Festival in the Desert: The Tent Sessions

Director: Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre
Country: Mali and United States
Year: 2003
Running Time: 42 min.
Language: French, Tamashek, Bambara, and English

An intimate performance documentary about the 2003 festival featuring Ali Farka Touré, Tartit, Robert Plant and Justin Adams, a host of exquisite musicians playing astounding music—and plenty of camels! Held outside Timbuktu, the festival was initially conceived as a way for the nomadic Tuareg people to unite with their brethren who had been dispersed by political upheaval. From magnificent camel riders to enchanted lantern-lit sand dunes, this film captures the sights and sounds of the event so well that it is the next best thing to making the arduous journey yourself.

About the Director

Sean Barlow and Banning Eyre

alg-sean-barlow-jpgBiography: Sean Barlow is the creator and producer of public radio’s Afropop Worldwide, the first nationally syndicated series in the US media to introduce the American public to the music and culture of contemporary Africa and the African Diaspora. Afropop Worldwide is distributed by Public Radio International to over 110 stations in the U.S. and by XM satellite radio. Sean and the Afropop team also produce the acclaimed afropop.org website, a weekly e-Newsletter, the Annual Afropop Hall of Fame Awards ceremony and an embryonic film series.

banningBiography: Banning Eyre has written about international music, especially African guitar styles, since 1988. He comments and reports on music for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and contributes regularly to The Boston Phoenix, Guitar Player, Rhythm, Folk Roots, The Beat, CD Now, CMJ, New Music Monthly, and the Music Hound and All Music Guides. He has traveled extensively in Africa and has produced many programs for the public radio series Afropop Worldwide. In 1995, Eyre co-authored AFROPOP! An Illustrated Guide to Contemporary African Music with Sean Barlow. Eyre’s book focussed on Malian guitar styles, In Griot Time, An American Guitarist in Mali, was released by Temple University Press (2000) and in the UK on Serpent’s Tail (2002). The companion CD Eyre compiled, In Griot Time, String Music from Mali, is out on Stern’s Africa.

– AFF, Inc.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Festival in the Desert: The Tent Sessions (2006).

Festival in the Desert: The Tent Sessions (2003).