BOLIVIAN CASE is a character driven film that begins when three Norwegian
teenagers are arrested in Bolivia carrying 22kg of cocaine in their luggage. A
cocaine network is revealed in Norway and another five teenagers are arrested
in connection to the smuggling attempt. As soon as
word gets out Norwegian journalists descend upon Bolivia, creating the biggest
media storm in Norwayʼs history, influencing the outcome of the case, and
changing the lives of those involved forever.
From the beginning, two of the girls, StinaBrendemo and Christina
Øygarden, are portrayed in the papers as naive Europeans, while Madelaine
Rodriguez, also Norwegian but whose father originates from Uruguay, is branded
the ʻLatintraffickerʼ. Three years later, two of the girls have jumped bail and
illegally escaped back to Norway, Christina was helped by the Norwegian
government, issuing her a passport in a different name, while a Norwegian menʼs
magazine finances a Hollywood style escape for Stina in exchange for the exclusive
rights to her story.
By the end of the film, Stina has become a celebrity, while
Christina is acquitted in an Oslo court; now the two girls walk free.
Meanwhile, Madelaine is stuck behind bars in Bolivia serving an eleven-year
sentence. The only hard fact is that each girl was caught carrying 7kg of
cocaine in her bag.
Filmed over two years, the project consists of a feature
documentary, a TV hour, and an immersive online component. The online platform
consists of a "webdoc" built around a Facebook page used for its timeline and
network possibilities, in conjunction with a game/application. This will allow
the characters to engage with the audience in a personal way to tell their own
story without the media spin.
Madelaine Rodriguez is branded the "Latin trafficker."
Support: Fonds Sud
Cinema (Cannes), Tribeca Latin American Media & Arts, Jan Vrijman Fund (IDFA),
Screen Australia’s Producer’s Equity, the Norwegian Film Institute, Strasbourg
Film Fund, Screen NSW & Screen Australia
Workshops & Forums: Good Pitch New York (2013), Film Independent (2012),
Sheffield Meetmarket, Berlinale Talent Campus, IDFA Forum (2010)
begins inside notorious “San Sebastian,” a jail far from the western
stereotype. The story follows three interlinked lives: Mario, a cocaine worker
fighting for freedom; Hernan, a drug mule who wants to be a drug-boss; and his
younger sister Daisy, who struggles to escape the lure to traffic cocaine. In a
country where “the trade” isn’t ruled by violence and the anti-drug czar is
caught trafficking cocaine, the three characters dispel the gun-totting ‘Narco’
myth, revealing the complex truth behind the War on Drugs.
In Bolivia —the
second largest producer of cocaine in the world—a third of Bolivia’s workforce
is employed in the cocaine industry, yet only the little fishfind themselves in
prison, unable to escape a corrupt justice system. Shot over a three year
PRISON will humanize those who produce cocaine and reveal that efforts to
eradicate the coca-leaf and incarcerate cocaine workers doesn’t create tenable
solutions, while cocaine consumption in the West continues to grow.
OR DEATH is a feature-length documentary directed by Tim K. Smith (KEVORKIAN). The film follows New Jersey’s beloved WFMU, the world’s
longest-running freeform radio station, and one man’s attempt to keep it
independent and alive in the face of a recession, the persistent threat of
commercial media, and the challenges that come with keeping a rebellious group
of outsiders together.
“Hands down, WFMU,
is the greatest radio station on the planet.” – Jim Jarmusch
nothing better late at night in this town than climbing into the car and
turning on and tuning into WFMU cracklin' across the river with whatever weird
shit they're playin' tonight." – Lee Ranaldo, Sonic Youth
Every summer forty
women from around the world gather on the shore of Jamaica's Montego Bay to
compete for the title of International Dancehall Queen. Part beauty pageant,
part dance battle, the contest showcases the most irreverent choreography,
music, and fashion pervading the ever-growing, underground subculture known as
"dancehall." Born from reggae, dancehall has made an impact on
pop icons such as Rihanna, Snoop Lion and Beyoncé, as well as cultish favorites
like Sean Paul and Major Lazer. While it is consistently criticized for its
hyper-sexuality and violent nature, dancehall has become a worldwide
phenomenon, appealing to women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities for its
embrace of boundless self-expression and female empowerment.
Our film tells the story of 7 women, from cities
as exotic as the dancers themselves—Brooklyn, Minneapolis, Stockholm, Valencia
Venezuela, Warsaw, Tokyo, and Kingston—as they battle for the crown. In
following these women over six months of intense preparation, we will venture
behind-the-scenes to capture their radical transformations from students,
mothers, and entrepreneurs, into nightlife superheroes. The film will then
culminate on a hot summer night when—in front of 20,000 screaming fans—one
fierce woman will finally be hailed as queen.
"Afro" earned 2nd place at the International Dancehall Competition '09.
DANCING IN JAFFA
Role: Production Manager
Righteous Persons Foundation, Fohs Family Foundation, Gesher Fund, Foundation
for Jewish Culture, Shine Global, Kickstarter
Workshops & Forums: Hamptons International Film Festival’s “Pitch-In”
(2012), Film Independent (2012), Good
Pitch New York (2012), IFP’s “Project Forum” (2011)
– Tribeca Film Festival Premiere, 2013
Renowned ballroom dancer,
Pierre Dulaine, takes his belief that dance can overcome political and cultural
differences and applies it to 11 year old Jewish and Palestinian Israelis. What
occurs is magical and transformative.
Pierre is fulfilling a
life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city
of birth, Jaffa. For generations, Jaffa
has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly
apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli
children to dance together and compete together. The film explores the complex
stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of
identity, segregation and racial prejudice, as they dance with their enemy. We
watch Pierre transform their lives over the course of four months, confirming
his belief that dance can bridge hatred and provide the first steps towards
World renowned dancer Pierre Dulaine works to transform lives through art.
Role: Production Manager
for Jewish Culture, YES, Makor Foundation, Kickstarter
– Chicago International Film Festival – Winner, Silver Hugo
Auschwitz prisoners, both Jewish or non-Jewish, were
tattooed with serial numbers, first on their chests and then their left arms.
An estimated 400,000 numbers were tattooed in Auschwitz and its sub-camps; only
some several thousand survivors are still alive today. NUMBERED is an
explosive, highly visual, and emotionally cinematic journey, guided by
testimonies and portraits of these survivors. The film documents the dark time
and setting during which these tattoos were assigned as well as the meaning
they took on in the years following the war. In fact, the film’s protagonist is
the number itself, as it evolves and becomes both a personal and collective
symbol from 1940 to today. These scars, paradoxically unanimous and anonymous,
reveal themselves to be diverse, enlightening, and full of life.
Survivors' tattoos leave an indelible legacy.
Role: Head of Digital Media
Support: Private Investors
Launched January 2013
SKYWORK, a cross-continental education
technology startup, is the best way for instructors to create, distribute, and
evaluate their writing assignments — all online.
Animated product video produced by: Vann Alexandra Daly & Paste TV.