Film producer discusses mini-series

first_imgPart four of the five part documentary mini-series, titled “Women, War and Peace,” aired Tuesday on PBS. The series, which focuses on women’s roles in warfare, was produced in part by Nina Chaundry, who spoke on a panel Tuesday about the documentaries. “The creators of the series, Pamela Hogan, Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker, first met about the project in the fall of 2007,” Chaundry said. “They had each individually noticed a similar trend in reporting: a focus on the men and the guns and a dearth of stories about the women and families who are disproportionately targeted in today’s conflict zones — but seldom covered in news reports.” Chaundry said the idea for the film series was born after this conversation. “Disproportionate attention has been paid to men in conflict, and we hope that this series is the beginning of a dialogue and that more films and more reporting will look at conflict through women’s eyes,” she said. When choosing the stories to tell in the documentary, she said the producers and filmmakers wanted to give underreported stories the attention they deserve. “Deciding which conflicts to cover was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make,” she said. “We researched stories around the world, including Asia, Central America, Chechnya, Georgia, Israel and Palestine, Northern Ireland, Congo, Sudan, Guinea as well as the stories in Bosnia, Colombia and Afghanistan.” After all their research was collected, the filmmakers decided to tell the story of how war had changed in the last 20 years since the end of the Cold War, Chaundry said. “Since the end of the Cold War, it has become more dangerous to be a woman in a conflict zone than a soldier,” she said. The filmmakers wanted to make sure to demonstrate this was a global occurrence, Chaundry said. They did this by committing to covering as many regions of the world as they could. The films focused on four countries, with a final piece tying all the themes together and discussing how war has changed in a post-Cold War world. “I Came to Testify,” the first episode of the mini-series, told the story of how 16 Bosnian women testified against their rapists in international court. “We decided on Bosnia, because it was the first time that women were successful in getting rape prosecuted as a war crime, setting a major precedent in international law which is now being used globally,” Chaundry said. She said the process of finding and interviewing the women for “I Came to Testify” was a very delicate process. “Filmmaker Pamela Hogan and her associate producer Jessie Beauchaine initially reached out to the investigators and prosecutors that the women had trusted from The Hague,” Chaundry said. “When Hogan and Beauchaine first met the women, they then had to gain their trust, which was no easy task.” The women did not particularly want to talk to journalists and even suffered from headaches and other physical ills because telling their story is so traumatizing, Chaundry said. Chaundry said building relationships with these women was difficult, but a journalist’s emotions can help build trust and rapport. “As journalists we are charged with being objective storytellers, but it’s impossible to check your emotions, especially when you are covering such intimate stories,” she said. “In fact, I find it’s important to allow yourself to have the emotions. It’s essential for building trust and rapport with the people you are filming.” The second week’s episode, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” was a film already made by Abigail Disney. “We already knew that the series would include ‘Pray the Devil Back to Hell,’ the story of the women who came together and brought an end to the civil war in Liberia,” Chaundry said. Week three’s episode, “Peace Unveiled,” focused on Afghanistan, where the filmmakers tell the story of female activists. “We felt obligated as Americans to tell the story of women in a conflict in which we were directly involved,” she said. Filming in Afghanistan posed some very real security problems, especially in the Kandahar region when interviewing women’s rights activist Shahida Hussein, Chaundry said. “We exercised extreme caution in that case and respected the wishes of the activist Shahida Hussein,” she said. “At one point in the filming, she asked that she be filmed by an Afghan male who could then appear to others as a male relative and would then not draw too much attention to her or her family. At another time, she wanted a woman to film with her and we even experimented filming from behind the burqa!” While there were specific threats against the activists in Afghanistan, safety was a concern almost everywhere the mini-series was filmed, Chaundry said. “Threats were already a part of the daily lives of several of the women we feature in the series and I’m not sure if the threats intensified as a result of our filming, but we were aware throughout production — and even now — that it was a possibility,” she said. “The courage these women have shown in their lives and in sharing their stories with us is a responsibility that the entire team feels and one that we take very seriously.” The fourth episode in the series, “The War We are Living,” focuses on a conflict in Colombia, which has displaced more people than any other place in the world, other than the Sudan, Chaundry said. “In Colombia, as in the rest of the world, the majority of the internally displaced people are women and their dependents,” she said. Throughout the filming process, the filmmakers wanted to make sure the women were not just portrayed as victims, Chaundry said. In many cases women are usually seen as such, and their work towards peace is undermined. “All of these women are taking personal risks, risks that jeopardize not only themselves but also their children and extended families,” she said.last_img read more

GMR& SC to host ceremony for the late Eric Vieira

first_imgTHE Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC) will this afternoon host an appreciation ceremony for its former President,Eric Vieira,at the Club’s Thomas Lands Facility.Vieira, one of the longest serving presidents of the club,passed away last week in London.He was an avid local racing fanatic.He is remembered as the ‘pilot’of the popular and locally assembled car ‘beast’,among several other racing cars.This afternoon’s ceremony will begin at 15:00hrsand will feature speakers such as Kit Nacimento, Stanley Ming and others.last_img read more

Trinity Hall to Proceed; Litigation May Continue

first_imgMIDDLETOWN – Trinity Hall girls school is preparing to move forward with its permanent campus with the latest approval of the planning board in hand, over the continuing objections of area residents and possibly more litigation.After a six-hour public hearing last week, filled to a standing-room only capacity for much of the hearing, the planning board reaffirmed its prior approval of the all girls religious school proposed for Chapel Hill Road. Following the school’s approval – coming after 1 a.m. on Thursday – with a 4-2 vote, the school’s co-founder, Victoria Gmelich said, “We’re ready to break ground.”No date, however, has been set to commence construction.Ron Gasiorowski, the Red Bank lawyer representing an area resident opposed to the project, said this week, “I was obviously disappointed with the decision. I think there are a multitude of issues that remain open and my client and I will be meeting and discussing options and making a determination of what to do next.”Previously, Gasiorowski has said his client of record, Linda Glowzenski, would continue the legal battle opposing the project.In addition, there are two other lawsuits stemming from the project, involving similar objections, said Gasiorowski, who is representing those plaintiffs as well.Last Wednesday’s hearing was the third separate time the planning board addressed this application. Last August, the board initially denied the application, citing traffic safety and other concerns. A Superior Court judge remanded it back to the board after the judge invalidated a portion of a township ordinance. On the second occasion the board approved it but the judge again remanded it, ruling the board acted incorrectly by not allowing public comment for the second-round hearing. That precipitated last week’s hearing and this approval.Trinity Hall is a private all-girls secondary education, Roman Catholic-based school, that is planning on constructing its permanent campus on about 37 acres of an approximately 60-acre undeveloped and largely wooded property on Chapel Hill Road at the Kings Highway intersection that could eventually accommodate as many as 500 students. The project has been a local hot button for area homeowners who continued to voice objections to the proposal, saying a large intense use for the residential area is out of place and would increase traffic creating a public safety concern, and negatively impacts the area’s environment and the homeowner’s quality of life.Gasiorowski at last week’s hearing argued there continues to be environmental and traffic safety concerns involving the project. He presented an engineer, who alleged the school project’s storm water management plan did not meet state Department of Environmental Protection’s or the township’s requirements under its ordinance and would pose a flooding threat given the area’s high water table.Gasiorowski told the board it should have its engineer take another look at the storm water plan before rendering its decision.John Giunco, Trinity Hall’s lawyer, called those assertions “incredible,” telling the board the project has received permits from the Department of Environmental Protection. Giunco also reminded the board in his closing the project is a conditional permitted use in the zone and required no variances. “I think you have more than a substantial reason to approve it,” Giunco told the board.The project continued to have its detractors, with Farm Road resident Peter Tommaso calling it “A square peg in a round hole.”“It doesn’t fit here. It doesn’t belong here,” Tommaso added. “In essence this will destroy the way of life as we know it.”But township resident Susan Meehan offered her support for the school saying “It has proven to be a good neighbor,” by revising its construction plans to make improvements to Chapel Hill Road and other accommodations.
 Trinity Hall issued a release on its victory, in which Gmelich stated, “We have prevailed after a long, arduous and often contentious process in which we maintained grace under pressure. We have kept our heads up and behaved aboveboard and I am proud of that.”Trinity Hall currently leases space from the township’s Croydon Hall facility, located in the Leonardo section.last_img read more


first_imgD’AMATO RUNS 1-2 AS LONGSHOT SIDEPOCKET RUN COMPLETES EXACTA IN GOLDEN STATE SERIES FIXTURE FOR OLDER FILLIES & MARES  BRED OR SIRED IN CALIFORNIA ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2015)–Nick Alexander’s homebred Sunday Rules kept her perfect record intact with a facile three length win in Saturday’s $150,000 Spring Fever Stakes, as she covered six furlongs in gate to wire fashion under Tyler Baze in 1:08.93. (The Spring Fever was the first of five Golden State Series races run Saturday at Santa Anita for horses bred or sired in California).Conditioned by Phil D’Amato, the 4-year-old California-bred daughter of Tribal Rule now has five wins from as many starts. Heavily favored at 1-5 in a field of six older fillies and mares, she paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10. With the winner’s share of $90,000, she increased her earnings to $314, 880.“Nice filly,” said an emphatic Baze. “She runs with her head a little low but…she’s not real fast that first jump out of the gate, but after that she’s a monster. She’s a train really, she just goes. Those first strides, she just needs to get her feet up under her but then she’s really just a train.”Pressed early by Tribal Gal, Sunday Rules carved out fractions of 21.60, 44.11 and 56.13.“That was like two wins,” said D’Amato, whose longshot Sidepocket Run was up to take second by a nose, thus enabling the trainer to run 1-2. “Sunday Rules couldn’t be doing any better right now. I just think it’s a combination of getting over her little baby issues and now, hopefully, I’ll be able to map out a nice campaign for the future. She’ll definitely stay sprinting.”Alexander, who’s homebred Grazen is based at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and is currently one of California’s top stallions, is a longtime breeder/owner in California who is best known locally as the owner of Nick Alexander (automotive) Imports in Los Angeles, whose advertising catch phrase is “Nick Can’t Say No.”“We are blessed to have horses as we do in Santa Ynez and to be able to race them here at Santa Anita,” said Alexander. “What a pleasant surprise she’s been. She’s very plain looking and you’d never pick her out of a group of horses in a pasture. The way she runs with her neck low…Nothing bothers her. There is a graded stakes in in Florida this coming July that we might take a look at.”Off at 35-1, Sidepocket Run, who was ridden by Tiago Pereira, paid $13.60 and $4.40.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Tribal Gal finished third, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Meinertzhageni. Off at 6-1, Tribal Gal paid $3.40 to show.–30–last_img read more