film maker & journalist
san francisco, ca
social issue media creator.
this is an outlet to share my current projects and comment on films.
lindsey grham, south carolina senator
The Political Notebook
As you may know, today marks the tenth anniversary of the Afghan war’s beginning, the longest war in US history. Here is a collection of what are, in my opinion, some of the best pieces of photojournalism from the past ten years of fighting. These are by some of the most talented conflict photographers out there.
1. Tim Hetherington. Soldiers near the village of Donga use a white phosphorus incendiary bomb against insurgents.
2. Robert Nickelsberg. January 2004. US Marine Corporal Gravenese patrols Asadabad in Kunar province. Ten kilometers from the Pakistan border.
3. David Guttenfelder. November 2009. Pech Valley, Kunar Province. An Afghan soldier trains on a firing range.
4. Damon Winter. 1st Battalion, 87h Infantry, 10th Mountain Division. Done with an iPhone.
5. Kevin Frayer. May 2011. A USMC Cobra helicopter fires diversionary flares near FOB Edi in Helmand.
6. Anja Niedringhaus. June 2011. Lance Cpl. Blas Trevino of the US Marines arrives at Edi’s field hospital on a medevac chopper.
7. Tyler Hicks. Soldiers are dropped off by helicopters in Charbaran Valley.
8. Lynsey Addario. Medevacs for the 82nd Airborne pick up wounded soldiers in Helmand.
9. Chris Hondros. Badghis Province. Sgt. John Barton heads up to begin morning watch.
This is of course, far from comprehensive.
(via thepoliticalnotebook)The Political Notebook
Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.Dalai Lama (via thealwaysgentleman)
(via catchandspy)aesthetic senses
Caballo Viejo - ARKANOS
This music video has a lot of personal meaning to me and is a proud project of mine. The group featured Arkanos, is composed of street children living in Lima Peru and they are all wonderful musicians and amazing individuals. The five member band collaborates together in their shared desire to sustain themselves and to improve their lives. Together they use music as a way to earn money and to stay off the harsh and dangerous streets of Peru. They play mostly traditional Peruvian music and they can all play each instrument used in their songs.
This project was my first attempt at a music video and I was challenged with aligning different audio recordings and trying to make the audio and visual tracks sync naturally. Another struggle arose because the musicians have a non traditional way of playing and often improvise with each other, thus every recording of a song is different.The filming and editing was a collaborative effort by myself, and two good friends Robin and Kate, who were also with me in Peru. This partnership I hope will lead to further projects together as REK Pro(ductions). A personal goal for the three of us was to create a portfolio for the musicians to promote themselves.
Our connection with these musicians was organized by the University of San Francisco’s University Ministry immersion trips. As a group of nine girls we fell in love with the country and the unfortunate street children whose faces and stories we will never forget. In the process of making this video we encountered several technical issues but having the desire to help these musicians was extremely motivating and it reminded me how I need my career in video and film production to contribute to society and the welfare of others.
The World According to San Francisco
I know this has nothing to do with films or my own media content BUT I find it so interesting.
however long the night, The Dawn Will Break
The trailer for this film, The Dawn Will Break, was featured at the Human Rights Film Festival at USF this year. We were so honored to have the director/producer David Alexander and co-producer Micklina Peter Kenyi present and give us insight on their film. The film tells the never-been-told story of the Lost Girls of Sudan and of an extraordinary nun who saved them from genocide. Micklina Peter Kenyi, is also a survivor of the Sudan genocide and one of the few chosen girls who found refuge in Sister Luise Radlmeier’s care. Sister Luise has dedicated her life to educating Sudanese women and helping them resettle in the US.
Eighteen girls were sent to Boulder Colorado to pursue their education while escaping the deadly civil war happening in their villages in Sudan. Together they make up the largest community of Southern Sudanese women outside of Africa and Micklina has also started her own foundation, The Community of Sudanese and American Women. Her non-profit provides educational support, mentoring, and life skills to other young Sudanese women in the US and abroad. Micklina’s presence is captivating and the story of her and her fellow Sudanese sisters is inspiring. The film conquers human rights themes such as; religious persecution, gender inequality, and slavery. It reminds us not to take for granted the feeling of physical and mental security. The current state of Sudan is still sensitive but the empowerment of these women gives hope that Africa’s newest independent country will recover form their turmoil.
When the film is finished and released I will do an update post but in the mean time follow the project here; http://www.thedawnwillbreak.com/index.php
Human Rights Film Festival Promo
The University of San Francisco is hosting its 9th annual Human Rights Film Festival. The festival is coordinated by an amazing Latin Americana and Media studies professor Susana Kaiser. The festival is this weekend- March 31, April 1, and April 2 and all the films are shown for free. I have been wanting to submit a film to this festival my whole undergrad career and this year I finally got to do it. When I went abroad last spring to Rome Italy I knew I wanted to use my schools film program to make a film about immigrants in Italy. The combination of my International Film-making class and my Human Rights in Rome class created the perfect structure to make this documentary.
My 15min short documentary, Nice Country, showcases the beautiful sites of Rome, but it also shows that among the ancient Roman ruins also lies many struggles that plague immigrants and refugees in Italy. Current Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has an extreme anti-immigration policy and this film displays the stigma immigrants and refugees feel from Italian citizens and the hardships they face in order to survive. Star, an Afghan refugee was forced to flee Afghanistan because of death threats he received from the Taliban. He is forced to sleep outside in a train station while he works effortlessly to obtain a visa. Nella, a Romanian immigrant, chooses to leave her country in search of better educational opportunities in Italy. Her initial plan was to finish school and move back to Romania, but the expensive Italian lifestyle forced her to quit school and work full time to support herself. The strength in both characters is inspiring and it compels viewers to reflect on the basic luxury of citizenship and of the option to live somewhere where you feel at home with your loved ones.
Attached is a promo video I made for the festival that showcases mine and 2 other student films, Enjoy!
To get more information about the festival and to see what films are playing go to our website: http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/hrff/
See Post #Youth Producing Change, #University of San Francisco #Human Rights Film Festival #Nice Country #The Dawn Will Break #In land of the Free #La Mission #Offside #Budrus #Enemies of the People #Waste Land #Testify #COINTEMPRO 101 #Ana Mish Fahim
wow.wow. WOW. I really can not wrap my head around this one. So periodically throughout the movie I choked up and shed a couple tears but once I digested the content and left the theater I had a hard time keeping it together. I began uncontrollable crying and was so worked up about what I had just witnessed. To say it simple the movie is so real. It covers a wide range of topics; immigration rights, broken families, psychological disorders, homosexuality, infidelity, racism, cancer, and just straight up human tragedy.
The main character, played by Javier Bardem, is a Jesus like figure as he takes on the responsibility and the well-being of everyone around him. Including his two adorable children, his bi-polar recovering alcoholic ex-wife, and the immigrants who have inhabited Barcelona whom he employs. Bardem helps Chinese immigrants find work in factories and construction sites and he helps African immigrants with their trade of selling fake purses. He not only fights for them so he can get paid but in order for his colleagues to receive fair wages and better work conditions.
The cinematography aspect of this film is also phenomenal. Filled with foreshadowing, modest hints, and a dynamic plot, the audience of this film is never bored visually or intellectually. The complexity of the characters and the issues in their lives is enough to make a viewer confused, but the issues are intertwined and embedded within the characters therefor the audience can effortlessly follow the plot. I am shocked this film did not receive one golden globe or academy award for best foreign film and Bardem for best actor. Bardem carries the film and completely embraces the father figure role he plays to all the primary characters. I declare this movie as my current favorite because of how rich it is visually, emotionally, and intellectually. This film will make you step back and recognize the corruption and pain that surrounds us and it may even inspire you to think differently about a lot of social issues. If you haven’t seen it, DO IT, I promise it will be worth your while, or money back guaranteed!
Which Way Home
sweet & tender hooligan
Also a great documentary is “Which Way Home” directed by Rebecca Cammisa. I watched this last night and I was instantly glued. This documentary is an eye opening account into children — ages 9 to 13 — migrating from their respective countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico to the United States. These kids have been deprived of any opportunity for growth within their own countries, often citing that their parent(s) or guardian does not care for them or love them. They dream of becoming doctors, working, and simply enjoying happiness so they can someday bring their whole family out of poverty and despair. The positive outlook of these kids for opportunity in the United States is incredible and definitely gives a reality check on your own life. We have no idea how good we have it.
This documentary is on instant play on Netflix.