Nearly 10 years in the making, the indie feature Night Shots, from director Eric Bomba-Ire, is finally premiering on September 14. One of CinemATL's founders, Eric shot the film in the summer of 2008. Little did he know that it would take almost a decade to finally see his vision on screen.
I have to admit, I'm just a tad bit biased about this project as I'm one of the main actors in the film, which explores the lives of 6 disparate people during one night in downtown Atlanta. It was (and still is) my biggest role in a film, and challenged me as an actor who was used to mainly doing comedic roles.
It has always been a passion project for Eric, too, and I'm extremely happy it's finally seeing the light of day. With a limited crew, we spent several sleepless nights filming guerrilla style on the streets of Atlanta, only to have to get up early the next morning and head to our respective day jobs. It was the true spirit of indie filmmaking, back in a day when the technology wasn't as easily accessible as it is today.
The feature will screen at Gallery 72 on September 14th at 7:00pm to kick off Welcoming Week in Atlanta, a nationwide series of annual events bringing together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone.
Here's more about the film from the press release:
Night Shots is a politically and socially charged journey through one microcosmic evening in downtown Atlanta. Featuring three sets of intersecting characters wandering through an empty downtown and carrying the burden of Atlanta’s urban landscape: gentrification, economic gaps, and immigration.
The film is meant to spark dialogue about the current growth of Atlanta, what makes our community unique, maintaining economic and cultural diversity, and how the city can find its center.
“This film started to germinate as soon as I landed in Atlanta and has been a real labor of love to complete”, explains Director Eric Bomba-Ire, “July 20th 1997, one week before the first anniversary of the centennial park bombing during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, I landed at JFK having left Ghana with my parents and a few short weeks later would reach Atlanta. The only thing I knew of Atlanta was The CDC because my father had worked for it in the 70’s and, of course, Outkast. I wanted to stay in New York, the quintessential representation of America with its yellow cabs, the Statue of Liberty, its fast paced life and the diversity I had seen countless times as a child on TV. New York was what I identified as America.”
Eric stayed in Atlanta and studied Video Production at the Art Institute, screened his first short films at the Atlanta Film Festival, and helped found CinemATL.com, an online platform that shines a light on the Atlanta and Southeastern film scene. He then worked professionally in the still growing Atlanta film and television industry, shooting the film on nights and weekends while expecting his first child. “After principal photography, we were met with a spate of troubles through the editing process. The threads of a coherent story were missing. So I shelved it and moved on with being a parent and working.” But, Bomba-Ire ultimately could not let the film just gather dust. “I had to finish this film. The story was too close to me to let go”. He began to write a new narration, shoot additional footage and completed the edit in the fall of 2016.
“I feel like the film is more relevant now than when I began”, says Bomba-Ire. “Since the film’s completion, the political Atmosphere in America has become unsettling. The new president and his administration have issued a ban on Immigration. By necessity, we must all try to comprehend the experience of being “other” in America.” Bomba-Ire is currently developing a second feature that will also shoot in Atlanta through his production company YEP! Films International.
This screening is hosted by the city of Atlanta Mayor’s office of cultural affairs in partnership with Welcoming Atlanta: Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Gallery 72 at 2 City Plaza, is a municipal gallery operated by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs dedicated to presenting stimulating and thought-provoking contemporary art and programs that focus on advancing Atlanta’s arts offering.
The gallery is located at 72 Marietta Street NW Atlanta Ga. 30303 and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.