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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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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 14, 2016

Drew and Face2Face host David Peck talk about the concept of contact, aliens, humour as the “WD-40 of healing” and aboriginal consciousness.

 

For more information about Drew go here.

 

To purchase Take Us To Your Chief head here.

 

Biography

 

During the last twenty-five years of his life, Drew Hayden Taylor has done many things, most of which he is proud of. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with over 70 productions of his work), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on over 17 documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably, he wrote and directed REDSKINS, TRICKSTERS AND PUPPY STEW, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada.

He has traveled to seventeen countries around the world, spreading the gospel of Native literature to the world. Through many of his books, most notably the four volume set of the FUNNY, YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE ONE series, he has tried to educate and inform the world about issues that reflect, celebrate, and interfere in the lives of Canada’s First Nations.

Self described as a contemporary story teller in whatever form, he co-created and for three years was the head writer for MIXED BLESSINGS, a television comedy series as well as contributed scripts to four other popular Canadian television series. In 2007, a made-for-tv movie he wrote, based on his Governor General’s nominated play, IN A WORLD CREATED BY A DRUNKEN GOD was nominated for three Gemini Awards, including Best Movie. Originally it aired on APTN and opened the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, and the Dreamspeakers Film Festival in Edmonton. In 2011 and 2012, he wrote the script for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

The last few years has seen him proudly serve as the Writer-In-Residence at the University of Michigan, the University of Western Ontario, University of Luneburg (Germany), Ryerson University, as well as a host of Canadian theatre companies i.e. Cahoots theatre, Blyth Theatre etc. From 1994-97, he proudly served as the Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts.

In 2007, Annick Press published his first Novel, THE NIGHT WANDERER: A Native Gothic Novel, a teen novel about an Ojibway vampire. Several years ago, his non-fiction book exploring the world of Native sexuality, called ME SEXY, was published by Douglas & McIntyre. It is a follow up to his highly successful book on Native humour, ME FUNNY. The third instalment, ME ARTSY, has just been released and deals with the Aboriginal artistic spirit..

2010 saw the publication of his novel MOTORCYCLES & SWEETGRASS. Randomhouse proudly proclaimed him “One of the new faces of fiction for 2010”. It was also short listed for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. 2011saw the publication by Talon Books of Drew’s newest collection of articles and essays, NEWS: Postcards From The Four Directions which explored Native existence as he sees it, in his own wonky style. This was followed by the publication of his two new plays, GOD AND THE INDIAN and CERULEAN BLUE. Finally, this year a selection of his best articles and columns were published by Theytus books, in THE BEST OF ‘FUNNY YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE ONE’. This brings his publication total to 28 books.

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

 

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 30, 2016

Roger and I talk about his new book The First 1000 Days, “stupid poverty”, malnutrition, journalism and “gray matter” as infrastructure.

More about Roger here at Outrage and Inspire.

For more information about his book “The First 1000 Days” go here.

The First 1000 Days initiative is here.

Biography

Roger Thurow joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs as senior fellow for global food and agricultural in January 2010 after three decades at The Wall Street Journal.

For 20 years, he served as a Journal foreign correspondent, based in Europe and Africa. His coverage of global affairs spanned the Cold War, the reunification of Germany, the release of Nelson Mandela, the end of apartheid, the wars in the former Yugoslavia and the humanitarian crises of the first decade of this century – along with 10 Olympic Games.

In 2003, he and Journal colleague Scott Kilman wrote a series of stories on famine in Africa that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting. Thurow and Kilman are authors of the book,ENOUGH: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty. In 2009, they were awarded Action Against Hunger’s Humanitarian Award.

In May 2012, Thurow published his second book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change.

His new book, The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World, was published in May this year.

 

Nov 23, 2016

Ed and I talk about building a safe future for all, The Locust Effect, responsibility and compassionate intervention.

To buy a copy of The Locust Effect head here.

Biography

Ed Wilson is IJM Canada's Executive Director. In this role, Ed provides strategic and visionary leadership to the mission and vision of IJM in Canada, in order to rescue victims of violence and protect the poor by strengthening their justice systems. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Ed served as Chief Operating Officer for eight years, during which time he helped lead IJM Canada's dramatic growth in revenue and impact.

Ed's non-profit management skills are shaped by almost 30 years of leadership experience. Prior to joining IJM Canada, he served as a founding Board member and first Executive Director of Heartwood Place in Kitchener, Ontario, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe, affordable and adequate housing to individuals and families in need. In 2004, Heartwood Place was honoured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation with a National Housing Award for Best Practices. Over the course of the previous 17 years, Ed provided leadership to a number of churches in south-central Ontario.

Ed holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario, and a B.Ed. from Queen's University in Kingston.

Ed's passion in life is building strong, effective teams that are a force for good in the world.  His motto is "great ideas with great execution can change the world", a principle that has been proven by the work of IJM.  

Ed and his wife Judy live in London, Ontario and are parents of three adult children and grandparents of two.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 16, 2016

Dr. Swingle and I talk about her new book i-Minds, the digital divide, facial cues, the danger of unmitigated access and directional versus correctional therapies.

Read more about her book i-Minds here and if you'd like to purchase it you can do that here.

Biography

Dr. Mari Swingle, or Dr. Mari as she tends to be referred to at the Swingle Clinic brings to the clinic extensive experience from both the world of Education and Clinical Psychology. Prior to the founding of Swingle Clinic, in 1997, Dr. Mari worked extensively in curriculum development, language learning, and the exploration of learning modalities to assist with accelerated as well as remedial learning.

Currently she works with a wide range of neurophysiological ailments; her specialty lying with children and families experiencing behavioral and learning difficulties including but not limited to, dyslexia, processing, written output, speech and auditory disorders. Dr. Mari Swingle also frequently works with the dynamics that arise in families with a child experiencing learning and or behavioral challenges including parental fatigue, depression, anxiety, addictions, and couple/parental dynamics.

This includes family counseling and couples therapy. Dr. Mari Swingle is a Board-Certified Neurotherapist since 2000. She has Level Two Certification in EMDR, EFT, and Level One Craniosacral Therapy.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 14, 2016

Curt and Face2Face host David Peck talk about Syrians as newcomers to Canada, mentorship, giving back and about Syrians helping Syrians.

 

For more information about QuestScope go here.

 

Biography

Curt Rhodes has spent over 30 years working with, and on behalf of, marginalized communities and young people across the Middle East.

As the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, Dr. Rhodes was recognized by Tufts University for his demonstrated compassion and tenacity in creating a highly effective and determined organization dedicated to the survival and nurturing of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised.

In recognition of his work through Questscope with marginalized youth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and in the region, Dr. Rhodes was awarded 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the Middle East and North Africa by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. 

Dr. Rhodes began his career in the Middle East in the early Eighties, as Assistant Dean in the School of Public Health at the American University of Beirut. During the 1982 invasion of (west) Beirut, he volunteered in a community-based clinic alongside students and friends, doing around-the-clock triage for wounded and ill civilians. That was when the seed idea for Questscope began to take shape. Living and working with people in great suffering compelled him to find a way that he and others in the Middle East could assist the most vulnerable: participating with the voiceless ones in invisible communities.

In 1988, Questscope was founded with the goal of putting the last, first. From the beginning, Questscope worked closely with local communities, identifying their aspirations and together addressing their greatest needs. 

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

 

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Nov 10, 2016

Deepa and Face2Face host David Peck talk about systemic violence, choice and responsibility, inequality, gender disparity, power dynamics and why good parenting matters.

For more information about TIFF go here.

For more information about Deepa’s work here.

IMDB

Synopsis

Anatomy of Violence mixes fiction and fact in an improvised exploration of the events leading up to, and following, the notorious gang rape of a young woman by six men in a moving bus in New Delhi, December 16, 2012.

Twelve actors collaborated with filmmaker Deepa Mehta to imagine what might have driven these men towards such a savage assault. The film also imagines the nature of the young woman’s life, her family, her friends and her hopes and dreams before the fatal attack. “What makes monsters?” is a question that this film stares directly at. It probes and explores where these young men could have come from and what might have motivated them.

They have been called “monsters” but is this a simplistic labeling that relieves society and leaders from the responsibility of looking more deeply?

The film offers no clear answers but opens doors of inquiry which may stimulate further examination into the root causes and complexity of this particular and all too pervasive brutality against women.

Biography

Deepa Mehta is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker whose work is celebrated on an international scale. Her emotionally resonating, award-winning films have played every major film festival, and been sold and distributed around the globe.

She is best known for her Elemental Trilogy: Earth, Fire, Water, the final film of which received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film. Other films include, Bollywood/Hollywood, Heaven on Earth, and the epic adaptation of Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie’s three-time Booker Prize winning novel.

Her work challenges traditions and stereotypes and is always daring, fearless and provocative. It’s this spirit that saturated her last film, Beeba Boys, and now her latest work, Anatomy of Violence

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 9, 2016

Pamela and I talk about volunteerism, “your story”, social entrepreneurship, Universal Giving and why she’s not a pessimist.

Biography

Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™ an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world. Opportunities range from giving $25 to provide a month of meals to a child in Haiti, to volunteering with migrant children in Beijing, China.

Pamela started in community service at age twelve, after experiencing life-changing poverty on a family vacation. She and her father were in a marketplace and looked down a side cul-de-sac where she saw a whole line of half-clothed, begging, unwashed, starving children. The word UNACCEPTABLE came across her mind, and led her to volunteer all over the world (Read more here). Some of Pamela’s many volunteer experiences include working with microfinance in rural India, sustainable farming in Guatemala, earthquake relief work in El Salvador, and computer training in Cambodia.

She has a Political Science degree cum laude from Duke University and a Masters in International Communication from the Annenberg School of Communications, USC. Pamela is on the Duke Northern California Board and Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship; part of Duke Angel Network (DAN); and most recently received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for the Political Science Department at Duke University. She is a guest lecturer at Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley and USC. Pamela speaks on leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility, social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, world economics/cultures, and how these affect business and global philanthropy.   

Pamela is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service), and has been invited to three events at the White House. UniversalGiving has been featured on the homepage of BusinessWeek, Oprah.com, CBS, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Pamela was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and CSRWire. She also writes Living and Giving, a daily blog with the mission of “Inspiring Leaders to Live with Excellence and Love.”

Pamela is an actress, improviser, dancer and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is and improviser trained by The Groundlings and Second City Chicago, a graduate of the Upright Citizens Brigade, and a BATS improv player. Her experience includes solo and group singing, voiceovers, sketch, theatre and television. 

In 2015, she opened at the San Francisco Improv Festival with Leela’s Armando Company and its founder, Armando Diaz. Also, in 2015, she performed with Leela’s Armando Company at the SF Sketchfest. Pamela has created two improv groups: The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Improv!, a fully improvised musical inspired by The Sound of Music; and Jackson Soup, a dynamic duo improv team. Pamela performed with Opening People's Minds (OPM), which won the award for Best Sketch Comedy in 2009 at the San Francisco Fringe Fest and garnered praise from reviewers such as LA Weekly. As part of the improv group Fosse Posse (based on choreographer Bob Fosse), she performed 40-minute improvised musicals, winning 9 out of 10 competitive shows (Watch a video here). Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving™.

Most important to Pamela Hawley is her family. Her parents Wally and Alex have been married more than 50 years; they are two of her best friends. She also loves being an aunt to Will, Connor, and Lindsey.  Every Sunday is family day.

Read more about the foundation here.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Nov 7, 2016

Erin and I talk about gender disparity, her new film Girl Unbound, honesty, inspiration and where our perspective comes from.

 For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

More info about the film here.

Synopsis

Maria Toorpakai Wazir has spent her young life defying expectations. At age 25, she is an internationally competitive squash player. But in her home country, Pakistan, she remains controversial. In her family's region of Waziristan, women are forbidden by the Taliban from playing sports. In Girl Unbound, we follow Maria over several months as she represents Pakistan on the national team and carves her own identity, despite threats to her family.

Filmmaker Erin Heidenreich makes her feature directorial debut with the same self-assurance behind the camera that Maria possesses on the squash court. The film takes us from Toronto, where Maria practices with squash champion Jonathon Power, to Pakistan, where her family is forced to relocate to Islamabad for safety. Defying fundamentalist threats, Maria takes a harrowing road trip through Pakistan with her sister Ayesha Gulalai, a local politician.

We get to know Maria's large family, including her father, Shamsul, and mother, Yasrab, who rejected restrictive customary gender roles when raising their sons and daughters. Growing up with an athletic physique, Maria dressed as a boy in order to compete in sports and weightlifting. She describes her identity as a mix of feminine and masculine qualities. Whatever confusion that might cause others, she conveys a remarkable self-confidence in being her own person.

This year, Maria published her memoir, A Different Kind of Daughter. That book, along with this film, demonstrates that she is a vital voice of resistance, standing up to forces that want to dictate what a woman's role should be.

Biography

Director-Writer-Producer of award-winning documentaries, short films, commercials and branded content.

Erin's voice has been shaped by the cultures she has immersed herself in across the globe and uses the camera to see the unseen.

Her passion for stories showing alternative perspectives flows into many forms: Directing a documentary in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan for GIRL UNBOUND (World Premiere 2016 Toronto International Film Festival), directing a short documentary in The Democratic Republic of the Congo for RISING SONS, and narrative work including THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES.

Erin 2nd Unit directed for Emmy-Award winning Doug Pray's latest documentary LEVITATED MASS (Los Angeles Film Festival), Executive Produced THE OTHER SHORE (SXSW Film Festival), Produced MISSION CONGO (Toronto International Film Festival), and Executive Produced MADE IN INDIA (Hot Docs).

More about her here.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 7, 2016

Paul and I talk about his new film Dog Eat Dog, living in the “sweet spot” of history, why humans have run their course and the recidivist nature of crime.

 

For more information about TIFF go here.

 

IMDB

Trailer

 

Synopsis

 

DOG EAT DOG is a gritty contemporary crime thriller starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe about a trio of excons, deep in the underbelly of Cleveland, who are hired for a kidnapping.

 

When the botched abduction goes awry and gets completely out of control, the cons find themselves on the run, vowing to stay out of prison at all costs.

 

Biography

 

Paul Schrader is an award-winning screenwriter and film director. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Schrader has also directed 18 feature films, including his 1982 remake of the horror classic Cat People, the crime drama American Gigolo (1980), the biographical drama Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), the cult film Light Sleeper (1992), the drama Affliction (1997), the biographical film Auto Focus (2002), and the erotic dramatic thriller The Canyons (2013).

 

Schrader began his career at UCLA Film school and the AFI. He was the film critic for the Los Angeles Free Press, edited Cinema magazine and in 1972 published Transcendental Style in Film, a study of Bresson, Ozu and Dreyer which will be reissued next year in a revised edition of University of California Press.

 

He teaches occasionally at Columbia university and continues to contribute to Film Comment magazine in New York In 1974, Schrader and his brother Leonard cowrote The Yakuza, a film set in the Japanese crime world. The film was directed by Sydney Pollack and starred Robert Mitchum. The Yakuza brought Schrader to the attention of the new generation of Hollywood directors. In 1975, he wrote the script for Obsession for Brian De Palma.

 

Schrader also wrote an early draft of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). One of Schrader's most famous scripts about an obsessed New York City taxi driver was turned into Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver, which was nominated for a 1976 Best Picture Academy Award and won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Besides Taxi Driver (1976), Scorsese also drew on scripts by Schrader for boxing tale Raging Bull (1980), co-written with Mardik Martin, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Bringing Out the Dead (1999).

 

In 1999, Schrader received the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.

 

Schrader headed the International Jury of the 2007 Berlin International Film Festival. On July 2, 2009, Schrader was awarded the inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Screenwriting award at the ScreenLit Festival in Nottingham, England. Several of his films were shown at the festival, including Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

 

He has received lifetime achievement awards from various festivals, including Gent, Manila, Vallodolid, Stockholm, SXSW, Istanbul, Haifa, Goriza, Mill Valley, San Francisco, Guanajuato.

 

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

 

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 5, 2016

Mohanad and I talk about Palestine, history, peaceful revolution, looking for shadows and finding the bridge between all of us.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

More info about the film here.

Synopsis

In his remarkably assured debut documentary, Ramallah-based director Mohanad Yaqubi untangles the fraught history of his homeland, long at the centre of one of the world's most painful conflicts. With the precision and grace of the best essay films, Yaqubi uses found footage, much of it newly discovered, to trace his country's quest for self-determination, dignity, and, ultimately, peace.

Off Frame AKA Revolution until Victory builds off Yaqubi's discovery of film shot by the Palestine Film Unit, a group founded in the 1960s that saw itself as the cinematic front of the Palestinian movement. He connects their work in this tumultuous historic moment with wider trends, bringing his documentary into dialogue with the larger film world. There are parallels with Third Cinema and social realism, and Yaqubi includes footage of Jean-Luc Godard's famous visit to Palestine in the 1970s to make Here and Elsewhere (also borrowing the original title of Godard's documentary for his own: Until Victory).

Despite this rear-facing reflection, Off Frame isn't stuck in the past. Yaqubi brings the film full circle with contemporary footage shot in Palestine. The result is an alternate and rarely seen history, framed from Yaqubi's distinctly Palestinian perspective.

On the eve of 2017, a year that marks several painful anniversaries for Palestine, this documentary is all the more urgent. It compels audiences to look beyond easy headlines or stereotypes and to contemplate how the present moment itself has been built out of images of the past.

Biography

Mohanad Yaqubi was born in Kuwait.

He directed the shorts Rico in the NightExit, and No Exit, and the feature documentary Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Nov 3, 2016

Maria-Jose and Olga and I talk about show-women, reinventing yourself, living for and with your dreams and gender issues of all kinds.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

Synopsis

The disco-era heyday of Mexico's burlesque culture may have long passed, but many of the sequined stars of those cabarets are still with us. Their stories speak volumes about what it means to be a no-longer-young woman in a career grounded in physical beauty and erotic appeal. Eight years in the making, María José Cuevas' Beauties of the Night is a captivating group portrait of iconic Mexican showgirls, still thriving with grace and style in their ostensible golden years.

Shifting elegantly between eye-popping archival materials and endearingly frank new interviews, Cuevas introduces us to Olga Breeskin, who actually began her performing career playing classical violin with her father; to Lyn May, who, now in her sixties, happily maintains a rigorous daily regimen of exercise and intercourse and extols the virtues of having sex in trees; to Rossy Mendoza, who to this day dances in elaborate headdresses with seductive dexterity; to Princesa Yamal, who speaks of the spiritual strength required to hold a large audience transfixed, but who also had her career stalled when she was wrongly convicted for robbery.

Beauties of the Night presents us a trove of extraordinary women living long and eventful lives, learning to make the most of the inevitable realities of aging in an unforgiving culture. Cuevas presents their fascinating stories with tremendous affection, humour, curiosity, and, above all, dignity.

Biography

María José Cuevas is a documentary and experimental video director, designer, and photographer.

Her work has been featured at the Chelsea Center for the Arts in New York, the International Biennial of Video Art in Israel, and the Institute Valencia d’Art Modern in Spain. 

Beauties of the Night is her first feature documentary.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Nov 2, 2016

Ilan and I talk about his new film An Eye for An Eye, hate, racism, and forgiveness, why the future may not be so bright, where hope fits in and why developing a positive narrative is essential. 

IMDB

Trailer

More info about the film and Ilan here.

Synopsis

The subject of a new documentary out in theatres beginning October 28th, "An Eye For An Eye" by Israeli director Ilan Ziv, tells the story of shooting victim Rais Bhuiyan , the only survivor of a post 9-11 hate crime by Texas native Mark Stroman who would became known as the "Arab Slayer" and whose life Ziv and Bhuiyan worked tirelessly to save. 

Ilan Ziv's 8-year journey and friendship with Stroman helped guide him to his final revelation: to seek forgiveness and a deeper understanding of the origin of his hate and racism, providing a unique and provocative insight into the mind of a racist turned serial killer.

Ziv and Bhuiyan came together on this project to open hearts and minds around the culture of hate and the politics of revenge post 9-11, a rhetoric actively revisited in the current presidential election campaign being presented by Donald Trump.

Ziv and Bhuiyan are available to speak in-person about lone-wolf terrorist attacks and the climate of hate that created the conditions for Mark Stroman to do what he did. The lone-wolf terrorist is a concept that we have now associated with Jihadist extremists, and yet the climate of hate created one in the white supremacist Mark Stroman.

The current divisive rhetoric can and will inevitably lead to more hate and distrust, and can create the perfect storm for the kind of lone-wolf attacks we have seen.

They witnessed in Mark Stroman the ways in which such a transformation is needed on a global scale now.

Rais Bhuiyan, a Hillary Clinton campaign surrogate, can speak directly to the ways in which the message of the film echoes the messaging of the Clinton campaign, that as Americans we are, "Stronger Together”.

Biography

Ilan Ziv was born in Israel in 1950 and came to the United States after fighting in the Yom Kippur (The October) War in 1973.

Ilan Ziv is a graduate of New York University film school, and in 1978 he co-produced New York's first Middle East Film Festival.

That same year he founded Icarus Films, a documentary film distribution company, which he left in 1980 in order to devote himself to making documentary films, and since then he has directed dozens of documentaries dealing broadly with issues of human rights and investigations of contemporary history.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Nov 2, 2016

Dr. Lang and I talk about redundancies in the brain, the tendency towards addiction, bio-markers and neurological disorders and vaccines, neuro-plasticity and diagnosis.

Get a copy of his book: “Parkinson’s Disease: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families” here.

Biography

Dr. Lang directs a large multifaceted clinical research program in the field of Parkinson’s disease and related movement disorders. Dr. Lang’s research includes clinical studies of poorly recognized neurological disorders.

Dr. Lang is Director of the Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto and Director of the Movement Disorders Centre at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre. Lancet Neurology, the world's leading medical journal, has referred to Dr. Lang as “a master of movement disorders.”

In addition to leading Canada’s busiest Parkinson’s clinic, Dr. Lang is dedicated to advancing research, including studies of poorly recognized neurological disorders; clinical trials of new therapies; and basic and clinical studies involving molecular biology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology and imaging.

In 2010, Dr. Lang was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2011 he was elected a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. Also in 2011, he was recognized as the most highly cited investigator in the field of Parkinson’s disease in the world for the decade, 2001-2009.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Nov 1, 2016

Yesim and I talk about tradition, sexual politics in Turkey, harsh modernism, manipulation, control and patriarchal power.

For more information about TIFF go here.

Trailer

Synopsis

In her most politically charged film to date, Turkish writer-director Yesim Ustaoglu revisits her previous films' themes of alienation and the longing to escape, viewing them through a distinctly female lens. In Clair Obscur, a film about the lives of two women from opposing worlds, Ustaoglu explores the different possibilities and limitations that exist for women in Turkey today.

Chenaz thinks of herself as modern and liberal. Resident psychiatrist at a hospital on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, she lives with her long-time partner, Cem, in a stylishly appointed home. Valuing each other's independence, Chenaz and Cem appear to think of each other as equals, but as Chenaz spends more time with a work colleague, she begins to wonder if Cem's treatment of her is motivated by love or by a desire for control.

Elmas lives with her much-older husband in a conservative household where her place is better defined in terms of servitude than by familial bonds. Under her mother-in-law's watchful eye, Elmas is responsible for all of the household chores, made to play the role of nursemaid, and forced to submit to her husband's nightly sexual desires.

As Ustaoglu intercuts and eventually intersects Chenaz and Elmas' stories, we begin to understand that their lives may have more in common than it appears at first glance. Alternating close, confining camerawork with sweeping widescreen landscapes, Michael Hammon's exquisite photography simultaneously reflects the restrictions and boundless potential of Ustaoglu's female protagonists. By turns pensive and dramatic — even violent — Clair Obscur asks us to consider the true meaning of liberty.

Biography

Yesim Ustaoglu was born in Çaykara, Turkey. She directed several shorts before making her feature film debut with The Trace.

Her other features include Journey to the SunWaiting for the CloudsPandora's Box, which screened at the Festival, andAraf/Somewhere in Between

Clair Obscur is her latest film.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Oct 25, 2016

 

Jonathan and I talk about “blindness” and disability, assistive technology, crowd funding and why he roots for the underdog.

Biography

My name is Jonathan Nadeau and I'm a husband, a father of three, and a blind GNU/Linux user. I'm also the host of three podcasts about free software. I interview project leaders of free software and GNU/Linux distributions. This summer I'm interning with the FSF's campaigns team.

I was not born blind but was in a car accident when I was 14, which caused me to lose my sight — after my accident I was introduced to a world of accessible technology using proprietary and nonfree software. I came to free software from using Windows and used a program called Jaws — this software allows people who are blind or have low vision to access a computer and be productive, by reading text and actions on the screen.

Jaws is nonfree software — users can't share it due to the terms of the license and as a result many people who would benefit from it, are unable to get a copy. In the United States, around 80% of vision impaired people are unemployed, and often people who need this software can request a copy from their local government, but this usually comes with many frustrating requirements, such as being a current student or requiring the software for a job. And of course, giving up important freedoms as a computer user.

Around 1999, I had a recording studio in my house and my business partner was telling me about GNU/Linux and the philosophy behind it. I also heard that some distributions came with a screen reader called speakup out of the box, and so if I could get the system installed, I'd have a screen reader right out of the box with no third-party software. I tried to install it, but failed miserably.

I tried several times to use free software over the years, with limited success until 2007, when I heard that distributions were now using a new screen reader, called Orca — I picked one of the popular distributions of the day, downloaded and installed it on my computer — I was surprised to find that everything just worked. Granted, at this time, the Orca screen reader was not as good as the proprietary software I was used to, but I didn't care — I was willing to put up with the lack of performance for the freedom it gave me.

Once I started using a free screen reader with a free operating system, I had freedom in my own computing, and realized the importance of free software for accessibility — it is important for people who depend on accessible software to understand the freedoms that come with using free software, and no longer be stuck in a world of relying on nonfree accessibility software.

So I'm now an advocate of promoting the use of free software in accessibility and want to help educate other people who depend on assistive technology and explain to them the freedoms they deserve.

One of my goals at the Free Software Foundation this summer is to start work on a completely free and fully accessible distribution of GNU/Linux based on Trisquel, which I'm using for my work at the Foundation.

A completely blind person will be able to install this software without assistance, and once they they put the CD into their computer it will boot into a live session, the Orca screen reader will start talking right away, and then they can start the install process. Once installed, the screen reader will be already running when you first log in. The majority of programs installed by default will have good accessibility and there will also be screen magnification features by default for low vision users.

This would be just the start of this accessible distribution. I want people to understand the power and flexibility of free software and not depend on proprietary companies to provide accessible software. This will result in giving the power and freedom to the people who depend on accessibility to ask for feature requests and make bug reports.

By working together as a community, we can make a big difference in the lives of people who rely on assistive technologies.

Read more about Jonathan here.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

 

Oct 25, 2016

Raja, Hiam and Sarra talk about their new film Foreign Body, refugees, identity, relational complexity and the present over the future.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

Synopsis

Seeking refuge from her Islamist radical brother whom she informed on, a young woman arrives in France illegally following Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution and discovers a new world of both hope and danger, in the fourth feature from writer-director Raja Amari (Satin RougeBuried Secrets).

In the turbulent aftermath of the Tunisian revolution, young Samia (Sarra Hannachi) flees her homeland. She braves hostile seas in the crossing to France, but once there she finds that her struggles have only just begun. With no friends, no family, and — most crucially — no immigration papers, Samia has to figure out how to make a life and a living in a foreign land.

She meets a young man, Imed (Salim Kechiouche, Blue is the Warmest Color), and soon finds work in the employ of the elegant Leila (the inimitable Hiam Abbass, subject of an In Conversation With event at the Festival this year). But her presence in Leila's middle-class household triggers a shift in its dynamics, and soon Samia is enmeshed in a web of sexual tension.

Timely as it is, Foreign Body seems to typify a media narrative of forced mass migration: desperate, distressing, impossible. The film transcends this sweeping, reductive thinking due to the way director Raja Amari immerses her camera in Samia's new reality. She shoots with a close, handheld aesthetic that makes abstraction and generalization all but impossible, bringing us the story of a unique young woman.

Hannachi portrays her character's inner turmoil brilliantly. Samia is sometimes ragged and sometimes refined, ranging from stoic to sensual, but this is not because she's unstable. Rather, it's because of her ability to change in response to different situations and environments — an ability born of necessity. This is a woman determined to survive at all costs.

Biography

Raja Amari was born in Tunis. She completed a Master's degree in French literature at the University of Tunis and studied cinema at La Fémis.

Her features include Satin RougeBuried Secrets, and Foreign Body.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 25, 2016

Bill and Mark and I talk about their new film The Head-hunters Calling, pure ego, being present and why we’re all addicts of one kind or another.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Synopsis

A ruthless corporate headhunter (Gerard Butler) battles his rival for control of their job placement company, until a family tragedy brings his personal and professional lives into conflict.

Grounded in a generous, soul-searching lead performance from Gerard Butler, this drama follows a corporate headhunter torn between the dictates of his ambition and the needs of his family.

For Dane Jensen (Butler), success demands a little ruthlessness; you don't get anywhere without stepping on toes. After years of climbing the corporate ladder, he has the biggest goal of his career in sight. The head of Dane's recruitment company (Willem Dafoe) has announced his retirement — and the time has come for Dane to pounce. Dane's ascension requires all his attention, particularly given that his biggest rival (Alison Brie) is younger and equally determined. Then the unimaginable happens. Dane's 10-year-old son falls seriously ill. After years of racking up wins in the business world, can Dane find a solution for this terrifying development in his personal life?

The Headhunter's Calling marks the directorial debut of veteran producer Mark Williams. The elegant script was written by Bill Dubuque — writer of The Judge, the Opening Night Gala at the 2014 Festival — and it draws upon his own years of experience as a headhunter.

The film pulses with the thrill of big money and cutthroat career maneuvering, but its heart is in a very different realm. The film is ultimately concerned with domestic stability in crisis, and with the complex question of what really matters in life. The Headhunter's Calling beautifully illustrates how nearly losing everything can redefine what it means to have it all.

Biography

Mark Williams was born in Denver and earned an MFA in film studies from the University of Miami.

His many credits as producer include FlawlessShuttleArena, and The Accountant

The Headhunter's Calling is his feature directorial debut.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 25, 2016

Lutz and I talk about his new film Mali Blues, the question of culture, colonialism, the power of music to evoke emotion and change and artful disruption.

 

For more information about TIFF go here.

 

IMDB

Trailer

 

More info about the film here.

 

Synopsis

With her radiant voice and magnetic presence, Fatoumata Diawara, known as Fatou, is a rising star in world music. In her home country of Mali, music traditions are deep and varied, but their longevity was threatened when Islamic fundamentalists banned music in northern desert towns for several months beginning in 2012. (Diawara had a memorable cameo in Abderrahmane Sissako's Academy Award-nominated film Timbuktu as a singer being punished.) Having fled Mali as a young woman to escape an arranged marriage, Diawara's personal relationship to the country is complicated. In Mali Blues, we follow her as she returns in 2015 to give her first home concert at the Festival of the Niger in the southern Mali city of Ségou.

Director Lutz Gregor treats our eyes to dazzling colours and clothing; and our ears to a rich array of African melodies. For a small country, Mali contains a multiplicity of ethnicities and musical strains. The centuries-old ngoni string instrument is said to be a precursor of the banjo. We hear from one of its modern masters, the griot Bassekou Kouyaté, who firmly believes that voices are stronger than weapons. Diawara meets with Tuareg musician Ahmed Ag Kaedi, whose guitar playing evokes Afro pop legend Ali Farke Touré and who was forced to flee his desert home under threats that fundamentalists would cut off his fingers. Another featured musician is the skilled rapper Master Soumy.

For audiences discovering these talents for the first time, Mali Blues is a powerful testament to Mali's music and a tribute to the resilience of its people.

Biography

Lutz Gregor was born in Berlin.

His films include Kontakt TriptychonKönigskinderFrankfurt Dance CutsZanzibar’s First Women’s Orchestra, and Mali Blues.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 25, 2016

Kathy and I talk about social change, catalyzing action, creative activism and choosing love and why fearlessness matters more than we know.

For more information about Kathy head here and her new book head here.

For more information on Creative Visions.

The Journey is The Destination: IMDB

Biography

Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a graduate of Wellesley College, Kathy has worked as a teacher, journalist, author, and film and television producer in England, Africa and the United States.  In 1997, Kathy launched Creative Visions Foundation, a global organization that supports “creative activists” who use their creative talents to change the world around them.  CVF was inspired by the life of Kathy’s son, Dan Eldon – artist, adventurer and activist – killed in 1993 while on assignment for Reuters New Agency in Somalia.

Since 2004, CVF has acted as an incubator, academy and agency for more than 200 projects and productions by artists, filmmakers, playwrights, and leaders of social movements on five continents who use media and the arts as vehicles of social change, impacting over 100 million people.

Kathy is also the Founder of Creative Visions Productions, which has produced award-winning films including “Dying to Tell the Story,” a TBS special about front line correspondents hosted by Amy; “Soldiers of Peace, a Children’s Crusade,” a CNN film profiling the Children’s Peace Movement in Colombia, and “Global Tribe,” a cutting edge PBS series hosted by Amy featuring grass-roots creative activists.  Once “Global Tribe,” an interactive website, inspired the development of Rock Your World, a common core curriculum that engaged middle and high school students in local and global issues.  Together with Julia Roberts, she exec-produced “Extraordinary Moms,” a special for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) about the power of mothers to transform the world that featured then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rosie O’Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.  

Currently she is developing “Best Care Possible,” a PBS special in association with WETA, about Palliative Care in America.  After many years of development, “Journey,” a feature film about Dan, directed by Bronwen Hughes (“Harriet the Spy,” “Forces of Nature,” “Stander”) will go into production in 2015.

Kathy is the co-founder of Sanctri, a Facebook application that enables individuals to not only remember those who have passed on, but also to celebrate their lives through creating enduring memorials and tributes.

Kathy is the author of 18 books, including “Angel Catcher,” “Soul Catcher,” and “Love Catcher” (Chronicle), a series of popular self-guided journals written with her daughter Amy Eldon Turteltaub that help people negotiate loss and grief, find their purpose and introduce more love into their lives.  Kathy edited the acclaimed collection of Dan’s journals, “Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon” (Chronicle), and has also written a variety of popular cookbooks, eating out guides and children’s social history books.  In 2013, Harper One published her memoir, “In the Heart of Life.”

Kathy has been profiled in a number of books, including Arianna Huffington’s “On Becoming Fearless,” “Those Who Dare: Real People, Real Courage” and “Fearless Women.”  Kathy was named one of MSN’s “10 Amazing Women You Have Never Heard Of,” together with Nobel Peace Prize winners Wangari Mathai and Jodi Williams.  Kathy was given a Euro-American Women’s Council Artemis Goddess Award for her work with young creative activists, and named a Civic Ventures Purpose Prize Fellow.  

On Nelson Mandela’s Birthday in 2013, Kweku and Ndaba Mandela nominated Kathy for the George H.W. Bush “Points of Light” award and in February, 2014, Kathy was awarded a grant of $25,000 after being named the winner of the Unite4Humanity’s Inspiration Award in the Arts at a ceremony in the presence of President Bill Clinton.  Thanks to the PVBLIC Foundation, Kathy was awarded the 2015 Media for Social Impact Award at the United Nations.  Los Angeles Confidential Magazine named Kathy one of Los Angeles’ Most Influential Female Power Duos with actress and activist Maria Bello.

Kathy has been featured on countless television and radio programs globally, including several appearances on Oprah and a segment on Oprah’s “Producer’s Favorites.”  A popular speaker, she hosts “Caught in the Act,” a Huffington Post video blog that features dynamic creative activists.

Kathy lives in Malibu with her husband Michael Bedner, next to the Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism, a vibrant hub for individuals who want to help change their bit of the world.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Oct 25, 2016

Oliver and I talk about Sufism, the “geometry of the heart”, religion, contra-tradition, the mystical edge to everything and why there is really nothing at all to understand.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

For more information about the film go here.

Synopsis

Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes' Semaine de la Critique, this mesmerizing, minimalist "Eastern western" confirms Oliver Laxe (You All Are Captains) as a remarkable and distinctive talent.

Inspired in part by the director's itinerant travels and his immersion in Sufism,Mimosas — which was first glimpsed as the film-within-the-film in Ben Rivers' The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes are Not Brothers — is by turns heady and epiphanic as it explores cinema's possibilities of representing the ineffable.

Shot against the backdrop of Morocco's staggering Atlas Mountains, Mimosasseems to take place at some strange intersection of the ancient and modern worlds. A young, wild-eyed preacher (Shakib Ben Omar) is summoned from the city to join a caravan escorting a dying sheik to a medieval city, where he is to be buried. When the sheik dies en route and members of the convoy refuse to traverse the treacherous terrain, the young man assumes command of the reduced expedition and leads them on towards their distant goal. As they navigate the simultaneously sublime and perilous landscape and face tests of will, faith, and endurance, the men discover the wages of fear.

With its supernal vistas and soft rhythms enhanced by Mauro Herce's stunning 16mm cinematography, Mimosas is spellbinding in its beauty, imbuing both the physical and metaphysical quest at its centre with a sense of awe and wonder, but also duty and dignity. Uncannily echoing Biblical sagas and westerns classic and revisionist (along with hints of Kurosawa's Dersu Uzala and even Van Sant'sGerry), Laxe deftly maintains his film's many enigmas, the work's near-parabolic form suggesting life's diverse and mystical paths, the measures of belief, and the potential for encounters with the divine.

Biography

Oliver Laxe was born in Paris and now lives and works in Morocco.

His first feature, You All Are Captains, won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes. 

Mimosas is his second feature film.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 25, 2016

Juho and Jarrko and I talk about love stories, boxing as a metaphor, what’s important in life and how not to be cynical.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

More info about the film here.

Synopsis

Winner of a top prize at this year’s Cannes festival, the irresistibly charming debut feature from Juho Kuosmanen is a funny and forlorn comedy-drama inspired by the real-life showdown between Finnish boxer Olli Mäki and American champion Davey Moore in 1962 Helsinki.

Funny, forlorn, and irresistibly charming, Juho Kuosmanen's assured debut featureThe Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at this year's Cannes, is inspired by the true story of Finland's most successful boxer of the 1960s. Shot in black and white with scrupulous attention to period detail, the film centres on the prelude to Mäki's historic fight in Helsinki with American Davey Moore, the bantamweight champion of the world.

Almost painfully open and ingenuous, Olli (Jarkko Lahti) is a small-town boy who is just as happy baking bread as he is in the ring — and he's even happier when he's with Raija (Oona Airola), the level-headed beauty he finds himself falling for. Elis (Eero Milonoff ), Olli's manager, is the exact opposite of his fighter: a former boxer himself, Elis is a hyperbolic showman who promises the press corps a "spectacle never seen in Finland," a world-historic event worthy of the Americans. As Olli begins wilting under the pressure from the constant press scrums, his desperate attempts to lose weight, and his separation from Raija, Elis faces his own challenges from his wife (who effortlessly sees through his various hustles), his financial backers, and his American partners.

Full of trenchant commentary about the sports industry and, by extension, the entertainment industry — there's an amazing sequence at a post-bout cocktail party where it's quite clear that the two athletes are the least important people there — the film also wittily depicts a small nation's unease and excitement about its "debut" on the world stage. A rueful yet delightfully disarming ode to lost innocence, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is also one of the most indelible romances you will see this year.

Biography

Juho Kuosmanen is a Helsinki based filmmaker. His previous short films have won several prizes in prominent festivals including Cannes’ Cinéfondation and Locarno. He graduated from the ELO Helsinki Film School of Aalto University in 2014.

Along with his studies Kuosmanen has also acted and directed for the stage and worked closely with the avant-garde opera ensemble West Coast Kokkola Opera.

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is Juho Kuosmanen’s first feature length film.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

Oct 22, 2016

Jim and George and I about Tuko Macho, The Nest Collective, an African generational voice, identity and internal voices and why extreme order is surreal.

For more information on Tuko Macho(IMDBtrailer, website) and TIFF.

Synopsis

Tuko Macho (Sheng for "we are watching") candidly explores the frequently violent intersections of class, law and justice in Nairobi. Shot mostly in Sheng -- Kenya's unique pidgin of English, Swahili and local languages -- Tuko Macho's storylines are drawn from real-life stories that the people of Nairobi have become uncomfortably familiar with.

Presented exclusively on Facebook as a web series, Tuko Macho has traversed between fiction and the real world, allowing audiences to vote for or against the execution of characters, and sparking intense conversations about the place of retributive justice in a city with few heroes.

Tuko Macho stars Kenyan stage and screen actor Tim King’oo as Biko/Jonah -- the philosophical and operational heart of the vigilante operation, Nairobi radio queen and reggae performer Njambi Koikai as Mwarabu -- Biko's moral center, and Ibrahim Muchemi as detective Nick Salat -- the hero-cop who believes the city isn't beyond redemption.

Biography

The Nest Collective are Amal Mohamed, George Gachara, Jim Chuchu, Kendi Kamwambia, Mars, Njeri Gitungo, Njoki Ngumi, Noel Kasyoka, Sunny Dolat and Wakiuru Njuguna. They live and work in Nairobi, creating work together using film, theatre, visual arts, music and fashion that explores troubling modern identities, reimagines pasts and remixes futures.

Tuko Macho was created in partnership with Forum Syd beginning in 2015, with principal photography taking place in early 2016, working with additional crew members assembled from among Nairobi's finest production talents in various sets and locations all over the city.

Director Jim Chuchu had his first TIFF presentation in 2013 with the short film,Homecoming -- part of the "African Metropolis" anthology. He returned in 2014 with The Nest Collective’s 2014 feature Stories Of Our Lives, an anthology film based on the lives of queer Kenyans.

The film was banned in Kenya following its TIFF 2014 World Premiere, but went on to win the Jury Prize at the Berlinale Teddy Awards and continues to screen in festivals worldwide.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

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Oct 22, 2016

Andreas Dalsgaard and I talk about his new film The War Show, Syria, self-discovery and tools of expression, silence and journalistic analysis.

Synopsis

A Syrian radio DJ documents the experiences of herself and her friends as their dreams of hope and liberation in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring give way to the grim realities of repression, forced emigration and extremism.

Syrian radio host Obaidah Zytoon and her friends are caught up in the euphoria of the 2011 Arab Spring. Camera in hand, these artists and activists take to the streets to protest Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and record their experiences. They talk about art and relationships as much as politics. But as they film themselves over the next several years, their hopes for a better future are tested by violence, imprisonment and death.

Zytoon and friends have worked with veteran Danish director Andreas Dalsgaard to shape, narrate and edit years of footage into a deeply moving personal narrative. The War Show, subtitled "From Revolution to War in Seven Steps," stands out from other films on Syria in many ways. Rather than dwelling on scenes of bloodshed, it focuses on what the revolution meant to everyday people. Most of Zytoon's friends aren't political firebrands. They share similar aspirations to young people all over the world: to loosen the strictures of religion and repression. In an early protest, Zytoon asks an adolescent girl why she isn't wearing a headscarf. "I'm not demonstrating to be suffocated," she says, "I'm demonstrating to breathe."

But dreams of revolution turn into the reality of civil war. Zytoon takes road trips to the centre of rebellion in Homs, to her hometown Zabadani near Lebanon, and to the north of Syria where they meet struggling rebels and witness the rise of extremism.

Through first-person narration, the film enables us to feel connected to everyone Zytoon meets. After years of Syria making headlines, perhaps some audiences feel fatigue with the topic. But the poignancy of this film will awaken you.

Biography

Born 1980, grew up in northern Denmark. Andreas Dalsgaard has directed documentaries for over a decade. Educated in anthropology at Aarhus University and Paris VII and film directing at The Danish National Film School, his award-winning films have been shown at over 200 festivals worldwide and include Afghan Muscles (2007, American Film Institute Grand Prix), Copenhagen (2009, World Best Graduation Film) Bogota Change (2009), The Human Scale (2012, Al Jazeera Audience Award), Life Is Sacred (2015) and numerous shorts.

Dalsgaard is also co-founder of the production company Elk Film, writes and directs fiction for both film and theater and has given conferences and masterclasses worldwide.

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 22, 2016

 

Don and I talk about the new film The David Dance, what it means to feel different, self-esteem issues, fitting in and his take on a story that has “universal appeal.”

For more information about TIFF go here.

IMDB

Trailer

More info about the film here.

Synopsis

Away from the microphone, David (Don Scimé) is soft spoken, shy and unsure of himself. However, as his on-air alias, "Danger Dave" - host of the local radio show "Gay Talk" in Buffalo, New York - he's poised, witty and every listener's best friend. His sister, Kate (Antoinette LaVecchia), is a thrice-divorced banker with a yen for classical music and cats. Though successful, the siblings suffer from a secret, yet vast sense of inadequacy.  Kate decides to adopt an orphan in Brazil and asks David to be a father figure.

Meanwhile, David grapples with his self-doubts while gawkily romancing his co-worker. Past and present intertwine in this bittersweet winter's tale of a man learning to love and accept himself.

The film is the feature directorial debut of television vet Aprill Winney, who has worked as a script supervisor for over twenty years on shows like “Arrested Development,” “Family Tree,” and “The Fosters,” for which she has also directed multiple episodes.

“The David Dance” is based on the Don Scimé play of the same name.

 

Biography

Don Scimé (David / Writer / Producer) performed in his play version of "The David Dance" as part of The New York International Fringe Festival and in Washington, D.C.

Other New York and regional theatre credits include original works at The Ensemble Studio Theatre; "Love's Labours Lost" for The Peterborough Players in New Hampshire; "Nighthawks" at The Studio Theatre (D.C.); "Stop Kiss" at The Shadowland Theatre; Treplev in "The Sea Gull" and The Actor in "The Lower Depths" (Theatre Row).

Television credits include "The Dave Chapelle Show". B.A.: Theatre, SUNY, Geneseo. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and The Academy Company, he received The Charles Jehlinger Award for Acting and The American Theatre Wing Scholarship.

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

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

Oct 16, 2016

Robert Cenedella and I talk about his new film Art Bastard, how not to play the "art game," the narrow minded establishment, and what isn't art.

For more information on Art Bastard: IMDBTrailerwebsite.

Synopsis

In a madcap art world obsessed with money, fame and hype, how does an artist driven by justice, defiance and his own singular style thrive? Art Bastard is the rousing tale of a rebel who never fit into today's art world, yet has become one of its most provocative, rabble-rousing characters.

At once a portrait of the artist as a young troublemaker, an alternate history of modern art and a quintessential New York story, Art Bastard is as energetic, humorous and unapologetically honest as the uncompromising man at its center: Robert Cenedella. Cenedella was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. But he has essentially served as the antiWarhol. His noisy, raucous, color-splashed paintings of city scenes approach the world with a sincerity that defies the irony, frivolity and controversy-for-the-sake-of-controversy that have become the cultural currency since the '60s.

Yet, as Art Bastard reveals, Cenedella couldn't be any more a product of these times. He was the son of a blacklisted writer, raised on crushed '50s dreams. He's been haunted by dark family secrets that had him questioning his identity. His passionate convictions started so young they got him kicked out of high school. Even when he found solace and expression in art, he was an unabashed outsider -- never a gallery darling, not pursued by museum curators, but an artist who was going to have his say regardless of who was paying attention. Even so, over time, Cenedella's vast canvases, rife with the chaotic beauty of politics, humor, history and humanity, drew admirers from all walks of society -- even from the vaunted art patrons who rejected him.

In a fast-moving series of riveting interviews with family members, art critics, museum directors, New York power brokers, art students and Cenedella himself, director Victor Kanefsky candidly presents Cenedella's personal journey -- and reveals the creation of a modern art career that ignored all the modern art rules.

Biography

Robert Cenedella is a master of pictorial satire and fantasy, justly celebrated for his paintings revealing all aspects of big-city life. As part of New York's art community for over four decades, he paints everything and everybody from cameo likenesses of celebrities to those of the common man. His pictures of subways, symphonies, sports arenas, street scenes and drinking establishments are quintessentially New York.

M. K. Flavell, in George Grosz: A Biography, said of Mr. Cenedella that, "no other artist chronicles the everyday life and the changing rituals and mythologies -- of sex, sport, art, politics, money-making in contemporary America, with his combination of imaginative vitality, precision, and humor."

Massachusetts-born, the artist has lived most of his life in New York. At an early age, he began studying with George Grosz at the Art Students League of New York, and then with Marshall Glasier.

He has had one-man shows throughout the United States and Europe. His first Berlin exhibition, "In Search of DADA," was in 1994, and coincided with the George Grosz Centennial Exhibition at the National Galerie in Berlin. He returned to Germany in October 2006 for a oneman retrospective at the Otto-Nagel Galerie, also in Berlin. His renowned mural of the original Le Cirque restaurant in New York City, "Le Cirque - The 1st Generation," is currently installed at the restaurant's new location on East 58th Street. Other notable murals include "Mi Casa, Su Casa" for Bacardi International, "Tony Randall’s World," commissioned by the late Tony Randall for former League model Heather Randall, and his "Absolut Cenedella" commissions. These, along with Cenedella's other works, can be seen on his website: www.rcenedellagallery.com.

Cenedella feels that drawing is the most demanding and most disciplined endeavor for any student to undertake, but also the most rewarding. He trains each student to acquire a basic skill in drawing the human figure, no matter what the eventual style or mode of expression may be. Cenedella believes the ultimate goal is to be able to "think" with the hand.

He continues the large format concept of drawing passed down from Grosz.

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