Union’s “Man on the Move”

Publication Date
Jermaine Wells at a resort at The Dead Sea on the Jordanian side.

Jermaine Wells at a resort at The Dead Sea on the Jordanian side.

Last summer, Jermaine Wells took a 10-day journey of self-discovery to Dubai, Jordan, Egypt and London.

He documented the trip using his IPhone 6, a Sony Handycam, a Kodak Playsport and an IPad.

Wells, a musician, has taken his footage and created a 45-minute documentary, “Man on the Move.” The film features six original compositions and one song, “When U Get Home,” Wells recorded with his award-winning band The ill Funk Ensemble.

A free screening of the film will be held 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at College Park Hall.

A Bronx native, Wells is a Learning Environment Services coordinator who joined Union in 2005. His mother was a strong proponent for education and encouraged Wells to develop his skills as an artist in conjunction with other intellectual studies.

Wells was honored at Convocation in September with the UNITAS Community-Building Prize, given in recognition of a person who has helped foster community and diversity at Union.

What does the title of your documentary represent?

I came up with “Man on the Move” because I wanted the title to encompass physical movement and mental expansion. Movement out of your space, your bubble, your town and even your country leads to a greater understanding, and the movement affects your mental growth. I'd like to inspire people to do this. It is extremely important for all, and even more so for lower economic individuals, minorities and youth.

What prompted this journey?

I decided to take the trip because of the police brutality issues and headlines. Images of African-Americans being slaughtered were affecting my generally positive mentality. It was time for me to pick a couple of destinations in the world that I've always wanted to travel to. I was seeking wisdom and adventure. I had an urge to see how people lived in these countries.

How did you keep the trip affordable?

I set a budget of $2,000. I monitored travel websites for two weeks. I was able to get my flights for $1,300 roundtrip. While in Dubai, I got a special rate from a new hotel. In Jordan, I stayed with Zaid Al-Moghrabi ‘19 and his family. My total cost for the trip was $1,700.

What were some of the things you experienced on the trip?

I was without my luggage the whole time in Dubai but I didn't let it stop me from enjoying my trip. The Dubai mall is unlike anything I've ever experienced. The sheer size and amount of access to a multitude of stores, entertainment and services is truly unique. I booked a tour to the Dubai desert and I was with a family from the Ivory Coast. I became part of their family for the day.
My time in Jordan was my favorite. The rich history of this country and the biblical relevance are incredible. Experiencing Petra, one of the Seven World Wonders and the Dead Sea were some of the highlights in Jordan.

What did you learn about yourself from the trip?

I learned that I can trust my instincts and can have a good conversation with just about anybody. I also learned I'm in pretty good shape because I did so much walking, climbing and hiking.

Would you do it again?

I am planning to make a stop in Jordan again. I will try to get a performance booked there next time. I feel the same way about all the countries. Perhaps I'll do a follow-up documentary with these places if the people demand it.

The free screening of “Man on the Move” will feature a red carpet, photographers, art installations and snacks.

Click here to view the trailer.