Korean-Brazilian filmmaker Iara Lee [Photo: Michael (Yeong-ung) Yang, The Korea Central Daily News]
International award winning Korean Brazilian film producer and director Lara Lee is among the leading filmmakers who have already submitted films for the 2nd Eko International Film Festival coming up from Saturday July 9 to Thursday July 14, at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos, Nigeria. The popular filmmaker who is based in New York City celebrated as the director of the documentaries Synthetic Pleasures and Modulations, as well as for her involvement with the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla”, in which at least nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed by Israeli naval forces.
She is the founder of the Caipirinha Foundation and a member of the Council of Advisors to the National Geographic Society.
Lee was the producer of the São Paulo International Film Festival.
“Synthetic Pleasures”, which deals with the impact of high technology on mass culture was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, and won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.
In 1998, she released the multimedia project “Modulations”, which traces the evolution of electronic music. Her most recent film was “Beneath the Borqa”, a 2000 short documentary film about the lives of women and children under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
Her Cultures of Resistance, which celebrates creative acts of political struggle is a special selection of the Eko International Film Festival.
Other notable filmmakers are Gugu Michaels, a Nigerian American director who is an accomplished filmmaker who has worked as a director and producer on a number of commercial and independent projects including the feature films “Thugz”, “Repentance” and “Dangerous County”. He has also helmed a number of campaigns for retailers like Cadillac, Lamborghini and Porche. Prior to co-founding New Era Pictures, Michaels served as president of Dallas based Redrumm Records and worked with such artists as hip hop giants UGK; Alix François Meier from Essen / Germany. An editor for documentaries at SPIEGEL TV, and since 1992, a director for documentaries and commissioned producer for public television and private broadcaster. He has a natural fondness for France and Spain: from the culinary bon-vivant image down to the catacombs in Paris, the half-Frenchman loves anything and everything to do with the two countries. But he particularly likes widening his horizons. This is what has already taken him half way round the world to meet protagonists in unusual situations and get them to tell their story. Meier’s “The King of Palma – Life according to Bruno“ is one of the top documentaries to be screened at the festival; and another notable filmmaker is the international award winning Nigerian director Chike Ibekwe, whose feature “Eternal” shared the Golden Screen best film award with “An Unusual Woman” by Burkinabe director Abdoulaye Dao.at the 14th annual “Ecrans noirs” Film Festival in Yaounde (Cameroon) in 2010.
Another special selection is the award winning short documentary Dream for Nigeria produced by McNally Temple Associates, Inc. It is based on the challenges and achievements of seven female members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, and the role they play in their country’s political, social and economic development.
The final list of the selected films will be announced on June 25, 2011.