Friday, December 02, 2011

AIFF 2011: Nayeem Mahbub, Mutant Chickens director, Interview From Kenya

Each year I seem to want to do more and more and feel like I'm doing less and less.  But I think, at least pre-festival, I'm doing more, but in a more focused area.  It seems that this year I've concentrated on the Animated Films in Competition.  There's already a post up with an overview of the seven. 

I've tried to contact the various film makers of these animated films to talk with them in advance.  I know that Gergely Wootsch [This is Not Real] is planning on being here for a week from London and that Patrick Neary [Landscape with Duck] is doing a reverse migration trip to the north in winter for the festival.

I've had some email communication with others and just had a skype chat with Nayeem Mahbub who is in Kenya for the wedding of a good friend.  The video quality was poor to begin with.  I did a video interview with Brent Scarpo before he came to Anchorage, but that was using my little camera to record the screen.  This time I have software called Call Recorder which records the skype audio and video directly.  As I say, the video quality I saw on my screen was pretty squirrely, but I'll leave it because Nayeem is still pretty expressive.

I had some questions that related to the cultural context of the film.  Nayeem is from Bangladesh. 

Q:  Is there a market for films like this in Bangladesh? 
A:  Not really 
Q;  Is there something that a Bangladeshi audience would get that an American audience might miss?
A: We follow a lot of conventions of Bangladeshi films - some dancing, a lot of sounds and uses of sound, and other conventions Bangladeshi audiences would recognize and combines them with a modern zombie style film.

I'm giving you these answers here because I still haven't figured out how I want to use what I got, given the quality of the video.  But I decided to take a three minute part of the chat to give you an idea of how much fun it was to talk to Nayeem.  I'll figure out how to use the rest later - there's too much going on with the festival starting now to do this well now.  But here's a teaser.

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