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Pull Focus: Pamela Yates

Pamela Yates is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures (with Peter Kinoy), a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. Her latest project, “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator”, is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s civil war, the mass genocide of it’s people, and how a film made in the 1980’s is being used as evidence to indict the former Army General.

Yates visited the Center to talk about “Granito”; the meaning of the film, its influence on current human rights affairs in Guatemala and the priceless relationships made during filming. She also provided some valuable insight into making documentary films for social impact. Watch her interview unfold below and check out the film’s website for more information. 

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Pull Focus: Katherine Fairfax Wright & Malika Zouhali-Worrall

Dynamic Writer/Director duo Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall are Chaz & Roger Ebert Directing Fellows, and alumnae of the Film Independent Documentary Lab and the Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. In 2012, Filmmaker Magazine named Katherine and Malika two of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film. Their collaborative film “Call Me Kuchu” intimately steps into the lives of gay Ugandans and the struggles they face on a daily basis trying to overturn the court’s ruling of the anti-homosexuality bill. 

Fairfax Wright and Zouhali-Worrall sat down with the Center’s graduate fellows to discuss the film’s influence on LGBT issues in Uganda, character discrimination, and outreach campaign both in Uganda and abroad. The women also elaborated on the film’s story structure and master plan providing sound words of advice for beginning filmmakers. Watch their interview unfold and check out the film’s website for more information. 

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Pull Focus: Karim El Hakim

Karim El Hakim is a renowned director and director of photography who has contributed to numerous award-winning political documentaries about the Middle East. His latest film "1/2 Revolution" is a personal, intimate story from the Arab Spring: a group of friends living in downtown Cairo struggle to stay together during the first chaotic days of the Egyptian Revolution. 

El Hakim recounts his experience on the front lines of the Revolution; providing insight into Egypt's current state of affairs as well as its relationship with Western Powers and the reaction the film has acquired in these regions. He also advises documentary filmmakers about proper techniques and storytelling structure. Watch his interview unfold and check out the film's website for more information. 

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Pull Focus: Michael Collins

Director Michael Collins is the founder of Thoughtful Robot, a production company based in New York City committed to crafting compelling social justice films that galvanize change. Collins’ first documentary feature film "Give Up Tomorrow" is about a boy wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the Philippines. 

Collins answered questions regarding the film's structural elements, character arcs, creative content, and social impact. His responses are both astute and practical for aspiring filmmakers to follow. Watch the interview unfold and check out the film’s website for more information. 

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Pull Focus: Gerry Wurzburg

Gerardine WurzburgGerardine Wurzburg is an Academy Award®-winning documentary producer and director whose work addresses disabilities, contemporary history, social justice, education and health.

Her films have had a major impact for social change. Major awards include an Academy Award® for the documentary Educating Peter, an Academy Award® nomination for Autism is a World, and the Cable ACE for Documentary Directing, among others. She is a recipient of three National Endowment for Arts grants, the Governor of Tokyo Prize and the Japan Prize. Her work is in the Broadcast Museum, the Lincoln Center Theater Library and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Library. (source: Wretches & Jabberers)

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