|THE CENTRAL REGION|
Country: USA, Afghanistan
Direction: John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Travis Wilkerson, Soon-Mi Yoo
Editor: Pacho Velez, Robert Todd
Production: Steve Holmgren, Mike Bowes, John Bruce, Matthew Yeager
Production: Central Productions, Steady Orbits, Traveling Light Productions
An omnibus film by five American filmmakers and a collective of young Afghan media journalists, Far From Afghanistan forms a mosaic of cinematic approaches to take a critical look at the longest overseas war in U.S. history. Inspired by the 1967 collaborative film Loin du Vietnam, Far From Afghanistan likewise unites a variety of filmmakers, cinematographers, editors and technicians in the international effort to redirect U.S. policy away from military and political intervention toward true humanitarian and developmental caregiving as invited.
John Gianvito’s feature The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein received the Jury Prize at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. His film Profit Motive and the Whispering wind was named “Best Experimental Film of the Year” by the National Society of Film Critics. Recently his film Vapor Trail (Clark), exploring the impact of the U.S. military presence in the Philippines, was cited as one of the Top Ten Films of the year by critics in Film Comment and Sight&Sound.
Jon Jost began making films in 1963 after being expelled from college. In 1965 he was imprisoned for over 2 years for refusal to cooperate with the Selective Service system. He made his first feature film in 1974, and has since that time focused on a wide range of American issues in his films. Since 1996 he has completing twelve features and many short films. Previous work includes Speaking Directly: Some American Notes, Bell Diamond, All The Vermeers in New York, and The Bed You Sleep In.
Minda Martin directs personal documentaries and narrative films that explore the underpinnings and disparities of social class in America. Her films, including Aka Kathe and Monsoon St., ’77, have won awards and screened internationally that include Viennale, Punto de Vista, New York Video Festival, MoMA, RedCat, LA Museum of Contemporary Art, MOSTRA, Frameline Lesbian and Gay film festival. Currently, she teaches in the Dept of Communication at California State University, San Marcos.
Travis Wilkerson makes films in the tradition of the “third cinema,” wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. Previous films include An Injury to One, Accelerated Under-Development, Who Killed Cock Robin?, and the National Archive series. He has screened at scores of festivals worldwide - Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam, Marseille, Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Hot Docs, Vienna International Film Festival and Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
Soon-Mi Yoo works with various media and genres - photography, film, installation and text to explore marginalized histories. Her work has been exhibited at festivals including Oberhausen, Pompidou Center, New York FF, Rotterdam International FF, and Seattle IFF, and galleries across the country, including the International Center of Photography and Boston Center for the Arts. Her films include Pink, Dangerous Supplement, ISAHN, Ssitkim: talking to the dead, Faith, Do Roo (Circling Back).