A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is now available for pre-order!


Actors Quanita Adams & Nick Boraine

Dear Friends,

Global Arts Corps is thrilled to announce that our documentary A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is now available for purchase through the film’s educational distributor, Documentary Educational Resources (DER).

A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is our award-winning documentary that follows a diverse group of South African actors as they tour global war-torn regions to share their country’s experience with reconciliation. As they ignite a dialogue among people with raw memories of atrocity, the actors find they must confront once again their homeland’s complicated and violent past and question their own capacity for healing and forgiveness.

Through DER, the film is available to pre-order on DVD for individuals, educators, K-12 schools, universities, nonprofits, and other institutions. If you or anyone you know is interested in obtaining a copy of the film, you can click here to place your order. Questions and purchase orders can also be sent to orders@der.org. We’re proud of the impact this film has made in screenings and festivals, and are very pleased that it’s now accessible to individuals, educators, and organizations here in the US and abroad.

Please stay tuned for additional updates in the coming weeks, including the release of an article on Global Arts Corps in the UNESCO Courier.

United Nations Screenings in Geneva and Vienna


Global Arts Corps is honored to announce that A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake will be presented by the United Nations at two screenings in Geneva and Vienna next week. The details are as follows:

Geneva Screening of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake

Presented by Ciné-ONU

Tuesday, April 4th, at 6:30pm

Cinéma CINERAMA EMPIRE, rue de Carouge 72-74, Geneva

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Michael and Jacqueline Lessac. Tickets are free of charge, and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, please visit www.unog.ch/cine-onu


Vienna Screening of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake

Presented by The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, On the occasion of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

Friday, April 7th, 12:30pm

Vienna International Centre, UNIS Cinema Room (G0575)

Opening remarks will be given by Martin Nesirky – Director, United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, and Michael and Jacqueline Lessac. This screening is by invitation-only. For more information, please contact us at info@globalartscorps.org.

Please stay tuned for updates on these screenings, and the recent pick-up shoot for the new feature documentary on our Cambodian project, Year Zero36.

Two More Film Screenings in March

GAC managing director Sarah Case at the talkback following A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake's Massachusetts premiere at the Salem Film Fest

GAC managing director Sarah Case at the talkback following A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake’s Massachusetts premiere at the Salem Film Fest

We are looking forward to screening A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake two more times in the month of March.

On Tuesday, March 24, we are headed up to Bard College in the Hudson Valley for a screening and talkback. More information can be found here.

For those of you in the Atlanta area, we will have the Southeastern Premiere of the film at the Atlanta Film Festival on March 27. The details are as follows:

Atlanta Film Festival
Southeastern Premiere – A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake
Friday, March 27th – 7:15 pm
The Plaza Theatre, Upstairs Theatre
Tickets can be purchased here
Please visit the festival’s website for additional information.

In other news, please take a moment to check out A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake‘s new website.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Global Arts Corps

Documentary Wins Social Justice Award in Santa Barbara

We are very happy to announce that A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake was named the winner of the Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Competition at the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival. A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake was chosen out of a group of nine documentaries, all recognized for their role in advancing social, economic, and environmental justice.

We are honored by the enthusiastic reception of the film in Santa Barbara, as well as the outside hope and enthusiasm that this award has brought to our work at Global Arts Corps.

Nick Boraine, Michael Lessac, and Jackie Lessac on the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Nick Boraine, Michael Lessac, and Jackie Lessac on the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2015.

In March 2015, we look forward to participating the Atlanta Film Festival (March 20-29, 2015) and the Salem Film Fest (with a screening on March 11, at 11:30am). For more information on the film’s screening in Salem, please visit festival’s website here. As soon as the specific screening dates and times for Atlanta are available, we will post them on the film’s website and in our next newsletter.

From all of us at the Global Arts Corps, thank you for your continued support.

Reigniting Reconciliation Dialogue in Durban

Global Arts Corps is just coming off an exhilarating week in Durban, South Africa, where our documentary film, A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, had its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival. We were honored by CNN’s selection as one of the “9 Must See” films at the festival and our nomination by local South African students as one of the top “5 African Films” at DIFF. This year’s festival marked the milestone of twenty years of Nelson Mandela’s presidency and the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

Following the two screenings of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, we received an outpouring of support as well as overwhelmingly positive responses to the film. In addition to the two festival screenings, we held a post-film Q&A and an informal discussion, ‘Unmasking Reconciliation‘ facilitated by Mary Papayya (media leader / Secretary-General of SA National Editors Forum) and joined by distinguished panel participants – Dr. Alex Boraine (Vice Chair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission), Max Du Preez (writer, journalist, filmmaker), Vasu Gounden (founder and executive director of ACCORD), Thembi Mtshali-Jones (stage, television, film actress), Ela Gandhi (Gandhi Development Trust/Archivist) and Albie Sachs (activist/former judge on the constitutional court of South Africa).

It was invigorating to see a conversation around reconciliation reignited in the events after the film screenings. As Dr. Alex Boraine put it in our ‘Unmasking Reconciliation’ discussion,

“It’s very difficult to take a public stance for reconciliation when we have so many reminders of corruption in our country today… [reconciliation] is part of justice and if it is not part of justice then frankly it’s not truly reconciliation.”

Estelle Sinkins, a South African critic, echoed similar sentiments in her review of the film,

“Watching A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake, I was struck anew by just how remarkable the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings were. […] A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake is an extraordinary film, which left a deep impression on me. It deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.”

We are very grateful for the warm reception of the film in South Africa, and we look forward to more screenings in cities, festivals, community centers, and schools around the globe.

To read more articles published about the premiere of the film, please visit the press page of the film website.

Premiere at Durban International Film Festival!

Dear Friends,

The world premiere of the Global Arts Corps documentary film on the Truth in Translation project–A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake–will take place this coming Sunday at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa. This year’s festival will honor the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s election to the South African presidency. For those of you who can attend, the two screening dates and locations are listed below. Please feel free to share this information with anyone else who may be interested.

Durban International Film Festival Screenings:

  • July 20, 2014 at 5:15 pm * – Suncoast Cinema
  • July 25, 2014 at 8:15 pm – Suncoast Cinema 

 For more information on the venue, please visit the festival website, here.

* Directly following the July 20th screening,Deputy Chairperson of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission Alex Boraine, and award winning political commentator and author Max du Preez will facilitate a question and answer session with the audience. They will be joined by Truth in Translation cast members Thembi Mtshali-JonesNick Boraine, and Fana Mokoena, as well as Yvette Hardie, South African producer ofTruth in Translation and Consulting Producer of A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake.


Unmasking Reconciliation: 20 Years On….Moving Beyond the Cliché

In addition, audience members are warmly invited to attend an informal morning discussion on July 21st, at 10:30am in the Tugela Room of the Maharani Hotel to unpack the notion of reconciliation within the context of the milestone of 20 years of democracy and to reflect on the aftermath of the TRC within a new generation of nation-builders. The discussion will be facilitated by Mary Papayya – Media Leader / Secretary-General of SA National Editors Forum. Discussion participants will include: Dr Alex Boraine – Vice Chair, Truth & Reconciliation Commission / Writer / Commentator; Max Du Preez – Commentator / Columnist / Award-winning Writer / Film-maker; Vasu Gounden – Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD; Thembi Mtshali-Jones – Distinguished stage, television and film Actress; Ela Gandhi – Gandhi Development Trust / Activist; and Albie Sachs, Activist / Former Judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

To RSVP for the discussion, please contact Publicity Matters at by phone at 031 2011 638, or via email atilla@pubmat.co.za.

You may find more information about the film on the film website. Please stay tuned for more newsletter updates and keep abreast of GAC daily happenings on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Thank you all for your continued support.

– Global Arts Corps

International Premiere of Documentary Film!

Dear Friends,

2014 has been an incredibly busy year so far. We’ve just been invited to premiere our recently completed documentary film on the Truth in Translation project at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa, which will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s election to the South African presidency. In order to differentiate the film from the theatre production, the documentary has been titled A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake. We will be in touch via our newsletter in the coming weeks with more information on the exact times and locations of the screenings. Until then, you can read more about the festival here.

Global Arts Corps workshop with the Phare Ponleu Selpak, February 2014

Global Arts Corps workshop with the Phare Ponleu Selpak, February 2014

In February, we made our second trip to work with the Phare Circus artists in Battambang, Cambodia in order to cast and continue development on our joint theatre/circus project. Andrew Buckland from our South African cast joined Michael and me for a second time as a trainer, along with Arben Bajraktaraj from Kosovo/France and Robbie Koen, also from South Africa. Arn Chorn Pond, former Khmer Rouge child soldier and founder of Cambodian Living Arts, also joined us to tell the young performers his story as part of the history we will bring into the show.  A new short film on this recent work will be on our website in August, and we’ve already begun preparations to return to Battambang in February 2015.

In May we were honored to be commissioned by the European Foundation Centre and the Robert Bosch Stiftung to make a 10-min film on our work for presentation at the Annual General Assembly of the European Foundation Centre in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The film, which you can watch here, provides a good update on our recent activities and ongoing projects.

We are back in the US with a lot of work ahead of us. Fortunately, we will be working with four young college and graduate student fellows over the next few months. Hallie Sekoff, one of our summer fellows, wrote a reflection on Never Fall Down that we featured in our last newsletter. If you missed it then, you can read it here now.

Please watch out for more updates on the premiere of the film and our summer fellowship in the coming months.

– Jacqueline Lessac