Film buffs Kiva Reardon and Fariha Róisín host TIFF’s brand-new biweekly podcast, a showing of keen cultural commentary that explores how movies influence our world. Loud, unapologetic and rooted in pop culture, it borrows its format from boxing: round one flits through movie news and round two—ding ding!—dissects important aspects of the film industry with special guests.
YO ADRIAN Ep. 23: Great Films vs. The #MuslimBan
In this episode, Fariha and Kiva use the “Muslim ban” put in place by U.S. President Trump as a jumping-off point to highlight some of the exceptional filmmakers working in the seven countries affected by the Executive Order. They discuss Iraqi filmmaker Hussein Hassan’s decision not to bring his documentary THE DARK WIND to the Miami Film Festival because of the ban. Asghar Farhadi, similarly, opted not to attend the Academy Awards despite the Best Foreign Language Film nomination for THE SALESMAN. They discuss the importance of being an ally to these filmmakers, and the role that programming and criticism can play.
Not to mention the importance of simply seeing these films, and telling your friends to see them too. Film is powerful at a moment like this, Fariha and Kiva believe, because of the humanizing effect of experiencing stories about real people's lives from regions which are often considered by the news media solely in terms of politics or conflict.
Listen in to find out about some filmmakers to watch from these seven countries:
Iran: Asghar Farhadi, THE SALESMAN, A SEPARATION (and a shout out to actor Golshifteh Farahani)
Iraq: Mohamed Al-Daradji, SON OF BABYLON
Atia Al Daradji and Mohamed Al-Daradji, IN MY MOTHER’S ARMS
Somalia: Fathia Absie, BROKEN DREAMS
Sudan: Atak Ngor, ATAK’S FILM
Libya: Various Directors, LIBYA IN MOTION
Yemen: Sara Ishaq, KARAMA HAS NO WALLS, THE MULBERRY HOUSE
Syria: Diana El Jeiroudi, DOLLS: A WOMAN FROM DAMASCUS
Kerry James Marshall is expanding the canon with his latest show at the Met: http://theartnewspaper.com/news/museums/kerry-james-marshall-makes-his-picks-from-the-met-s-collection/
At the Miami Film Festival, Hussein Hassan protested the ban by cancelling his visa application: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/iraq-filmmaker-protests-trump-muslim-ban-withdraws-visa-application-miami-film-festival-1201774530/
If you are in Toronto, check out Hot Docs’ Ban This Series, a free screening series of documentaries from the banned countries: http://www.hotdocscinema.ca/responsive/content/ban_this_series
Epi 22: Angry Inuk director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
In Round One, Kiva and Fariha discuss the state of things in a post-let's-not-call-him-"President" world, and then consider one form of film that will play a big role in telling stories about that world: documentary. Fariha talks about growing up with Michael Moore's work, and both talk about the must-see Ava DuVernay/Netflix doc 13th (seriously, if you haven't seen it, see it now).
Then in Round Two, award-winning Inuit documentarian Alethea Arnaquq-Baril stops by to talk about her latest film ANGRY INUK, which was recently awarded the People's Choice Award at the Canada's Top Ten Film Festival, the emotional challenges of making the film in a hostile social-media environment, questions of representation for Indigenous peoples and women in the current media landscape, and maybe the worst reality show pitch of all time.
Ep. 21: Magali Simard on Canada's Top Ten Film Festival
In Round One, Kiva and Fariha talk about their film-based New Year's resolutions (which are actually "intentions," because they are not Bridget Jones). One of their shared intentions: watch more Canadian films. Which is a nice segue into...
...Round Two, featuring TIFF programmer Magali Simard with an in-depth discussion about Canadian film, starting Friday January 13, and specifically the lineup for this year's Canada's Top Ten Film Festival, which features some exciting work from lesser-known and first-time Canadian directors (and also very well known seventh-time director Xavier Dolan). Some interesting questions also get addressed: what role does the education system play in exposing the public to English-Canadian films? What does "Canadian identity" mean in the context of Canadian film? And how does the rest of the world see our cinema?
Ep. 20: Vikram Gandhi on Barry
What makes a political biopic great? And why are so few of them about women? In Round One, Kiva and Fariha talk about Vikram Gandhi's BARRY (Vikram is our Round Two guest!), THE IRON LADY (no. Just no.), contracting a case of HisPo (it's not contagious), the work of Oliver Stone, and various other films that are and are not worth your time.
Then Fariha has a wide-ranging talk with Vikram Gandhi (starting at 13:49) about how he came to make a film about a young Barack Obama, the process of recreating the President's early life, casting the role and others, the importance of Obama's college roommate, the influence of Ralph Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN, and exploring issues of race on film.
Yo Adrian Delivers A Knockout 👊🏼
These ladies are funny and super smart. It's the only podcast I can think of talking about independent and world cinema - Abbas Kiarostami? Hany Abu Assad? Hearing about auteur filmmakers while having fun is fantastic.