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INDEPENDENT FEATURE DOCUMENTARY -
"The Sun Dance Journey: The Gift" - formerly “White Man Red ” An authored feature doc self funded over the last decade. The story of healing between the Native and Non Native people of America. A story of mythological dimensions in the vein of Avatar & Dances With Wolves. Highlighting the enormous value of the Native perspective to our world in this era of ecological & human crisis. Filming completed and in the edit process.
Sequel in development: It is hoped there will be a sequel to the first story which traces the continued journey of the healing of the historic trauma the Lakota people have suffered, and the process of forgiveness. This journey begins with the meeting of two remarkable people. It is hoped that this will be made to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Fort Laramie Treaty, in 2018, which betrayed the Lakota people. More will be revealed, as and when progress is made.
"Nancy A One Girl Revolution" A Film shot in Dec 2013 on a WorldView Grant (CBA) This is the sequel to the award winning film "I Will Never Be Cut" NANCY, 20, is a charismatic and fearless breaker of her tribe’s taboos. Now an icon in her own area of North Western Kenya, she wants equality, education, freedom and the total eradication of Female Genital Mutilation. Ambition enough for any conviction politician but Nancy, a bush girl, is still a student at secondary school. In this film we follow Nancy as she travels to a remoter and even more traditional part of her tribal area and here, alone, she challenges Chiefs, Elders and a whole patriarchal cultural tradition - working to spread the word in the hills and plains to help hundreds of girls escape the ‘Cutting Season’. This is not a film about FGM, it is a human story of the extraordinary leadership of a charismatic young woman who inspires everyone who meets her, and ultimately stands for the triumph of hope and change.
Marine Environment: Another area of great interest is the sea. Below is a short film made for the National Trust on Wester Ross in 2016.
The Bountiful Sea: the story of the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area (director’s cut) on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/163831259
The Invisible Debate (working title)
Currently developing a film on Marine Conservation & Fisheries. Inspired by the West Coast Fishing village where I live.
BBC ALBA (Scotland) 2009 - tx 8 Feb 2010
"The Wee Grey Fergie" One hour documentary on Harry Ferguson the genius behind the Ferguson system which revolutionised farming and led to its efficient mechanisation. It also produced the much loved 'Grey Fergie' and other tractors which have become iconic and have created passionate devotion in farmers, crofters and enthusiasts around the world. Also an aviation pioneer Harry Ferguson was the first Briton to build and fly his own plane and later to design four wheel drive racing cars.
CNN OBSERVATIONAL DOCUMENTARY - 30 mins TX Sept 12 2009
"Wootton Bassett", a small market town in Wiltshire has become the focal point for the nation to show their respect and sorrow at the death of the soldiers who give their lives in the Afghanistan conflict. CNN spent a few weeks observing the community during one of the most traumatic periods with the highest level of casualties since the conflict began. This included the Lt Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Rupert Thorneloe and Joshua Hammond his driver. The highest ranking officer to die since H Jones in the Falklands. The town were expecting 8 more the week after, and more still after that.
AL JAZEERA AND THE GUARDIAN UNLIMITED 32 MIN - OBSERVATIONAL DOCUMENTARY
'I Will Never Be Cut' May 2011 Al Jazeera and The Guardian
This film won two Webby Awards for Best Single Documentary (The Peoples Choice and The Judges Choice. Finalist for the Rory Peck Sony Impact Award 2011 .
Nancy and Gertrude are two extraordinary Pokot-Kenyan teenagers living in the bush in a remote part of Northern Kenya where circumcision is every girls rite of passage in to womanhood. But they do not want to be cut - in fact they are prepared to do battle with both their parents and their culture to save themselves. With the help of a grassroots group of men and women prepared to support them, they take on centuries of tradition in an attempt to change things forever. This is an observational film with extraordinary access to the internal family conflicts of a tribe in the process of radical change.
DV CAMERA OPERATOR/DIRECTOR-PRODUCER FOR THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER 2005 - 2009 .
(Sara worked at The Guardian as the in house development producer/director 2004-05)
GUARDIAN HIGHLAND SERIES 2010
Film 1 Stalking in Mountains of Snow and Ice Michael Tait meets Stephen Gow of the Inverbroom Estate in Scotland's north-western Highlands to be shown how to stalk wild deer http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/may/21/scotland-highlands-stalking-wild-deer
film 2 Foraging for a Highland Seashore Feast Off-grid living and foraging expert Emma Magenta shows Michael Tait how to gather and prepare a feast of shellfish, wild garlic and edible seaweed on Scotlands North West coast http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/video/2010/jun/28/foraging-scottish-highlands
Film 3 Mike Tait Goes Hawking in the Highlands Michael Tait visits Scotland's western Highlands to meet Stephen and Jo Wonderley, practitioners of the 4000 year old art of falconry. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/video/2010/sep/06/birds
Film 4 Foraging for wild Mushrooms in Highland woodland Off-grid living and foraging expert Emma Magenta shows us how to gather and identify hedgehog mushrooms and prepares a wild mushroom dish in the woods of Scotlands North West coast.
Belladrum Festival 2010 A celebration of the diversity and creativity of a Highland independent Festival and it's roots in the community. Joe Gibbs the founder explains his vision for it and how it is a blossoming of local creativity as much as it is a music and arts festival.
Tom Forsyth Living Lightly As founder of the Scoraig community and the Isle of Eigg Trust Tom talks about his life, beliefs and living lightly on the land. He tries to live by David Henry Thoreau's maxim: "You can judge a man's contentment in terms of what he can afford to do without."
Em Magenta Living Lightly Em Magenta lives in a caravan and yurt on the banks of Findhorn Bay. She lives close to nature with her son Stormy, a few ponies and a handful of doves and chickens. She lives close to nature and the seasons and is completely 'Off-Grid' sourcing her water, electricity and power from natural or green sources.
KATINE, UGANDA SERIES 2008 - The Guardian Newspaper's project working with Amref Working with children, musicians , pregnant women and villagers in Katine, Uganda - Sara made 5 short character led films about the inhabitants of Katine Villiage where the Guardian Newspaper is working with AMREF an African charity to observe how development works - or doesn’t work - over a three year period. 2008
Film 2 - A day in the life of the Odulai family 2008 Frances Odulai lives in Katine with his large family of two wives and 18 children. From dawn until dusk we wake up with the family doing morning chores, including releasing their chickens from the coop, milking their only cow and collecting water from the borehole. The children go to school, while the mothers undertake household chores like preparing crops. Dad is a member of the village health teams and Amref has provided him with a bike
Film 3 - Women and the dangers of childbirth in Katine 2008. Childbirth in Katine, a rural sub-county of Uganda, is fraught with danger. One in 10 babies die and one in 200 births results in the death of the mother. Follow Alice Amucu and Mary Amulo, both heavily pregnant, as they prepare for the birth of their babies
Film 4 - Making money in Katine We visit the Tuesday market in Katine to speak to women about the difficulties of generating enough money to support their families.
El Bulli: A day with Ferran Adrià In this fascinating behind the scenes film, we view the world's greatest chef at work. And, err, Jay Rayner (apparently) at work El-Bulli.
Britain’s Meat Heroes with Guardian Films for Guardian Unlimited Website: current production July/Aug 2007. Two 6-8 minute films on organic meat farmers with TV Cook Sophie Grigson
Melt - Melt is one of the coolest chocolatiers in London. They make the most delicious fresh chocolates in their Notting Hill Kitchen by hand. Watching chocolates being made is an intoxicating experience. Technical and skilled - it smell's divine and tastes out of this world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_91V9OM65NM&feature=email
Fergus Henderson Cooks a Pigs head- July 2009 Tim Hayward takes a trip to Smithfield, buys a pigs head and takes it to his meeting with Fergus Henderson, his hero and author of 'Nose to Tail Eating' at St Johns restaurant. Fergus suggests Tim shaves it first before he teaches him how to cook it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/video/2009/aug/28/fergus-henderson-cook-pig-head
The Tale of The Rockness Monster (working title only) Helped John Martin make his feature doc on Rockness and the community of Dores which hosts it.
The Tango - a dance born in a brothel' Born in the sexually repressed India of the early 70s, therapist Supriya Thimmiah has always been fascinated by the Argentine tango. She has got the best teacher in the country - but only 48 hours to convincingly perform 'the dance of pimps and prostitutes'.
Chanda Shroff’s Vision – 10 min film September 2006 For Rolex - TX on National Geographic:
Waiting for a Miracle - A short film on a man obsessed and saved by dancing Tango.
Bookworm BBC Arts – Autumn 1999 Once in a House on Fire. A memoir of a violent childhood in Moss side. (Beta, super 8 and DV)
Master Class BBC Arts - Spring 2000. Three short films on British filmmakers and artists: Peter Blake, John Hoyland and filmmaker Denys Blakeway. (Filmed on DV)
String of Pearls - LNN Factual -July - Sept 99 Millennium festival promotional film for Carlton.
An Invisible World: Currently researching a film about Marine Protected Area's and the state of our seas.
Elza Zalvidar in Paraguay - 10 min film July/Aug 2008 TX on National Geographic, More 4 and others. A film celebrating the extraordinary Elsa Zalvidar, a Paraguayan green entrepreneur producing cheap eco-housing made from a mixture of luffa (a sponge like vegetable fibre) and recycled plastic in order to help eradicate the housing shortage in Latin America. She hopes it will help avoid further destruction of the virgin forests and replace the incomes of the Campesinos who cut trees for charcoal and housing with luffa growing.
Living off the grid: Zero-carbon house - The Reas fell in love with Unst in the Shetland Islands at first sight. Extremely economically, they have built an inspiring zero-carbon house in their dream setting and created an almost completely carbon-neutral lifestyle around it without sacrificing any of their creature comforts.
Green Streets – A series of 4 films on a nationwide British Gas competition in which 64 families try and cut their C02 emissions by 25% over a year. 07/08 The Guardian and British Gas. See British Gas Green Streets website and The Guardian website
Stanton Lees Tunnel Protesters: Tree living, tunnel digging protesters are digging deep once again. For four years about 50 protestors have camped at Stanton Lee’s stone Circle stopping a company who wants to dig a vast quarry. The Guardian environment editor John Vidal went inside a tunnel for Channel 4 News. Tx March 04
John Muir Trust 4 Audio Postcards 2013 for the John Muir Trust Exhibition Centre on Skye, Sandwood Bay, Ben Nevis, and Knoydart. MP3 Copies available
Rolex Awards Scottish biologist Karina Atkinson has become a Trail blazer in a very short space of time fuelled by her passion to save a vitally important habitat in Paraguay, which is the home of many endangered species - and create a sustainable model for conservation across the region. Short film for Event and Website 2013
Christian Aid 2013 - Directing shoot in South Sudan for the CA 2014 Campaign
European Forest Resources Group commissioned a film to be used to present their case for a Wind Farm to the local Highland community. The film explained what they hoped to achieve and the benefits they wished to provide for the locals. Designed for use at a public meeting and for web broadcast.
FILMS WORKING WITH CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS
Combat Club - Factual Entertainment - Director of a 13 x 24 min live action series for Channel 5 TX Autumn 2006 Lupus Films. Combat Club is an action packed factual entertainment series aimed at 6-11 year olds, which examines the history and practice of fighting sports. By looking at each fighting form’s historical roots, and emphasising the self-discipline and commitment involved in learning it as a sport, this series encourages young viewers to channel their energies positively and introduces them to aspects of history in a fun and exhilarating way.
EGA – Elizabeth Garratt Anderson School has had a makeover. Once known as the School from Rising hell Street it has transformed itself in a revolutionary rebranding process. This film gives 7 of it’s school girls a chance to tell the story of their school and help direct a film. Sept 2007
Summit About The Boy’ or Lee Mets Phil a 30 minute documentary for the Community Channel commissioned by the Media Trust to observe the process of mentoring between at Times Political journalist and a wannabe journo and disadvantaged kid from the streets of Lozells, Birmingham attending the G8 in Rostock Germany 2007 to report on Blair, Bush and the Protesters. Tx June 2007 Winner of the 2008 IVCA Clarion Awards for Television
Jamaican Overseas Teachers: For C4News Independent Film Fund made with Uden Associates. Tx Dec 19th 02 - Two Head Teachers in Doncaster get together to solve the recruitment crisis by going to Jamaica to find staff. 15 minute observational doc/short film on the Jamaicans first term. Filmed by myself on DV (PD150) from Sept-Dec 2002
Street Kids: C4News Indie Film Fund. Tx: August 2002 – c4N entry for The Rory Peck Award 2002. 2 x 20 minute observational documentaries on how the Youth Inclusion project is tackling endemic crime amongst street kids on a Cardiff estate. One film follows the street kids on a journey to Belarus and the other on the streets of Llanrumney. (Filmed by myself on DV (PD150) March-July 02
NEWS /CURRENT AFFAIRS AS AN INDEPENDENT DV CAMERA/DIRECTOR
Interview with Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai during his few years of power sharing with Mugabe.
Wounded Soldiers: lead story for Channel 4 News on the hidden wounded of the Iraq war. The human cost of war President Bush downplays. We talk to amputees at Walter Reed, film the wounded returning from Iraq and observe a soldiers therapy group for the wounded at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 14 mins. Tx10 Feb 04 DVD viewing copy available FINALIST Rory Peck Impact Award 04 - clips used in Michael Moore FAHRENHEIT 9/11)
The Gaza settlers- C4News Indie Fund Co-editing an Israeli filmmakers work, who spent months documenting the settlers lives as their forced removal splits Isra
Nigerian University Cults - C4News Indie Fund July 05 with Noble Prize Laureate - Wole Soyinka A news feature about the murderous fraternity cults rampaging through universities in Nigeria, presented by Wole Soyinka the man wrongfully blamed for their birth. DVD viewing
Hunting - C4News Indie Fund Feb 05 with John Vidal and the Guardian Film Unit
The Yes men - C4News Observational: US Election: Two scallywag satirical eco-activists create a spoof republican campaign bus and tour the marginal states to put people off voting for Bush and have a laugh. DVD viewing copy available
The Brussels Bubble - C4News Indie Fund May 04 A view from inside the bureaucratic culture, through the eyes of the idealists who sell the concept to the sceptical masses. Plus the sheer linguistic hell of 10 new European languages as the EU expands with a weekend of celebration.
Serfraz talks: Two short films for c4n 1) A British Muslim, famous for his spiritual pilgrimage to Mecca, goes on a walkabout in his hometown of Middlesbrough to discover what his community thinks of the Gulf War. 2) He comes to Parliament to challenge MP’s and Ministers to convince him the war has a “just and moral motive.” April 03
DOCUMENTARY SERIES PRODUCER 6 x 1 hour
‘Commanding Heights’ June 01-02 (PBS America Tx April 2002.) BBC 4 and BBC2
The series won many awards amongst these was the Gold Award for Best Series on National and International Affairs, and had various Emmy nominations.
Living With The Enemy - Witness strand. Tx Channel 4 Oct 96. Developed with George Carey for Barraclough Carey. Directed by Mike Grigsby. How would you behave if the man you wanted to marry was your country’s enemy? The choices the Channel Islanders made when occupied by the Germans in 1940 bitterly divides the community to this day. (Authored, produced and researched)
DV DIRECTOR/CAMERA on MAGAZINE PROGRAMMES & OTHER SHORT FILMS
Various 5 Minute Royal Biographies. March/April 2007
'Celebrity Doubles' – Uden Assoc. 03
'Capital Gains' Studio based¬ Economic magazine Programme. (Plus VT’s inserts filmed and directed by myself on DV)
IN HOUSE PRODUCER : CHANNEL 4 NEWS, ITN 1998-99.
DOCUMENTARY RESEARCHER: ITN documentaries
- Channel 4 News; home desk. 1 year as assistant to Editor of the Home Desk
FREELANCE TV DRAMA PRODUCTION AND PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSISTANT 1989 - 92
STILLS PHOTOGRAPHER late 1980's