In 2013, Robyn Allen received a 20-year sentence for trafficking in illegal drugs. She says she sold methamphetamine to support her family after a back injury left her without work. But the reasons Allen started using the drug run much deeper... Credits: Director/Producer: Emily Harger & Olivia Merrion Reporter: Allison Herrera Editor: Ziva Branstettor Editor in Chief: Amy Pyle Executive Producer: Amanda Pike Senior Producer: Aubrey Aden-Buie Coordinating Producer: Rachel de Leon
The story of 'Dambe' is told through the eyes of 35-year-old Taiwo, a street boxer from Ogun State, Nigeria. Simpson and Barros conducted parts of Taiwo’s interview on top of one of Lagos’s many unfinished tower blocks that provide cinematic sunburnt views across the former capital. Shots reveal the Ogun fighter training in empty stairwells, underneath bypasses and with a make-shift punch bag made from rice. “We wanted to capture the essence of Dambe in a cinematic way,” say the directors. “Witnessing the practice through the eyes and experience of Taiwo felt like the most personal and effective way to do it.” Dambe is fought in rounds of three, or less if an opponent is knocked out. The fighters are self-taught and surreptitiously learn the rules and techniques of the game by watching other fights. The most fascinating feature of Dambe is the competitor’s primary weapon, a single arm bandaged in cotton and rope—not for their own protection but to deliver devastating blows. What started as a rural sport in Northern Nigeria has become a national phenomenon that is now somewhat funded by the government and has a dedicated channel on YouTube (Dambe Warriors) boasting millions of online views. “Beyond the strikes and intimidating stares there’s a depth to Dambe that you otherwise may not have known existed,” the London filmmakers comment. “The sport is steeped in tradition and surrounded by theories of supernatural protection and magical amulets.” Dambe fighters may receive money, cattle or jewelry as winnings but Taiwo explains that the real prize is the glory and adoration the competitor receives from the crowd. Simpson and Barros conclude, “When Taiwo spoke of his fights we felt the enthusiasm pour out of him—reliving each fight with intensity and affection in equal measure.”
One Man's Trash
A Brooklyn man has a strange hobby of creating life size robots out of trash. Directed by The Craig Brothers www.thecraigbrothers.com Produced by We Are Films www.wearefilms.com Have a story that you think we should tell? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org Featuring Peter Kokis of Brooklyn RobotWorks
The Pearson Twins
Identical twins, Adam and Neil Pearson, are navigating life in South London with a rare genetic disorder - neurofibromatosis. Despite their identical DNA, the twins are affected in vastly different ways. The one thing that remains the same is their perspective of life and how to live it best. Director - Jonathan Braue Producer - Kenny Ingle Director of Photography - Cody Cochran 1st Assistant Camera - Dimitrius Ramirez Editor - Joseph Talbot Colorist - Patrick Sexton Audio Design/Mix - Chent Steinbrink U.K. Location Production Support Producer - Jemma Goba Assistant Producer - Amy Saunders Sound Recordist - Steve Lee 2nd Assistant Camera - Adam Green Music Safe and Sound - Graham Colton Nostalgia - A. Taylor We Move the Same - Luke Atencio Asos Model Crush - dnè Our Kingdom - Generdyn
In the last five years more than 600,000 immigrants have left home to face a journey for whom many will not return. Sulayman doesn't know when he will see his family again. He cannot go back. This is a simple portrait of a young man from Gambia. Director: Simone Felici Director of Photography: Simone Felici Creative Direction: Marcello Ercole / Dennis Cabella Produced by: Simone Felici / Illusion Music: Roland Bingaman Editing: Illusion Color Grading: Orash Rahnema (www.orash.it) First Camera Assistant: Marzio Mirabella Sound Recordist: Gabriele Pallanca Production Assistant: Marco Santostefano Production Assistant: Federico Donnini helped by CEIS Genova (www.ceisge.org) www.simonefelici.net email@example.com Instagram: @feliciisdead With the patronage of AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL www.amnesty.org www.amnesty.it Please visit www.illusion-group.it Shot on ARRI Alexa XT and ARRI MasterPrime Anamorphic lens, during spring 2018 in Genoa and Campo Ligure, Italy.