Island Life by David Slack


Save the Doco Maker

If you watch the documentaries that make it onto our local TV then you’ll know the work of Pietra Brettkelly. Ends of the Earth and The Rescue of Iani are her two most recent.

Her film Beauty Will Save the World (on the first beauty competition to be staged in Libya) screened in competition at the International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam, American Film Institute and HotDocs Toronto Film Festival.

When you cart a camera around the world, you meet interesting people. In Sudan, she met Vanessa Beecroft, who you may know from her large-scale installations involving dozens of nude women. She is to art what Madonna is to pop music. And not unlike Madonna she visited a Sudanese orphanage and fell in love with twin baby boys. She wants to adopt them. If she does, they will be moving from a life of poverty to join Vanessa’s family and her millionaire lifestyle in New York and Los Angeles.

You can see the documentary possibilities. Pietra has been filming it for a year, in Sudan, New York, Korea, the US and Venice - and entirely on her own dime - no funding, no grants, no support.

There’s a good chance this film will screen at international festivals and be picked up by broadcasters overseas. But there’s no chance the proceeds will be enough to cover the cost of making it.

So a group of fellow television producers want to help: with a party. To quote from the invitation:

Saturday August 4 is going to be the media party of the year.
Hosted by Paul Henry, this is a party you can’t miss. A koha of $30 will secure your invitation. Even better get some friends together and secure a table of 10. What’ll you get? A great night which includes a special media-style pub quiz (with incredible spot prizes), an exciting auction (nights at a luxury bach, designer clothes, top New Zealand wines, beauty treatments…), excerpts from Pietra’s documentary and a Q&A with the director. Nibbles provided, cash bar.

You can expect to see a few Public Address faces there. Why don’t you add yours? If you’d like to donate and get an invitation: Sharon Brettkelly will be pleased to hear from you:

or Sue Garland,
or Sarah Kinniburgh,
or Kerry,
or Pietra

Seeing we’re in the documentary frame of mind, here are a few historical treats.

Here’s Jack Kerouac, talking about writing a classic in three weeks. On one big roll of paper.

Here’s Nixon talking to his croneys about fags.

And here’s Dan Rather taking us behind the scenes of (part of) the machine that got old Tricky Dicky re-elected. Karl Rove, the voice of a new generation, makes a fascinating cameo.

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