News

Born This Way Wins Outfest Grand Jury award for Best Documentary

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“For its elegant camera work, sound design, and narrative structure, its quietly beautiful depiction of the textures of its subjects’ daily lives, and its achievement in articulating contradictions while maintaining a sense of hope, the 2013 Outfest Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature Film goes to Born This Way.” –Outfest Documentary Jury

How I Really Spent 2012

I’ve been out of touch for a while because I haven’t been able to talk about the film I’ve been making. Deb Tullmann and I have been shooting a feature-length documentary in Cameroon with an underground gay and lesbian center. Homosexuality is punishable there by up to 5 years in prison. To protect everybody’s safety (including ours), we couldn’t reveal what we were really doing until we finished shooting and knew that we did not have to return to Cameroon. We started in June of 2011, and three shooting trips and months of fundraising and editing later, we are nearly finished with the rough cut. We’re working on a website where we will have lots more information. More on that soon. . .

Nine Ads in Three Weeks

I just finished a production marathon, directing a series of four live-action election ads for Courage Campaign and a series of five animated/archival pieces for People for the American Way–in just under three weeks. My favorite is “California Hangover.”

Health Care and Solar Energy in Burundi

 

I just finished a short piece on solar energy and health care in East Africa. I shot it at a health center in a small village in Burundi, the tiny country directly south of Rwanda. It was an amazing trip. The clinic is situated far from the electrical grid, but an American non-profit called the Solar Electric Light Fund installed a solar energy system that completely powers the clinic. The piece gives a little glimpse into that process, and into life in Burundi (which is consistently ranked among the 5 poorest countries in the world by everyone who does that kind of ranking).

To watch it, click here.

Street Theater

I had a fun time shooting a reenactment of part of the California Prop 8 trial with Marisa Tomei and Josh Lucas. . . in a public park. Bruce Cohen directed. It’s part of a project called TESTIMONY: EQUALITY ON TRIAL that was created by the Courage Campaign to help the public better understand the content of the Prop 8 trial.

Check out the EQUALITY ON TRIAL website here.

Studying with Werner Herzog

 

 

Mr. Herzog

I attended Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School in Los Angeles last week. He accepted 45 students from around the world, and we spent three full days in intense lecture and discussion with the master himself. It was absolutely amazing. We discussed topics ranging from working with actors and writing scripts to picking locks and stealing cameras. He showed part of my short documentary “First and Loveliss” in class, and said that he found it insistently honest and penetrating as a character study.