Ondi heads a panel discussion from the Ashland Film Festival, where some of the most celebrated filmmakers of the event discuss their films, trends for docs, and elaborate their visions for their work.
The makers of “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists,” “Tchoupitoulas,” “Smoke Songs,” “Holy Rollers,” and “Aquadettes,” all present their work and explain their shoots and stories. From the political to the absurd–sometimes in the same movie–all the bases are covered.
Briar March is a documentary filmmaker and Fulbright scholar. Fascinated by polarizing and colorful subject matter, and angered by environmental and human rights issues her films are diverse in style, but consistently grounded in a passionate desire to communicate. She directed the documentary features “There Once was an Island,” “Allie Eagle and Me,” plus a number of music videos, magazine shows, and commercials. Briar has worked closely with filmmaker Annie Goldson, has a production company, On the Level Productions, with Lyn Collie and is currently completing an MFA at Stanford University in California.
Bryan Storkel was born and raised in Seattle, WA. After finishing college in Tulsa, OK he started his own local comedy show, Beef Baloney, which aired on FOX. After moving to Los Angeles, Bryan continued his comedy career and went to work for Tom Green, directing and producing his nightly talk show, “Tom Green Live.” Bryan has also worked on numerous projects as an editor and cinematographer. His editing credits include television shows for The Hollywood Reporter, National Lampoon and the Starz Channel, as well as several 30-minute national infomercials. The film “Strictly Background” was his first feature-length documentary about ten extras trying to make it in Hollywood. He shot and edited the film. His current film is the feature-length documentary “Holy Rollers,” which centers around a team of Christian gamblers taking Vegas for millions.
The Aquadettesare a group of elderly synchronized swimmers from Leisure World, a retirement community nestled in Orange County, California, who regularly practice routines and new water stunts to maintain their health and strength. A former nurse, Margo Bauer (75) found herself fighting off waves of nausea brought on by multiple sclerosis. Rather than resign herself to the symptoms of MS, she vowed to take control of her life. For the past year, she’s been using medical marijuana to ease her pain and to keep on swimming. Set to an amazing burlesque soundtrack, “Aquadettes” shows how ‘California girls’ hold on the their vibrancy. It is an intimate and beautiful portrait about maintaining quality of life.
“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists” is a documentary that takes us inside the world of Anonymous, the radical “hacktivist” collective that has redefined civil disobedience for the digital age. The film explores the historical roots of early hacktivist groups like Cult of the Dead Cow and Electronic Disturbance Theater and then follows Anonymous from 4chan to a full-blown movement with a global reach, one of the most transformative of our time.
“Tchoupitoulas” (pronounced “chop-ih-TOOL-us”) follows three young brothers from the West Bank of New Orleans as they cross the river on the ferry and spend one night in the shining, peculiar pleasure island that is the French Quarter. Music propels them down the streets as we witness the bewildering sights through their eyes, spending time with everyone from burlesque dancers to oyster shuckers to street musicians. Our hero, 11 year-old William, a budding novice at the flute, is particularly drawn to the sounds that emanate from the bars, the clubs, and the sidewalks — all places we roam in “Tchoupitoulas.” In short, it’s a movie about the feel and sound of New Orleans at night — all night — through the eyes and ears of a kid.
00:01 BYOD welcome
00:40 Introducing Ondi and the panel.
03:45 Briar March discusses Smoke Songs.
04:51 Smoke Songs, clip.
06:03 How Briar got involved in filming the Navajo.
08:18 Brian Knappenberger introduces “We Are Legion.”
09:35 Getting access to “Anonymous.”
12:46 “We Are Legion,” clip.
15:35 Bryan Storkel of “Holy Rollers.”
16:33 “Holy Rollers,” clip.
17:50 How Bryan got involved with Christian card counters.
19:23 Getting funding from career gamblers.
20:33 Bill and Turner Ross of “Tchoupitoulas,” explain their inspiration.
24:23 “Tchoupitoulas,” clip.
29:15 Introducing Drea Cooper of “Aquadettes.”
29:42 Getting the story of an elderly woman who is a synchronized swimmer and medical marijuana user.
33:48 “Aquadettes,” clip. (Margo smoking.)
34:22 The film becomes more than a medical marijuana story.
35:36 “Aquadettes,” clip.
36:07 Ondi asks questions to the panel.
36:10 “How long did you think you’d make your film, vs. how long you actually shot?”
38:00 The split in wikileaks and filming sources.
40:24 Briar’s shooting restrictions for “Smoke Songs.”
42:56 “What is the reservation doing with the film?”
43:37 Shooting “Holy Rolers,” and editing hundreds of hours.
46:50 The Ross brothers process of showing up to town and shooting for a year.
48:45 Drea and the continuing shoot of “Aquadettes.”
50:30 The artificial tension between hollywood and the internet.
52:35 Using the internet to create webisodes, live public, and promoting online.