Rebel Citizen

Join us to finish Rebel Citizen

Image titlePhoto credit: Carol Wexler
October 6th 2015 @ 6:00 pm EST
Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, New York, NY
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About Rebel Citizen: 
Documentary Director Pamela Yates met master cinematographer Haskell Wexler in Nicaragua in 1984 on the set of Wexler's film Latino, about U.S. intervention aimed at crushing the Sandinista revolution. He became Pamela's mentor and life-long friend and together they've explored what it means to be a committed documentary filmmaker. When Haskell asked Pamela to represent him this year at the Cinéma du Réel festival in Paris, which held a week-long retrospective of his largely unknown political documentaries, she filmed a conversation with him over several days as she prepared to go to Paris. The result unexpectedly became Rebel Citizen, a revelatory tour of Haskell’s political documentary work, in which the veteran artist and social justice activist shares his vision of what it truly means to be an engaged citizen.

We're inviting you to join us because:
Though we intended Rebel Citizen to stand alone as a master class for the Cinéma du Réel festival, much to our delight the film was selected  to have a world premiere at the New York Film Festival in just one month, on October 6th! We now have just 30 days to complete the expensive studio work required to present Rebel Citizen on the big screen at its world premiere.
We need to design the sound, sound mix, color correct and conform, and transfer some of Haskell’s documentaries from celluloid to digital files so that Rebel Citizen it can be ready for the New York Film Festival on October 6th. After that we want to take it out into the world. So join us to finish Rebel Citizen so we can bring the incredible story of Haskell’s political documentary career and activism to inspire new generations of engaged citizens fighting for social justice.

All donations are tax-deductible. 
Haskell Wexler and Pamela Yates, on the set of REBEL CITIZEN (Credit: Skylight)
Why I Made This Film:
Pamela Yates: “Though Haskell is an Academy Award winning cinematographer, his incredible body of work as a documentary filmmaker is less well known. He is one of our most honorable elders, and at 93 years old he’s still is fighting for social justice. I want to ensure that Haskell’s documentary legacy endures and inspires new generations of social justice filmmakers and activists. Plus he’s a damn good storyteller full of outrage and humor, and his films have great resonance for social change today.”

Haskell and Pamela together on the set of
More about the film:
In Rebel Citizen, Haskell speaks with lucidity and a candor that can only come with hard-won experience and the wisdom of age, about his progressive political beliefs, his craft, and his artistry.  “There are a lot of ways to look at the world,” says Haskell, “that may not be presented to us as the important things.” In Rebel Citizen we see the world through Haskell’s eyes, as he narrates his self-evolution as an artist and an activist. You’ll hear about one of his first documentaries, The Bus from 1963,  filmed with civil rights activists as they traveled the country on their way to the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. This film has great resonance today with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. He speaks extensively about the groundbreakingMedium Cool, one of the original hybrid films, where he filmed his actors in the midst of the police riot at the Democratic National Convention in 1968; and you’ll find out that when Haskell filmed Underground, about the radical Weather Underground fugitives, it cost him his job as cinematographer on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when the FBI came to the set to investigate him.

More than a retrospective of a master’s work, however, Rebel Citizen asks the question “what does it mean to be a patriot?” Haskell does not see his critiques of the U.S. government as antithetical to being a patriot--they are, in fact what make him patriotic. “I don't accept criticism of the government, per se, except the fundamental criticism is ‘government, who do you represent? Do you represent the people...or do you represent private interests?’” Yates’ intimate interview style with Wexler’s blunt and at times irreverent answers make for a fascinating dialogue on political documentaries, and the commitment every American citizen should make towards bettering the United States. “I'm not ready to give our country away to anybody, you know?” says Wexler, “and that's it.”

About the Team:
Photo credit: Dana Lixenberg
Pamela Yates (Director)
Pamela Yates (Director) is a co-founder of Skylight, a company dedicated to creating films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice by implementing multi-year outreach campaigns designed to engage, educate and activate social change. She is the Director of the Sundance Special Jury award winning When the Mountains Tremble; The Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning Witness to War; and the Director of State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism,which has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. Her film, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator was used as forensic evidence in the Rios Montt genocide conviction in Guatemala. Pamela is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Paco de Onís (Producer)
Paco de Onís (Producer) grew up in several Latin American countries during a time of dictatorships. He is a Producer and partner at Skylight, a human rights media organization dedicated to creating documentary films and innovative media tools for long-term strategies to advance social and economic justice.  During the past decade he has produced several feature-length documentary films that include Granito: How to Nail a Dictator and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court. He has also produced companion interactive digital platforms to advance awareness and change on the issues illustrated in the films:  "Granito: Every Memory Matters” (to restore the collective memory of genocide in Guatemala);  “IJCentral” (to promote global rule of law); and “Dictator in the Dock” (a 24-webisode series and resource hub on the genocide trial of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt).

Peter Kinoy (Editor)
Peter Kinoy (Editor) heads the post-production work at Skylight.  Since founding Skylight Pictures with Pamela Yates in 1981 he produced and edited When the Mountains Tremble (winner of the Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival) as well as its 2011 sequel, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.  In the course of his career he has also edited a series ofinternational justice documentaries that have been used in outreach and education around the world: The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court and State of Fear a feature-length documentary about Peru’s “war on terror”. In the 1990s he made a series of documentaries on poor peoples movements in the US that premiered at Sundance and were shown on national PBS. Kinoy has a passion for teaching and has mentored emerging filmmakers at City College of New York, Columbia University, Casa Comal in Guatemala, and at the International School of Film and Television in Cuba. He was a founder of The Media College of the University of the Poor in the US. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Daniela Quiroz (Editor)
Daniela I. Quiroz brings five years of experience in the field to her work as the Impact & Engagement Editor at Skylight Pictures. She edited the Dictator in the Dock 23-episode series, and coordinated its educational outreach. Daniela was the Assistant Editor on Disruption, and will also be editing the ancillary short films/digital media tools for the Disruption outreach campaign. She graduated with a BA in Media & Communication and Spanish from Muhlenberg College. 

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