New Bedford award-winning poet, author and artist Iva Brito is chronicling the story of the people of the Whaling City during COVID-19 by co-producing a new documentary Pandemic Renaissance - The Art of Surviving C-19 with California filmmaker a'Ali DeSouza.

"The whole idea for the film came about because I believe the pandemic transformed our lives in many ways. Certainly, emotional changes within the family, but also I wanted to capture the story about healing in our multicultural city," said Brito. "We want to showcase the silver lining of the renaissance that happened during the pandemic, while being true to the issues of social justice that advanced."

Both artists have a reputation for excellence. To illustrate this, their collaboration on a prior film, about when Iva was the Artist-in-Residence for the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, received three jury-selected nominations from the European Film Festival.

Courtesy Iva Brito

"I want to use art as a means to tell the story of our healing. I believe we are all artists, that our humanity is our birthright and healing is our process," reflected Brito.

Courtesy Iva Brito

You ought to be in pictures. Iva Brito wants you.

"We invite the people of New Bedford to share their stories and their art at an open call this Saturday, Aug. 28, from 2-6 p.m. at the Co-Creative Space, 137 Union Street, and then the following Friday, Sept. 3, from 4-7 p.m. It will be a great way for folks to connect," Brito said.

Once the shooting ends the first week of September, DeSouza will go back to California to edit and produce the final product.

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"Yes, when it's finished, we'll have a New Bedford premiere," Brito said. "After all, it's the story of New Bedford's strong and beautiful community and the renaissance that transpired here during the pandemic."

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