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WILDLIKE: Interview with Writer, Director, Producer Frank Hall Green

WildLike Production Stills

Wildlike is a thrilling coming-of-age adventure! A troubled teen must face the dangers of the Alaskan wild, as well as her own past, in order to find her way home. We had an opportunity to speak with writer, director and producer Frank Hall Green to discuss his feature film’s public release. Wildlike, which stars Ella Purnell and Bruce Greenwood, screened to acclaim at the DC Independent FIlm Festival in March 2015.

Be sure to catch Wildlike in theaters starting Friday, September 25th!

Where did you find inspiration for to make Wildlike?

GREEN: The origin of Wildlike came from several aspects of my life and interests. The social issue in the film had become important to me over time and I became dedicated to presenting the events of Mackenzie’s assault in a truthful and effective way. As an issue, it’s under-represented and too easily discarded as a plot device in film and television storytelling, especially when you consider the scope of how many girls and women are affected and the grave damage done to a person in all related circumstances. I had an inherent desire to tell a story about a person on a trajectory into the outdoors of the out-of-doors. I realized I really wanted the landscapes to speak to this, and Alaska popped into my mind and stuck. So over time I married the idea of adventure, being lost in Alaska and healing in nature with the social issue of the film, which in turn would be the cause of Mackenzie running away, allowing me to explore deeper characters and present issues important to me in the movie.

What challenges did you face at different stages of production?

GREEN: Two distinct difficulties with Wildlike were developing the story and writing the script. As I wove the images, characters and environments together into a story, I then had to translate a very full head of what I thought I understood down onto the page, where suddenly it was a mess with little structure and many holes. So when I began to write each moment and realize I need moments in between, suddenly I needed to know what an action of a character means, what decisions will be made, how will the character develop, what exactly will they say or not say, and then I was stumped. I especially had to take frequent breaks and spoke to a close confidant on a daily basis while writing the Uncle’s part. Brian Geraghty had a similar difficulty in playing Uncle, and we shared that, and I commend him for stepping up and portraying Uncle with vigor.

WildLike Production Stills

What was your favorite aspect of making this film in particular?

GREEN: For me there is something precious and singular about accomplishing one’s first feature narrative film. Naturally, one would do the best one could with a feature, but I think there is a perspective of humility, care, awareness and perfection that is crucial. In relation to this, the film has to be worth it, which to me means different, fresh, original and with meaning. Directing and completing a feature is a beautiful thing for a writer/director because you are forced to rework the screenplay all the way through into the editing room. You realize a final product that was once a kernel of an idea or image. This is a tremendous benefit for a director who is also a writer, and who counts himself or herself as a practicing and learning filmmaker.

Do you have any advice regarding independent film distribution?

GREEN: Recently, several filmmakers have asked about our festival strategy and distribution.  To be fair, I did not have a plan for distribution different than the typical ‘go to big festival, sell the movie,’ but I was diligent and that has paid off. My advice would be to begin building a network of audience and collaborators. Every aspect of the filmmaking process should be to gather people into the fold of those who know your film and will support it.  This starts with family, crew, crew’s family and friends, all who helped on the production and and in post.  Add social media to that, during pre-production, and keep it going.  Then that circle can grow at film festivals, screenings, special events and anyone you meet in the meantime.  A distributor may or may not be willing to take on your film for any number of reasons, but you can prepare for the distribution conversation and offer by telling them you have been working on outreach and you’re ready to continue. They can distribute your film, but no one can market it grassroots-fashion like yourself.  For better or for worse, that is what indie films need.

What’s next for you? Any projects in the works?

GREEN: I have a development and production company with producer Tom Heller: Catch & Release Films. Tom and I have several books and materials that we have acquired for adaptation, so those are underway on the producing front.  For writing and directing, where does one go after Alaska? The pressure! No, seriously, I have several scripts, but I have not determined which is #2 yet. Rest assured the location will play a role. I hope I can arrange a great journey, physical and emotional, with poignant characters and restraint. I look forward to starting the independent film process over again!

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Masterclass with Award-Winning Director Vikram Jayanti

DCIFF presents a masterclass with veteran multi-award-winning documentary director and producer Vikram Jayanti on Sunday, March 1st at 1:45pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance HERE or at the door (limited to 30 attendees).


One of the hardest challenges of documentary filmmaking is controlling the unexpected. This year’s masterclass with Vikram Jayanti will focus on his experiences interviewing difficult, eccentric, larger-than-life and often notorious subjects, and the techniques and strategies that have produced the best results for his films. Vikram will be discussing and showing excerpts from several of his films that contain people that are not only larger-than-life, but they are about something bigger than themselves.

His stunning credentials from years of experience grants Vikram access into the lives of people who are otherwise off-limits to the world. A few dynamic characters from his films that will be topics of the masterclass include a self-acclaimed psychic spy in The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, a musical genius in The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, James Ellroy’s Feast of Death and a chess extraordinair in Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine. He will discuss various techniques that were used to capture unique moments and angles with these individuals.

A top-of-mind scenario for Vikram when speaking with him about what we can expect from the masterclass was how the energy shifted when he sat James Ellroy across from his wife Helen during filming enabling only the filmmaker to truly visualize the scene. Vikram enjoyed exploring the difference between facts and truth with filming Ellroy. He explains his cinematic approach by saying, “art and literature can have access to deeper truths than facts can provide. Supplying the fundamentals of the facts is important, but then engage the audience with the mystery of the story, a new way to see detectives and the ability to visualize the truth.”

Vikram will help explain how to obtain the less obvious and yet more fascinating aspects of a story. For example, the focus for his film about the famous Russian chess player Garry “The Beast” Kasparov, whose only undefeatable opponent was an IBM supercomputer, was not the game of chess. Vikram changed the story from chess to the “face-off” between a Russian and Wallstreet. The Beast was unable to stare down a computer which resulted in unexpected, thrilling and adrenaline induced storytelling.

The relationship between the filmmaker and the subject is more than a face-to-face interview. Join us on Sunday, March 1st at 1:45pm to learn the essential techniques and approaches, along with a few tricks of the trade, to capture the untold story.

Learn more about Vikram Jayanti and the event HERE.

Vikram's films

Purchase tickets HERE to see films directed and produced by Vikram Jayanti:

Thursday, February 26th at 6pm
The Secret life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?
Friday, February 27th at 2pm
Saturday, February 28th at 8pm
James Ellroy’s Feast of Death

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Teenkahon (Three Obsessions) Screening & Discussion with Bauddhayan Mukherji


DCIFF presents a screening of Teenkahon (Three Obsessions) followed by a Q&A with producer-director Bauddhayan Mukherji on Saturday, February 28th at 5:15pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.

Teenkahon is a rare international triptych film directed by one of India’s leading advertising filmmakers, Bauddhayan Mukherji. The three stories that make up this film capture the changing face of morality, degeneration of values and the changing social fabric of Bengal. Teenkahon has been Mukherji’s tribute to Satyajit Ray, the one man who unknowingly changed his life for the best. Mukherji says, “he is the reason why I make films, hence the first story is dedicated to him. If it does remind people of Ray, I would take it as a complement.”

Teenkahon Film Still 5*    Teenkahon Film Still 4*

Three stories, spanning one hundred years, are structured in the manner of a classical three-act play. The first film, Nabalok, represents the time period 1920-1954 and is shot in black and white. Post Mortem is a technicolor film set in 1978. The third act is titled Telephone, and it depicts 2013 in contemporary digital film format. Teenkahon is an ambitious movie that links each story through the theme of obsessive relationships outside of marriage. As a director, Mukherji says he has, “aimed to document social evolution in Bengal and at the same time celebrate each period in all its glory through this film.”

Buddy's headshot 3

At age eleven, Mukherji decided to become a filmmaker after ready a book by Satyajit Ray titled Ekei Boley Shooting (All About Shooting). Today he runs his own production company called Little Lamb Films and is considered a trailblazer in Indian advertising, having won numerous international awards for his commercials. Although he thrives in the commercial ad space, Mukherji’s heart lies with Bengali feature films.

Mukherji sees Teenkahon as his tribute to a hundred years of Indian filmmaking. He tells us, “If people find the dualism and dichotomy that exist in this journey of two hours interesting, I would possibly feel elated as a filmmaker.”

Learn more about Teenkahon on the DCIFF website.

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Real Storytelling Through Virtual Reality

VR glasses

The popular pastime of watching a movie is beginning to have a new meaning. Filmmaker Emiliano Ruprah has reached beyond just watching and has broken into telling stories through virtual reality. Snake River, Emiliano tells us, is the first virtual reality movie. This fully immersive heist film integrates the audience with five mercenaries that are hired to retrieve a stolen biological weapon. After being captured by a highly unstable Russian mobster, they must piece together what went wrong, and who, if anyone, is telling the truth.

Snake River

This film was shot 360 degrees with a special camera and rig, and it provides a panoramic motion image that is then stitched together in post-production. The story is experienced through a headset worn by the viewer and allows them to be engrossed in the film without the option to look away from the screen. Initially a thesis project, Snake River was produced in 2 months with the help of extensive research, funding and technical support in partnership with GXM.

This 30 minute film experiment has opened doors into the future of filmmaking. Ruprah is fascinated by the unique opportunity of “integrating people and entertainment,” and is eager to continue this form of storytelling in spite of the financial and technologically advanced challenges that come along with virtual reality. Although Ruprah feels we’re still “building a cinematic language,” the potential of 360 degree filmmaking is growing closer to becoming a reality in the near future.

Distribution for this type of film has its challenges, but Ruprah is excited to be able to share this innovative, artistic experiment. DCIFF is proud to join with Ruprah to present the virtual reality film experience at this year’s festival. Join us on Friday, Feb 27th for Happy Hour from 6-8pm Navy Heritage Center, Archives Metro and all-day Saturday, Feb 28th from 2-7pm (District Architecture Center at Archives or Gallery Place Metro) to try this out ($5 donation requested).

Don’t just go to the movies, experience a different reality.

Learn more about Snake River here and follow on Facebook for updates on screening times at DCIFF.

For details on DCIFF and this year’s festival, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.