Across the Kings River is a feature length documentary about the universal quest for healing, fulfilment and purpose. This heart-warming film follows spiritual leader, James Weeks, as he practices his calling as a healer in the Ifa, spiritual tradition, while struggling to balance the worldview of his elders in Nigeria with the realities of life in the U.S. He is a shaman and a businessman, a dedicated father and philosopher who must walk his path without endangering his own family. This is a healer’s journey of faith amidst adversity.
Across the King’s River is also a story about the clash of cultures and the tug of war between an ancient tradition and modernity. The film will take viewers on a stunning, visual journey to James’ home, St. Croix, Virgin Islands to visit ancestors and his beginnings, to Nigeria, West Africa the birthplace of Ifa and where James was initiated into the tradition. In addition to intimate, riveting portraits of James, his family in Oakland and clients, viewers will also get a rare glimpse of an elite team of healers and diviners from the Yoruba people of Southwest, Nigeria.
Through verite footage, photographs, illustrative footage and interviews, James will share an insider’s view of Ifa. Scholar interviews will put the personal story into a powerful, historical, cultural and social context. The soundtrack will include the music of Grammy award-winning composer, Omar Sosa, as well as the traditional music of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba and West Africa.
The recipient of The Art of Living Black 2004, Jan-Hart-Schuyers Artistic Achievement Award, James Weeks is an award-wining photographer and a writer with more than 19 years of experience. His writings have appeared in Parenting, the Virgin Islands Daily News, the S.F. Weekly and other publications. He was initiated into the Ifa spiritual tradition and speaks the Yoruba language fluently. He has a B.A. Degree in French from Cal-State East Bay (formerly called Cal-State Hayward).
Producer and director of music videos, advertising and documentaries. Robert Elcock employs the communicative power of film to promote products, spread ideas and defy stereotypes. Aiming to blend our separate perspectives, compartmentalized by class, race and gender, Elcock exposes a range of audiences to well-rounded, dynamic representations of local talent, women, people of color and LGBT community.
Ivan Gomez is a cinematographer from Spain where he was nominated in the international contest of Zaragoza University (2010), and won the third prize in El Tipo del Coche de al Lado contest. He is also experienced in music videos, short films and corporate advertising. He graduated with high honors in Digital Video Arts at Berkeley City College (2016).
Selina co-founded GreenHouse Pictures in 2003, a documentary production company dedicated to telling diverse stories from a variety of perspectives that enlighten, educate and entertain. She has produced more than 12 nationally broadcast documentaries exploring a wide range of topics. Her films include; Hard Road Home, about the formerly incarcerated (director: Macky Alston) premiered on PBS, Independent Lens, and was nominated for an Emmy; Occupation: Dreamland, a cinema verite portrait of American infantrymen serving in Fallujah, Iraq, (directors: Garrett Scott and Ian Olds), won the Independent Spirit Truer than Fiction award, aired on the Sundance Channel.
Across the King’s River proudly welcomes visionary pianist Omar Sosa as composer. Omar Sosa’s musical trajectory traces the Diaspora from Cuba to Brazil; from Central America to Ecuador’s African-descent communities; from San Francisco and New York to Western Europe, the Mediterranean, and the African continent. True to his Afro-Cuban origins, Omar Sosa fashions a spirited vision of uncompromising artistic generosity that embraces humanity at large.
Winner of the Smithsonian Associates’ lifetime achievement award, a three-time GRAMMY nominee, and nominated twice for both the BBC World Music awards and the Jazz Journalists Association awards, Omar Sosa entwines the cultural traditions of Africa, Europe, and the Americas in a unique, cosmopolitan voice. Omar’s search for musical freedom transcends orthodoxy, as an artist who exemplifies Monk’s determination never to play the same thing twice. He crafts a stylistically unique yet thoroughly contemporary global jazz idiom that celebrates the diversity of voices in the music of the Americas and far beyond.
Shimrit Berman is the heart of the Across The King’s River website design. “When I saw the work she did for another filmmaker, I knew I wanted her energy and vision on this project,” says producer James Weeks. Berman, an independent journalist and web designer/producer based in North California, has worked as a writer, web producer and graphic designer as well as in TV production and photography.