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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Beginning with the End-Interview with Tanya Fermin

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We have some very talented filmmakers in the Wilmington area. Our Extraordinary Person of the Week is one of them. Tanya Fermin is using a conversation at the dinner table to help us all start a conversation with our own loved ones. It’s a tough topic, beginning with the end, but her story is one that affects us all.

The film centers around a very tough subject. “Well, I guess we should talk about the arrangements while mother is still here, it might be difficult later,” an actress in the movie said. “Do we have to do this now?,” responded another actress.

Behind the storyline is Wilmington independent filmmaker Tanya Fermin.

“It’s based upon a true story of me sitting around the dining room table with my mother and aunt,” Fermin said. “We were talking about my grandmother who was in the next room, in hospice care”

She remembers that day very well. Not too long after the talk, her grandmother would pass.

“Probably a couple months after that is when I said, I’m going to make a movie,” Fermin said of getting inspired by the conversations.

And she did. It’s called ‘The Arrangements’. With the help of UNCW and other local groups in the film industry, she wrote, directed, and produced it with her first hand experience from the dinner table that day.

Now she wants her film and experience to motivate others to have the talk.

“In this day and age it is so easy for us to do so and we have to have the conversation and not be afraid to have the conversation” Fermin explained. “What happens if? What if I pass? What do you want to happen, what do I want to happen?”

In the film, the actresses read a letter penned from the grandmother.”Abby, stop being so serious, but don’t let your sisters coordinate me, make sure they bury me on the right side of your daddy because that’s my side. I love you.”

The actress then smiles a loving sigh and says “She made the arrangements.”

It’s a conversation beginning with the end and one that in the end, helps us all. Turning real life into real film we can all relate to makes you, Tanya Fermin, “extraordinary”.

Fermin’s film will be featured at the NC Black Film Festival in Wilmington, September 15-19th. It will also be part of a nationally syndicated television show called “African American Short Films”.

For more information on Tanya Fermin and her workshops, For more information on “The Arrangements”,

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