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Cameroonian film maker to premiere film at Carroll County Arts Center

Filmmaker Blaise Christian Sitchet, known for his film "I Am an American: The Movie," set out to explain the process of gaining a green card through the story of Kemajou, an African immigrant who needs to get a green card after his work visa expires.

His new film "Koming from Afrika" tells the story of a Cameroonian immigrant who searches for a way to earn his green card and keep his family in the United States after his work visa expires.

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"Very, very stressful process," Sitchet said of earning a green card.

The movie will be shown at the Carroll Arts Center at 7 p.m. July 27. Tickets will cost $20 per person.

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"It's a very good movie to watch," he said.

The crew plans to have a red carpet and limo at the premiere, Sitchet said.

"We are trying to bring Hollywood to Carroll County," he said.

The film combines comedy and drama, but is also educational because it discusses the green card process, Sitchet said.

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The process, which can be very stressful, affects the person seeking the green card and his or her family. It needs to be sped up, Sitchet said.

Sitchet used his own experiences as an immigrant from Cameroon to write the story and bring real emotion to the movie, he said.

"For me, playing African, really it's just pure African," he said.

Sitchet stars in the motion picture as Kemajou. He both acted and was the filmmaker, something he does not plan to do again in further movies, he said.

"It's not fun to produce and act in the same movie," Sitchet said.

Taking on two roles, which he says caused his hair to gray in two years, was difficult because acting and being the filmmaker can be contradictory positions. As an actor he is on the bottom of the filmmaking hierarchy, and as the filmmaker, he is one of the top people, he said.

Sitchet is nominated for Best Actor in a Feature Film in the World Music and Independent Film Festival 2013.

But the filmmaking process was not all stressful, Sitchet said. He enjoyed working with the different members of the cast and film crew.

"There was so many good parts," he said.

One of the people he liked working with was Donald Imm, who plays Kemajou's employer in the film.

Imm's role became larger as the film progressed, both for his character and for Imm's overall position in the filmmaking.

'It's been a great experience," Imm said.

Imm helped direct, produce and edit the movie, which was filmed in Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as act in it. He has become friends with Sitchet and plans to work on more films with him, he said.

Imm enjoyed working on the film and being able to help tell Kemajou's story.

"I think it's a well-written story," Imm said.

The story is about Kemajou and about all immigrants trying to live in the U.S., Sitchet said.

The U.S. has a culture of immigration, Sitchet said. He aims to teach his audience about immigrants' lives in the U.S.

"When I make movies, it is for you to see why we behave certain ways or why we don't behave certain ways, so you understand," Sitchet said.

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