Documentary ‘Road To Namibia’ screens at El Camino


Rick Ray in the lobby of the Marsee Auditorium on Monday, Oct 17. Ray said he was thrilled to screen the film at El Camino and acknowledged the college’s value in cultural films. (Igor Colonno | The Union)

The audience got to their seats as the clock hit 3 p.m.

After brief announcements and introductions, the lights faded into complete darkness and the film started.

The film “Road to Namibia” produced and directed by Rick Ray as part of the Discovery World Travel Adventure series, screened for approximately 100 people on Monday, Oct. 17, at the Marsee Auditorium.

The Discovery Film series began near the beginning of the fall 2022 semester with a screening of “Tropical and Exotic Asia” on Sept. 19.

“Road To Namibia” is the second film in the series, guiding audiences through a journey into the diverse environment of South Africa and the long-stranded deserts and wild solitaire biome of Nama Karoo in Namibia.

Center for the Arts Director Rick Christophersen introduced filmmaker Ray to the audience. The director attended the screening and spoke to the crowd before introducing his film.

Ray said he was thrilled to screen the film at El Camino College, where he has previously screened his films before and acknowledged El Camino’s decision to place value in sharing cultural films.

“I think it’s important for people always to be expanding on our horizons,” Ray said. “[The film series] works against stereotypes… It’s important to always be presenting the diversity of experience and culture.”

Christophersen said El Camino had provided these kinds of film screenings for over 40 years. He said it is an excellent way for people interested in film to talk and engage with professionals and connect with people with similar interests.

Crowds for these events are made up of predominantly older people who are passionate about travel.

El Segundo resident Chuck Dedeurwaerder, an arduous and passionate traveler who said he has visited 100 countries, said that he loves seeing people attending these events and thinks it’s essential for people to absorb new knowledge for their life.

“Travel is the only thing you can do to make you richer,” Dedeurwaerder said.

The first act of the film led the audience to South Africa in the city of Cape Town. The film focuses on the city’s downtown and the wide range of people experiencing poverty status in the city’s suburbs.

Then the film shifts focus to Windhoek in Namibia, specifically on the Erindi private reserve, where the film showcases much of the wilderness in the area. Audience members got to see the animals that inhabit the land that extends up to 275 square miles.

Next came a 15-minute intermission.

During the break, people convened at the main lobby to talk with their friends, have a drink, and speak with the director himself. The event provided a stand where for $20, you could buy Road To Namibia and other films Ray created throughout his career.

After the break, the audience could experience the western corner of Nambia.

The audience learned about the Himba tribe, which has strong cultural values attached to their tribal lifestyle. Audience members also had the chance to explore Namibia’s wildlife and take shots of beautiful coastal beaches.

As the film ended, the audience applauded Ray. He thanked people for coming to his movie and for their appreciation.

The Marsee Auditorium before screening the film.
The Marsee Auditorium which was the screening room for the film “Road to Namibia” on Monday, Oct. 17, as part of the Discovery World Travel Adventure series. The film played two show times, one at 3 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. (Igor Colonno | The Union)

The night was not over for Ray, a second show was scheduled to start in the evening. As people from the 3 p.m. session began to leave the Marsee Auditorium a new audience arrived for the 7:30 p.m. showing, with Ray ready to greet them.

“Forest Giants” directed by Gray Warriner, a documentary focusing on California’s majestic trees, will be the next film in the El Camino College Discovery World Travel Adventure series.

“Forest Giants” will screen on Nov. 14, with two showings at 3 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m.