Tag Archives: audience

On Tour: Blue Bell, PA

7 Oct

September 21, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Blue Bell, PA

The next day I drove to Blue Bell PA, where Montgomery County Community College hosted the Sweet Dreams screening. Brent Woods, Director of Cultural Affairs greeted me warmly and explained that our screening was part of the “Lively Arts Series” run out of the college. While he hoped that students would attend (it was the first two weeks of semester) their mandate was to reach out into the larger community as well.  So, in fact, it was older community members who made up the majority of our audience.

The screening room was small and cozy and we had a great discussion after the  film.

 Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Lisa Fruchtman.

On Tour: Brookville, NY

7 Oct

September 20, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Brookville, NY

As Rob was finishing Part 1 of the Sweet Dreams screening tour, I began Part 2.

I arrived at Long Island University Post in Brookville, NY and was astonished to find the beautiful Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Tilles Center is a major concert hall which hosts world- renowned music, theater and dance artists as well as being home to the Long Island Philharmonic and the Eglevsky Ballet.

Though our screening was a small event by comparison, Production Manager Bob Goida took care to make sure that all was set up properly and Sweet Dreams looked and sounded fantastic. What a treat!

For the Q&A after the film I was joined by Shawn Welnak, Asst. Professor of Philosophy and Carol Boyer, Associate Professor of Finance who graciously gave time after their busy work days to attend and be part of the conversation with the audience.

 Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Lisa Fruchtman

On Tour: Waynesboro, VA

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September 20, 2016 | Sweet DreamsWaynesboro, VA


Waynesboro, Virginia is nestled in the lush folds of the Shenandoah Valley, not far from the West Virginia border. In the heart of town, The venerable Wayne Theatre, built in 1926 for traveling vaudeville acts and overhauled in 2013 into a modern theatre venue, is the center of cultural life for the entire region. There was a healthy turnout for “Sweet Dreams” (helped by an above-the-fold front page article about it in the local paper). After a lively Q&A, Tracy Straight, the Wayne’s indefatigable director, organized a panel of local women entrepreneurs to talk about their struggles and successes, comparing their efforts with those of their sister entrepreneurs in Rwanda featured in our film. The highlight, though, has to go to the pre-screening ice cream event at Kline’s Ice Cream Shop, where local kids and their parents came to greet me (and share some fantastic ice cream) courtesy of Kim Arehart, Kline’s friendly owner and sponsor of the evening’s screening.  It was a great day because Waynesboro is one of those towns that sneak up on you – in a very very good way.


Post by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Rob Fruchtman

On Tour: Germantown, MD

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September 18, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Germantown, MD

“People watched the film while sitting at cafe tables cabaret-style, which seemed to add to the intimacy.”

image-1In the leafy outskirts of Washington D.C., the BlackRock Center for the Arts hosted Sweet Dreams and paired the film with an ice cream social and drumming performance from the fabulous D.C. based women’s drum troupe, Bele Bele. People watched the film while sitting at cafe tables cabaret-style, which seemed to add to the intimacy. During the Q&A, a young woman from Rwanda got up to thank us for making a film that shows the positive side of her country and widens the discussion about the country’s history and progress. “When I tell people that I am from Rwanda, people shake their heads and tell me how tragic it must be coming from there. I tell them ‘No, our country is beautiful and doing well.’ ” Claudine, 9 months pregnant, joined the drummers after the film, thinking they might help her hasten her delivery! Bele Bele brought extra drums and invited the audience to drum with them, and suddenly Rwanda and the women drummers of Butare felt much closer.


Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Rob Fruchtman.

On Tour: Lewisburg, WV

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September 15, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Lewisburg, WV


“With few resources but a determination to succeed, the women did just that.”

I drove from Lancaster, PA south through Virginia and into the hills of West Virginia coal country to the small vibrant town of Lewisburg. In addition to being a center of culture and education in rural Greenbriar County, Lewisburg is proud home of Carnegie Hall, one of only three such named buildings in the country. In 1902, Andrew Carnegie was asked to help Lewisburg residents build the hall after a fire destroyed the one before it, which he did. Carnegie Hall is now a thriving cultural center, and on the night of the 15th, it hosted a screening of Sweet Dreams. Before the screening, I was asked to address the Greenbriar Women’s Fund, an organization that raises money for programs to help women in the region. West Virginia women rank near the bottom in health and education in the country, and the Fund is fighting to change that. At a dinner in the local church (the women cooked a traditional Rwandan stew – yum), I spoke about the Rwandan women that we feature in our film, and how they came together to form a successful drumming troupe – breaking the taboo that only men could drum – and then forming a cooperative to open the country’s first and only locally owned ice cream shop. With few resources but a determination to succeed, the women did just that.


Before the film began, a group of young women from nearby Greenbriar Academy performed excellent West African drumming for the audience, to great applause. After the screening, many people asked questions about themes that the film addresses: forgiveness and reconciliation, grass roots entrepreneurship, and the empowerment of women. It was a great discussion and one, I felt, that related to their own community in many ways.

 Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Rob Fruchtman.

On Tour: Lancaster, PA

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September 13, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Lancaster, PA

Two hours south of Bloomsburg, I cruised into the picturesque city of Lancaster, PA in the heart of Amish country, where I was met by Barry Kornhauser, Millersville University’s director of student engagement. Barry heavily advertised the film and invited professors to bring their students to the film, offering them free ice cream as a bonus (the film tells the story of a group of Rwandan women who open their country’s first ice cream shop). That evening at the Ware Center, their state of the art Arts Center, over 300 people filled the seats for a panel discussion about the roots of Rwanda’s genocide, followed by a screening of the film and a long talk back with many questions and lots of discussion. We’ve shown Sweet Dreams all over the country, and this was one of the best audiences we’ve encountered. They loved the film and wanted to know more, about the women, Rwanda and even about how to siblings can work together to make a film!

Before the screening, I spoke to two classes. One was African American studies and the other was about intercultural communication. Many students were interested and as a result, came to the screening. The following morning I spoke to two other classes – encounters with diversity and art and entrepreneurship. Both were excellent, but the entrepreneurship students were particularly interested in a story of Rwandan women with no previous business experience setting out to introduce community t a brand new product – and succeeding. It was rewarding for me as a filmmaker, and I believe it was rewarding for them.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Rob Fruchtman.

On Tour: Bloomsburg, PA

15 Sep

September 12, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Bloomsburg, PA

I arrived in Bloomsburg University in the afternoon of September 12th, the date of my first Mid-Atlantic Tour screening. Fortunately, there was time for me to walk around the town and the campus, and get a sense of college life in central Pennsylvania. For an entrenched urbanite, the bucolic setting was delightful; I wished I could return to my college years and attend a school like this in a community like this (I went to a large city university). Randall Presswood, Bloomsburg University’s director of the Mid-Atlantic Arts program, welcomed me and duly I formed me that in his 31 years of running the arts program at Bloomsburg, the university had never hosted a film with the filmmaker present. I told him that I was glad to be the guinea pig for this experiment.


“Both of these themes – entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment – are major components of Sweet Dreams”

Randall arranged a panel prior to the film’s screening. The panel consisted of a local female architect who spoke of the challenges of starting her own business and overcome the stereotyped image of a female in the largely male world of architecture. Both of these themes – entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment – are major components of Sweet Dreams, a local Rwandan story that can be applied to countries and communities everywhere. Other women on the panel echoed this theme.

The screening, while not heavily attended, did create a very engaging Q&A afterwards. I was happy to bring the film to this campus, and hope they continue to bring films (and filmmakers) to their students as a way of opening the world to them.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Rob Fruchtman.

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