FUTURESTATES – ITVS’s new online fictional series — recently launched and had its theatrical premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW). The San Francisco Film Society interviewed ITVS Programming Manager Karim Ahmad about the series, which it described as a “forward thinking initiative.” Check out the Q&A below from their blog SF360.org.
Independent Television Services (ITVS) is trying to change that perception by creating a series of 11 fictional mini-features on American society in the not-too-distant future. Launched March 8 as an immersive destination website to be available for free via streaming video with subsequent distribution on pbs.org, FUTURESTATES feautres directors such as Greg Pak (Robot Stories) and Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo) thinking into the future while staying tethered to current events. The series dropped down on the South by Southwest and San Francisco International Asian American film festival this past month, and after viewing two of the mini-features at an event held at the Jellyfish Gallery in SOMA sponsored by Next American City magazine and ITVS, I sat down with FUTURESTATES programming manager Karim Ahmad to talk about the forward-thinking initiative.
SF360: You mentioned something at the event launching the series about only having the filmmakers project a little bit into the future, not going 100 years from now but more so 10, 15 into the future.
Karim Ahmad: Well, there’s definitely some variance from film to film. One film Plastic Bag which was directed by Ramin Bahrani . . . you follow a plastic bag as it goes home with its ‘maker,’ the woman who takes it home from the store. It lives with this woman for a period of months until it gets thrown away eventually. And then it goes to a landfill where it’s buried for years and years, an unforeseeable amount of time. And then when it finally becomes free . . . .