zaterdag 23 maart 2013 - 11:00
Q&A with Salma and Kim Longinotto, led by Hugh Purcell.
Salma – a pseudonym – is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary life story. When she was only thirteen years old, Salma was locked up in her parents’ house in Thuvarankurichi, a small village in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. According to local Muslim tradition, girls are forbidden to leave the house from the moment they hit puberty until the day they marry. Read more about Salma.
Longinotto was born to an Italian father and a Welsh mother in 1952; her father was a photographer who later went bankrupt. At the age of 10 she was sent to a draconian all-girls boarding school, where she found it hard to make friends due to the mistress forbidding anyone to talk to her for a term after she became lost during a school trip. After a period of homelessness Longinotto went on to Essex University to study English and European literature and later followed friend and future film-maker Nick Broomfield to the National Film and Television School. While studying, she made a documentary about her boarding school that1 was shown at the London Film Festival, since when she has continued to be a prolific documentary film maker.
Longinotto is an observational filmmaker. Observational cinema, also known as direct cinema, free cinema or cinema verite, usually excludes certain documentary techniques such as advanced planning, scripting, staging, narration, lighting, reenactment and interviewing. Longinotto’s unobtrusiveness, which is an important part of observational documentary, gives the women on camera a certain voice and presence that may not have emerged with another documentary genre.
Hugh’s career as a British film maker covers the last twenty years and as a broadcaster in TV and Radio the last thirty five years.
He worked for the BBC between 1967-1993 and finished as Managing Editor of the TV Documentary Department. After that he was a Director of the independent company CAFE that made documentary films for broadcast in the USA and Europe. Now he is a freelance film maker and Consultant to the One World Broadcasting Trust that promotes films made in and by developing countries. The film series he is proudest of is “Living Islam”, an educational series presented by a Muslim showing what it means to be a Muslim in today’s world. It took his team over two years filming in over twenty countries and not surprisingly it is being re-shown now by broadcasters although it was made 10 years ago. In 1991 he won a BAFTA (British Acadamy Award) for a series he versioned on the American Civil War.
He enjoys travelling and teaching film documentary which is why he has taught at the European Film School in Denmark, the Film and TV Institute at Pune in India and the International Film School in Cuba. Between 1992-1995 he was President of MAP TV (Memory Archive Programmes), a Euro Media project set up in Strasbourg, France, to encourage and fund co-productions for films about European history.
Increasingly he despairs of television and hopes that documentary film making may be put to a more worthwhile purpose. That is why he is very happy to be Head of Studies for ESoDoc. He also looks forward to indulging his three hobbies; travelling, trekking and talking over a lot of wine with today’s young film makers.