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Discussion: “A La Calle” at the Miami Film Festival

Discussion: “A La Calle” at the Miami Film Festival

 

 

Introduction to Shawna Brakefield-Haase + Nelson Navarrete. 1:51 min.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Editing & Production:  Estefania Ugueto.  Recorded via Zoom, 2/27/2021.

 

 

NELSON G. NAVARRETE (Director/Producer) was raised in Caracas, Venezuela, until the age of 15, when his family fled the country in the face of mounting political upheaval. He went on to study at San Francisco State University, where he received a B.A. in cinema. After graduating, Navarrete returned to Venezuela, where his groundbreaking music videos and short films helped shape the visual aesthetics of his generation. Collaborating with some of the most influential Latino rappers, including Canserbero and Lil Supa, he built an expansive network of creative partners including directors Scott Lazer and Miguel Ferrer and photographer Claudio Napolitano. Navarrete has filmed in numerous international locations including Cambodia, Japan and Venezuela. He is the co-founder of digital production company Vitamin, whose clients include Samsung, Skype and Universal.

A La Calle is Navarrete’s first feature documentary. Given the political nature of the film and the impending threat of the Venezuelan military and government, he is currently unable to return to his family in Venezuela.

MAXX CAICEDO (Director/Producer) leads business development as chief marketing officer of digital production company Vitamin, whose clients include Microsoft, HBO and Change.org. A second-generation Colombian-American, Caicedo studied at Tufts University, where he received his B.A. in political science and English literature before entering the Peace Corps to teach English and biology in Mozambique. In 2012, Caicedo joined Lake Research Partners as a political consultant representing Senator Mark Begich (Alaska), Congressman Jerry McNerney (California) and Congressman Michael Honda (California). He went on to partner with Essential Access Health to win the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Condom Grant in 2015. A La Calle is Caicedo’s first feature documentary.

SHAWNA BRAKEFIELD-HAASE (Producer) of The Brakefield Company is an Emmy Award®-winning documentary producer whose most recent films include Momentum Generation (HBO Sports), 2018 Tribeca Film Festival audience award runner-up; Nossa Chape (Fox Sports), which premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival; and Give Us This Day (AT&T Audience), which also premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She served as consulting producer on Phenoms, a six-episode special airing on Fox Sports during the FIFA World Cup and Girls Can’t Surf a feature documentary on the pioneering female surfers from the ’80s and ’90s and their four-decade fight for equal pay.

Also known for her archival work, she was the recipient of the prestigious 2019 FOCAL Award for Best Use of Footage in a Sports Production for Momentum Generation and recently served as archival producer on the DG West productions The Super Bowl That Wasn’t for NFL Network and The Three Knockdown Rule: Hit Like A Girl for ESPN+.

Brakefield-Haase is currently attached as co-executive producer on the music television series Busk, in partnership with DG West and is directing the feature documentary Life Without Compromise about two-time Olympian, four-time world champion kayaker Eric Jackson.

The videos below were recorded via Zoom, are organized by topic, and run between 30 seconds and 6 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 0:46 sec.

Where did you grow up, and what is your earliest memories of cinema?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 1:50 min.

Where did you go to film school, and what were the opportunities that opened up for you?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 1:34 min.

Where you still living in Venezuela when you went to film school in San Francisco, and was the language a barrier for you?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 2:01 min.

Where did you grow up, and what is your earliest memories of movies?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 2:09 min.

Do you remember when you started to feel passionate about film, and began to consider it as a career path?

 

EXPOSURE TO BROAD INFLUENCES: 2:17 min.

Who are some of your role models and influencers?

 

COLLABORATION: 2:02 min.

How did the “A La Calle” project get started? Who put the team together?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 2:32 min.

Was it too dangerous for you and your co-director, Maxx Caicedo, to enter Venezuela to direct the camera people?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 1:25 sec.

I was stunned to see your video interview with political leader Leopoldo López in his prison cell. How did you accomplish that?

 

PERSEVERANCE FURTHERS: 1:58 min.

Did you know any of the key opposition leaders in the film before you started shooting?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 3:05 min.

How did you conceal your equipment so that it wouldn’t be confiscated, or so that your crew wouldn’t be arrested?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 2:11 min.

What is happening in Venezuela as of March 1, 2021?

 

COLLABORATION: 4:05 min.

Shawna, how did you get involved with the “A La Calle” project and what was your contribution?

 

BREAKS THE RULES: 3:55 min.

How did you smuggle out the hard drives and get video content back to the United States?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 1:42 min.

Did your teams record the videos of Juan Guaidó, or was it “found footage” from other sources?

 

COMMUNITY VALUES: 4:09 min.

We recently watched the Golden Globe winning film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” about the murder of Fred Hampton and the destruction of the Black Panther party. Watching your film, we couldn’t help but draw parallels between Venezuelan government oppression and the oppression of Black people in the United States.

 

COMMUNITY VALUES: 6:07 min.

There are approximately 400,000+ Venezuelans living in the U.S. How do you want your film to impact that population?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 4:07 min.

Did the military always support president Maduro, and what is the likelihood that they would turn against him?

 

BREAKS THE RULES: 0:18 sec.

Did any of your Venezuelan crew suffer repercussions for working with you?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 1:20 min.

Inspicio published a video interview with filmmaker Tomás Alzamora, who also began by making Hip Hop music videos.

 

UNDERSTANDS ARTISTS’ NEEDS: 1:35 min.

What advice do you have for students embarking on a story in a dangerous location?

 

VALUES FIRST-RATE EDUCATION: 2:50 min.

What role should a university play in the development of filmmakers?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE: 3:20 min.

Have you considered making a film in Miami?