March 18 – 29
At Tower City
Only CIFF members can login. Join now for enhanced web features, discounts and dibs on tickets, advanced mailings and more!join
Events + Updates
April 09, 2013 | posted in Filmmakers
Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee started performing Jazz music professionally when he was only 16.
“I was bitten by the Jazz bug at an early age, and it became my world,” he says.
It is still a big part of his life, although he focuses mostly on filmmaking these days. Along with Gayatri Roshan, he directed and produced “Elemental.” His musical background still serves him, though, as he composed an orchestral score for the film with co-composer H. Scott Salinas.
“It was wonderful to include that part of me in the storytelling process,” Vaughn-Lee says of composing the score. “I think I bring a lot of the things I learned about music to the filmmaking process,” he adds. “Specifically, the ability to improvise. A lot of filmmaking, especially documentary filmmaking, is having to adapt to the subjects that you shoot. You just have to be able to run with it.”
The idea to make “Elemental” came out of a desire to show a more human side of environmental issues. The documentary follows the journeys of three activists struggling to make impactful change in the world.
“I was thinking about making an environmental film with an approach that would allow for a more human element to be the driving force of the narrative,” he says. “The idea was to find characters that we could follow, whose stories together would tell a larger story—about our relationship to climate change, energy and water. On a deeper philosophical level, the film speaks to the unsustainable relationship we have to the natural world.”
Vaughn-Lee and Roshan spent about 6 months interviewing subjects that they could feature in “Elemental.” They considered approximately 50 candidates in the process. In the end, the work of the three activists they feature is what Vaughn-Lee hopes audiences will find most compelling about “Elemental.”
“I am continually inspired by our subjects,” he says. “These people are trying to do work where they are faced with tremendous adversity and it is a constant struggle. The fact that they are able to endure and make impactful change in our world is a fact that I hope will garner some applause.”
Photo by Janet Macoska.
Download Related PDF [1.6 MB]
Check out the latest festival highlights and goings on in the print edition of The Daily.
The USA Today 10 Best Film Festival results are in, and while we came in 2nd our audience will always be #1! Thank you for voting! http://t.co/r2t6yZHZQk
about 16 hours ago . Link
Between Two Films.
CIFF 38 Daily Buzz Day 13 Wrap Up
Meet the Filmmaker with Michele Josue, Judy & Dennis Shepard from "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine"
Become A CIFF Member
We have five different levels of membership to choose from, so find the one that best fits your film appetite!
Missing the CIFF39? We are too! Head to THE DAILY (by clicking here) for CIFF39 filmmaker interviews galore!