kayonza, Rwanda alongside my good friends at the NGO, Shooting Touch, was selected as an International Motion Art Awards 7 Winner. This means the video will live in the American Photography - American Illustration Archive forever and be screened in New York City this coming November along side the other winners.

This project was a culmination of a decade of work and passions. Just 9 years ago I learned to edit which led to a video production internship for a couple local lawyers who gave me, along side my friend Keith Weiner, full autonomy to create for them. I learned and grew so much that year that Reebok then offered me a temporary position in their video production department. During my year at Reebok my cinematography/videography skills also grew rapidly and I was introduced to the photography closet. This all eventually led to my current independent career creating short documentary pieces and shooting stills for some of my favorite brands and organizations around the world.

This project in particular even fused my other passion…running. This was a 5k march and I had to stay in front of the leaders of the march by running ahead and setting up the shot, filming as they pass by or I follow and running again. I would climb hills to get a higher angle, hurdle sewers and blindly jog backwards. I was able to hire a local assistant who I have created a relationship over the years named Sheja. He was was a huge help with my equipment, keeping up with a heavy pack on his back. As we ran ahead I would decide on the spot whether the next shot would be stills or video since I wanted to capture the event in both mediums. This made for the shortest 5k of my life but easily the most exhilarating. During my teen years I fell in love with running even though I was often in the back of the pack. This never mattered to me. The organic nature of running and mindful practice has become my greatest joy in life aside from my profession. On this day, as thousands of women, children and men march through the rural roads of Kayonza and Nyamirama towards a basketball tournament to celebrate women and health, my greatest passions came together in the perfect moment allowing me to tell their story.

I am so grateful that the judges who’s work I have admired for years, also believe in this story and selected this piece to live on in the archive forever. On March 17th, over 1,000 Shooting Touch youth and women took part of our first 5k march through the streets of Kayonza, Rwanda to raise awareness for gender and health equity. Men and women marched to our annual International Women's Day tournament hosted on the (2) courts we built while over 2,000 spectators cheered on.

This year’s distinguished juries who reviewed and selected the video included: 

AP34: Jessica Dimson, The New York Times Magazine;  Dustin Drankoski, Mashable;  Lea Golis, Apple Media Products;  Rosey Lakos, Godfrey Dadich Partners;  Natasha Lunn, Airbnb Magazine;  Eve Lyons, The New York Times;  and Thea Traff, TIME Magazine.

AI37: Chris Brand, Crown Publishing;  Hannah K Lee, The New York Times;  Janet Michaud, Politico;  Dennis Huynh, Buzzfeed;  Maria G. Keehan, Smithsonian;  Aaron Rinas, Art + Mechanical; and Marianne Seregi, National Geographic

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