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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #2: Ed Perkins on the Four Year Payoff for Documentary 'Garnet's Gold'

Photo of Eric Eidelstein By Eric Eidelstein | Indiewire April 7, 2014 at 10:10AM

After working on a bunch of behind-the-scene documentaries for larger, acclaimed docs such as "Project Nim" and "Searching for Sugarman," British director Ed Perkins will debut his own project "Garnert's Gold" at this years Tribeca Film Festival. "Garnet's Gold" follows Garnet Frost, a man who just barely evaded death while hiking in Scotland. Perkins told Indiewire about Garnet, "But on top of all this, his sheer patience with me over 4 long years – and his never ending enthusiasm whenever I turned up at his front door - is something for which I can never thank him enough.
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After working on a bunch of behind-the-scene documentaries for larger, acclaimed docs such as "Project Nim" and "Searching for Sugar Man," British director Ed Perkins will debut his own project "Garnert's Gold" at this years Tribeca Film Festival. "Garnet's Gold" follows Garnet Frost, a man who just barely evaded death while hiking in Scotland. Perkins told Indiewire about Garnet, "But on top of all this, his sheer patience with me over 4 long years – and his never ending enthusiasm whenever I turned up at his front door - is something for which I can never thank him enough.

Tell us about yourself? I am a British filmmaker based in London. After completing my undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, I started my career developing shows for National Geographic Television in New York. In 2010, I then moved back to the UK and directed a variety of projects for The New Yorker, The Guardian, Stateless Media and National Geographic, as well as directing a series of 'behind-the-scenes' documentaries for "Project Nim," "The Eagle," the BAFTA winning "The Imposter" and the Academy Award winning "Searching for Sugarman." 

"Garnet's Gold" is my debut feature documentary. 


Biggest challenge in completing this project? It has taken the better part of 4 years to bring "Garnet's Gold" to the screen and for much of that time I had no funding, no assurance that the film would ever see the light of day, and, to be honest, no idea what the film was actually about. So perhaps the biggest obstacle was simply finding the determination and patience to keep filming year after year. It can take a somewhat irrational confidence to keep going under such circumstances.


I am immensely indebted to Garnet for many things – his startling honesty and openness make the film what it is and I have enormous respect for him and the journey he has undertaken. It has been a true privilege to get to know this extraordinary and brave man.


What do you have in the works? We are currently developing our next feature documentary project which is very exciting, although I'm not sure I can say any more than that right now!

Did you crowdfund? If so, via which platform? And if not, why? No we didn't crowdfund for this project but I am very keen to do so on upcoming films.

What films have inspired you? "Man On Wire," "One Day in September," "The White Diamond," "Encounters at the End of the World," "Bombay Beach," "Into The Wild" and everything and anything by Terrence Malick.

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers , Documentary Film, Garnet's Gold, Ed Perkins