The Olympics may be at center stage in London, but Monday, August 6, the city saw another worldwide event with the U.S.-based FreeStyle Life’s live online Q & A with award-winning director Sarita Siegel in London. After introducing three never-before-seen clips from her current project “Outspoken,” Siegel discussed her inspirations and her path as a filmmaker.
“Outspoken” is a feature documentary that chronicles an explosion of young rap activists who are stepping up to the mic to voice protest and demand change in the world. A brief history political rap as it was known in Jamaica in the 1970s and the United States in the 1980s is followed by the stories of musicians including Emmanuel Jal, a former Sudanese child soldier, and Zayar Thaw, who was imprisoned by the Burmese government for creating rap collective Generation Wave.
After presenting the specifics of her documentary, Siegel addressed the challenges of the film industry. Having struggled with traditional avenues for funding and distribution, the director now turns to the internet to find audiences.
“I have started trying to [reach out] to the international community through the internet. And I think things like The FreeStyle Life, like all the other ways of crowd funding. . . are really exciting at the current time and I think they’re just going to get more and more exciting,” Siegel noted.
Audiences had the option to stream the event live on YouTube, Facebook and The FreeStyle Life’s website. The film curation platform’s editorial team spliced in the director’s live commentary with film clips in real time.
The Q & A followed an online screening of the director’s 2004 documentary “The Disenchanted Forest.” Brooke Shields narrates the stories of the Wanariset Orangutan Reintroduction Project and the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Borneo as they work to protect orangutans from extinction. The film has been picked up by The National Geographic channel.
To watch the Q&A in its entirety, visit The FreeStyle Life’s YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLaXqtvwwnI