ITVS’s International Call deadline falls on Friday, December 9. For more than a month, BTB has profiled previous recipients of the funding to shed light on the process. Watch their videos, conducted via Skpye from Chile to Madrid, after the jump.
By Melody Morgan
FOCUS ON is a regular interview series profiling independent filmmakers and their projects. Up this week is Chris Shellen, producer of Marwencol, which airs Tuesday, April 26 on Independent Lens.
When/How did you decide that you wanted to be a filmmaker?
I decided senior year of high school to go to film school. I was one of those kids who’d make personal film projects with friends of mine and then I found out you could actually go to school for that. That was back in the days of editing in-camera; I used a VHS camera.
What do you wish they had taught you at film school that you had to learn on your own after graduation?
My transition was weirdly not hard because something bad happened to me in film school. I was fully funded with scholarships and financial aid, and at the end of my junior year I lost a lot of that. I had to get a job. A friend of mine worked in the ICM mailroom and I got a job as an assistant. I worked there by day and then took classes at night and on the weekends.
ITVS will host a live chat with filmmakers from the FUTURESTATES series on Wednesday, March 16 at 11AM PT / 2PM ET. The discussion will be moderated by Michella Rivera-Gravage, Director of Digital & Interactive Media for The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).
Panelists will include filmmakers Nisha Ganatra (Beholder), Mia Trachinger (Exposure), and J.P. Chan (Digital Antiquities). Keep up with FUTURESTATES online and join us on BTB for the live discussion.
FUTURESTATES will screen tonight at the 29th annual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. SFIAFF (running through March 20) is the largest showcase for new Asian and Asian American films in North America, annually presenting approximately 120 works in San Francisco, Berkeley, and San Jose.
With fewer than five days to go before the International Call deadline, (December 10, 2010!), BTB is highlighting past recipients. This week, we turn to Koen Suidgeest and his film Karla’s Arrival, which explores the subculture of second-generation street kids in Managua, Nicaragua. The documentary tells the story through the experience of a 19-year-old mother raising her child on the same streets she grew up on. For those interested in applying for International call, take a look at the application and join the Facebook group to keep up with developments.
How did you get involved with this film?
Koen Suidgeest: I was in Guatemala for the first time in 2003 to do research for another project that also involved street children (but never got made). I was taken around by an NGO who was helping me and I realized when I was meeting groups of children — living in empty plots of land and abandoned buildings — that there were a lot of pregnant girls.