Pro Tools
•Register a festival or a film
Submit film to festivals Promote for free or with Promo Packages

Filmfestivals.com + fest21.com merger

 

 

Enjoy here the best of both worlds: Portal with Film & Fest News and Social network for the festival community.  

Since 1995 we connect films to festivals and document the world of festivals worldwide.
We offer the most comprehensive festival directory of 6 000 festivals, browse festival blogs, film blogs...and promote yourself for free.

User login

Who's online

There are currently 1 user and 81 guests online.

Online users

Savannah Film Festival


Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival features the best in independent and innovative film from around the world. From feature-length films to two-minute shorts, the annual festival presents a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers.


feed

Interview with Director Nicholas Brennan for 'MAMA' at 20th SCAD Savannah Film Festival

 

Interview with Nicholas Brennan for 'MAMA' (2017)

'MAMA' film still. Photo by Anne Ackermann.

Interview with Nicholas Brennan for 'MAMA' (2017)

Director of 'MAMA'. Photo by Anne Ackermann.

Filmmaker at New York's CNN Courageous Studio, director Nicholas Brennan screened his short film 'MAMA' (2017) at the 20th annual SCAD Savannah International Film Festival. Produced by Samson Ntale, Brennan's film tells the story of real life wonder woman Gertrude Nakanwagi in Ugandan village Kayunga; a traditional birth attendant, she acts as a 2nd 'mama' to all the children she helps bring into the world.

In an interview with Nicholas about his film, here is what he had to say:

 

How did you meet Gertrude and decide to tell her story?

NICHOLAS: I met Gertrude through the close collaboration with our producer, Samson Ntale, a journalist from Uganda. We were working on a larger project around maternal health in Uganda and Samson did some really amazing shoe-leather reporting by traveling far outside of the more populated cities to interview traditional birth attendants working in rural communities. He found Gertrude in a district called Kayunga after people from dozens of miles away kept talking about this incredible woman who had been working in her village for over 40 years. He spent the day visiting with her first before we then traveled to film with her.

 

Do you think there should be more films and stories about women like this, the real Wonder Women of the world?

NICHOLAS: I do think there needs to be a lot more stories celebrating everyday wonder women around the world. For me though, it’s important not only who is in front of the camera, but also the crew behind the cameras telling these stories. Our film was possible because of a wonder woman we had on our crew, Anne Ackermann. She was the still photographer on the team, but she stepped up in a huge way to also film several of the more intimate moments with Gertrude and the mothers when a male presence was not welcome.

 

How were the conditions to shoot in Uganda?

NICHOLAS: Uganda has a pretty vibrant local film scene as well as a great number of talented journalists and photographers based in Kampala, so as a New York-based crew, we were in good hands with our Uganda partners. One of my favorite parts about working internationally is the opportunity to collaborate and learn from local filmmakers as we tell these more nuanced stories together. Samson and Anne were both amazing collaborators in this sense.

 

Do you have a favorite memory while shooting this?

NICHOLAS: The strongest memories were definitely the child births that we filmed. We spent several days with Gertrude and witnessed a number of births. It’s a tremendously nerve-wracking experience, because as you see in the film, the conditions are remote and far different from the standard of care in the United States. But then, when the baby is born and screaming with life, it’s just this amazing, beautiful spirit that overwhelms everybody.

 

Has Gertrude seen the film? What was her reaction?

NICHOLAS: She hasn’t seen the film yet. We finished the film only a few days before we premiered. I’ve sent the film to Samson in Uganda though and he’ll be traveling to Kayunga to share the film with her and the rest of the community. I’m hoping as well to be able to return to Uganda for local screenings.

 

Do you think you will turn this into a feature?

NICHOLAS: The film is very much designed to be its own complete experience, so I haven’t been planning on turning it into a feature. But, there is certainly so much more to be said on this topic and Gertrude is an amazing example of the complexities involved with improving maternal health in Uganda and in rural areas around the world.

 

You work with CNN as a journalist. Do you plan to cross more over into doc filmmaking?

NICHOLAS: I view myself as keeping one foot in the journalism world and the other in the filmmaking community. It’s very rewarding to experience and report on the day-to- day experiences of our world right now, but it’s also so important to slow down and spend longer periods of time reflecting on one story in a way that you can with both documentary and fiction filmmaking.

 

You recently attended the Savannah Film Fest. How was your experience there?

NICHOLAS: Savannah was a great festival to attend because they do an impressive job programming some amazing feature film screenings. It felt like we all got a sneak peak of some of the strongest films about to be released this year. Watching the gala screening for “The Shape of Water” with some 2,000 other people a month before it opened was definitely a favorite moment of the festival.

 

What are you working on next?

NICHOLAS: I’m in post production now on a feature-length documentary about the most popular heavy metal band in Cuba. I’ve been following the band, ZEUS, off-and- on for the better part of the last decade as their country has gone through some pretty intense changes. I’m pretty excited to be able to soon share their incredible story with the world.

 

Nicholas Brennan @ SCAD Savannah Film Festival with 'MAMA' (2017)

'MAMA' film crew. Photo by Anne Ackermann.

 

 

Interview by Vanessa McMahon

 

Deals

    

About Savannah Film Festival

Bolda Sheila Lynne
(Savannah College of Art and Design)

Hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival features the best in independent and innovative film from around the world. From feature-length films to two-minute shorts, the annual festival presents a full range of cinematic creativity from both award-winning professionals and emerging student filmmakers.

Savannah

United States



View my profile
Send me a message

User images

gersbach.net