BYOD: BRING YOUR OWN DOC – EPISODE 30: LA FILM FESTIVAL 2012 PT.1: “CALL ME KUCHU,” “THE IRAN JOB” & “WORDS OF WITNESS”
Broadcasting from the LA Film Festival, BYOD spotlights some of the most lauded documentaries that have everybody talking. First we speak to the makers of Call Me Kuchu, the story behind the struggle for gay rights in the hostile grounds of Uganda. Then we meet with Words of Witness‘s director, Mai Iskander, about her film dealing with the arab spring in Egypt and a woman shooting the events without a veil.
Finally, we meet with Til Schauder and Kevin Sheppard, the director and subject of The Iran Job–a very entertaining account of a western basketball player taking a contract to play professionally in Iran. The discussion illuminated some of the bewildering circumstances that go along with working in one of the world’s most shadowy nations.
From all over the festival, it is a great light on what is going on in docs today.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is co-hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice, and Vladimir Radovanov, entertainment attorney, and executive producer of “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.” Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi and Vladimir share their insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Katherine Fairfax Wright graduated from Columbia University with a double major in Film Studies and Anthopology. She produced Gabi On The Roof In July, which premiered at Cinequest 2010, and won Best Narrative at the Brooklyn Film Festival.She is a Chaz & Roger Ebert Directing Fellow, and an alumnus of the Film Independent Documentary Lab and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant.
Malika Zouhali-Worrall‘s work as a print and video journalist has been published in The Financial Times and at CNN.com. She has reported for CNN.com from India, Uganda, China and the U.S. on politics, technology and LGBT rights. Zouhali-Worrall is a graduate of Cambridge University and holds an MA in International Affairs from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). She is also a Chaz & Roger Ebert Directing Fellow, and an alumnus of the Film Independent Documentary Lab and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant.
Mai Iskander‘s directorial debut, Garbage Dreams was nominated for the 2010 Best Documentary by the Director’s Guild of America, and has won 26 international awards including the Al Gore Reel Current Award and IDA Humanitas Award. Filmed over the course of four years, Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys growing up in Egypt’s largest garbage village. Garbage Dreams aired on PBS/Independent Lens for the occasion of Earth Day 2010 and has been screened in over 100 international film festivals. As a cinematographer, Mai has worked on TV shows for A&E, PBS, and LOGO. She has filmed numerous dramatics, commercials and documentaries, including Watchers of the Sky by Academy Award Nominee Edet Belzberg.
Till Schauder, Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Co-Editor: Till got his start in Germany where he wrote and directed the award winning films STRONG SHIT, and CITY BOMBER. After earning a government grant for the arts he made his U.S. debut with the romantic comedy SANTA SMOKES which won several international awards, among them Best Director at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Studio Hamburg Newcomer Award. DUKE’S HOUSE, about Duke Ellington’s Harlem home premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. For THE IRAN JOB, Till ran one of the most successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaigns of all time together with his producing partner (and wife) Sara Nodjoumi.
00:01 Welcome to BYOD from the LA Film Fest.
02:26 “Call Me Kuchu,” Clip.
07:11 Introducing Catherine Fairfax Wright and Monica Zouhali-Worrall.
08:15 Finding the story and getting access.
09:51 “Call me Kuchu,” Clip.
11:05 Some words about David–the most visible gay activist in Uganda.
13:28 The legal persecution of David (and homosexuality) in Uganda.
15:14 Notes on Ugandan society.
16:15 The shooting duration in Uganda.
17:45 A surprisingly uplifting film about a very difficult situation.
23:57 The next steps for the film–advocacy and screenings.
25:14 Where to keep up with the film.
28:28 “Call Me Kuchu,” Clip.
29:42 “Words of Witness,” Trailer.
31:35 Introducing Mai Iskander of “Words of Witness.”
32:20 Finding Heba and building the film around her.
33:29 The restrictions on Egyptian women.
38:40 Working with Egyptian filmmakers, activists and artists.
42:20 Safety concerns during the filming and screening the film.
43:57 “Words of Witness,” clip.
44:44 Introducing Till Schauder and Kevin Sheppard of “The Iran Job.”
45:31 An introduction to the film by Till, and a short bit on players abroad.
46:48 Getting in touch with Kevin and finding the heart of the film.
52:07 “The Iran Job,” Clip.
54:36 Concerns over ‘serving’ in Iran, as opposed to other countries.
58:54 Filming in Iran and getting access.
01:02:30 Authorities and faux-authorities in Iran.
01:06:20 Technology and the Green Revolution and Arab Spring.
01:08:12 Iranians and Americans–the misunderstood affection.
01:12:57 Kevin reacts to the completed film.
01:18:09 Learning to love Kickstarter.
01:24:22 Thanks to Kevin and Till.
Posted on June 28, 2012 in Bring Your Own Doc, Features by Ondi Timoner and Vlad Radovanov
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