BYOD is back at Sundance for the last installment of our four Special Episodes. In this installment we talk to the makers of God Loves Uganda, about the persecution of gays in Uganda. Next, we speak with the most talked-about production duo of the festival about their films, The Summit (a hybrid doc about a K-2 disaster), and Sound City-Dave Grohl’s doc about the legendary studio in the Valley of LA, and Who is Dani Cristal?
We meet the maker of Salma, which details an Indian poet breaking out of the veil of sexism in her country.
Finally we close Sundance with a visit from Jehane Noujaim, whose film of the Egyptian revolution set the fest on fire–The Square.
Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Tuesdays at noon on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.
BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
God Loves Uganda
The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the radical task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.
When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village.
As with her other work (Pink Saris, Rough Aunties), master documentarian Kim Longinotto trains her camera on an iconoclastic woman. Salma’s extraordinary story is one of courage and resilience, and Longinotto follows her on an eye-opening trip back to her village. Salma has hopes for a different life for the next generation of girls, but as she witnesses, familial ties run deep, and change happens very slowly.
The Summit (Winner: World Cinema Documentary Editing)
In August 2008, twenty-four climbers from several international expeditions converged on High Camp of K2, the last stop before the summit of the most dangerous mountain on earth. Forty-eight hours later, eleven had been killed or had vanished, making it the worst K2 climbing disaster in history.
At the heart of The Summit lies a mystery about one extraordinary man, Ger McDonnell. By all accounts, he was faced with a heart-breaking dilemma– at the very limit of his mortal resources, he encountered a disastrous scene and a moral dilemma: three climbers tangled up in ropes and running out of time. In the death zone, above 8,000 metres, the body is literally dying with each passing second. Morality is skewed 180 degrees from the rest of life. When a climber falls or wanders off the trail, the unwritten code of the mountain is to leave them for dead. Had Ger McDonnell stuck to the climbers’ code, he might still be alive.
Deep in the San Fernando Valley, amidst rows of dilapidated warehouses, was rock n’ roll’s best kept secret: Sound City. America’s greatest unsung recording studio housed a one-of-a-kind console, and as its legend grew, seminal bands and artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young,Rick Springfield, Tom Petty, Metallica and Nirvana all came out to put magic to tape. Directed by Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and featuring interviews and performances from the iconic musicians who recorded some of rock’s greatest albums at the studio, Sound City doesn’t just tell the story of this real-life rock ’n’ roll shrine, it celebrates the human element of music as Grohl gathers some of rock’s biggest artists to collaborate on a new album. Using Sound City’s legendary analog console, together these artists continue to create musical miracles in a digital world.
Who is Dayani Cristal (Winner: World Cinema Excellence in Cinematography)
Marc Silver’s masterful documentary assembles the answers to these questions using beautifully realized dramatic sequences with famed actor Gael García Bernal. Silver and Bernal reconstruct this John Doe, denied an identity at his point of death, into a living and breathing human being with a full and deeply engaging life story. Unfolding like a thrilling crime drama, the film builds to an emotionally devastating climax.
00:01 Show Intro.
00:45 God Loves Uganda, by Roger Ross Williams.
02:22 Speaking with Roger Ross Williams, Rev. Kapya Kaoma and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.
19:03 Sound City, Clip.
21:45 Mark Monroe and Paul Crowder of Sound City, The Summit, and Who Is Dayani Cristal
32:23 The Summit, Clip.
40:53 Salma, Clip.
43:40 Kim Longinotto and Salma.
57:10 The Square, by Jehane Noujaim.