I hope that everyone's summer is getting off to a great start! As many of you all know, I am preparing for my next trip back to the Netherlands to conduct preliminary research for Black Pete, Zwarte Piet: The Documentary as well as to cover some footage of the celebrations and events happening around Keti Koti and the 150th Year Celebration of the Abolishment of Slavery in Dutch territories.
Ideally, I will be spending much of my time identifying individuals with interesting stories and experiences related to the celebration of Zwarte Piet. While we will not start our main production until the Fall, we are interested in identifying key subjects now.
What we're looking for:
*Individuals who are officially involved with Zwarte Piet celebrations and organizations (including the officials/individuals who organize the annual parades, Intocht, etc…)
*Families who host elaborate celebrations and traditions involving Zwarte Piet.
*Sinterklaas/Zwarte Piet historians (and/or academics who have conducted extensive research on the topic).
*Journalists who regularly cover Zwarte Piet celebrations.
*Individuals who dress up as Zwarte Piet (particularly someone who has done so for many years and/or a young adult who is just beginning to dress up).
*Individuals who have been engaged in historic protests or resistance against Zwarte Piet (even if it was not highly publicized).
This is an opportunity for people interested in discussing the history, customs and traditions associated with Sinterklaas to potentially have their story included in the documentary.
Please Note: For individuals concerned about the overall approach of the film, while I may have on my own opinions about the celebration as an American, as a filmmaker and researcher, I'm committed to telling the most objective and nuanced story possible. Interesting films are those that explore all sides of a controversial issue and that's what I'm interested in accomplishing with this documentary. I would especially love to hear from people who hold his tradition near and dear to their hearts, who don't see it as problematic or racist and who are open to discussing the tradition in a very honest, intelligent, meaningful and respectful way.
For more information or if interested in being considered for participation in this project, please submit the following info:
Affiliation with Sinterklaas Celebration:
A brief summary of how you celebrate the tradtion in 3 - 5 sentences:
Shantrelle P. Lewis
Director | Producer
Black Pete, Zwarte Piet: The Documentary
Interview Dates: June 19 - June 29, 2013
Production Dates: November - December, 2013