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Face 2 Face with David Peck

I believe that good conversation can create change. They can also be fun and engaging, full of insights and unexpected outcomes. And you're never quite sure where they're going to lead. Intimate dialogue assumes authenticity, transparency and dealing with substantive and sometimes difficult questions. I try to do that with Face2Face.
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Feb 14, 2018

James Day

 

James Day and I talk about Charles Manson, crime, criminals and psychopaths, prison as a state of mind, history, alternate facts, his new film and why the truth can sometimes be really ugly.

 

Trailer

 

Synopsis

 

Narrated by musician and director Rob Zombie, the documentary focuses on the Manson family murders told from Manson’s perspective using never-before-seen case files, pictures and exclusive interviews with Manson himself from inside California State Prison.

Charles Manson: The Final Words includes Manson’s eerie and disturbing conversations about modern society, justice, his decades behind bars, the Bernard Crowe shooting and the murders along with digitally restored audio recordings from the original investigations to reconstruct a path of events that led to the brutal slayings of movie star Sharon Tate and four of her friends on August 8, 1969 in addition to the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea.

The documentary also includes compelling new interviews with members of the Manson family which reveal never-before-heard details that help uncover the real story and motives behind the grisly murder spree.

Viewers will hear from accused Manson family members Bobby Beausoleil, Barbara Hoyt and Catherine “Cappi” Gillies along with prosecutor Stephen Kay, defense attorney Gary Fleischman, music producer Phil Kaufman as well as other investigators and authors.

Biography

James Buddy Day is the writer and director of Manson: The Voice Of Madness narrated by Rob Zombie.

Manson: The Voice Of Madness is an official selection of the Red Rock Film Festival, Cuff Docs, and the winner of Best Dramatic Documentary at the Atlanta International Film Festival.

As a writer/director James’ other feature credits include the character driven documentaries Goalie: Life And Death In The Crease (2015) and The Salvation Of Todd Bentley (2014).

James is the Showrunner of true crime series The Shocking Truth (2017-2018) featuring the shocking true stories behind some of the most famous movies of all times. The Shocking Truth can be seen on REELZ throughout the US, and other platforms throughout the world.

James’ extensive production experience includes travelling throughout the world as a writer/director/producer for the series Expedition Earth (Nat Geo Wild), as well as travelling throughout North America as the Showrunner and director of the food adventure series Best In Chow for CMT Canada and Cooking Channel (USA). He was served as Showrunner and director for Wild Obsession (Animal Planet), World Of Hurt With Rowdy Roddy Piper, The Big Pitch (CBC), Cultureville (CBC), Culture Secrets (CBC), and the The Screaming Room (SCREAM TV) among many other projects.

James holds a Bachelor of Nursing and Health Studies (BN) from Mount Royal University, and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma of Counselling Psychology from the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University.

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For more information about my podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit my site here.

Image Copyright: Pyramid Productions. Used with permission.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Feb 7, 2018

Peter, Carla and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new book The Giveback Economy, social enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship, community bonds, and why fulfillment has to be about more than money.

Biography

Peter Miller was a banker; started six businesses; taught college entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and marketing; and has facilitated workshops and coaching for unemployed/underemployed and summer company students. He now is a strategic advisor and social enterprise coach, and has helped more than 720 start-ups and 20 social enterprises.

Carla Langhorst firmly believes that doing good business includes doing good. After receiving an MBA from the University of British Columbia she launched a social enterprise in 2009, hiring marginalized people, and is the co-founder of an e-learning organization that has helped over 100,000 small-business owners. She currently works as a consultant for both social enterprises and non-profits.

For more information about the book head here.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

 

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Image Copyright: Carla Langhorst and Self-Counsel Press. Used with permission.

 

Jan 31, 2018

Tarique Qayumi and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Black Kite, Afghanistan, the Taliban, anarchism and freedom, hope and how kite flying is a lot like playing a video game.

Biography

Tarique Qayumi was born in Afghanistan and came to Canada as a refugee in 1983.

He attended the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia and graduate school at UCLA, where he completed his Screenwriting MFA and developed a strong interest in directing.

 After graduating in 2010, Qayumi was approached by TOLO TV, the largest television station in Afghanistan, to direct a docudrama series. Driven by two objectives-- to get in touch with his roots and to create Afghan-centered stories--Qayumi made the difficult decision to return to Afghanistan.

 While in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2015 he wrote, directed and produced Truth Unveiled, a sixteen part half-hour docudrama series; The Defenders, a six-hour drama miniseries; as well as Afghan Sesame Street, fifty half-hour episodes. During

this time, he also directed his first feature film, Targeting in Los Angeles, a psychological-thriller about a female American soldier who returns home from war. Upon returning to Vancouver, Tarique was one of five chosen from across Canada for the NSI Corus Diverse TV Directing Program.

Synopsis

Most Westerners’ knowledge of Afghanistan begins and ends with the Taliban. Tarique Qayumi’s Black Kite masterfully and succinctly recognizes a far richer and vastly more complicated history. Far from focusing on men on horseback or the privileged, Black Kite examines the impact of history on one family: how they quietly defy it and get swept up in it.

Steve Gravestock, TIFF Programmer

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: . Used with permission.

Jan 24, 2018

Michèle Hozer and Carlyn Moulton and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film Sponsorland, Syria, new Canadians, the power of community, banding together, having a can do attitude and why a family should be able to fit into a mini-van.  

Biography

With two films on the Oscar shortlist (Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn GouldPromise to The Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman), Emmy-nominated (Promise to The Dead:  The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman) and Gemini-winning (Genius Within) Michèle Hozer has been working as a filmmaker and editor in Canada since 1987. 

To date, she has worked on more than 50 documentaries that have received accolades from the world’s most prestigious film festivals, including the Sundance Film festival (Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire) and IDFA (West Wind The Vision of Tom Thompson) in Amsterdam. 

In 2015 Michele completed Sugar Coated, her first solo feature length documentary as director, editor, and producer. 

The doc was honoured with The Donald Brittain Award for Best Social and Political Documentary at the 2016 CSA’s and is presently available on Netflix.

Synopsis

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Michèle Hozer (Sugar Coated), SponsorLand follows the day to day lives of a Syrian refugee family brought to Canada in the fall of 2015 by PEC Syria, a private sponsor group in Prince Edward County.

SponsorLand is a thoughtful, intimate take on the dynamic between newcomers to Canada and their sponsors who commit money, emotional and sweat equity to support resettlement and the family who while grateful, wonder what they have to sacrifice to fit in.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: TVO and The Cutting Factory. Used with permission.

 

Jan 17, 2018

Ann Shin and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film My Enemy, My Brother, context, crossing all cultures, friendship, serendipitous life changing events and the “…invisible letters of the heart.”

IMDB

Trailer

Find out more about the film here.

And learn more about Ann Shin here.

Synopsis

My Enemy, My Brother' is a feature length documentary about the real-life story of two former enemies from the Iran-Iraq war who become blood brothers for life.

Meeting in Vancouver 30 years after Zahed, an Iranian child soldier saves Najah, a wounded Iraqi soldier's life, they are now about to embark on an emotional journey back to Iran and Iraq for the first time in 20 years.  

Their journey takes them into the heart of present-day conflicts in a region ravaged by war and ISIS. Their quest is a surprising affirmation of redemption and humanity. 

Biography

Ann is a multiple award-winning Director, Producer and principal of Fathom Film Group. Her latest film, My Enemy, My Brother the short version was shortlisted for a 2016 Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy and was an 8-time winner of Best Short Documentary at international film festivals including Traverse City Film Festival, Grand Prize Winner of the Best Shorts Humanitarian Awards, the Sepanta Award for Best Short Film.

Her cross-platform project The Defector film and interactive was selected into 27 international film festivals, and was nominated for 6 awards, winning Best Documentary and Best Documentary Director at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards. The Defector Interactive won the FITC Award, the Canadian Digi Award, and at the SXSW Interactive Festival.

With 20 years of experience, she has produced independent feature films, feature documentaries and delivered hundreds of hours of programming that have aired on CBC, TVO, HBO, ABC, CBC The Documentary Channel, Discovery Channel, HGTV, History Channel, SLICE.

She is currently working on several feature documentaries and cross-platform projects: Smart Drugs, The Superfood Effect and The Terrorist Hunter.

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For more information about my podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit my site.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Ann Shin. Fathom Film Group. Used with permission.

Jan 10, 2018

Miranda Bailey and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film The Pathological Optimist, truth versus fiction, culpability and the media, hero worship, the Anti-Vax movement, family life and why she’s sometimes not so hopeful.

Biography

Miranda's first cinematic directorial debut was GREENLIT, a comedic documentary looking at the inherent hypocrisies surrounding Hollywood when trying to "green" a film set which debuted at SXSW in 2010. IFC International and Virgil Films picked it up for distribution.

Since then, she directed the award winning narrative short ANOTHER HAPPY ANNIVERSARY which after a successful festival run premiered on Shorts TV and is hosted at Jill Soloway's website Wifey. TV promoting female film makers.

Miranda also shot and directed The Behind the Scenes of James Gunn's SUPER and an episode of the web TV series FIRSTS.

Miranda's second documentary feature, THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST, is an intimate portrait of the controversial and discredited Dr. Andrew Wakefield. The documentary premiered on April 20, 2017 at the Manhattan Film Festival as the opening night film and won Best Documentary Feature. It played at the 2017 Downtown LA Film Festival and Bailey won Best Director - Documentary Feature. The film opened in theaters September 2017.

Over the last 14 years, Miranda Bailey has produced over 20 films including the Oscar nominated THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, James Gunn's SUPER and the Gotham Award Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL. Miranda has been nominated twice for the Best First Feature Spirit Award - once in 2017 for Swiss Army Man and once in 2016 for The Diary of a Teenage Girl which she won.

As the CEO of Cold Iron Pictures, Miranda recently produced 2016 Sundance U.S. Dramatic Directing Award-winner SWISS ARMY MAN starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, Oscar nominated director Joseph Ceder's first English language film NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER, starring Richard Gere, Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi and Josh Charles, and Mike Birbiglia's DON'T THINK TWICE, starring Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard.

Bailey starred in and produced many other films in a variety of genres including the cult hit DEAD & BREAKFAST, with Jeremy Sisto, Portia de Rossi, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan; the comedy THE OH IN OHIO, with Paul Rudd, Danny DeVito, and Parker Posey; WONDERFUL WORLD, starring Matthew Broderick; AGAINST THE CURRENT, starring Joseph Fiennes and Mary Tyler Moore; SUPER, starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page; EVERY DAY, starring Liev Schreiber and Helen Hunt; the 3D horror film HELLBENDERS; the documentary SPINNING PLATES, which was released by her distribution company The Film Arcade, which she cofounded in 2012.

Synopsis

Who is the man behind the most highly controversial, intensely debated topics in modern medicine? In The Pathological Optimist, director Miranda Bailey brings us a character study of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, one of 13 co-authors of a notorious 1998 paper in the UK medical Journal The Lancet, but who became the very public face of what has come to be known as “The Anti-Vax Movement.” An expat from Britain who currently resides in Austin, Texas, Wakefield allowed Bailey and her team to follow him and his family for five years beginning in 2011 as he fought a defamation battle in the courts against the British Medical Journal and journalist Brian Deer.

The results of that case – and the self-reflection, pronouncements, and observations of Wakefield, his legal team, wife, and his children – create a complex and incisive look at one of our era’s most fear-provoking and continuously provocative figures.

The Pathological Optimist takes no sides, instead letting Wakefield and the battles he fought speak for themselves.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Miranda Bailey and The Film Arcade. Used with permission.

Jan 3, 2018

Adam, Sarah and Face2Face host David Peck talk about paradox, their new film Great Great Great, why love and relationships are never linear, why nothing lasts forever and what might lie below the surface.

Biography

Adam Garnett-Jones - Co-writer and Director

Adam has written and directed a series of award-winning films that toured the international film circuit from Toronto to L.A., Sydney, Berlin and Beijing. Not content to work only in film, Adam has also distinguished himself as a television writer. He wrote scripts for the series “Cashing In” and “Mohawk Girls" He also had a hand in creating the upcoming series, The North End with Big Soul Productions.

Adam released his first dramatic feature-length film, Fire Song, at the Toronto nternational Film Festival in 2015. Fire Song went on to win the Air Canada Audience Choice Award at ImagineNATIVE, the worlds largest Indigenous Media Arts Festival. FireSong also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at Reel Out, the People's Choice Award for Best Film at Rainbow Reels, and both the RBC Audience Choice Award and the Jury Prize for Best Canadian Film at the Queer North Film Festival. Fire Song can be seen on Netflix USA.

Sarah Kolasky - Producer/lead actor/co-writer

Sarah is an actor and producer from Toronto, Canada. She plays Lauren in the feature film Great Great Great, which she produced and co-wrote with her long-time collaborator, Adam Garnet Jones. She also produced and acted in the short film, LIAR, which premiered at the prestigious 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX. Other producing credits include the short films A Small Thing (TIFF ’08) and Cloudbreaker (TIFF ’06). Sarah is also the Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival, the only festival in Canada dedicated to showcasing short films by emerging female directors. She received a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University, and is one half of the sketch comedy duo Ex-Adults.

Synopsis

Great Great Great is a dark comedy about the uncertainty in long-term relationships. In the span of Lauren and Tom’s five-year relationship, they’ve never had a fight. Their sex life is fine. They get along fine. Everything points to marriage, until Lauren suddenly sees a lifetime of “just fine” yawning ahead of her, and it immediately makes her hungry for a better, fuller future. She just has to decide what “better” really means.

One moment Lauren resolves to double down on her commitment to Tom, and the next moment she is ready to blow the whole thing up. So, Lauren does what any reasonable person would do - she does not choose. She does both. In a doomed attempt to have everything she wants without giving anything up, Lauren simultaneously starts an affair with her boss, rents a bachelor apartment, and asks Tom to marry her. When they start to plan the wedding, and her no-strings affair gets complicated, Lauren struggles to save what is most important to her before she loses it all.

Great Great Great is a deeply relatable portrait of a woman who makes us squirm with discomfort while asking us to love some of the most unlovable parts of ourselves.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Adam Garnett Jones and GirlBoy Productions. Used with permission.

Dec 27, 2017

Steve and James and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new history television series Hunting Nazi treasures, Hitler’s obsession with art, complicity, the nature of evil, trading art for lives and the greatest heist in history.

Synopsis

The new investigative series Hunting Nazi Treasure takes viewers on an epic search across four continents to locate valuable objects and artwork missing since the Second World War and return them to their rightful owners.

The series chronicles the systematic looting by the Nazis, and provides new insights into the motivations of top Nazi leaders like Hitler and Goering, and explores how artwork and cultural artifacts are targets during times of war.

With hundreds of thousands of stolen treasures still missing to this day, including a painting by Italian master Raphael estimated to be worth upwards of $100 million, a $2 billion hoard of stolen Italian gold, and the legendary Amber Room from the Catherine Palace in Russia, the search into these historically significant “cold cases” is comprised by a team of present-day investigators. The team is led by Robert Edsel, author of the New York Times #1 bestselling book-turned-movie The Monuments Men, and Founder and Chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, investigative journalist Conor Woodman, Second World War historian James Holland, along with top experts on the Nazi era. The hunt takes the team across 14 countries; searching for items hidden in caves, castles, museums, and even under water while gaining access to Nazi dossiers, archives, and declassified intelligence reports.

As the series unfolds, the viewer is introduced to Hitler’s grand plan to become “the curator of the German people” atop one of the world’s most spectacular art collections, and the desperate last-act by the Nazis to hide an unimaginable trove of gold, most likely in the Bavarian Alps.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Image Copyright: Saloon Media. Used with permission.

 

Dec 22, 2017

Erin Millar and Face2Face host David Peck talk about radical transparency, trust in journalism, community engagement and why millennials are the key to the future of media.

Biography

Erin Millar is Discourse Media’s editor-in-chief and CEO. She has received multiple awards for journalism innovation, including being named 2015 Bob Carty Fellow by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Storyteller-in-Residence at Ashoka Canada, and an AmEx Emerging Innovator.

She has hosted talks and workshops across Canada and internationally, including at the Canadian Association of Journalists national conference and Italy’s International Journalism Festival.

She has reported from over a dozen countries for Canadian and international publications. She taught journalism at Quest University Canada and Langara College. She is a trustee of the Uncharted Journalism Fund and serves on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Erin Millar and Discourse media. Used with permission.

Dec 20, 2017

Rolfe Kent and Face2Face host David Peck talk about Alexander Payne’s new film Downsizing, creating chemistry though music, experimentation, writing by walking and relentless enthusiasm.

Biography

Unexpected texture, sounds and a signature musical personality are the hallmarks of British film composer Rolfe Kent, who has scored more than 50 films, including Academy Award nominated Up in the Air (for which he won a Golden Satellite award), Sideways (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award in 2007), Labor Day, Bad Words (Jason Bateman’s directorial debut), Dom Hemingway, About Schmidt, Election, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde II, Wedding Crashers, The Matador, Reign Over Me, The Hunting Party, and Thank You for Smoking. Kent also composed the Emmy-nominated main title theme for the Showtime hit, Dexter.  In 2012, he received the Richard Kirk award for career achievement.

Born in England into a non-musical family, Kent intuitively felt at age 12 that he wanted to be a film composer, although his early musical training was brief and not so formal.  Citing Jarre’s Lawrence of Arabia and Morricone’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,  as inspirations, Kent took the advice of an early music teacher to avoid rigid  course work that would dampen his enthusiasm.  He followed an entirely different path and, taking counterpoint to what is often cited as culture mired in cynicism, profited from his early course work in theology to relate it to music.  After enrolling in psychology sutdies at Unviersity of Leeds in Yorkshire, Kent’s musical career was casually begun at a dance club when the director of a play offered him a chance to “do” the music.  His jump start was his composition for a stage musical Gross at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a springboard for Authors, composers and performers.

In the confines of his musically busy studio, one can immediately see why his musical personality is as distinct and his own.  Constantly on the go, adventurous and curious, Kent has developed a style that is not only distinct, but indicative of his aversion to the-anticipated-score in tone, texture and rhythm.  The walls are lined with many familiar and many more unfamiliar instruments, gingerly handled and gleefully demonstrated for their sonic qualities.  Among his collection are the Indonesian percussion instrument the angklung, the shawm (first used in military maneuvers as a psychological weapon), the melodica, used for the light, soothing effect in Kent’s jazz-infused score for his Golden Globe-nominated Sideways, and an instrument he discovered and cannot name that sounds like the world’s beaches at their most romantic high tide... combined.

Kent has the distinction of attracting and sustaining relationships with directors as popular and diverse as Alexander Payne, Mark Waters, Jason Reitman, Burr Steers, and Richard Shepard.

Synopsis

“Alexander [Payne, writer/director] asked for the score to be beautiful classical music,” Kent described.  The composer wanted to avoid movie-score clichés and took a different route.  “I figured a Kubrickian approach was best, where the music sounds like it existed outside of the film, and was discovered to match the scene perfectly.”  

Known for using unexpected textures, sounds and his own signature musical personality this opened the floodgates for Rolfe.  “As ever, Alexander was open to hearing unexpected sounds, so when I threw him the curve of an opera aria sung in Norwegian, or some bagpipes.  He loved it.”

In addition to writing the original score for the film, he also co-wrote the original song “A Little Change In The Weather,” performed by The Swingles.

Trailer

More Info Here about Rolfe and his work.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: TVO and The Cutting Factory. Used with permission.

Dec 13, 2017

Barry Stevens and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Undercover Jihadi, gang violence, terrorism, the Toronto 18, oppression, marginalization of others, similarity through difference and reconciliation.  

Biography

Toronto-based director and screenwriter Barry Stevens, who has also worked as an actor, has extensive experience in writing TV drama, and has successfully transported his storytelling skills to his documentaries. He won the Writers Guild of Canada Award and the Audience Award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival for Offspring, an entertaining account of the search for his biological father. 

The Bomber’s Dream, a critical examination of aerial bombing, was also inspired by an unusual family fact: during WWII some of his British relatives were bombed by German members of his extended family.

He co-wrote the International Emmy Award-winning documentary Gerrie & Louise, about the South African Truth Commission and was Executive Producer and directed all 24 episodes of the documentary series War Story

Synopsis

From Emmy-nominated and CSA-Award Winning production company Matter of Fact Media, Undercover Jihadi premieres on TVO. Following Mubin Shaikh, a former extremist militant turned undercover counter-terrorism operative as he speaks with former extremists, counter-terrorism experts and families of victims, Undercover Jihadi presents a thorough and international examination of the threat of extremism, the possibility of de-radicalization and actively challenges misconceptions of both Islam and Muslims.

 This is an important and timely documentary, that offers some insight into the process of radicalization of terrorists, through the eyes of Mubin Shaikh,” said Vanessa Dylyn, producer of Undercover Jihadi. “We hope that viewers of the film will be inspired to become involved in their local communities to address the problem of youth radicalization, and to foster understanding between people of differing ethnicities and religious faiths.

As a government intelligence informant, Shaikh risked his life to stop the Toronto 18, a sophisticated homegrown terrorism plot with links to the US and the UK. His court testimony sent eleven men to prison. Shaikh is now a sought-after consultant to international intelligence organizations involved in combating terrorism and jihadism.

 

TVO documentaries bring audiences nuanced and in-depth stories. They explore social, economic and political issues through a uniquely personal lens,” said Natasha Negrea, TVO Executive Producer, Documentaries. “Undercover Jihadi presents Mubin Shaikh’s extraordinary personal experience and offers an important perspective to the conversation around violent extremism.

Award-winning Director Barry Stevens has made numerous films about war and conflict. With Undercover Jihadi, he follows Shaikh as he explores how different countries —including the United States, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom— are dealing with extremists (including both neo-Nazis and violent jihadis) and how they try to divert and de-radicalize them.


“I wanted to explore the problem that confronts us in the ‘West.’ The first reaction is often to enhance surveillance of Muslims, and even to ban Muslims from entering Western countries. But before someone has committed a crime, or when they are in prison, it is possible to engage with people who have extremist ideas and change their direction,” said Stevens.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: TVO and Matter of Fact Media. Used with permission.

Dec 5, 2017

Ashley, David and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their brilliant new film Do Donkeys Act, mutual appreciation, living poems, the sentience of animals, the environment and our relationship to it and why we all might need a break from humans every now and then.

Biography

Filmmaking duo David Redmon and Ashley Sabin together produce, direct, photograph and edit critically acclaimed cinematic documentaries that have screened internationally in festivals and on television worldwide at Sundance, Toronto, Cinema du Reel, Rotterdam, Visions du Reel, RIDM, MoMA, and Viennale Film Festivals and on PBS, POV, BBC, CBC, DR, ARTE, and NHK.

Their body of work includes four recent “animal ethnography” films based in the world of donkeys and funded by the Leverhulme Trust: Sanctuary (2017), Do Donkeys Act? (2017), Choreography (2014), and Herd (2015); two dream/memory cinema poems Sentient 1 & 2 (2015/2016); a 6 minute snowbound ballet mécanique, Neige (2016); a suite of U.S. post-industrialization themed films set inside three interconnected factories on the coast of Prospect Harbor, Maine: Downeast 

(2012), Night Labor (2013), and Kingdom of Animal (2012); a feature documentary about the labyrinthine world of teenage modeling in which a New York based scout recruits Siberian teenagers to the Tokyo model market Girl Model (2011); a film linking China and New Orleans through globalized manufacturing of cheap throwaway goods for American leisure pursuit, Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005) and two “carnivalesque” character driven films set in Louisiana Kamp Katrina (2007) and Invisible Girlfriend (2009). Lastly, set on the U.S. Mexico border, a longitudinal love story about family relationships and the meaning of “home” Intimidad (2008), which has been described as “a documentary fairytale of truly humbling proportions.” 

A former Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University with a PhD in sociology from the University at Albany, State University of New York, David Redmon is now a lecturer in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent, UK. 

A Fulbright Scholarship recipient, Ashley Sabin earned a M.F.A. at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec and graduated with high honors in Art History, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY.

Synopsis

“Burned, beaten, abandoned, donkeys look back at us humans with indifference, and bray.” David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s DO DONKEYS ACT– filmed over 5 years––subtly subverts the notion of the “dumb beast” as it captures donkeys communicating emotionally with each other in the midst of healing from human cruelty and neglect. A poetic text threads through scenes “acted” by donkeys, a rhythmic script commentary voiced by Willem Dafoe.

DO DONKEYS ACT’S ethno-poetic-animal-fiction takes its playfully self-reflexive cues from Jean Rouch and Chris Marker. Encouraging us to respect a major language barrier we might not otherwise consider––the mystery and intrigue of donkey utterances––DO DONKEYS ACT invites us to "step into their shade, listen closely" as we attune to a series of dramatic performances in which we eavesdrop on donkeys speaking amongst themselves.

Reclaiming the donkey from the indignity of a centuries old master slave relationship in which the dominant image of the donkey has been negative (stubborn, buffoon, jackass, laborer, trickster and fool), DO DONKEYS ACT elevates a denigrated and degraded beast to the role of lead actor and performance artist. To paraphrase Marina Abramovic, the donkey is present.

Trailer

Nov 29, 2017

Mila and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Let There Be Light, fusion energy, yeast excrement, plasma physics, Don Quixote and why science is about getting things wrong.

Biography

Mila Aung-Thwin is co-founder of EyeSteelFilm. After completing his studies at McGill University in 1998, he began working with maverick filmmaker Daniel Cross on the feature documentary S.P.I.T: Squeegee Punks in Traffic, learning the ins and outs of documentary filmmaking on the streets of Montreal with a squeegee punk named Roach. In order to take advantage of Canadian tax incentives, they founded a production company and called it “EyeSteelFilm” because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

 After flirting with other titles such as “cinematographer” (Too Colourful for theLeague), “co-director” (Chairman George), “director” (Bone, Music for a Blue Train) and “Office Drywall Consultant” (various walls), he has decided to just go with “Producer”and stop worrying about it.

 Most recently, Aung-Thwin produced the feature documentaries Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam, Rip: A Remix Manifesto (IDFA audience Choice Award Winner), Up the Yangtze (Genie award winner) and Last Train Home (IDFA Feature Documentary Winner). In addition, he serves as the President of the Rencontres International du Documentaire (RIDM), Montreal’s international documentary festival.

Synopsis

“A futuristic energy source that could indefinitely supply the world’s power requirements provides the backdrop for this absorbing documentary.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Clean, safe and unlimited power has been an obsession for scientists and inventors for centuries, and an underlying preoccupation for our society as a whole. Since the 1940s, when we first understood how the sun creates energy, nuclear fusion has been energy’s holy grail.

For decades, fusion has been delayed and thwarted by failure, miscalculation, fraud and politics. It has been maddeningly always just out of reach, which seems to make people obsess over it all the more. “Fusion is the energy of the future… and always will be,” goes one old joke.

But today, fusion is being pursued with a renewed zeal, mostly because we’ve never needed it like we do now, and there are 37 countries currently collaborating to build the biggest experiment ever, in order to prove that fusion is viable.

Will this finally succeed? Or will the project collapse under its own massive complexity? The film chronicles the work of the passionate scientists who are struggling to make it work.

“It’s rare to find people who work on projects that are designed to last decades, and these scientists would be happy if it worked in a century from now,” says co-director Aung-Thwin. “So on a personal level, this is a deep sacrifice – but they are doing it for the chance that it helps all of humanity.“

Trailer

Nov 22, 2017

Amanda Lang and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new book The Beauty of Discomfort, meaning, addiction-based science, head to toe joy, change that we choose and why curiosity drives progress.

Her new show Exponential will be on Sirius XM (channel 167) and her new podcast on the Antica Network. Look for it and listen in.

Biography

Award-winning business journalist and best-selling author Amanda Lang has been covering business in North America for 25 years. Lang is the host of Exponential with Amanda Lang, airing on Sirius XM and as a podcast. She has also been an anchor for Bloomberg Television Canada, on Bloomberg North with Amanda Lang. Lang was CBC’s senior business correspondent, reporting for its flagship nightly news program, The National, and host of The Exchange with Amanda Lang, a daily business program airing on CBC News Network. For five years before that Lang hosted The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, with Kevin O’Leary. Prior to that the pair co-hosted SqueezePlay, on BNN, for 6 years.

Lang is also a best-selling author. “The Power of Why,” (HarperCollins, October 2012) explores the connection between curiosity and success. “The Beauty of Discomfort” (HarperCollins, April 2017) examines how difficult change can be, and set out strategies for how to achieve it.

Lang studied Architecture at the University of Manitoba, before becoming a journalist. Her first job in journalism was for the Globe and Mail, and subsequently Lang joined the Financial Post newspaper, where she became the paper’s New York correspondent. In New York she made the leap to television, where she first was part of the team that launched BNN and before long wound up at CNN as a reporter and anchor. She returned to Canada in 2002.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Amanda Lang. Used with permission.

Nov 15, 2017

Pat Mills and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Don’t Talk To Irene, gender disparity, bullying, random ideas, freedom and non-conformity and why Geena Davis portraying God is important.

Biography

Pat Mills’s first feature film, the dark comedy GUIDANCE, which he wrote, directed and starred in, had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Picked up by Strand Releasing in the US and Search Engine Films in Canada, Guidance was theatrically released in Summer 2015. Hailed as a “GRADE A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and a New York Times Crit ics’s Pick, it currently holds a 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Guidance is now available on DVD, Netflix, Vimeo, Amazon, TMN, HBO and itunes. His performance as David was nominated for an Actra Award for Outstanding Male Performance.

An alumnus of TIFF’s Talent lab and TIFF Studio, Pat was named winner of TIFF’s Pitch This! for his second feature DON’T TALK TO IRENE. The screenplay won BEST COMEDY SCREENPLAY at the Austin Screenplay Competition. The film stars Michelle McLeod, Bruce Gray, Scott Thompson and Geena Davis.

More at www.pat-mills.com

Synopsis

Irene is 16, fat, friendless and tired of being a loser, but she’s determined that this year is going to be different — Irene is  going to become a cheerleader. But when she’s the victim of a cruel prank, Irene is suspended on her first day back at school Irene - along with bullies Robbie and Sarah - and must endure two weeks of community service at the local retirement home.

Irene befriends Charles, a depressed retired boxer who figuratively punches away her low self esteem. In his own grumpy way he convinces her to follow her dreams and instead of becoming a cheerleader, she becomes the next best thing — a choreographer. She signs the seniors up to audition for her favourite reality show “Total Talent Showdown”.

Keeping the plan a secret from her mother, Irene finds confidence for the first time in her bond with the seniors, teaching them how to dance for television broadcast. What she doesn’t know is that a very jealous Robbie and Sarah are secretly plotting their revenge—and they will stop at nothing to kill Irene’s dreams of reality show stardom.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Image Copyright: Pat Mills and Alyson Richards Productions. Used with permission.

Nov 8, 2017

Under Pressure

with

Andrucha Wadddington, Mini Kerti and Lucas Paraizo

 

Andrucha, Mini, Lucas and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new medical TV series Under Pressure, public versus private health in Rio de Janeiro, infrastructure, science versus faith, corruption and why there is hope. 

Synopsis

An ambulance siren marks the beginning of another tough day for the medical staff of a Rio de Janeiro public hospital. In between patients, they struggle with the constant challenges of the chaotic environment of an ER in the outskirts of the city, crossing every line to keep patients alive in a hospital that is running out of supplies.

Anguish and personal drama are bubbling over among the people who come to hospital looking for help. The desire to save lives is what drives the doctors in Under Pressure, an authentically Brazilian medical drama.

Amid the daily struggles, two people tormented by the ghosts of their past, find solace in one another the soothe their ailing souls.

Under these rough conditions, the surgeons, each with their particular quirks, each a specialist in their own field, come together to make up a team of hero doctors. These heroes are willing to do whatever it takes to help those in need and offer even a glimmer a hope to people who come in every day with their lives at risk. From directors Andrucha Waddington and Mini Kerti, Under Pressure comes out of the Andrucha Waddington feature film of the same name.

Co-produced by Globo and Conspiração Filmes, created by Luiz Noronha, Claudio Torres and Renato Fagundes, the film is based on an original concept by Mini Kerti and freely inspired by Marcio Maranhão's, Sob Pressão – A Rotina de Guerra de um Médico Brasileiro

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Globo and Conspiração Filmes. Used with permission.

 

 

Nov 2, 2017

Chandler, Jesse and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film We Forgot to Break Up, identity, memory and sexuality, anger, selfishness, relationships, and the messiness of intimate friendships.

Biography

Chandler Levack is an award-winning writer and director. After being selected for a screenwriting seminar at the University of Toronto taught by Semi Chellas (Mad Men) and Patricia Rozema (Grey Gardens, Into the Forest), she wrote the coming-of-age comedy Felt Up, based on an article written for her college newspaper where she investigated the world of professional pickup artists. A music journalist for SPIN and The Village Voice whose writing has been nominated for multiple National Magazine Awards, Chandler transitioned into filmmaking after graduating from the CFC Writer’s Lab in 2012, where she wrote the short film Lunchbox Loser, which has screened at festivals world-wide including the Portland Women’s Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, Canadian Film Festival, and the Lahore International Children’s Festival.

Jesse Todd “Evan” is a new actor whose first lead role was as Evan Strocker in the short film We Forgot to Break Up. Jesse also appeared in the film Cave Small Cave Big by Joele Walinga. He has done a number of live comedy performances including Feminist Live Reads Presents: Mean Girls, and Toronto Pride 2016 Stand Up Comedy programming.

Synopsis

We Forgot to Break Up reflects the heartache in encountering the people from your past, while the song remains the same. In this backstage drama, directed by Chandler Levack, written by Levack and Steven McCarthy, and produced by Nicole Hilliard-Forde and Matt Hilliard-Forde of Motel Pictures, Evan Strocker (Jesse Todd) returns to see the band he used to manage after a painful three-year hiatus.

Times have changed and the band members of Heidegger have gravitated towards lives in Los Angeles and as new parents. Evan has also undergone a radical change, now proudly living as a trans man. As he encounters each members of the band moments before their sold out show, he'll find a way forward towards self acceptance and love, especially as he encounters his ex boyfriend Lugh.

Adapted from Kayt Burgess' novel Heidegger Stairwell (winner of the 3-Day Writing contest), the film makes new myths out of Canada's indie rock heritage with raw humour and a landmark performance from trans newcomer Jesse Todd.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Motel Pictures Inc and Chandler Levack. Used with permission.

 

Nov 1, 2017

Mina Shum and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film Meditation Park, neighbours, Buddhism, the falsity of capitalism, underwear, the obstacles and triumphs we face and why we’re constantly coming of age.

Biography

Mina Shum is a Hong Kong–born, Vancouver-raised filmmaker who studied theatre and film production at the University of British Columbia.

Many of her films have played at the Toronto Film Festival, including her short Me, Mom and Mona, which was awarded a Special Jury Prize; her feature debut, Double Happiness, which won the award for Best Canadian Feature; the films Drive, She Said and Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity; and the Canada's Top Ten Film Festival selection The Ninth Floor

Synopsis

“Mina Shum directs an all-star cast — including Cheng Pei Pei, Sandra Oh, Tzi Ma, and Don McKellar — in her latest feature, about a devoted wife and mother (Pei Pei) who is forced to reassess her reverence for her husband after she finds another woman’s thong in his laundry.

In Meditation Park, Mina Shum returns to the themes that propelled her early work. The film opens with Maria (Cheng Pei Pei) hosting a birthday celebration for her workaholic accountant husband, Bing, (Tzi Ma). Maria reveres Bing and remains in awe of the sacrifices he has made for the family, so much so that she even respects his insistence that she not speak to their son.

But when she finds evidence that Bing may not be the perfect person she believes him to be, she's forced to consider her world in a radically different light. Maria embarks on a journey of self-discovery by engaging with the world around her, something Bing has always discouraged. She befriends a group of local eccentrics and a rather shady neighbour, Gabriel (Don McKellar). Maria soon realizes that people's lives are much more complicated than Bing has led her to believe.

Shum exhibits genuine compassion with her insight into the experiences of first-generation immigrant women. Meditation Park is a charming and generous film.”

With thanks to Steve Gravestock - TIFF

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Mina Shum and Thoughts From The Asylum. Used with permission.

Oct 28, 2017

Arshad Khan and Face2Face host David Peck talk about similarity through difference, his new film ABU, Pakistan, immigration, puritanism, regret and why librarians matter.

Khan is a filmmaker, film festival director, festival strategist and film educator from Canada. Born in Pakistan, Khan believes in cinema as a catalyst for change. He hopes to make films that shed light on subjects that are ignored by the mainstream media.

He is interested in realism in cinema and the new wave in South Asian cinema, yet not restricted to any one cinematic genre. As a gay man, Filmmaker Arshad Khan explores his troubled relationship with his devout, Muslim, Pakistani father Abu. Khan documents his struggles with his sexual identity as his Muslim parents attempt to fit into Canada.

Using family archives, pictures and movies, ABU is a revealing and deeply affecting portrait of a family’s tug-o-war between conservatism and liberalism that has greater implications for those choosing the west as their home.

ABU is a journey to the centre of a fragmented family while they grapple with religion, sexuality, colonialism and migration. Through a tapestry of narratives composed of family footage, observation and classic Bollywood films, gay-identifying Pakistani-Muslim filmmaker Arshad Khan takes viewers through the tense relationships between family and fate, conservatism and liberalism and modernity and familiarity. Hidden within the cabinets of my parents homes, from Lahore to Mississauga, are an enormous archive of family films capturing the days of my youth and teenage-hood.

As I sat to write a film about a Pakistani immigrant girl with magical powers living in Mississauga, another story kept interrupting the narrative: it was the story captured on those tapes, it was the story of my family, my youth and my "abu". My father had recently passed at the time I began crafting this film, while I was awaiting funds for the fiction work that was consistently being put on the back burner while I delved into the VHS tapes of my families histories. I kept the slow wane of time in mind as the fragments of narrative of my family began to unfold before more eyes.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Arshad Khan and Gray Matter Productions. Used with permission.

Oct 26, 2017

Sherwin Haji and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film The Other Side of Hope, immigration, voice and identity, fear of the other, history, memory and the extreme right wing.

Biography

Sherwan Haji (born 1985) plays the role of Khaled, a Syrian refugee. Haji, who came to Finland from Syria in 2010, graduated from Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus in 2008.

Haji acted in several TV series in Syria and continued his studies in Cambridge School of Art – Anglia Ruskin University in 2015, graduating last year with a Master of Arts degree.

Since 2012 Haji has, in addition to acting, also written and directed several short films and video installations for Lion’s Line, his production company. This is Haji’s first main role in a feature film. The film’s soundtrack also includes music performed by Haji on saz, a traditional stringed instrument.

Synopsis

The film consists of two stories that by chance intersect at the forty-minute mark. The first one is about Khaled, a young Syrian refugee who has lost virtually all of his family. Almost by accident, he drifts to Helsinki as a stowaway passenger on a collier to seek asylum without great hopes for his future life. Wikström, the other protagonist, is a travelling salesman of about fifty (representing mainly men’s shirts and ties). In the beginning of the film he leaves his alcoholic wife and his profession and turns momentarily into a poker shark. With the small amount of money he thus gains he then buys an unprofitable restaurant at the far end of an inner court along a back street in Helsinki.

When the authorities decide to return Khaled to the ruins of Aleppo he, just like many others, decides to stay illegally in the country and disappears into the streets of Helsinki. There he meets, besides various types of racism, also pure kindness. Finally Wikström finds our fellow sleeping in the inner yard of his restaurant. Perhaps he sees something of himself in the battered man because he hires Khaled as a cleaner and a dishwasher. For a moment life shows us its sunnier side, but fate soon intervenes and the film concludes with an open ending leading either to a respectable life or to the cemetery. For a person driven into a corner, both have their merits.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Sputnik Oy and Aki Kaurismäki. Used with permission.

Oct 25, 2017

Boris Ivanov and Face2Face host David Peck talk about propaganda, international adoptions, state sponsored hate, political complicity, LGBTQ issues in Russia, independent media and Pussy Riot.

Biography

Boris Ivanov’s directing credits include theatrical recreations for History channel’s Beyond Top Secret, which earned two News and Documentary Emmy nominations. He co-directed Loving a Stranger, TV documentary on the complexity of cross-cultural relationships.

He has directed several narrative films including Seven Storeys, winner of Los Angeles Short Film Festival, and Princess Castle. Recently Boris directed an online documentary In The Monument on the evolution of Holocaust memorialization.

Boris is also the producer behind Sundance premiered Family Portrait In Black and hite (VIFF 2011), Love Translated (VIFF 2010), High Five: A Suburban Adoption Saga (VIFF 2012).

Synopsis

On Putin’s Blacklist presents the reality of how an adoption ban of Russian orphans to US citizens came about and how it was the first step in Russia’s new Cold War with America. Soon enough this adoption ban was expanded to all countries that allow same-sex unions and combined Kremlin’s anti-adoption campaign with anti-LGBT.

The next victims were the NGOs and Human Rights Groups followed by Russian opposition. Anyone on Putin’s Blacklist is labeled as American spy, a foreign agent controlled by Western intelligence agencies with the aim of destroying Russia. This is how Putin is able to control the populace, by creating enemies for Russian’s to hate.

With Donald Trump as president, the world is staring at an unclear future. Can Russia reverse its trajectory of persecuting opposition and vilifying the West or will Donald Trump accept Russia as is and legitimize Putin’s regime.

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Oct 19, 2017

Gustavo Salmerón and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Lots of Kids, A Monkey and A Castle, emotional intelligence, hoarding, death, fascism and family and why you need to record your parents on video – soon.

Biography

Gustavo Salmerón, actor and director, (Madrid, Spain, 1970) has worked as an actor in over thirty films by internationally renowned directors like Julio Medem, Agustín Villaronga, Manuel Gómez Pereira, J. Luis García Berlanga, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón and Mario Camus, among others. In 2001 he directed the short film Desaliñada (Salad Days) which won the Spanish Film Academy’s Goya for Best Short Film.

It also won numerous international awards including: Best Short Film at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best Short Award (Brest) of Canal+ France. Since 2002 he has been directing, over the course of 14 years, the documentary Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle. The film has been selected for competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Synopsis

This is the story about Julita, a matriarch whose three childhood wishes have been granted: lots of kids, a monkey, and a Spanish castle. At her 81 years old, one of her children needs to find the vertebra of his murdered great-grandmother, lost among the exorbitant amount of weird objects she has hoarded throughout her life, revealing a very picturesque family history.

This unique old lady is about to find the meaning of life.

Trailer 

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Gustavo Salmerón. Used with permission.

 

 

 

Oct 17, 2017

Karim Sayad and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Of Sheep and Men, ram fighting, Eid al-Adha, Algeria, colonization, democracy and the Arab Spring, empathy and gender injustice. 

Biography

Karim Sayad was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and completed a master's degree in international relations at Geneva's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He has directed the short film Babor Casanova

Of Sheep and Men is his debut feature documentary.

Synopsis

“Sixteen-year-old Habib dreams of training his prized sheep to become a fighting champion and middle-aged Samir just wants to sell enough sheep before Eid to make ends meet, in this emotive profile of two men in an impoverished Algerian community.

It's a tale of two men, one country, and many sheep. Habib is 16 years old, working as a bus conductor although he had once dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. He is the proud owner of El Bouq, a ram he hopes to raise to become a champion fighter. Samir is 42 years old, having seen enough hardship to know the cost of dreaming is high and that everything in life has the potential to bring a profit. He capitalizes on this ethos at Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) by buying and selling sheep for the coming slaughter. When El Bouq proves to be a far-from-illustrious combatant, and with Eid fast approaching, it looks as though the animal's fate might not be a favourable one.

Building on the style and themes explored in his award-winning short Babor Casanova, Karim Sayad explores in his documentary feature debut the current climate in Algeria following the Arab Spring with an allegorical and intricate eye. Shot in the Bab el Oued neighbourhood of Algiers, with a camera that sinks seamlessly into each scenario, the film captures Habib's, Samir's, and even the sheep's perspectives with an intriguing sense of intimacy that's rich with symbolism.”

With thanks to Kiva Reardon - TIFF

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Image Copyright: Karim Sayad and Close Up Films. Used with permission.

 

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Oct 13, 2017

Leslea Mair and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film Losing Our Religion, trauma, atheism and non-belief, the power of community and preachers who have no faith.

Biography

Leslea Mair is a writer and producer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has been the President and CEO of Zoot Pictures Inc. since 1998.

Following completion of her BFA at the University of Regina, Leslea spent a number of years honing her skills as a writer, participating in the PRAXIS writers' workshop in 1992. She joined the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, serving as president twice. Leslea produced several experimental shorts and directed the experimental documentary Jigsaw, receiving nomination in the Experimental category at the Yorkton International Short Film Festival. She has also written multi-threaded educational multimedia products.

In the field of documentary, Leslea researched and wrote the treatment for Two Gun Cohen in 1999, and wrote A Count's Colony for White Pine Pictures in 2000. In 2001 she produced, researched and wrote Edible Shorts, a series pilot and was the writer/producer on Black Tuesday, an hour-long documentary, in 2003. Leslea wrote and produced Big Business, Big Union, Small Town for Canwest Global in 2007 and The Path to Shaolin, which Leslea co-directed in 2009.

For 2010 she produced and wrote Operation Extreme Green for CBC's Passionate Eye. Leslea also produced and co-wrote the three part pilot for Weekend Wonder, the award-winning one hour documentary Remote Control War for CBC's Doc Zone, MS Wars for The Nature of Things, Shattered Ground for The Nature of Things, Age of the Drone for Doc Zone, and The Prairie Diner series for CityTV Saskatchewan, finishing its third season.

Leslea co-directed, wrote and produced the feature length documentary "Losing Our Religion", and is now producing and writing the one hour documentary "Something in the Air".

Synopsis

Brendan is a pastor in a small, evangelical church, and he has a secret. He doesn't believe in God anymore. His life and career revolve around his church and faith, and now that's all on the line. His wife is still a true believer. He is incredibly isolated and alone, but he’s not the only one.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of clergy are in the same position. Stan is a preacher in the Deep South where the lines of religion and society blur. He lives in a manse, if anyone knew he is an atheist he would be out on the street. Andy hasn't believed for a long time, but only three people in the world know his secret – except for The Clergy Project.

Losing Our Religion is a feature length documentary about community, acceptance and a view inside the lives of clergy who are joining the rising tide of non-believers.

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Leslea Mair and Zoot Pictures. Used with permission.

Oct 11, 2017

Mouly Surya and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, multiple possibilities, writing with images, violence, stillness and why women need to fight back.

Biography

Born in Jakarta in 1980, Mouly Surya is considered one of the most promising female filmmakers in Indonesia. Surya had a degree in media and literature before studying film in Australia. She directs her first feature film in 2008, FIKSI. The film opens at Busan IFF and wins numerous awards including Best Director at JIFFEST.

Her second feature WHAT THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LOVE (2013) screens at various film festivals including Sundance competition and Karlovy Vary. It receives The NETPAC Award at Rotterdam.

MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS is Surya’s third film.

Synopsis

“Powerful, provocative, and visually stunning, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is a luminous new entry in the feminist western subgenre. Mouly Surya's accomplished third feature is one of a kind: a contemporary reworking of the spaghetti western and smouldering revenge movie that is deeply rooted in the cultural and geopolitical landscapes of Indonesia.

Marlina (Marsha Timothy) is a young widow, living alone in a remote farmhouse with the embalmed corpse of her deceased husband. When robbers arrive, entitled by centuries of male domination, to steal her livestock, seize her possessions, and rape her, Marlina has only her courage and intelligence to rely on. She thinks fast and acts even faster. The next day finds her on the road, hitching a ride to town with a severed head in one hand and a sabre in the other. A tale of repossessed strength and personal identity, the film features a compelling protagonist and introduces a gallery of other splendid female characters, especially "10-months" pregnant Novi (Dea Panendra).

Surya builds tension with an assured mise en scène then dissipates it with bubbly bursts of caustic humour, playing with overused cinematic languages to find a genuine new style. Witty and subversive, Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts is a bold and welcome affront to the staid sensibilities of male-centred cinema culture.”

With thanks to Giovanna Fulvi

Trailer

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For more information about David Peck's podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here or check out the site of his podcast on film, social change and much more.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Image Copyright: Mouly Surya and Cinesurya. Used with permission.

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