Filed under: Correspondence
And following is the letter I wrote to Transforma to describe what I want to do for this APAP project:
Subject: residency, angola and the bottom of my heart
Date: November 25, 2007 10:00:10 PM GMT+01:00
Hi Tiago, Luis and Renata,
Many hugs from the east river in new york. my desk looks out over it. I see the sun you send from portugal every morning…i guess i am actually looking at you right now – if only my eyes were that good.
It is difficult for me to communicate at the moment because I had a medical emergency and lost the hearing in my “good” ear. I am pretty much deaf right now after surgery on wednesday, but am guardedly hopeful that it will come back. I will know more in a week. Now I am home resting, taking drugs and being taken care of by family and friends.
Because of this, I can’t talk on the phone or over skype (i can instant message, though).
So I thought I would write an email about what i am thinking about for coming to Portugal to work in the Spring and to see what possibilities there are to organize the time well – in advance – so that i can actually do the best and most enjoyable work possible.
This is what i would like to do:
– write a feature film script
– document the process of investigating and writing it
I see 3 primary parts to writing the script:
– research in Portugal / Lisbon
– research in Angola
So basically what I would do in Portugal is research – go to african clubs, meet people, interview on camera, collect stories, music, images, experiences. I am interested in Angolan immigration – back and forth. White angolans, black portuguese and vice versa. Also white portuguese who were in the commandos, for example. Salazar’s boys. Maybe a coffee with Antonio Lobos Antunes if possible or others that I don’t know about. I have a couple of ideas for story lines for an eventual script that would travel from Lisbon to Angola along the Benguela Railway. But this is all in my head from things I have read and am interested in. Actual experiences are key. And this is what I think I can do there.
Then the second part of the residency, I would like to write and put the ideas together and see how far I get on the script with the idea of shooting a feature film over the next year and a half. Whatever I document of my experiences and research could also be shown in some other format in Torres Vedras. Whether as performance/ presentation or installation or something else. Depending on what makes sense with whatever I have. Or maybe it is possible to have some sort of dialogue with institutions or universities or groups in Lisbon who are interested in immigration and africa and art…?
So then the other part of the work is in Angola (the crazy dream part – I’ve always wanted to go to africa!). I know that this plan is separate from the residency. I have been trying to figure out alternate ways of funding a month long trip to Angola to travel and film along the Benguela Railway. I wrote a proposal and sent it to a magazine that funds reports from abroad that are within their interests. They are interested in the railway, it’s history and the fact that the Chinese are reconstructing it. Important theme for scared Americans right at the end of the empire. I will talk with the magazine – called GOOD Magazine – in a couple of weeks and see how serious they might be about funding a trip. In the meantime, I want to look for other possible funding sources. I have a contact with TV3 in Barcelona and we’ll see what he says. And I will look for other sources here – like ITVS which funds international documentary projects. But I wanted to ask you guys about thoughts there in Portugal. Below I have a couple of sources that I thought might be possible, but I really don’t know. I also know that Transforma doesn’t do film productions, and that the scope of the project idea is very wide, but i figure, what the hell. as they say in english “nothing ventured, nothing gained” or “it can’t hurt to ask”
(I think to go to angola, i really just need the costs for a flight. living and travel expenses. someone to work with there who knows the country. I think I can shoot with my camera and microphones. (i will have to brush up on my portuguese…))
– The other foundation that Tiago told me about – the one run buy a guy married to the daughter of ANGOLA’S PRESIDENT
– Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Em 2007 prosseguirá o apoio à realização de filmes de carácter experimental sobre temas de arte, privilegiando-se os projectos propostos por jovens cineastas, em início de carreira. Poderão, também, ser contemplados pedidos apresentados por outros autores, desde que os projectos se inscrevam na mesma linha de carácter inovador e experimental e não envolvam orçamentos onerosos. Manter-se-á igualmente, em casos especiais, o apoio à divulgação do cinema português no estrangeiro.
Subsídios para projectos teatrais e pluridisciplinares apresentados por criadores profissionais de idade não superior a 35 anos. Só se podem candidatar criadores que não tenham realizado mais do que cinco encenações profissionais.
PROGRAMA GULBENKIAN CRIATIVIDADE E CRIAÇÃO ARTÍSTICA
Com o objectivo de promover a formação artística avançada de criadores-autores, a Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian criou o Programa Gulbenkian Criatividade e Criação Artística. O programa decorre no Centro de Arte Moderna até 2008. Em 2007 estão previstas as segundas edições dos Cursos de Encenação de Teatro, Encenação de Ópera e Realização de Cinema. Para mais informações cliquehttp://www.programacriatividade.gulbenkian.pt
Ok guys, great talking with you.
I hope you have survived TransformaB
and all the financial tally for APAP V
and all the other crazy things you are up to
I also want to thank you from the bottom of my heart how much attention and care and help you gave me and claudia when we were there. You guys made us feel very safe and protected in a scary situation. It meant the world to both of us. I can’t overstate what that was for us. Truly extraordinary. Thank you.
Jeremy Xido / Cabula6
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