Face2Face with David Peck

5/3/2022

Love, Faith & Family

Ep. 589
Sara Taksler and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film How Saba Kept Singing, entertainment as social justice, beautiful coping mechanisms, non-violent advocacy, relationships, love and closure and putting mindfulness into action.Synopsis:Ninety-four-year-old David Wisnia never told his wife, children or grandchildren in Levittown, Pennsylvania, the whole truth about how he survived Auschwitz-Birkenau. They knew that David's singing voice had entertained the SS guards, that his musical gift had changed his fate, but no one knew what, or who, gave him the will to live: a love affair with another prisoner. Accompanying David on a trip to Poland commemorating the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation, grandson Avi learns about Helen "Zippi" Spitzer.A talented artist whose scale model of the camp earned her privileges, Zippi was able to orchestrate their encounters and keep them safe. They promised to find each other if they survived, but the war intervened.Over 70 years later, they reunite, sharing unimaginable memories and even more startling secrets in this moving testament to the life-giving power of music.About Sara:Sara worked in late-night comedy for two decades, including 12 years at The Daily Show, where she was a senior producer. She is the director and producer of the feature film How Saba Kept Singing, Executive Produced by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, which will debut at Toronto’s Hot Docs 2022.Taksler's previous documentary, Tickling Giants, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The New York Times declared Tickling Giants a “first-rate documentary”, Variety called it “an ebullient ode to freedom”, it reached the number one documentary spot on iTunes, and Rotten Tomatoes scored it 100 percent. TWISTED: A Balloonamentary, Taksler's first feature film, is a lighthearted look at the world’s premier balloon-twisting convention. The Hollywood Reporter hailed it a “thoroughly winning feature.” Taksler can talk backwards, has a remarkable fake sneeze, and grew an entire human inside her body while directing her most recent film.Sara’s favorite song: Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight & The PipsHow Saba Kept singing is her latest documentary and is executive produced byHillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.Image Copyright and Credit:Sara Taksler & Hidden Light Productions.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
4/29/2022

Politics, Power & Change

Ep. 588
Michelle Rempel Garner, Chloe Sosa-Sims and Face2Face host David Peck talk about the new film Hunting in Packs, idealism, political inertia, community, the calcification of beliefs, personal change, authenticity and why politics should be about the conversation.Find out more here.Synopsis:What happens when strong-willed women join the circus of politics? How do they create the change? Make the policy real? Achieve their dreams?The 3 female politicians in this film, Jess Phillips (Labour, UK) Pramila Jayapal (Democrat, US) & Michelle Rempel Garner (Conservative, Canada), represent differentends of the political spectrum, with different constituents and vastly different agendas. That said, they share one common fight – enacting bold policy in the face of anoutdated political establishment. Sometimes that fight pits them against their country’s leaders, and other times against their own political parties. Taking place in threeWestern countries, the film will explore three democracies currently being rocked by the deep polarization of party politics.Just as they all begin to make progress, they are thrown into elections and leadership campaigns, and are expected to shift gears for “the good” of their leaders orparties. As each woman’s portrait becomes fully realized, the viewer must decide whether our system allows for their success.About Chloe:Chloe Sosa-Sims is a Toronto-based director/ producer/ writer committed to documentary & stylized filmmaking. Her chilling and emotionally raw feature debut DANAND MARGOT illuminated the complicated truths of schizophrenia. The film has screened internationally, with special presentations at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and theHot Docs Bloor Cinema. She has participated in the UnionDocs Documentary Lab, RIDM Talent Lab, and the Reelworld E20 Program for her new film on women in politics.Her work spans independent documentary, television, branded content, and narrative shorts for CNN, VICE, CBC, History Channel, Super Channel, TVO, Investigation Discovery, Oxygen, and A&E.She takes on issues from politics to pop culture, and advocates for a more equal, fair and sustainable industry through her work with Film Fatales and othercommunity groups. Her previous work includes 5 years as the Industry Programmer at Hot Docs.She holds a BAH in Film & Media from Queen’s University.Image Copyright and Credit:Chloe Sosa-Sims & Fathom Film Group.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
4/16/2022

Freedom, Problems & Risk

Ep. 587
Daniel Carsenty, Mohammed Abugeth and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film The Devil’s Drivers, universal problems, hard to find solutions, thelegitimacy of others, the pursuit of freedom and some of the things we take for granted.TrailerWebsiteSynopsis:Chased by the army, a human trafficker crosses the border on a daily basis. An intimate yet harrowing portrait – shot over the course of eight years – about a manliving on the edge in one of the most dangerous regions of our world.The film is an intimate and harrowing portrait of a group of smugglers risking everything on high-speed trips to help Palestinians workers cross the border into Israelevery day for work. Banned from obtaining legal work permits in Israel, and cut off from their lands, and water sources by the Israeli settlers, these men risk everythingto provide for their families.An investigation into the human condition under the most difficult circumstances and an understanding of how to remain a decent human being in a world falling to pieces, the film underscores the harsh reality Palestinian’s face in day-to-day life.About Daniel Carsenty:Daniel Carsenty’s first film ‘After Spring Comes Fall’ won the award for Best Feature at the Zsigmong Vilmos Festival in Sziget, Hungary. In the following years heworked for Arte and BBC as a TV journalist in the Middle East.In 2020 he moved to Los Angeles as a directing fellow at the American Film Institute.About Mohammed Abugeth:Mohammed Abugeth worked as PA in Ramallah for Idioms Films, before working as a TV journalist for Arte and DW. TheDevil’sDrivers is his first feature film. Hecurrently works and lives in Berlin.Image Copyright and Credit:Daniel Carsenty.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
4/4/2022

Disasters, Stories & Loss

Ep. 586
Carlos Francisco Manatad and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Whether the Weather, disaster films, grief, trauma and loss, style over story,spiritual fables, pushing back against the status quo and feeling secure and safe.Find out about the film and see the trailer here.Synopsis:In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, religious fanatics, desperados, criminals and fleeing animals are loose in the city. Miguel, an escaped prisoner, roams the ruins in search of the two women in his life : his girlfriend Andrea and his mother, Norma. As soon as he finds them, the reason for Miguel’s incarceration – and his sacrifice – becomes clear. He tries to convince them to leave the city with him before he is arrested.However, Norma is fixated on waiting for her estranged husband Luis and Andrea is entangled in rebellious acts paving the way for her to commit the unspeakable. As Miguel’s temporary release expires, his freedom and even his life are jeopardized.He must decide whether to stay on to persuade his loved ones or to leave town on his own before the next disastrous storm devours him and the only home he knows.About Carlos:Carlo Francisco Manatad was born in Tacloban in the Philippines and is currently based in Manila. Manatad has worked on over 60 feature films as an editor and had been working as an editor for nine years before he started directing.The film A Gentle Night, for which Manatad served as editor, won the Short Film Palme d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Meanwhile, Manatad's short film Jodilerks Dela Cruz, which originally was created as a treatment to show to producers and practice for a feature, was submitted and unexpectedly accepted to La Semaine de la Critique, a parallel sidebar section of Cannes which aims to discover new talented filmmakers. It also won the Best Southeast Asian Short Film award at the 2017 Singapore International Film Festival.Whether the Weather is Fine is his latest film.Image Copyright and Credit:Carlos Francisco Manatad.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
3/10/2022

Community, Context & Accountability

Ep. 585
Margaret Byrne and Face2Face host David Peck talk about her new film Any Given Day, context and community, safe places, honesty, vulnerability andaccountability, the ethics of film making and why it’s important to see ourselves as resources.Find out about the film and see the trailer here.Synopsis:In 2015, during widespread defunding of community mental health care programsacross the country, in Chicago, the Cook County Jail has become a defaulttreatment center for people living with mental illness.While investigating the treatment of detainees, filmmaker Margaret Byrne befriends Angela, Dimitar and Daniel, participants in a mental health court probationprogram. Their friendship gives each of them the courage to be seen at their most vulnerable. In turn, Margaret begins to confront one of the most difficult periods ofher life, culminating in a hospitalization for depression.What begins as a heartfelt desire to accurately portray the lives of Angela, Dimitar and Daniel, forces Margaret to reckon with her own history of mental illness.Margaret’s own hospitalization that occurs during the making of the film, becomes an inspiration to weave her own story into the film. Byrne’s intimate observations ofthe three, captures the hard-fought triumphs and struggles of living at the intersection of mental illness, poverty, and addiction.Any Given Dayprovides deeply personal insight into the necessity of caring relationships, especially when life is at its most difficult.About Margaret:Margaret Byrne directed and producedRaising Bertie a feature documentary following the lives of three African American boys growing up in rural North Carolina.She has worked as a cinematographer on over a dozen films includingSurge, Waging Change,All the Queen’s Horses, andAmerican Promise.She was previously a creative director at Universal Music and directed live concerts and music videos for artists such as Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige. In 2005, Byrneproduced and edited the live series that launched MTV across Africa. Byrne is an adjunct professor at Columbia College and College of DuPage.She is the founder of Beti Films, an all-women film collective based in Chicago.Image Copyright and Credit:Margaret Byrne and Beti Films.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
3/6/2022

Addiction, Recovery & Healing

Ep. 584
Derreck Roemer and Face2Face host David Peck talk about his new film Come Clean, about addiction and mental health, recovery and misconceptions, statistics and stigma, friendship, healing, codependency and why recovery and community are connected.TrailerWatch it on TVO,TVO.org,YouTubeand TVO streaming channels.Synopsis:Come Cleanis a close look at what fuels addiction, as well as the herculean effort and hope recovery demands. Six million Canadians will meet the criteria for addiction in our lifetimes. COVID-19 has intensified the problem. Opioid-related deaths surged 25% in Ontario in the first few months of the pandemic and continue to be at a crisis point.“The reality of addiction seriously impacts individuals, families and communities across Ontario,” says John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. “With unflinching honesty,Come Cleanshares the real struggle of overcoming addictions through deeply personal journeys—stories that most Ontarians will relate to.”Written and directed by Derreck Roemer and Neil Graham of Insurgent Projects (Last Call at the Gladstone Hotel,The Lost Highway), TVO OriginalCome Cleanbegins on New Year’s Eve in the southwestern Ontario farming community of Thamesville, home to Westover Treatment Centre. Cameras roll as the dozen addicts in group 1313 embark on 19 days of in-treatment counselling. With intimate and unfettered access, the filmmakers embedded round-the-clock at Westover, living alongside the program participants. Post-treatment, filming followed select subjects’storiesfor 18 months to experience their realities and see who among them could break the habits that landed them in rehab.About Derreck:Toronto-based filmmaking duo Derreck Roemer and Neil Graham have worked together for over 20 years, producing and directing everything from shorts to feature-length documentaries. In late 2000, the pair began work on Last Call at the Gladstone Hotel, a film that premiered to critical acclaim and sold-out screenings at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, then played festivals worldwide before television broadcasts in Canada and elsewhere. The film garnered Roemer and Graham a Gemini Award for best direction in a documentary series, as part of TVO's documentary anthology The View From Here. In 2009, Graham and Roemer formed Insurgent Projects, and in 2014 released the Canadian Screen Award best-doc-nominee The Lost Highway. In 2018, TVO commissioned Roemer and Graham to create Come Clean.Image Copyright and Credit:Derreck Roemer and TVO.F2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
3/2/2022

Wisdom, Tradition & Perspective

Ep. 583
Nikhil Mahajan, Jitendra Joshi, Gauri Nalawade and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new film Godavari, wisdom and tradition, freedom and acceptance, getting back to basics, why love is found within and building a life of significanceTrailerSynopsis:Filmed in India in the Marathi language,Godavaristars a who’s who of Indian talent including the film’s lead actor Jitendra Joshi (Sacred Games, Ventilator) who has headlined numerous Marathi feature films including award-winning Ventilator and his turn as the lovable police constable Katekar in Netflix's first Original Indian seriesSacred Games. Alongside Joshi, Godavari also stars Sanjay Mone (Dhyasparva), Vikram Gokhle (Anumati), Neena Kulkarni (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Gauri Nalawade (The Disciple) and Priyadarshan Jadhav (Bhootatlela)Godavarimarks a new beginning for Mumbai-based filmmaker Nikhil Mahajan, who is best known for his work directing the neo-noirPune 52, vigilante action filmBajiand the Netflix Original zombie horror seriesBetaalby Blumhouse. WithGodavari, Mahajan shifts gears seamlessly into a dramatic space after a 6-year hiatus from filmmaking. It marks a decided metamorphosis of directorial style and vision and is his most personal film to date.About Nikhil Mahajan:Nikhil Mahajan is a genre filmmaker who debuted with the Marathi film noirPune-52, and followed it up with the vigilante action film,Baji. A graduate of the International Film School Sydney, he made the Netflix original seriesBetaalin 2020, which was produced by Blumhouse and Shah Rukh Khan. Nikhil returns to feature filmmaking after six years withGodavari,his most personal film yet. Nikhil lives in Mumbai with his dog, Sherlock.Image Copyright and Credit:Nikhil Mahajan and Jitendra Joshi PicturesF2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
2/5/2022

Heroes, Community & Change

Ep. 582
Rachel DeCruz, Jeremy Levine and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new Sundance film The Panola Project, convenience stores, persistent grace, poverty and racism and real change, relationships, and the absence of shame and why community matters.For more info on the film and to WATCH it head here.Synopsis:The Panola Project highlights the heroic efforts of Dorothy Oliver to keep her small town of Panola, Alabama safe from COVID-19. Dorothy runs a makeshift vaccine coordination center from the convenience store she runs out of a mobile home. Today, nearly 99% of adults in her town have received the shot in a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. The Panola Project illuminates how an often-overlooked rural Black community comes together in creative ways to survive.About Rachel and Jeremy:Rachel DeCruz is a Black woman with a complex family history related to race, her work centers on how race impacts people’s ability to navigate systems. Nine, her feature debut, will examine the deep bond between two men who met in prison and how their love gives them the strength to fight for justice. The film was an official selection of the 2021 Big Sky Pitch and received a development grant from the Ford Foundation.DeCruz is the director of The Panola Project, a short film highlighting the heroic efforts of Dorothy Oliver to keep her small town of Panola, Alabama safe from COVID-19. The film was released with The New Yorker, featured on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and Morning Joe and written about in numerous publications including USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and Business Insider. The film received hundreds of thousands of social interactions, with posts from figures like Margaret Atwood, Ibram X. Kendi, and Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the CDC during the Obama Administration. The Panola Project received Audience Awards at GlobeDocs and the Sidewalk Film Festival, where Dorothy was honored with the Spirit of Sidewalk award.Jeremy S. Levine’s films explore race, class, and trauma, and seek to unearth buried tragedies in a society in active denial of its own past. An Emmy award-winning filmmaker and two-time Sundance Institute fellow, his work has screened at over one hundred film festivals around the world including the Berlinale, Tribeca, and Sundance, streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sundance Now, and Hulu, broadcast nationally in nine countries, and received over a dozen festival awards.In 2008, Levine co-founded the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective (BFC), a community of professional filmmakers dedicated to collaboration and mutual support. He is currently developing projects exploring issues including the criminal justice system, the unresolved legacy of white supremacy, forced separation, and the representation of mental health in horror films.Image Copyright and Credit:Rachel DeCruz and Jeremy LevineF2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.
2/1/2022

Hallelujah, Comedy & Belonging

Ep. 581
Victor Gabriel and Duran Jones and Face2Face host David Peck talk about their new Sundance film Hallelujah, poverty and justice, drama, death and belonging, resilience, oppression and innocence lost, Cornel West, James Baldwin and why storytelling and human experience are intimately connected.Victors Directors Statement: "A theme that is ever present in my life is the question “How do I overcome my suffering? Is it even possible?” More specifically in this story it is the idea of grieving the people I have lost, the loved ones we have all lost. A sub theme is the idea of belonging and finding home. Where is home? As someone who has been abandoned, displaced, neglected and had to move around and live with different people, home is nebulous at best. But what I realize for me is that though I may never “belong”, I am deeply loved by many people. And being loved is more important to me than belonging.”Synopsis:Chetty and Paper are two brothers who refuse to grow up. But due to unforeseen circumstances, they are now in charge of their nephew HALLELUJAH,a strange book quoting black boy and their quiet niece Lila. Sitting in the backyard, supposedly watching their niece and nephew, the two brothers become so distracted they don’t notice when Hallelujah attempts suicide. What follows is a funny moving story about family, the people we have left behind, and the people who are still with us.About Victor and Duran:Growing up in poverty, Victor Gabriel realized that water in cornflakes doesn't taste as bad as you think it would. He wandered without a home before eventually ending up in Compton, CA. Now as a black male writer/director and recent MFA graduate of AFI Conservatory, he has turned to filmmaking as way for him to wrestle with his own suffering as well as the suffering of others. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and has been working as a Marriage and Family Therapist with survivors of trauma in Compton/Watts/South Central for the past several years. His short film BLACK BOYS CAN’T CRY, won the Social Impact Award at the Hollyshorts Film Festival and is currently being shown in others. His favorite movie is Richard Donner’s Superman. He likes Red Vines and thinks Twizzlers are trash. BIG FACTS.Duran Jones is a 2007 graduate of Hampton University, with a BA in Broadcast Journalism. He is an accomplished independent rapper and songwriter with a keen sense of storytelling. In 2017, he completed his first short film titled BLKMGC, an urban musical based on the shooting death of Tamir Rice at the hands of police. Duran is also known for his 2011 tribute to Trayvon Martin and his subsequent interview on CNN.Now a Producing Fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory, his goal is to tell stories for people of color that are truthful and impact the global community. While studying at AFI he graduated from the 2020 PGA Power of Diversity workshop, where his pilot “Daywalker” received interest from Mary Parent, Gary Lucchesi and Prentice Penny.Image Copyright and Credit:BLK Magic Content and Victor GabrielF2F Music and Image Copyright:David PeckandFace2Face. Used with permission.For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visithis site here.With thanks to Josh Snethlage andMixed Media Sound.