look & listen

Sujeylin where are you?

It’s not as dramatic as it sounds, but I am having a really hard time staying in touch with Sujeylin. I again spoke to her aunt yesterday, and she told me Sujeylin is living on the small farm they have out in the middle of nowhere. I was asked to call again tomorrow to give her time to find out how I could get in touch.

I’d really like to know how they are (mother and her two children). And I am planning to be in Nicaragua at the end of October / beginning of November, and would want to see her to show her the film.

You can read about an exhausting visit to this farm in March 2009 here. And this is proof I was there:

Summer’s over

Not quite. In fact, it’s hot in Madrid. But playtime is certainly over. I have recently returned to work and we are in full gear to plan the various premieres and the distribution strategy for the film. There’s no confirmed news yet, but got some good stuff cooking.

Expect this blog to get re-activated now, after a few weeks of relative silence.

What is a little worrisome is that I can’t seem to get back in touch with Sujeylin. She’s already gone through two telephone numbers since I last saw her in April, but both are out of action again. Felix, her now ex-boyfriend, told my local producer that she’s not well. So I am worried and want to talk to her to get her story first hand. I did speak to her aunt just yesterday, but she didn’t know anything. She asked me to call back on Sunday. So that’s what I’ll do.

Sujeylin is someone you can always expect interesting things from. Maybe this is the seed of a new follow up film?

UWPIAA article

Some of you might know that I am an Up With People alumnus. Between 1988 and 1992 I traveled with, and worked for, this educational international exchange program. Today the Alumni Association published an article about Karla’s Arrival in their digital newsletter UpBeat, which is received by some 20.000 people in nearly 100 countries. You can read it here.

Summer update

It’s summer and we’ve slowed down. Finally! The 90 minute version, for festivals, the DVD and some broadcasters, has been totally finished. The hour version (58 minutes to be exact, for most international broadcasters) as well. In September or October I expect the film to premier, and from then on there will be a lot of news again. If you do want updates about screenings in your area, please sign up for the newsletter which goes straight to your inbox. Look in the sidebar, on top.

Have a nice summer. Thanks for your support so far. Get ready, because there’s a lot more to come!

Brussels and title (finally)

We have finally decided on a title: Karla’s Arrival. In Spanish that would be La llegada de Karla. It took us a while, but I am very happy with the decision.

Tomorrow I am in Brussels to get back to the editing room with Jan. We’ll be finalizing the one-hour television version of the film. We hope to have it done by Friday.

ITVS International

I have been sitting on this news for quite a while now, but this week the signed and counter-signed contract arrived back at the office and we can finally make it public…

ITVS International on board!
The Independent Television Service is a hybrid between a production fund and a company, based in San Francisco. They are like a fund because they work with public money (both tax dollars and large donations from three big foundations) and have two annual funding rounds to which one can apply: one for US companies and one for “international” ones (meaning non-U.S.). If you get through, they take U.S. broadcast rights and position themselves as a co-producer which means they get the right to editorial input on the U.S. version and a return on their investment. Obviously, I wouldn’t have mentioned them here, were it not that we were selected under their international call. Which IMHO is quite a big deal.

Getting “in” with ITVS is much desired in documentary-landia. We were chosen out of 500 projects from 117 countries, and ended up among the first three projects of 12 selected. They guarantee the U.S. broadcast and design and execute large promotional, social media and outreach campaigns in order to really maximise its exposure, something from which the film will benefit tremendously. And ITVS is recognized the world over and thus opens a lot of doors in many other places, not in the least to high-profile festivals (I am now dreaming of Sundance… fingers crossed). Finally, they make a serious contribution to the film’s budget and, last but certainly not least, they are a big boost to any director’s career and CV.

A few stats: this is the second project from Spain co-produced by ITVS, I am only the third Dutch director and it is the first time in their history that they are supporting a story from Nicaragua…

Pretty cool, eh? Their website is here.