The Tenderloin Museum is thrilled to present a “making-of” exhibition about the independent, locally produced feature film Life Is Fare, curated by the film’s director, Sephora Woldu. Shot in the Tenderloin, Life is Fare is a Tigrinya and English language film that explores three wildly different perspectives on the East African nation of Eritrea. Inspired by current Eritrean and Ethiopian migration journeys, the film portrays global conversations about identity with a keen, intimate sense of place. The Tenderloin is recognizable in most of the shots, but the TL is much more than a setting--it is a complex character that experiences change and growth alongside the film’s protagonists. Woldu is an ambitious young filmmaker whose persistent DIY spirit is emblematic of the neighborhood she so passionately portrays in her feature.
“The Shoots” is a colloquial term used by Woldu to reference the seemingly endless movie-making efforts over 2015 to 2018, the time that it took to shoot, re-shoot, re-re-shoot, post-produce, and promote the finished product of Life is Fare. Throughout this process, cast members moved away, passed away, got married, had babies, and flourished as artists in their own right. During that same period, the Tenderloin captured in the film changed considerably--Woldu notes the closure of The Gangway and relocation of the original Lafayette Diner as significant events in the making of Life is Fare . “The Shoots” gallery show, on view from September 6th to 30th, is an existential roar that commemorates the Tenderloin and the Eritrean community that calls the neighborhood home while celebrating the success of Life Is Fare.
The film premiered at the 2018 Brooklyn Film Festival and garnered awards at the Marfa Film Festival, African Diaspora International Film Festival, and Silicon Valley African Film Festival, as well as a Best Feature nomination at the Blackstar International Film Festival in Accra, Ghana. Join us in giving Life Is Fare a proper homecoming! A reception will be held for “The Shoots” gallery show on Thursday, September 6th as part of SF First Thursdays Tenderloin/Lower Polk Art Walk. On September 27th, the Tenderloin Museum will screen Life Is Fare followed by a talkback with director Sephora Woldu.