Erin Bernhardt + our Imba Means Sing
Filmmaker Erin Bernhardt (College ‘07) is not good at taking no for an answer. When she wound up on the waitlist at UVA her first time around, she wrote an essay about all the times in world history where one person has made a difference. And now she is proving it to be true with her highly-acclaimed documentary Imba Means Sing. The film, which is garnering rave reviews at film festivals across the country and around the world, tells the story of Moses, a small Ugandan boy with big dreams fueled by an international tour with the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir.
Coming from a family that could not even afford to send him to the first grade, eight-year-old Moses recognizes the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change his life, and his family’s fortunes, by pursuing an education that might help him realize his dreams of being a pilot. Last fall, Bernhardt returned to Grounds to share her film and her experiences with friends, mentors, and a sold-out audience at the Virginia Film Festival. The screening found her missing one of her primary mentors, the late Julian Bond, who had been scheduled to participate in a panel discussion following the film. Yet, in her typical fashion, Bernhardt used the opportunity to pay the mentoring benefits forward by connecting with students in George Sampson’s Arts Administration class, from her Kappa sisterhood, and through the UVA Career Center. “It was so good to meet students who were interested in doing what I do, and all these months later, I am still emailing with many of them.”