Bang For Your Buck Wins Oxfam’s Shooting Poverty Film Competition
Facts and Follow
* Bang For Your Buck received the most votes on shootingpoverty.org
* Grosso Calibre has gone viral with over 100.000 people watching the film embedded on Brazilian sites and YouTube accounts in true funk-proibido style.
* April 6th was the first film to be accepted in a film festival premiering VIBGYOR international film festival in Kerela, India.
* The films are available for watching and sharing on shootingpoverty.org
* You can follow the adventures of Seth and Brice on their own blog
To Whom It May Concern
For security reasons relating to protection of individuals featured in the first version of the documentary film “Grosso Calibre” Oxfam is recalling all editions of the Shooting Poverty DVD. If you have copies of the DVD we ask that you destroy them and contact us immediately so we can send you copies of the new version.
The new version of the film is also available at shootingpoverty.org
“In Burundi a grenade costs the same price as a bottle a beer” – this was the shocking opening line with which the short doc Bang For Your Buck grabbed the attention of judges and audiences alike. From February to June 2010, Oxfam called on young people around the world to submit their vision for a documentary film about armed violence. The challenge: to expose through film the true cost of the poorly regulated arms trade and resulting armed violence on poor communities around the world.
Together, Seth Chase, an American film director, and Brice Blondel, a French political analyst, succeeded at that task making a compelling film free of sensationalism and driven by touching personal testimonies.
Seth and Brice are the first ever winners of Oxfam’s Shooting Poverty short doc competition!
Just after they found out they had won the competition, taking home a Sony EX1 camera and a portable kit, I chatted with the directors, asking them a few questions about the process they’d just gone through, their motivation and what’s next:
Q: What was it like making this film, considering your different backgrounds?
Brice: “It’s always been a very constructive battle between us. We never split areas of specialism, we discuss everything and I think that’s what made the experience so fruitful”.
Seth: “From the beginning Brice and I treated this project as one of the most meaningful projects we may do during our time in Burundi. Also, I feel Brice and I have a good film making dynamic. I like how he thinks, and he’s very creative and doesn’t mind working hard. The whole journey for the film making process was really incredible.”
Q: What was your motivation for making this film?
Seth: “The goal of the film for me was to show the world, hey, there is a country called Burundi, in the middle of Africa, and Burundians could use your help in the fight against small arms. I really didn’t want it to be a victim movie, but rather a film about how weapons have permeated the culture of Burundi, and that the responsibility for this tragedy is shared among all the countries involved in the arms trade. I hope the film is part of the process to create a solution to this problem… and I’d like it to win some film festivals as well because, come on… why not!”
Brice: “I guess it is true for both Seth and I; we love Burundi! From its people, culture, politics and nature – everything about this country is spectacular and dramatic. We’d like people to understand the importance of the issue of small arms and to realize how it affects populations around the world, in all places, including one of the smallest countries in Africa. The documentary shows certain aspects of that issue, and it intends to give a human perspective to it, but in fifteen minutes, it is only a snapshot. It has to be a pretext to open a wider reflection. If it works out, if the film does well, it might also open the door for more public interest in the issues.”
Q: What comes next for you guys?
Seth: “The next project is another documentary. We wrote a treatment a couple weeks ago on the discrimination and violence Burundian woman face country-wide… so that’s a story that we feel is worth telling.”
Brice: “Shooting Poverty gave us this opportunity and it’s been a unique experience. This was the first one and we’d like to take it further. We know how the other thinks and works, we still have a lot to learn from each other and a lot we’d like to say about Burundi. We’d also like to shoot films about the lively political and cultural life that’s happening in all corners of Africa. As long as you take the time to meet people and listen to their stories, everything seems to be movie material!”
Q: But the victory didn’t come easy. How did you find the competition from the two other films and how does it feel to win?
Brice: “Winning the competition is a bonus, and I hope it will help us in the future. But what value from all this is experience of what happened until now, with the support of Oxfam, and together with the other two movies – April 6th from India and Grosso Calibre from Brazil. It’s been a collective effort and our movie would not have had the same interest if it hadn’t been for the context the other ones put it in. I am glad I was given a chance to live this experience.”
Seth: “It’s such a relief… It feels really great to be the first ever Shooting Poverty winners. I love any kind of pioneering projects, so Shooting Poverty really fits that pioneering spirit of merging independent film-making with advocacy for global arms control.”
Watch Seth and Brice’s documentary “Bang For Your Buck”:
Blogpost and Interview by Oistein Thorsen, executive producer of Shooting Poverty, @vinothorsen