News & Events

DER Podcast: Margaret Mead Filmmaker Awardee Lalita Krishna on Mallamall

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Who am I to say to people that you can’t have malls [in India]? I mean if that is what you want, if that’s what expats want, or if somebody else wants, why not? Who am I to say this is wrong or this is not the way progress is, or whatever. Am I being objective? And that’s why I felt conflicted and in many ways this film was a great way for me to deal with some of those questions that I had within myself. Is there a part two? …The fact is there could be a part two. Last year, all the vendors went on protest. They closed down all the shops. Completely. Can you imagine that? — Lalita Krishna

Director and Producer, Lalita Krishna, received an Honorable Mention Award at this year’s Margaret Mead Film Festival for her film, Mallamall. While the closing night party carried on upstairs, Lalita and I snuck down to the echo-y 77th Street lobby of the American Museum of Natural History to talk about the film.

Lalita spoke to me about Mallamall’s inception, and why this was an important project for her. The conversation illuminated her ability to offer a balanced perspective on the clash between Western-style malls and street vendors. Her own background — born and raised in India — shapes her feelings of sentimentality to an old India, yet she is influenced by the desires for progress expressed by friends and family. Listen to my entire interview with Lalita for more on how her identity as both a Westerner and Indian influenced the making of the film.

— Alice Apley

Posted on December 6th, 2013

DER Podcast: Filmmaker Willem Timmers on Framing the Other

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A couple of days after Framing the Other screened at the Margaret Mead Film Festival — alongside Cannibal Tours, one of the inspirations for the film — the film’s director, Willem Timmers, and I took a walk on New York City’s Highline. We stopped to chat about the film, its NYC screening, and current and future plans for showing it in Ethiopia. Willem described the awkward feeling he had had working as a tour guide in Ethiopia, which led to him making the film; how he and his filmmaking partner gained trust in the community and went from “tourists” to “guests”; and how they found their main characters.

Listen to the complete interview for this and more on Willem’s experience making Framing The Other.

— Alice Apley

Posted on November 15th, 2013

Free Film Screening: A Life Without Words - Thursday, December 5th

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“The film, flowing with sublime images, is as poignant as it is captivating. ” — La Dépêche du Midi

“A masterpiece of aesthetic images and a plea for language as a fundamental human right.” — DOK.fest Munich

DER’s Fall Film Series comes to a close on December 5th with the intimate and aesthetically stunning documentary, A Life Without Words.

Hailed as one of the top five Latin American documentaries of 2012 by the Biarritz Latin American Film Festival, A Life Without Words portrays deaf siblings, Dulce María and Francisco, raised in rural Nicaragua who have lived their entire lives without any access to language — spoken, written, or signed — until a deaf sign-language teacher arrives determined to teach them their first words. As we enter their isolated world, we are presented with uncomfortable questions about what life would be like without language. This film, however, avoids hard and fast answers, and is a quiet exploration of the challenging questions it poses.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, Adam Isenberg, and with the founder of the Nicaraguan Sign Language Projects, James Shepard-Kegl.

The film will be shown with subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, and an ASL interpreter will be present during the Q&A.

When: December 5th at 7pm
Where: The Bright Family Screening Room at Emerson’s Paramount Center, 4th floor
559 Washington St, Boston, Massachusetts 02111
Facebook event page

Admission is free and open to the public, so please spread the word to your friends, students, colleagues, and social media outlets! We hope to see you there!

DER’s Fall Film Series is sponsored in part by Emerson College and the United Nations Association of Boston.

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Posted on November 12th, 2013

DER’s ED on What Makes a Winning Pitch

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2013 Points North Pitch. Photo by Ben Krebs, courtesy of CIFF.

At this year’s Points North Forum of the Camden International Film Festival, my fellow panelists and I decided the prize for best pitch would go to the film with the combination of best pitch and best project. Criteria related to the pitch had to do with the clarity of the presentation, how engaging the clips were, and whether the filmmakers were open to the panel’s questions and concerns.

Best project? This is perhaps more subjective, but some of the things that were raised during our discussion had to do with offering an untold story, having amazing access to your subjects, having done your research (e.g. what other films have been made on the topic? How is yours unique?), offering sufficient — or better yet — fabulous technical and artistic quality, and the potential of the filmmaking team to pull it off. The latter includes criteria
such as having a realistic understanding of the scale of the project, an appropriate budget, and the right team in place.

The Points North Pitch offered a mix of new and veteran filmmakers, with a wide range of subject matter and styles. The prize – including a $1000 cash prize from Documentary Educational Resources, 60 hours of sound mix or color correction services from Modulus Studios, worth approximately $10,000, a $3,000 tuition scholarship to the Maine Media Workshops and three consultations with the Tribeca Film Institute – went to Drew Xanthopoulos for The Sensitives.

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Alice Apley of DER and Sean Flynn of Points North Forum present the Points North Pitch award to Drew Xanthoupolous. Photo by Ben Krebs, courtesy of CIFF.

As described on Drew’s website, “The Sensitives is a feature-length documentary about ordinary people swept out of the mainstream by mysterious and toxic reactions to everyday stimuli. Be it household soaps, cellphones or even sunlight, those afflicted have traveled endless trails of loss and suffering, managing to survive, and some even recover, on the outskirts of society through a combination of reinvention and the will to live. Through several character groups scattered throughout the US at various stages of illness and recovery, The Sensitives will illustrate how a complicated and misunderstood phenomenon has radically changed the course of life for those afflicted.”

What made Drew’s project stand out? For me, it was that he took us on a journey into the lives of his subjects. Before we saw a single frame of footage, we were already caught up in the physical and emotional isolation of this group of people, whose poorly understood sensitivities to a plethora of everyday materials has left them struggling to survive and alienated from family and friends. Whatever else Drew does, I know that he is going to stay close to his subjects, their concerns, their world; and rather than go down the familiar path of whether these are psychosomatic illnesses or can be blamed on pollutants, he offers a universal story — one that has resonance with the experiences of people with chronic pain or a whole host of reasons why we can become detached from society — and it is sure to be moving.

All that in seven minutes.

— Alice Apley

Posted on October 18th, 2013

DER fall film series: Fambul Tok - Thursday, 10-24

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This fall, DER is proudly partnering with Emerson College and the United Nations Association of Greater Boston to bring you a multi-cultural film series! We’re looking forward to our second screening of Fambul Tok on October 24th — see you there!

Named one of “The 12 Best Films of SXSW” in 2011 by Paste Magazine, Fambul Tok is told by the victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war. In this film, Sierra Leoneans come together for the first time in tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies to revive their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk). Fambul Tok explores a culture that believes true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals, and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

Libby Hoffman, the film’s producer and president of the organization Catalyst for Peace will be joining us for a Q&A after the screening. Dr. Gillian Goslinga, an anthropologist and filmmaker whose current work focuses on community ritual and healing from historical trauma, will moderate the Q&A.

Each screening will be held at Emerson’s Bright Family Screening Room at 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public, so please spread the word to your friends, students, colleagues, and social media outlets! We hope to see you at this event, and at our our final screening in December!

Upcoming screenings:

life-without-words-screeningA LIFE WITHOUT WORDS
Thursday, 12/5, 7pm
Guest speakers TBA

In rural Nicaragua, deaf young adults Dulce Maria and her brother Francisco have lived their entire lives without any access to language — spoken, written, or signed — until Tomasa, a deaf sign-language teacher, arrives determined to teach them their first words.

Sponsored by:
unagb-logo     emerson-logo

Posted on October 7th, 2013

DER Podcast: Director Naomi Levari talks Ameer Got His Gun

Naomi Levari Q and AWe are happy to announce the first screening in DER’s 2013 Fall Film Series was a great success! On September 19th, Ameer Got His Gun was shown at Emerson College’s Bright Family Screening Room, and was followed by a thought-provoking Q and A with the film’s director, Naomi Levari. Speaking with Naomi was wonderful, and we’re so grateful to her for sharing her inspiration for the film, the experience of filming Ameer and his family, and for raising questions about an individual’s ability to change society.

For those who weren’t able to attend, we’ve created a podcast of the event. Please enjoy the conversation, and we’ll see you at the screening of Fambul Tok on October 24th!

Posted on October 3rd, 2013

New from DER Digital: Kanopy Streaming

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We are very happy to announce DER Digital’s NEW streaming service for academic institutions and libraries! We now offer a subscription based video delivery service for individual titles and subject-based collections, powered by Kanopy. With features such as playlist and clip creation, simultaneous unlimited access, seamless LMS integration, sophisticated analytics and reporting, social engagement tools, device compatibility, closed captioning and much, much more, students and faculty can easily access DER films anywhere, anytime. Ask us about a free trial!

Contact DER to get started with our new streaming service, or to ask any questions. Additionally, we are happy to create a custom streaming package to best suit your institution’s needs — ask us how DER Digital can serve you!

Posted on September 26th, 2013

DER is going to the 2013 National Media Market!

National Media Market
Charleston, SC
November 3-7, 2013

The Market is designed to:

  • Help you select the best educational video content from DER’s extensive collection
  • Introduce you to new products and services from DER that provide digital content and delivery systems, assistive technologies and more
  • Save you money with exclusive discounts, coupons and giveaways
  • Facilitate professional growth with daily professional development sessions focusing on variety of issues relating to the needs of today’s learners
  • Provide opportunities to meet and network with a majority of conference attendees

DER will be there, will you?

Registration
The registration fee for the full Market is $210 and includes 4 luncheons and 2 receptions, professional development sessions, a program guide and free access to the NMM Preview Portal. The Portal consolidates multiple distributors’ content into a single online catalog and provides preview clips searchable by subject, grade level, and distributing company. This service expands the ability of NMM attendees to evaluate content for their collections.

For more information contact:
Ursula Schwarz, Executive Director
The National Media Market
www.nmm.net
P.O. Box 87410
Tucson, Arizona 85754
Phone: (520) 743-7735
Email: director@nmm.net

Posted on September 18th, 2013

DER Fall Film Series at Emerson

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This fall, DER is proudly partnering with Emerson College and the United Nations Association of Greater Boston to bring you a multi-cultural film series! The first screening is fast approaching, so be sure to mark your calendars for AMEER GOT HIS GUN on September 19th!

Nominated for an Israeli Academy Award in 2012, AMEER GOT HIS GUN tells the story of a young Arab-Israeli Muslim who volunteers to join the Israeli Defense Forces with the belief that his induction will lead to equality and a sense of belonging to the state he lives in, the state he wants to love. Drawing fire from Jewish and Palestinian societies, he sets out on a tough voyage to civic and self definition.

Naomi Levari, the film’s director, will be Skyping in from Israel for a Q&A after the screening. The Q&A will be moderated by Dr. Melinda Robbins, an Emerson professor with extensive international media experience. Join the event on Facebook!

Each screening will be held at Emerson’s Bright Family Screening Room at 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public, so please spread the word to your friends, students, colleagues, and social media outlets! We hope to see you at this event, and at our other screenings listed below!

Other screenings in the series include:

fambul-tok-screeningFAMBUL TOK
Thursday, 10/24, 7pm
Guest speakers TBA

Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together
for the first time in tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness
ceremonies. Fambul Tok explores a culture that believes true justice lies
in redemption and healing for individuals, and that forgiveness is the
surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

life-without-words-screeningA LIFE WITHOUT WORDS
Tuesday, 12/3, 7pm
Guest speakers TBA

In rural Nicaragua, deaf young adults Dulce Maria and her brother Francisco
have lived their entire lives without any access to language — spoken,
written, or signed — until Tomasa, a deaf sign-language teacher, arrives
determined to teach them their first words.

Sponsored by:
unagb-logo     emerson-logo

Posted on September 10th, 2013

Jacqueline Veuve to Receive Honorary Award

jacqueline-veuve-with-cameraIn recognition of her many valuable contributions to documentary filmmaking in Switzerland, Jacqueline Veuve has been chosen as the recipient of the 2013 Swiss Film Honorary Award, a lifetime achievement award. She will be honored at a ceremony in Geneva on March 23rd. Read more Read More

UPDATE: It is with sadness DER learned Jacqueline Veuve passed away April 18, 2013. She was a treasured filmmaker whose body of work will preserve Switzerland’s cultural memory for decades to come. She will live on through her films.

Posted on March 15th, 2013

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