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Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | “Monkeys,” “Carrier” & “Miners’ Hymns”

Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | "Monkeys," "Carrier" & "Miners' Hymns"

Ahead of the 10th Tribeca Film Festival starting April 20th, indieWIRE is again spotlighting emerging (and some veteran) filmmakers screening new work at this year’s event.

Thursday’s new director interviews include profiles from Lisa Aschan’s “She Monkeys” (World Narrative Competition); Maggie Betts’ “The Carrier” (World Documentary Competition); and Bill Morrison’s “The Miners’ Hymns” (Viewpoints).

In the days leading up to the festival, iW is focusing on directors with work in TFF’s Narrative Feature Competition, World Documentary Competition and its new Viewpoints sidebar, which the festival describes as a “snapshot of international independent cinema that immerses audiences in distinctive perspectives.”

indieWIRE will continue to publish three new Tribeca interviews Monday through Saturday up to the beginning of the festival.

Soon after Tribeca unveiled its 2011 lineup, indieWIRE invited directors screening their work in Tribeca’s narrative, doc and Viewpoints sections to talk about their work in their own words. Get to know this year’s crop of filmmakers by learning about their projects from the people who know it first-hand.

A snapshot of Thursday’s three featured interviews:

In Lisa Aschan’s “She Monkeys,” 15-year-old Emma lands a competitive spot on a young women’s equestrian acrobatics team, and she is taken under the wing of her slightly older peer Cassandra. Obsessed with strength and control, Emma covets Cassandra’s natural grace and poise, while Cassandra in turn silently desires more than just Emma’s discipline. The psychological stakes of their friendship intensify as the two jockey for top position, and loyalty is traded for unbridled power. Noted Aschan to iW, “I put a lot of work into creating a set of rules for the development of the story, that way the choices I have to make never is a matter of taste. Nothing is a coincidence.”

“The Carrier” by Maggie Betts follows Mutinta, a dutiful and loving 28-year-old mother living in the landlocked African country of Zambia with her polygamous husband. Polygamy is still a legal and common practice in the country. When their humble farming life is infiltrated by the rapidly spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic, the family is shaken by the implications. In Zambia it has been estimated that more than 250 people each day are infected with the disease and fewer than 15 percent of adults know their HIV status. “I’d had a lot of personal experiences with AIDS in America, as my mom had lost two of her brothers to the disease when I was a teenager, so I think I found myself drawn towards this large scale global problem in a very intimate and visceral way,” Betts shared with iW.

Artist Bill Morrison has used the genre of found footage in his previous work. In “The Miners’ Hymns,” Morrison shifts his emphasis from decaying footage to stunning black-and-white images that have been preserved in the British National Film Archives. From this raw material, Morrison artfully constructs a story of British coal miners at work below the surface of the earth, together with their vibrant, close-knit community above ground. “My idea coming into the project was to use the footage of miners from the archives to tell a social history of the region,” noted Morrison. “I saw an analogy between the coal that had been left in the seams, and the films about miners and mining that were stored in the archives.”

Thursday’s full-length Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews from Lisa Aschan, Maggie Betts and Bill Morrison (4/14):

“The Miners’ Hymns” Director Bill Morrison

“The Carrier” Director Maggie Betts

“She Monkeys” Director Lisa Aschan

Wednesday’s Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/13):

“Marathon Boy” Director Gemma Atwal

“Blackthorn” Director Mateo Gil

“Maria My Love” Director Jasmine McGlade Chazelle

Tuesday’s Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/12):

“The Journals of Musan” Director Park Jungburn

“Jesus Henry Christ” Director Dennis Lee

“Our School” Directors Mona Nicoara and Miruna Coca-Cozma

Monday’s Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/11):

“Love During Wartime” Director Gabriella Bier

“Artificial Paradises” Director Yulene Olaizola

“Magic Valley” Director Jaffe Zin

Friday’s Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/8):

“Koran by Heart” Director Greg Parker

“Love Always, Carolyn” Directors Maria Ramström, Malin Korkeasal

“The Kite” Director Prashant Bhargava

iW’s Thursday Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/7):

“Lotus Eaters” Director Alexandra McGuiness

“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” Director David Gelb

“The Last Rites of Joe May” Director Joseph Maggio

iW’s Wednesday Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/6):

“Cinema Komunisto” Director Mila Turajlic

“Turn Me On, Goddammit” Director Jannicke Systad Jacobsen

“Gnarr” Director Gaukur Ulfarsson

iW’s Tuesday Tribeca Film Festival filmmaker interviews (4/5):

“Angels Crest” Director Gaby Dellal

“Donor Unknown” Director Jerry Rothwell

“Bombay Beach” Director Alma Har’el

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