While dozens of local filmmakers will be hunkering down in dark theaters this week to see their work on the big screen as part of the Santa Fe Film Festival, a few locals will be hard at work on an upcoming flick.

Sembene: Revolutionary Artist

, a portrait of the Senegalese novelist and filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, co-written and produced by Santa Fean Jason Silverman was awarded a Sundance Institute Documentary Fund grant earlier this week.

Associate producer Filip Celander tells SFR that the crew, which includes several Santa Fe residents, is still in the midst of filming but that the 70 hours they have thus far have proved fruitful.

Sembene, who passed away in 2007, is considered the father of African cinema and the filmmakers seek not only to document his life but the influence he had on African culture. From interviews with artists who were inspired by his work to a Cinema Paradiso-style staging of Sembene’s films in a small village in Senegal the filmmakers vision of the acclaimed director is clear.

The grant, one of 20 given to filmmakers around the world, helps Senegalese director Samba Gadjigo and the Santa Fe crew an opportunity to realize that vision and share it with film lovers sometime in the, hopefully, very near future.