Celebrated Seattle director Megan Griffiths, whose narrative feature Night Stalker premiered at SIFF this year, was at KCTS 9 to guest host a conversation with REEL NW filmmakers.
Griffiths spoke with directors Ian Ebright of From the Sky and D.Mitry of Shade of Music about the inspiration for each of their films, how they selected their actors, filming in Washington state and more.
Ian Ebright's narrative short From the Sky, currently streaming on KCTS 9, tells the story of a father and son trying to cope with the effects of drone warfare in their region of the Middle East.
“I think art challenges us and says ‘what do you care about?’” said Ebright. “I wanted to see [the story of drone warfare] from the opposite human perspective.”
I think art challenges us and says ‘what do you care about?’
In his narrative short Shade of Music, writer and director D.Mitry explores the power of kindness, love and music in the story of an unlikely friendship between two elderly neighbors. "I dedicated this film to my grandmothers, two of them are diametrically opposite," said D.Mitry. "There is a dynamic of a little bit of conflict, but when an incident happens it bring the two of them together."
He decided to examine that dynamic between two individuals.
“I thought, ‘What would be the platform to introduce that type of thing?”’ he says. “Why not bring it to the level of race — where we have black and white — and expose it to the point where there is tension. It is ugly. And, really — to show that its all the same and that we as human beings have an obligation to be human beings and be kind to one another — and... to really show we are the same under one sky.”
You want to learn at every stage of the process, so everything has something to teach you for the next one.
Griffiths spoke to Ebright and D.Mitry about each of their production process and what each learned in their first films.
“You want to learn at every stage of the process so everything has something to teach you for the next one,” says Griffiths.
@Lailakaz — Laila Kazmi is an award-winning senior producer and writer at KCTS 9. Her first love is discovering and telling stories of diverse people, places, and history. She has lived in Karachi, Bahrain, Chicago, and Seattle. Laila is the series producer for Borders & Heritage, which features stories of immigrant and refugee experience in the Pacific Northwest and for Reel NW, featuring independent films from and about the Pacific Northwest. She also produces stories for IN Close and produced for PIE. Laila's video stories have appeared on KCTS 9, PBS NewsHour Art Beat, World Channel at WGBH, and KPBS. Her articles have been published in PBS NewsHour Art Beat, The Seattle Times, Seattle PI, COLORLINES, and Pakistan's daily Dawn.More stories by Laila Kazmi