XENIA — A locally produced film is having a successful run on the film festival circuit.
“Taking Israel,” produced by Xenia native Dr. Eric Winston, was named Best Documentary at the San Diego Black Film Festival in April and was screened at the San Francisco Black Film Festival in June.
The film chronicles more than 150 African American students from Wilberforce University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities as they travelled from the United States to Israel from 1988-2002 to observe the social, political, and economic conditions.
In the documentary, some of the former students return to Israel and recount their experiences of living on Kibbutz Ramat Menashe in northern Israel, teaching English at the Lazarus Community Center in Holon, studying at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and working alongside Israeli Arabs at the Givat Haviva Center for Arabic Studies in Givat Haviva, Israel.
The viewer learns from first-hand accounts how this experience shaped the perspectives of the students, as well as the people with whom they worked and with whom they came in contact.
In addition to the film’s award, director Vincent Singleton was named Best Director at the Action on Film Festival in California in 2016.
Winston served Wilberforce University for 25 years, retiring in 2002 as its vice president for development. Additionally, he served on the Xenia City Council for 14 years
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.