Add comment June 26th, 2007
Add comment June 23rd, 2007
I’ve just joined fb) [that's facebook for all you non-fb)-ers]. Maybe I’ll see you there?
Add comment June 21st, 2007
Fimmaker-in-Residence is spreading its documentary wings into the world of animation.
The idea came months ago when I had just begun shooting a new documentary, and the subjects, over and over again, all spoke in a highly visual language to describe their inner worlds. So Gerry and I started thinking how we could get beyond the my-dinner-with-andré syndrome and to illustrate this inner world, without resorting to the tiresome documentary b-roll approach. We wanted to riff on this visual language and lift the film to another level. Like break out into musical, or animation genres. Thankfully, animation won out.
This morning, we held our first workshop. I showed 10 minutes of a rough cut, and then the team had an hour to sketch out and discuss animation ideas.
What’s so cool is that the animation is being conceived early in the editing process, not as an afterthought, so the animators’ ideas and vision also help inform how we will cut, structure and shape the final film out of over 35 hours of raw documentary footage.
The students are brilliant at visualizing metaphors and metamorphosis. They have the gift of creating “the illusion of life” as one of the students so aptly described it.
It’s the first time I’ve ever tread into the animation world, but Gerry, the FIR producer, is an old hand at this. He’s close to finishing a 3-hour docu-animation extravaganza, called THE DARK YEARS.
I’ll try and post snippets and excerpts from our project here as the summer progresses….
2 comments June 16th, 2007
Very sad news to hear. I was just editing her image, her words.
I learned today that one of our Street Health Stories participants died last month. Heather was 48, and had been on the streets 9 years, she told us during our beautiful interview and photo session in January.
Heather bravely agreed to be interviewed and photographed by the I WAS HERE photobloggers, to give a human face to the Street Health Survey, an important research study, documenting the health of people living in the streets of Toronto.
Kate, of Street Health wrote me this morning: “I’m so glad Heather got to participate in your project; that her story and voice won’t just disappear, as it sometimes feels around here…”
Last January, as we began the interview, Heather smiled as she confessed to Adrienne and me that she was nervous. But she warmed up fast, as she told us about her life, her impressions, her hopes.
“I will not live on a parkbench anymore,” she said, “Or in a tent, like I was doing.”
I also remember vividly her deep appreciation for Street Health, and all the important work that the Street Nurses have done for the homeless — especially during Tent City, of which Heather was a part. “There was never a dull moment when the nurses come around,” she said.
Listen to an excerpt of Heather’s story, in her own voice:
Her funeral is this Thursday. May she rest in peace.
4 comments June 13th, 2007
So it’s my smart friend Eric’s birthday on Friday, and as a virtual gift to him, I am considering joining Facebook. Still have time to decide, tho, so no big promises yet. I could always just send him an e-card.
Meanwhile, am enjoying the facebook debates amongst the documentary community here in Canada (our listserv is discussing the conspiracy theories about who owns and funds the damn thing, as well as the privacy issues). Also had to lol, when I read the NYTimes piece “omg my mom joined facebook!!”
Add comment June 12th, 2007
Relatives of Zakia Zaki, who was shot dead overnight, weep as they sit by her body
(The following news culled from The Guardian and the Globe and Mail:)
“A prominent female Afghan journalist has been gunned down, the second such slaying in five days.
Unidentified gunmen fired seven bullets into Zakia Zaki, head of a local radio station, as she slept with her eight-month old son last night. She died instantly.
Zaki, 35, had run the US-funded station Peace Radio since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. She was also headmistress of a local school and ran for parliament in 2005.
She recently received warnings from powerful local commanders to tone down her reporting, according to the Afghan Independent Journalists Association. “This is a very bad day for female journalists. Our work is becoming increasingly dangerous,” said Farida Nekzad of Pajhwok, an Afghan news agency, after returning from Zaki’s funeral today.
The killing underlines the lawlessness that plagues even the most stable parts of Afghanistan and highlights the risks faced by young local reporters, particularly women.
The Afghan media flourished after the fall of the Taliban, which had allowed only one state-run propaganda broadcaster and several newspapers with religion as their main theme.
Today, there are eight television stations, 40 private radio stations and 300 newspapers and magazines. Editorials and columns regularily question the government’s decisions and female presenters appear on TV.
Last Friday Sanga Amach, a 22-year-old news presenter with a private television, was murdered at her Kabul home. A western security official in Kabul said it appeared to have been an honour killing.
Her death echoed a similar one two years ago, when a popular young presenter was also slain in her home. The main suspects were male relatives who felt the woman’s behaviour had impugned the family honour.”
Zaki and Amach were part of a growing movement of courageous female Afghani citizens, taking media and democracy into their own hands.
An old colleague from my early radio days, Jane Mcelhone, has recently worked in Afghanistan to train and support female journalists. Now she is organizing an important photo exhibit called VOICES ON THE RISE: AFGHAN WOMEN MAKING THE NEWS.
The exhibit touches down in Toronto, June 14th to July 5th, at the Alliance Française at 24 Spadina road. It then moves to The Toronto Public Library, City Hall Branch, July 9th to August 31st.
Add comment June 8th, 2007
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