Immersion

12mins2009ShortsNR
Casting was probably the most important part of making Immersion. The search to find Moises and his classmates took several months. I visited the twelve elementary schools in Oakland and San Francisco with the highest Latino enrollment. These are also schools where the vast majority of students are poor enough to qualify for free lunches. I spoke in every 4th and 5th grade classroom. I encouraged the kids to make their own films, using the child filmmaking exploits of fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson as an example. Who's seen Lord of the Rings and; Guess how old the filmmaker was when he made his first film (correct answer: 8 years old) turned out to be good conversation-starters. Of course, the kids were also encouraged to participate in Immersion.
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Nanking - Narrated
Nanking - Narrated
2007 | 90mins
R
War
A powerful, emotional and relevant reminder of the heartbreaking toll war takes on the innocent, this award-winning documentary tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China, in the early days of World War II. As part of a campaign to conquer all of China, the Japanese subjected Nanking?which was then China's capital?to months of aerial bombardment, and when the city fell, the Japanese army unleashed murder and rape on a horrifying scale. In the midst of the rampage, a small group of Westerners banded together to establish a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge. Unarmed, these missionaries, university professors, doctors and businessmen?including a Nazi named John Rabe?bore witness to the events, while risking their own lives to protect civilians from slaughter. The story is told through deeply moving interviews with Chinese survivors, chilling archival footage and photos, testimonies of former Japanese soldiers?and a staged reading of the Westerners' letters and diaries by Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, Jurgen Prochnow and others. NANKING is a testament to the courage and conviction of individuals who were determined to act in the face of evil and a powerful tribute to the resilience of the Chinese people?a gripping account of light in the darkest of times. This version of the film features descriptive narration for the blind and visually impaired, created by the Narrative Television Network.
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Nanking - Narrated