A Cooperstown Central School graduate will spend two weeks this month in Tanzania, working as a producer for a film about clean water.
Mallory Arthurs, a 2016 CCS graduate and senior at Villanova University, will go to the Singida region of the east African nation as part of a class project.
“It is an ambitious project, but it is one I feel passionate about,” Arthurs told The Daily Star in a Monday, Oct. 7, phone interview.
Arthurs will go on the trip as part of an International Social Justice Documentary class, which is taught by Hezekiah Lewis III, a film producer who also teaches at his alma mater. His class has been making short documentaries for several years, including a 2018 film, “Sankofa,” which won a Student Academy Award in September. “Sankofa” traces the effects of colonialism on two black men, one living in Philadelphia and one in Ghana, in west Africa.
Although Arthurs is an economics major, she said she is interested in making films, and decided to take the class after hearing about the program’s success.
“The documentary concept is something that has been on my mind for a while now,” she said. “I like being more than a math major. I like the creative side.”
The class is two semesters long, Arthurs said. The first semester involves planning and filming, while the second will deal with the post-production of the 20-minute film.
Arthurs and her classmates are scheduled to be in Tanzania from Friday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Oct. 26. Their project will look at the increasing difficulty of getting clean water in Singida, and the effect on Tanzanian women. The class may also help in building a well.
According to water.org, “only 50 percent of Tanzania’s population of 53 million have access to an improved source of safe water, and only 34 percent of Tanzania’s population has access to improved sanitation. Under these circumstances, people, particularly women and girls, spend a significant amount of time traveling some distance to collect water.”
Arthurs said she and another student will handle social media for the project, which is being done in consultation with the Chris Long Foundation.
Arthurs, who will turn 22 next month, is best known in Cooperstown for being a starter on the 2015 state championship girls basketball team, which won the Class C title March 22, 2015, in Troy. The team repeated as Section Three Class C champs in 2016, but lost in the state semifinals. She said she is in regular contact with her teammates, especially her fellow class of 2016 players, Liz Millea, Jen Flynn and Ciara McGoldrick.
“In some ways, it feels like no time has passed, but now I am going to graduate (college) in seven months,” she said.
Although she did not play college basketball, Arthurs said she does play in a campus intramural league, and the state title is sometimes referenced.
“I don’t think I will ever stop talking about it,” Arthurs said. “I don’t think my mom will ever stop telling people about it.
“Those were the glory days,” she said.
Fundraising for the film project is ongoing, and Arthurs said she is raising $1,500 to cover her share of the costs. Go to https://tinyurl.com/MalloryVillanova to donate.