BYOD comes from the LA Film Fest and brings Code Black and My Stolen Revolution, plus a conversation with festival senior programmer, Maggie Mackay. Nahid Persson Sarvestani joins us to talk about her return to Iran after decades away, My Stolen Revolution. Finally, we see Code Black is a look inside the LA Hospital system filmed over six years, and director Ryan McGarry shares the story of making it.
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.
Maggie Mackay – LAFF Senior Programmer
Maggie Mackay’s interest in film developed as a small child in her hometown of New York City, where she spent hours with her mother at Film Forum, transfixed by films highly inappropriate for her young age. As an adolescent, Mackay went on to discover the (sadly) now defunct Rare Bird Video, on the corner of Broome and Wooster. There she spent an equally inordinate amount of time in the store’s odd smelling but deeply inspirational basement, which housed thousands of titles (most of which were old or obscure) and a remarkably patient staff that never kicked her out.
Mackay holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Film Studies from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s degree in Literature and Film Studies from Claremont Graduate University. She has worked as a freelance programmer and writer, script reader, Hollywood Assistant, on-set Production Coordinator, and Senior Coordinator of the Sundance Documentary Fund. Mackay joined Film Independent in 2003.
MY STOLEN REVOLUTION: Nahid Persson Sarvestani
Thirty years after narrowly escaping Iran and impending imprisonment during The 1979 revolution, filmmaker and activist Nahid Persson Sarvestani sets out to find the friends she left behind. Through the harrowing stories of the women who were not as fortunate as she, Persson is led to her own redemption.
After recent protests in Iran awaken Filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani’s memories to a time when as a young activist she fled after the 1979 revolution, she begins a quest to find her surviving friends. Haunted by the guilt of abandoning her imprisoned friends and her brother, Rostam, who was later executed, she finally finds them and learns about their horrific torture and about Rostam’s final days.
Returning to the Los Angeles Film Festival, documentarian Persson Sarvestani presents a deeply moving, intensely personal narrative that unfolds as she reunites with an astonishingly open and eloquent group of women. Through their stories, which reconstruct a shared past equal parts harrowing and inspiring, Persson Sarvestani is led to her own redemption.
CODE BLACK: Ryan McGarry
First time filmmaker Ryan McGarry is also a doctor at the hospital and took his camera to work during the four years of his residency. With CODE BLACK, he provides deeply personal insight into the triumphs and difficulties he and his fellow residents who train and work at LA County Hospital face on a daily basis. As they are forced to confront the unexpected realities of life and death in a safety net hospital and a healthcare system at the brink of overload, many of them question their own sense of identities as doctors and what it means to practice medicine within the bureaucracy of modern medicine.