In advance of her visit to the Little Rock Film Festival, we spoke with Annie Eastman, director of the audience award winner for documentary at SXSW “Bay of All Saints,” about the rigors of shooting in a Brazilian slum, new fundraising methods and the joys of screening at a Brazilian film festival. “Bay of All Saints” is scheduled to play the LRFF 2:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at Riverdale.
Can you tell me about the film?
Basically it spans six years. I spent that time following three single-mother families who live in a slum in Brazil that is actually built on stilts in water. And during that time they were told the government was going to launch an urban development project that would displace them from their home and provide them with housing projects and restore the ecology of the bay where they’d been living and dumping trash for decades. And the film comes from the perspective of their refrigerator repairman.
You were in Brazil at the time, right?
Prior to making the film, and prior to getting in to filmmaking I lived in this neighborhood for a year and a half and worked as a volunteer for a small grassroots organization that did arts and education projects with kids.
Did you know the slums were going to be taken over like that beforehand?
I stayed in touch with the community and was working on some fundraising efforts for their arts center, and I made a trip back to do some of that work and follow up with it, and that was when I heard that they were planning on displacing the people. So I just decided it sounds like it would make a good documentary.