Bakhtari and I were supposed to meet at dok-Leipzig when four films from our series were screened. But Bakhtari decided to seek asylum in Germany instead, and never showed up at the festival. He was temporarily placed in Putbus on the island of Rügen where we met while he awaited his interview with the German refugee authorities.
Buster-award for best documentary 2014. Producer Jakob Gottschau (left) has since 1985 worked as producer, director and external editor for EBU. His films won several awards for their journalistic and narrative qualities. Filmeditor Jesper Osmund (right) was the the editor of ‘No Burka behind Bars”, “Bananas” and many other awardwinning international full-length documentaries.
Bakhtari and I at the Al Jazeerafestival 2014. Qatar was an experience for both of us, among other things because the kind people there took us around in limousines. Here in a Mercedes S-class, which surprisingly felt sort of, well, efficiently mundane.
With researcher and aspiring phd. Karthik Kalamanathan (left) and our driver in Andhra Pradesh. We did a story about how moneylenders were involved in the production of seeds for a big swiss multinational. The company, Syngenta, contested our evidence, but eventually conceded to negotiate a better pay to their suppliers.
During 8 month in 2013 I filmed the stories of 5 children in Afghanistan for a series titled “Faith Hope Afghanistan” together with Taj Mohammad Bakhtari.
Together with my friend Lars at the Feuerstein Institute in Jerusalem. Lars discovered the genius of Reuven Feuerstein, who developed his methods to enhance cognitive development when he was entrusted with traumatized children, who survived Holocaust. Feuerstein (front) and Rafi tells story in the film “A Diagnosed Boy”.
Sam and I with Madhavan in Bangalore airport. In Bangalore we had to confront some granite tycoons, and we called in Madhavan to coach us to be tough. With Sam I have covered more miles than with anyone else in my life, and he was a close friend and collaborator for many years. Today he’s with Unicef.
In 2009-10 I made 3 films on the reconstruction of the civil society in Afghanistan. One on the development of a national policeforce. Arne, a Danish homicide investigator, and I were often grounded for days in his container because of the war. I witnessed some interesting dialogues between Arne and the Afghan investigators, he trained: Afghan: “We have a body”. Arne: “How was he killed?”. Afghan: “We don’t know”. Arne: “Was the body buried?” Afghan: “Yes”. Arne: “Then, can you exclude suicide?” Afghan: “Eh, well…” Arne: “I think it’s safe to exclude suicide”.
Together with Sam – my Indian assistant director – I did a series called the winners of globalisation. One film was about graniteproduction in a place called Ongole. The only place where Black Galaxy granite is found on the planet. It is hideously expensive once it reaches the market in Europe, USA and China. It’s broken by some of the poorest migrant workers in India, in a health threatening environment. Here we are with our driver ‘Shaker’. His name is in fact Shakeer, but the way he drove prompted us to remove an ‘e’ from his name.
Pierre and Patrick assisted me in Malawi doing 2 films on global warming in 2009. Later I made another film about the Chinese in Africa with Patrick. Pierre went on to set up a new company in Cambodia, and coincidently directed some sequences for my future producer Jakob on his series called ‘Cyberwar’. Patrick runs a small production company in Lillongwe.
Anita and Ganga both joined me on “The Untouchables” – a series on discrimination of casteless people in India and Nepal. Both were extremely courageous and friendly and I went on to do other projects with both of them.