Interview with Tomás Astudillo

Tomás Astudillo astutely captures the complex life of a politician in Ecuador in his film Moments of Campaign. To learn more of his complexities, read below about the Quito based filmmaker.

What is your connection to the South?

I live in the South. For me, it means more than a physical territory; it goes beyond the ideas of nation and borders. The South is fragility, it is my home and my starting point from where I look at the world. The South means to build and to learn. It is the opposite of a static and acquired world. The South represents the challenge that invites me to film in order to leave a mark of its constant movement.

Where did you get your inspiration for this work?

The first motivation for this documentary was facing the reality of a country divided into two opposing political sides. I wanted to offer a look from “another place” using cinematographic tools.

For this film I was inspired, initially, in several documentaries that follow political campaigns like Robert Drew’s “Primary”; Raymond Depardon’s “1974 Une Partie de Campagne”; or Joao Moreira Salles’s “Entre Atos”. Then I started watching movies that followed rock stars after tours like Pennebaker’s “Do not Look Back” or Robert Frank’s “Cocksucker Blues”. All these films reveal the unknown side of public characters.

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Interview with Chris Bickel

Christopher Bickel is the director behind Teenage Caligula, the Trailer as well as the curator of the Nickelodeon Theater’s Lowbrow Cinema Explosion. The campy, imaginary cult classic may not exist, but the trailer will do more than enough to satisfy your itch for a grindhouse style film. Read more about Christopher Bickel and his work below.

What is your connection to the South?

I’ve lived in the South my entire life. Columbia, specifically, since 1991.

Where did you get your inspiration for this work?

TEENAGE CALIGULA TRAILER was done solely as an exercise to gear up for the feature I’m in the process of editing now, THE THETA GIRL. The “fake trailer” for “our second film” was made for $150 and done to test our gear as well as our actors and crew that we’d be using on THE THETA GIRL. It was inspired by ’70s exploitation films, particularly the films of Jack Hill. It’s the first thing I’ve ever directed and edited, and all of my filmmaker friends stressed to me the importance of doing a short before doing a feature — hence TEENAGE CALIGULA.

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Interview with Giovanni Paolo Autran

Emmy Award wining filmmaker Giovanni Paolo Autran details the lives of people local to central Havana in his documentary short Paloma. Read below for more information on the Brooklyn based filmmaker.

What is your connection to the South?

Other than being born in Miami, Florida, I have no connection to the South.

Where did you get your inspiration for this work?

Filmmaking for me is both passion and livelihood. After spending most of my time on work projects, I sometimes lose sight of the passion aspect. The inspiration for this film was me being determined to reactivate my passion while paying my respects to a place I’d always yearned to visit, Havana. Inspired by the early work of Les Blank, I chose a specific way to capture my awe of the city, the people of Havana, ahead of very quick and eminent changes on the horizon. The film is for them.

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Interview with Rodrigo Dorfman

Rodrigo Dorfman brings a poignant, silent, experimental short in the form of In My South. The film shows that being “Southern” is not a monolith, and what the South means to Latinx people. Read more on the filmmaker from Durham, North Carolina below.

What is your connection to the South?

I’ve been living in the US South since the mid eighties – but the South, well the South goes all the way to Patagonia and since I’m from Chile, whenever anyone asked me where I’m from, I would say: South, way down South. Pause. And then I would say: Chile. Nowadays I say I’m from Durham, NC. This is my home.

Where do you get your inspiration for this work?

I spent two years traveling up and down the Nuevo South filming a series of short documentaries for the National traveling museum exhibit Nuevolution! Latinos and the the New South produced by the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. This piece has no dialogue and is meant to be impressionistic.

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