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April 06, 2013, 12:00 AM | posted by Lara Klaber in Filmmakers
Academy Award® winner Freida Mock is no stranger to the Cleveland International Film Festival. Mock was at the 23rd CIFF showing “Return With Honor” when she was given CIFF’s Director’s Spotlight Award; three of her features screened that year:“Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” “Bird By Bird with Anne” and “Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner.”
This year, Mock returns with two more films in tow.“Anita” is a documentary inspired by Anita Hill, who changed the professional lives of women everywhere.
While filming “G-Dog,” Mock learned about the incredible lives of former gang members, along with kids at risk, who desire to re-direct their lives with the help of Homeboy Industries, the youth outreach program started by G-Dog.
“What surprised us was how much great laughter and kinship existed among all at Homeboy,” Mock says.
When it comes to filmmaking, Mock plays many roles. Her favorite part about creating a film is postproduction.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and you have to solve the story with the materials you have in front of you,” she explains. She finds inspiration for her documentaries in her audiences—their reactions and interests propel her to make more films.
Mock notes that almost everyone knows about the hearings and the outcome, but they do not know Anita herself.
“Anita had such a profound and extraordinary impact on the lives of millions,” says Mock,“[especially] the advances we’ve made on sexual harassment.” She wanted to make a film that could answer the questions:“Who was [Anita Hill]? How did she come to testify in the halls of Congress? Where did she come from? What happened to her after such a devastating hearing?”
Mock’s inspiration for her second film playing this year,“G-Dog,” came about when she was reading the synopsis of a book that was to be released in April 2010.
“The idea of a Jesuit priest working with former gang members and believing the solution to ‘gang life’ was giving uncondi- tional love—all this intrigued me and led me to meeting G-Dog, or Father Greg,” Mock explains.
—Meaghan S. Earley
Photo: Freida Mock and Fabian Debora (of G-Dog). Photo by Janet Macoska.
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