Roots/Raízes is the story of a man and woman, an artist and a filmmaker, a New Zealander and a Brazilian – two people shaped by vastly different cultural and social mores, which threaten to destabilise their capacity to live as man and wife. While Bruce tirelessly documents life in Fabia’s ancestral village in northeast Brazil, Fabia, through Bruce’s photography, comes to see her own culture for the first time with fresh eyes; to see the beauty, simplicity and modesty of the people she grew up with, and their (threatened) traditions as part of an ancient and inherently sustainable way of living. The film takes place over five years as Fabia turns her camera on Bruce, and they negotiate expectations of work, love and belonging.
Originally from Brazil, Fabia has made New Zealand her home for over 19 years. Her unique combination of Brazilian warmth and Kiwi can-do attitude have helped her in her own filmmaking pursuits.
Fabia completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Otago University with a very specific goal in mind: she wanted to produce a documentary about her remote Brazilian village in Piaui, capturing a traditional way of life that is fast disappearing.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the creative process. Somehow, I wanted to tell the story of a living artist and this opportunity emerged when I moved back to Brazil in 2013 with my partner. Unexpectedly, as I followed Bruce with my camera, it created the opportunity to reconnect with my cultural roots through his eyes”.
There is much mystique around how artists live, their sources of inspiration and what drives them. Fabia’s film is an important counter to this mythology. She shatters the romantic illusions of divine inspiration and inherent creativity. She shows the artist – in this case her husband, artist Bruce Hunt, as he confronts the challenges of working in both a new medium – photography – and an unfamiliar country – Brazil.
Bruce Hunt conveys an authoritative sense of location and vernacular, his paintings and photographs capturing the enduring majesty of the Central Otago landscape.
His depictions of the New Zealand landscape have the immediate hallmarks of topographical accuracy while also evoking the unmistakable essential moods, atmospheres and interlocking structures which make it so extraordinary and distinctive.
Bruce has been a full–time artist since 1983 and has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand. His work is held in private and corporate collections worldwide.
In 2013 he moved to Brazil to construct a photographic body of work on aspects of the life and industry of this vibrant culture.
The suite of photographs called “Terra Vermelha” represents the first stage of an ongoing, personal and intimate exploration into the lives of the people of the Northeast of Brazil with special emphasis on specific regions within the state of Piaui.
After 5 years of immersion in Brazilian life, he is now back in New Zealand where work is progressing on a photo book and exhibition based around specific landscapes in Southern New Zealand that have formed the foundation of his work for over 30 years. This work has an acutely developed narrative about use and environment, about time and natural processes.
Sue Marshall's career began behind a still camera as a newspaper photographer based in Victoria, Australia. "I was probably a frustrated journalist, but what I learned was the art of communicating, telling stories through a lens."
Nine years of documentary making at James Cook University meant Sue becoming skilled in every aspect of production. "I really got pushed in at the deep end."
"I so envy today's equipment; I lugged 16kg Sony cameras up power poles and down mine shafts, I never complained; the more opportunities the better".
Moving to New Zealand, Sue went back to basics and studied for a BFA, majoring in photography then moving on to Digital Film at SIT.
“I admire the passion filmmakers bring to a project, having a vision and the determination to show the world their story.
I feel very privileged to be part of this process".
With feature credits as writer/director, producer and cameraman, Shane Loader has been making films (documentaries and dramas) for the past 25 years. Together with Andrea Bosshard, he set up independent filmmaking initiative Torchlight Films, and since 2008 they have together made four features including critically acclaimed The Great Maiden’s Blush (“the work of a couple of mature filmmakers just dripping with intelligence, flair and vision… a sinuous, clever, ambitious, nuanced, layered and gorgeously assembled film…” Graeme Tuckett, Dominion Post) and more recently, feature documentary Kobi
which he both shot and edited. (“a quiet, unhurried, loving film, gorgeously well shot, a beautiful example of style serving subject…” David Larsen, Metro Magazine)
Over the past twenty years Shane has specialised as a film editor in both documentary and drama. His editing credits began with a bang in 1994 with the critically acclaimed and controversial landmark New Zealand documentary features Someone Else’s Country and In a Land Plenty. An editor of intelligence and sensitivity with a strong understanding of narrative, character development, rhythm and dynamic, he has brought his skills to a broad range of genres including historical and political documentaries, educational films, short films and feature dramas.
Andrea Bosshard’s career as a filmmaker began thirty years ago. Her feature credits as writer and co-director alongside Shane Loader include Taking the Waewae Express, Hook, Line & Sinker, The Great Maiden’s Blush and most recently Kobi. The Great Maiden’s Blush was winner of Best Independent Feature in the New Zealand Film Awards, Jury Award for Best Feature in the Sydney Festival of World Cinema, and took various Best Actress awards for Miriama McDowell.
Kobi was hailed as “one of the year's loveliest films, a lyrical evocation of rich unhurried life” (Bill Gosden, director NZ International Film Festival).
Both Andrea’s and Shane’s films are characterised by a deep humanity and a willingness to look at life in all its complexity.
Andrea has worked as both tutor and lecturer (in filmmaking) in the Film Department at Victoria University and taught screen performance at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre and Whitireia Polytechnic for ten years.
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