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

New York governor threatens to revoke National Grid’s utility license in pipeline dispute

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he intends to revoke National Grid USA’s license to distribute natural gas in downstate New York, escalating a dispute with the utility over an ongoing gas connection moratorium. He gave National Grid 14 days to argue its case and present remedial actions before he takes action.The governor, in a Nov. 12 letter to National Grid leadership, said the company failed to fulfill its duty to provide “adequate and reliable service” since a May decision to stop providing new gas hookups in New York City and Long Island. He said the basis for the moratorium — the state’s refusal to permit a new pipeline to ease capacity constraints — is evidence National Grid also failed to plan to meet future supply.“There are only two theories to explain National Grid’s actions. Either National Grid was grossly negligent in relying exclusively on the speculative construction of a private pipeline to meet the demands that it was statutorily required to provide; or, National Grid deliberately defrauded the people of the state by not developing or pursuing existing supply options to force approval and reliance on a private pipeline to further their business interests at the cost of the consumer,” Cuomo said.“Either alternative clearly violates your certificate of operation in the State of New York,” he concluded in the letter to National Grid PLC CEO John Pettigrew and John Bruckner, president of the company’s New York operations.Cuomo’s latest maneuver brings the state and National Grid to the brink of a rare use of state power: stripping a major utility of its certificate of public convenience and necessity, the license that underpins its ability to provide service. That license comes with privileges rare beyond the world of utilities, including a guaranteed rate of return and the power of eminent domain, but companies must demonstrate they can provide reliable service and their operations are in the public interest.The dispute has its roots in New York’s refusal to grant a critical water permit to Williams Cos. Inc.’s Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project. National Grid imposed a gas moratorium in May following the decision, saying it could not safely hook up new gas customers because supply was growing too tight.More ($): Gov. Cuomo tells National Grid he plans to revoke its NY gas license in 2 weeks New York governor threatens to revoke National Grid’s utility license in pipeline disputelast_img read more

FB : Syracuse lands 1st commitment in class of 2013

first_img Published on May 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.edu Tyler Provo saw the interest level balloon and the offers from colleges pile up over the last few weeks. But after every offer, Syracuse remained at the top of the tight end’s list.  On Tuesday, SU offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett flew down to meet with Provo in Florida. Hackett, Provo and his father watched film for a few hours before discussing his decision.‘Every time he had an offer, Syracuse was still on the top of the list, so Coach Hackett came down today and he kind of sealed the deal with him,’ his father, Sam Provo, said. ‘He came down to see him and when he got here he said, ‘I don’t think there’s any sense in just waiting around, I think I would just get it done today.”Provo verbally committed to Hackett and Syracuse on Tuesday, becoming the Orange’s first commit in the class of 2013. The younger brother of former standout SU tight end Nick Provo is rated as a three-star recruit and the No. 28 tight end in his class, according to Scout.com. He is also rated as the No. 2 fullback in the nation by Rivals.com. Provo grabbed nine passes for 100 yards and a touchdown while helping American Heritage School (Fla.) win the Class 3A state championship as a junior last fall.Provo also had offers from Boston College, Florida International, Louisville and Central Florida while six other schools including Alabama, Wisconsin, Louisiana State and Miami (Fla.) all showed interest, according to Scout.comAdvertisementThis is placeholder textProvo said he didn’t want to be used solely as a blocking tight end or out of the backfield as an H-back or fullback, and SU’s plan to utilize him at the tight end position set the school apart from his other offers.And Provo saw his brother, Nick, enjoy a successful career in the Orange offense under head coach Doug Marrone and Hackett. Nick Provo finished his Syracuse career in 2011 as the all-time leader in receptions by a tight end with 92 and second in receiving yards with 1,027.‘I saw what he’s done at Syracuse so that kind of made my decision for me,’ Provo said. ‘I’ve been around the coaches there, I’ve seen some of the games, I’ve talked to some of the coaches so yeah, that helped me out a little bit.’Sam Provo said that comfort zone and familiarity with the program made SU a top choice for his son. But ultimately, the coaching staff’s vision for him on the field sold him on joining the Orange.‘It wasn’t so much following in his brother’s footsteps,’ Sam Provo said, ‘but he felt that Syracuse was going to be the best fit for him because they pretty much laid out how they wanted to use him in the offensive scheme.’rjgery@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

Men’s tennis struggles in tournament

first_imgWhile most Trojans were enjoying their final week off before the start of the spring semester, members of the USC men’s tennis team were busy competing in the Southern California USTA Pro Futures event taking place at Marks Stadium on the USC campus.  The ITF Men’s Circuit event, which took place from January 5 to January 11, featured both singles and doubles action.  It was the first tournament USC’s men’s tennis team had competed in since the Jack Kramer Intercollegiate Tournament in November.Despite the advantage of playing on their home court, the USC men’s tennis squad had a rough tournament full of early round losses.  In singles play, senior Yannick Hanfmann fell to Mackenzie McDonald in round one 7-6(4), 6-2.  Senior Jonny Wang didn’t fare well either, losing his first round matchup against Adrien Puget 6-1, 6-2.  Senior Roberto Quiroz was unable to make it to the second round, losing to Frederik Nielsen, who was ranked #4 in the tournament, by a score of 6-2, 7-5.Even former USC men’s tennis star Daniel Nguyen, who was ranked #2 in the tournament, was unable to escape the first round.  Nguyen dominated the opening set against his first round opponent Nathan Ponwith with a score of 6-0.  However, Ponwith out-dueled Nguyen in the second set and won 6-4.  Ponwith carried his momentum into the third and final set, winning it with a commanding score of 6-0 and knocking Nguyen out of contention in the singles tournament.Senior Eric Johnson was the only Trojan who made it past the first round.  In round one, Johnson had a hard fought battle with Tom Fawcett, but won in two close sets by a score of 6-4, 7-5.  However, Johnson would not make it any further as he was taken down in two sets by Ponwith, who still had momentum from his underdog victory over Nguyen in round one, in round two by a score of 7-5, 6-0.Doubles action didn’t have much more success than singles action for the USC men’s tennis team, which added to the disappointment for the nation’s number one college men’s tennis team.  Hanfmann and Quiroz took down fellow Trojans pair Nick Crystal and Thibault Forget in round one 6-4, 6-0.  However, Hanfmann and Quiroz were eliminated from doubles competition in the quarterfinals, losing to the tournament’s #1 ranked pairing of James Cluskey and Frederik Nielsen 7-6(2), 6-3.  Nguyen also teamed up with past Michigan University tennis star Jason Jung, but the pair was taken down in the first round by Mackenzie McDonald and Martin Redlicki by a score of 6-3, 6-1.At practice following the tournament, USC men’s tennis coach Peter Smith didn’t sugarcoat his thoughts about his team’s performance during the tournament.  “We sucked,” said Smith.  “It was not only disappointing to me, it was disappointing to the guys.”Smith believes the winter break and footwork were the main reasons why his team played poorly.“The guys didn’t come back from vacation in shape,” said Smith.  “They weren’t                       match-tough.  They weren’t ready to play.  I would say only two of the guys were really ready to play … We weren’t in shape enough to work our feet hard enough.”However, Smith also believes that the timing couldn’t be better if his team had to suffer a major loss.“It’s good to get that out of the way,” Smith said.  “A nice little wakeup call.  I think the day we lost five matches, three singles [and] two doubles, the ranking came out [and] we were number one in the country.  So, that’s good that we’re getting that message across that you can’t BS around and expect to still be competitive.”For the immediate future, Smith’s plan to get the team back to its winning ways is simple.  “We just need to get together as a team and start working out and practicing,” Smith said.last_img read more