News / Arts & Entertainment

In Austin, Film Offers Global Perspective

International Films Bring Global Perspective to Americansi
X
March 29, 2013 2:23 PM
International films often challenge American viewers to look at life from different perspectives. VOA's Greg Flakus takes a look at two such films and their directors at a recent festival in Austin, Texas.

At the annual South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, films offer Americans a unique perspective on a globalized world.

Greg Flakus
International films often challenge American viewers to look at life from different perspectives. That was obvious at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, where many films from other countries were being featured.
 
Movies such as the Turkish film "Zayiat," or Casualties, is the story of a son searching for his father.
 
Audience members watch "Big Easy," a film at the Paramount Theater during the South by Southwest festival, Austin, Texas, March, 17, 2012.Audience members watch "Big Easy," a film at the Paramount Theater during the South by Southwest festival, Austin, Texas, March, 17, 2012.
x
Audience members watch "Big Easy," a film at the Paramount Theater during the South by Southwest festival, Austin, Texas, March, 17, 2012.
Audience members watch "Big Easy," a film at the Paramount Theater during the South by Southwest festival, Austin, Texas, March, 17, 2012.
Staying with relatives in Istanbul and using friends as actors, New York-based director Deniz Tortum made what he calls a no-budget film.
 
“The budget of the film was two thousand dollars, so it was pretty much no budget," he says, explaining that he shot in neighborhoods where people live and work, not near Istanbul's tourist sites.
 
“I just wanted to shoot in the places where I actually lived and spent most of my time in Istanbul," he says. "I have lots and lots of memories in those places.”
 
For Andrea Thiele, a German filmmaker who lives in the United States, the act of driving a car represented a unique lens through which to view cross-cultural dynamics in a globalized world.
 
Her comic documentary "And Who Taught You to Drive?" shows foreigners learning to drive in different countries — a German in India, a Korean in Germany and an American in Japan.
 
“Traffic is almost like a metaphor for the culture of each country," says Thiele.
 
By mounting cameras inside the cars, she was able to capture frustration, anxiety and humor that make the documentary seem almost like a comedy.
 
“All three protagonists were at first scared to have a camera following them, but all three then forgot it very quickly, and they became natural," she says, adding that tracking her roving subjects  in cities such as Mumbai posed a particular challenge.
 
"In India, [closely following another car] it is almost impossible, because there is always coming something, so we were like jumping out of the car, trying to catch them," she says.
 
Although Thiel's film is showing in Europe, she is looking for distributors in the United States and Asia.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.

The Flying Greek

Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. He and his stellar band perform a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Charles calls “Creole Soul” on "The Hamilton Live."