Welcome to Okara Video

Okara: What’s in the word? It’s a West African term referring to the "vital spirit". We try to breath the same into our images. Echoing this idea, Steve McQueen, director of the Oscar-winning film, “12 Years a Slave”, said recently, “ charge everything you fashion with
a breath of your own spirit.”

Latest News: CCP’s Cinemalaya Festival premiered Headhunting William Jones Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 12:45. Film was sold out!


Okara Video has completed a 90-minute video documentary, Headhunting William Jones. It was exhibited in this year’s Cinemalaya festival in August at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Director Collis Davis says this video will be entered into Philippine and international film festivals, shown at institutions of higher learning, historical society meetings and, hopefully, broadcast TV and/or cable channels both domestically and internationally. This title is available at La Solidaridad bookshop and Silahis Arts and Artifacts (Intramuros) initially. Write for more information at this email address:

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“Young, Gifted and Broke” a 2-disc digi-pak released by Japanese firm, Shout ! Productions, in November, 2012.

     Okara Video is proud to announce the launching of the re-discovered Weldon Irvine 1977 Off-Off Broadway musical sound-track, “Young, Gifted and Broke”. As a companion piece, Shout! Productions has released the first-ever Japanese language version of “The Edification of Weldon Irvine” the 60-minute video documentary by Collis Davis.
When Shout producers, Ken Tsukamoto, Yusuke Ogawa and Nakata Ryo learned that I had recovered a long-lost 1/4” stereo audio tape of the musical, they jumped at the idea of licensing not only “Edification...”, but also Young, Gifted and Broke.
     The Japanese producers invested heavily in translating the English musical lyrics into Japanese for the album booklet!
For more details, click here.

Want to know more about Haiti?Conditions in this beleaguered country, that gave rise to the voyages of the “boat people” and this film, have not changed significantly since 1983 when Voyage of Dreams was completed for WNET-TV/13 of US Public Television.

VOYAGE OF DREAMS tells the story of the Haitian boat people and the reasons for their exile--injustice and political repression, widespread economic stagnation, a lack of educational opportunity, and the absence of free speech. This video pioneered one the first uses of extended computer graphic animation sequences in service of the documentary. Directed by Collis Davis and Raymond Cajuste 30-minutes, NTSC DVD. Click here for more information.

Best Video Award San Francisco Film Festival
"...compelling...timely."--Booklist (American Library Association)

PayPal_mark_60x38  Purchase: $20.00 +5.00 Shipping & Handlng for a total of $25.00, USD only. 
  Click here, then on the SEND PAYMENT tab and
  use this e-mail address:


PINOY JAZZ: The Story of Jazz in the Philippines made its worldwide debut on ABS-CBN’s overseas networks, TFC and PCTV in July and August, 2006. PINOY JAZZ. The  2012 Edition, is now available here at this page: Click here for more information on this first-ever video on jazz in the Philippines.

Collis Davis writes about
the absence of Pinoy jazz and classical music on the in-flight  entertainment channels of PAL & Delta airlines and iTunes Radio.
Click for the full article

T-DropCapBlckhe art work which 
graces this page is the work of Japanese Zen master, Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506). Introduced to me by my drawing teacher, Prof. Junkins of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the mid-1960s, this artwork is considered to be one the best examples of “splash-ink” (haboku) landscape painting. Often executed in a “swift, eruptive style”, this work can be seen as the Asian equivalent to the American jazz performance, improvised, intuitive yet unified in terms of form.

This piece of art represents a central Zen tenet--that man can attain enlightenment in sudden flashes, in moments of “exaltation”, and, therefore, serves as a kind of standard for me as an artist in both static- and time-based media.

Sesshu Toyo. 148.6 x 32.7.
Muromachi Period, 15th century.
National Treasure,
Tokyo National Museum. Click for close-up view.

Collis Davis

   A turn-of the-century illustration by W. A. Rogers, left, depicts U.S.  expansionism into the Philippines as symbolized by Uncle Sam riding a carabao. (Courtesy of the Rodulfo Leitz Collection, Manila, Philippines.

This magnificent illustration, which is emblematic of the U.S.A€’s former dominion over the Philippines (1898-1945), appears in a new coffee  table book, Corregidor in Peace and War, authored by Charles M.  Hubbard and Collis H. Davis, Jr. Published by the University of Missouri Press, this pictorial and textual history of the famed Corregidor Island will feature color pages throughout the 216 page volume.

Now available  at, this volume will be distributed world-wide.
Click here for more details.

To read this review immediately below, first click on this image, then click
on the magnifying cursor or Control and + keys repeatedly to enlarge page
until it is legible (Firefox browser only).



BLASTS FROM THE PAST: This poster was created by Collis Davis for an exhibition of his jazz photography which was dedicated to Chuck Stewart, Jazz Photographer Emeritus.


From the page forCorregidor in Peace and War:

*****Many Excellent Photos November 3, 2007 by R. Beckman I give this book 5 stars for it's many photos. There are many excellent 7x9 inch full page color glossy photos and many nice B&W photos from WWII and earlier. Also nice color reproductions of paintings, illustrations, and maps from the 1800s and the turn of the century. I think it's a beautiful book. I like that the book starts out with historical background info, but the keeps the bulk of it's focus on WWII and the prior US fortification of the Island. If you're interested in Corregidor I'd highly recommend this book along with Corregidor: The American Alamo of World War II by Eric Morris.

The late Lester Bowie and his 59-piece Sho’ Nuff Orchestra performing at the Symphony Space, New York City, mid-February, 1979. This was Davis’s first photograph to be published in Downbeat Magazine. Click image above for more details and the Downbeat story, including the Program and personnel.

For more book reviews, click here.

Last revised 3/25/2016

© 2005-2016 Collis H. Davis, Jr.
All rights reserved.