The new faces of independent cinema


Photos by Karishma Dube and Ramzi Bashour courtesy of Filmmaker magazine

When announcing the new faces for Filmmaker Magazine’s 2021 independent film, alumni Karishma Dube and Ramzi Bashour made the select list of 25.

In her article with the magazine, Dube spoke of her career starting at home at New Deli until her last Oscar shortlist. Bittu. For Bittu, Dube traveled to villages outside the town of Dehradun to tell the true story of the accidental school poisoning that claimed the lives of 23 children in a school in Bihar in 2013. It took him two and a half years to raise funds to shoot the film. After struggling with grants, Dube raised around $ 14,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and eventually received the rest of the budget from a new NYU internal grant from the Black Family Foundation, enough to give him rehearsal time with its first performers, who were mostly children, and bond with their families and the rest of the villagers. Returning to New York City after becoming so deeply rooted in their community, she felt depressed and out of touch with the experience, so far from a new place she called home. But in due course, she finished Bittu, who received high praise, and found new places to live artistically. “I feel very lucky to be in a place and time where, being Indian, I can still tell deeply personal stories in America, stories that live between my two homes. Said Dubé.

The Bashour filmmaker’s story began after leaving Saudi Arabia, when cinemas were still banned, for Beirut, where he was exposed to more films. There, Bashour rented formative works, in particular Gummo by Harmony Korine and Julien Donkey-Boy, from the “Independent Films” section. “I don’t know why I was drawn to these films – it could have been something as simple and mundane as the height of the shelf it was in the middle part of the store,” he says. . Filmmaker Magazine notes that in its NYU thesis film Trees, in which a young environmental scientist Bashir arrives home for his father’s funeral and can’t pay attention to his homework wondering why the olive trees are dying outside, Bashour deploys a dry and unexpected sense of blocking alongside uncomfortably funny dynamics. He is currently seeking pre-production development grants for a feature film version of Trees, as well as the development of another screenplay, a mother-son road trip movie in the United States called Tomahawk Sources. “I hope these will materialize across the board,” he said. “There were whispers. For the foreseeable future, I will be making educational videos and working nine to five.

Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces first featured directors Jessica Yu and Jamie Babbitt, actor Peter Sarsgaard, director Amy Vincent, and composers Nathan Larson and Craig Wedren, and has since introduced readers to Girls designer Lena Dunham, Drive star Ryan Gosling, The Crash Reel director Lucy Walker, multi-trait Miranda July and Paranormal activity creator Oren Peli, among dozens of others.

Find the full list on Filmmaker.


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