‘Foreign Eye in the Storm’, a feature film documentary, directed by Angelique Papadelias and produced by Little Screen Big Screen was screened once again on Saturday 19th October 2013 at the Producers Club, Manhattan New York.
It was a great turnout with a full house inside the theatre. Film Festivals are a great way to network and meet people globally that share the same passion in making films. It is a great way to view other work by independent artists and each time I attend a festival, I walk away from it having felt inspired and motivated to continue to do the work I do.
This particular festival was organized well in advance with screening times and locations allocated early to be able to promote the screening of the film. I enjoyed the fact that this provided another opportunity for people to see my work on the big screen. This was the fourth festival in which ‘Foreign Eye in the Storm’ was playing at. It was an easy location being in Times Square and the opening party was a real success. I think there is much to be said about the voting systems at all the different festivals because it really depends on which theatre the film plays in, amount of people attending, and what time slot is allocated to the screening. We had an earlier session this time during the day however that didn’t stop people from attending so it was a great success.
Filming a documentary is very different to shooting a fictional movie for many reasons, however I find the best part about documentaries, in particular this one, being about Hurricane Sandy was that it allowed me to really spend time with the victims of the storm in their own environments and really capture their intimate and personal stories within the confines of their own homes, or in this case, what was left of their homes from the devastation of the storm. You never know what you are going to hear when interviewing people so you always have to be prepared to capture everything and most importantly, listen and empathize with each person naturally so that they feel comfortable in talking with you.
Walking into the homes after the storms was a very emotional time for people. This was their home. The place where their children or grandchildren were born and raised. The place where they held their memories of loved ones and shared holiday experiences. This was a sacred opportunity that I needed to treat carefully, be respectful and really appreciate the blessing that it was to be welcomed into these homes to bring their stories to the rest of the world audience. I have found my calling, what I love to do and what I vow to continue to do. As each person interviewed watched the final edited film on the screen, and watched their homes and their belongings before them, it was impossible to hold back the tears welling up in their eyes from the memories, however at the end they still walked away from it with a smile to say “Thank you for bringing our story to the screen”. It is at that moment where I am extremely proud to have done the best thing, not only for myself but for another human being. Little Screen Big Screen will continue to capture life events, historical events, and what I call, the truth, not just in interviews but in the surrounding environment. When telling a story, a personal story, or an event, the most important thing is to capture visually what is occurring, the sounds that are surrounding the event, the smell and the feeling of what has occurred. I am not interested in catching commercial perspectives. I am interested in what is really happening on the ground. The ‘behind the scenes’ reality. The real victims and the real heroes that give their time to get out there and help their fellow human beings with love, compassion and simple caring for others. It is not because it is their job, or they are getting paid for it. It is the simple fact that the person was at home, and felt like for that day it was their decision to give their personal time up to get out there and help others in need. This is the truth in these tales of Hurricane Sandy that I captured. This was the beauty of this film.
I would personally like to thank the editors, Jeff Collins, Renee Sotile and MJ Godges, Gary Lionelli for music composition, Rachel Rourke for her personal song ‘Restore the Shore’, Patricia Collins for the design of the covers for the film, and all the New York and New Jersey community and volunteers that came together to allow me to capture the footage I did. What an honor and a blessing to be a part of such a wonderful project that came from such a devastating event.
The photos below were taken at the Film Screening with the crew, the victims and volunteers of the storm.
Rachel Rourke and her identical twin sister posing with the director Angelique Papadelias.
The director Angelique Papadelias with Tina Downer and Lisa Perez from Oak Beach, Staten Island. The lovely Lisa Perez that shared her traumatic story in the film.
The editor Jeff Collins with the director Angelique Papadelias. A social after party celebration with Jeff Collins, the director, Jalina Stewart and Natascia Leonardis. The editor Jeff Collins, with Patricia Collins and their friends and family.The director posing with Jalina Stewart, a guest at the screening.