Indelible Lalita coming to the MFA

After years in the making, I'm excited to announce that my new film INDELIBLE LALITA will be premiering at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on Thursday, January 10 at 7:30pm.  It will be showing five times over the course of a week:

Thurs. Jan 10, 7:30pm
Fri. Jan 11, 5:45pm
Sat. Jan 12, 11am
Sun. Jan. 13, 1:15pm
Wed. Jan 16, 4:00pm

I will be there with film subjects Lalita Bharvani and Pierre Lanthier for a Q&A after the show.  A post-screening reception is in the works - stay tuned!

The film explores the remarkable transformation of a Lalita's body and cultural identity through cancer, heart disease, and loss of skin pigment.  Using her body as a map, the film takes us on a journey through Montréal, Paris, and Mumbai and into the psyche of this spirited woman.

BU Student Screenings

This Friday, the two sections of my Production I class at Boston University will be screening their final projects. The students directed, shot, and edited 4-6 minute fiction films with DSLR cameras for the class. We extend a big thank you to all the actors who donated their time and energy to make the films possible. We hope to see all those involved in the productions, and their friends and family, at the screenings.

The screenings for the two sections are on Friday, December 14, at 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM in Room B5 at 640 Commonwealth Avenue.

Also, on Monday, December 17, in the GSU Auditorium on 775 Commonwealth Avenue, we will be holding a Production I course-wide screening. Each of the 6 sections of the class will select three films to be screened.

Hope to see you there! 

Ounce of Prevention

Nearly 500 public health practitioners and advocates came together on October 16 for the annual Ounce of Prevention Conference sponsored by the Massachusetts of Department of Public Health.  In addition to keynote speaker Dr. Eduardo J. Sanchez, The Boston Public Health Commission received a Commissioner's Leadership Award for its Racial Justice and Health Equity Initiative - for which we have been producing videos for several years.

One of these videos, Working for Food Justice in Springfield, MA, was shown at the conference when Jessica Collins of the Mason Square Health Task Force presented about the journey of their leadership team.  It's an amazing story of residents, health organizations, policymakers, and business owners working together to increase access to healthy food in a neighborhood that has long lacked a full-line grocery store.

Congratulations to the Boston Public Health Commission and the Springfield team!

My Louisiana Love on PBS World

We're very excited to announce the broadcast premiere of My Louisiana Love, a film I edited and co-produced with director Sharon Linezo Hong and DP Monique Verdin. It tells the story of a young woman's quest to find a place in her Native American community as it reels from decades of environmental degradation.

The film will air on PBS World as part of the America Reframed series, with the first broadcast nationally at 8pm this Sunday, November 11. The times below are for WGBH World in Boston (channel 2.2). Please check your local listings for screening times.

        Sun. Nov. 11, 2:00 PM
        Sun. Nov. 11, 8:00 PM
        Mon. Nov. 12, 12:00 AM
        Sun. Nov. 18, 6:00 AM
        Sun. Nov. 18, 2:00 PM
        Sun. Nov. 18, 8:00 PM
        Mon. Nov. 19, 12:00 AM

My Louisiana Love is also screening publicly around the world:

November 10, 2012, 2:40pm
Red Nation Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA

September 11- November 25, 2012, daily (continuously looped)
FUTURA Centre for Contemporary Art
Prague, Czech Republic

November 30, 2012, 7:30pm
New Orleans, LA

December 6 (6:00pm) & December 8 (2:00pm)
New York, NY

Please check the film's website for more information.

Documentary Summit Boston

I enjoyed speaking on a panel about the art of editing at the Documentary Summit Boston last weekend (above, the camerapeople's panel). It was fun to reconnect with colleagues I only get to see occasionally, including Fernanda Rossi (the "Story Doctor"), who gave an inspiring talk about presenting your story in loglines, synopses, and demo tapes for funders.

CIFF and Points North Forum

I made the 4-hour trek up to Camden, ME with my friend and colleague Marie-Emmanuelle Hartness to attend the Camden International Film Festival and the Points North Documentary Film Forum.  I was attracted by the small scale of the event, combined with the strong industry representation - making for a great opportunity to get to know folks casually over a drink or meal.

One of the highlights of the forum was the Points North Pitch (pictured above), in which eight filmmakers presented their projects to a panel of 11 funders, broadcasters, and distributors.  I was impressed by both the professionalism of the pitches - super well-crafted trailers and tight verbal pitches, even by the first-time filmmakers - and the panel's supportive, constructive feedback provided.

The project that most intrigued me, Mike Attie and Meghan O'Hara's In Country, won a $1,000 prize as the most compelling pitch.  It's about Vietnam War re-enactments going on around America, put on by a combination of military enthusiasts, Gulf and Iraq War veterans recovering from recent traumas, and even Vietnam War veterans.  One Vietnamese-American re-enactor featured in the film, who served in the South Vietnamese army, still considers those his glory days.  Their trailer was very powerful, and raised complex questions about what happens when a more recent, and unpopular, foreign war is recreated in contemporary America.
I also really enjoyed the Hands-on with Zeega workshop, in which I got to try this brand-new online platform for collaborative multi-media storytelling (still in alpha mode which, they reminded us, "comes before beta"). I have been following what Jesse Shapins, Kara Oehler, and their crew have been doing - especially since they won the Knight News Challenge - and now I actually understand how easy they are making it to edit together all types of media from one's own files and from across the web.  It's very interesting how this open-source platform enables an infinite new realm of media-mashing possibilities within the bounds of fair use, since it is all non-commercial, does not involve any actual duplication (you can't export your Zeega project - it is only re-streaming the media, with citation, from other sources), and carefully follows all of the source sites' terms of use.

With all the great forum events and the chance to socialize with colleagues and friends (including those from Boston I don't see enough of), I am embarassed to say that we didn't get to see as many films as we would have liked.  I enjoyed Only the Young, which Variety described as the "most human and affecting" of the past decade's many films about skateboarding culture.

The (quite young) filmmaker Jason Tippet was there, and rather articulately described the aesthetic choices they made - making what seem like good use of the strengths and limitations of shooting docs with a DSLR (see my previous post on this topic).  There was definitely a staged feeling to the whole film - teenagers performing for the camera - but at least it was consistent and felt intentional. Jason said that he wanted to make a film that was "easy to watch" - he certainly did that, and also managed to capture the feeling of youth inhabiting a very post-2008 landscape of foreclosures, overdeveloment, unemployment, Facebook, cell phones, and skateboards...

Behind the Doc Lens

Like a lot of filmmakers, I normally don't enjoy being in front of the camera.  But on Saturday I had a great time doing an interview with Olga Medvedev-Young for the new "Behind the Doc Lens" series.  Executive Producer Isabel Garcia is doing a great job organizing interviews with more than a dozen of Boston's doc makers.  I ran into my mentor and friend Robb Moss on my way out, there to do an interview about his and Peter Galison's film SECRECY.

It was a lot of fun talking about INDELIBLE LALITA, and about the filmmaking process in general.  They had a very professional crew (3-camera shoot), who had watched the film and had great questions.  Looking forward to the series launch later this fall!