Documentaries hit downtown

Filmmakers toil with
languages, schedule
Sunday, February 27, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:35 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

David Redmon’s best friend while filming “Director of Mardi Gras: Made in China” was a dictionary.

“Making the film was really difficult because I was working alone and didn’t have any kind of crew,” Redmon said. “I didn’t have a translator, so I was communicating through a dictionary.”

A week after putting out an ad, Redmon found a translator for $10 an hour.

Redmon describes himself before filming as “self-taught with the assistance of a few people.”

He financed the film out of his own pocket, but he had help from a Springfield, Ill., couple he met in an elevator.

“I sold them a copy of my film for $20,” Redmon said. “Three days later, they called me and said they loved it and sent me a $5,000 check to finish the film.” Redmon said he has participated in other film festivals.

“This is the third festival I’ve been a part of,” he said. “I love it because it’s an atmosphere where people engage with each other.”

Redmon attended the Santa Barbara and Sundance film festivals before coming to the True/False Film Festival.

Shelby Knox said she thinks Columbia’s open environment is more intimate than the “whirlwind of activity” at Sundance.

Knox had an hour after a Friday midterm exam to catch her flight to Columbia. Her film, “The Education of Shelby Knox,” is showing at 11 a.m. today at The Blue Note, 17 N. Ninth St.

Between spearheading a campaign to bring sex education to high schools in her hometown, Lubbock, Texas, and attending film festivals, Knox studies for exams.

Knox is studying political science at the University of Texas at Austin and plans to go to law school.

To avoid missing more classes, Knox scheduled courses on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“If I have to leave on a Thursday, at least I’m not missing two days of classes,” Knox said.

Knox will attend two classes on Wednesday before flying to New York for another festival.

Dana Adam Shapiro brought his film, “Murderball,” from New York City. He followed a team of quadriplegic rugby players for two years as they prepared for the Paralympics.

Jeff Mandel, the producer, admitted he had never heard of True/ False or Columbia before being invited to the festival.

“We didn’t do much,” Mandel said, explaining how he and Shapiro became involved in the festival. “They asked us to come, and we were happy to be here.”

Their film opened the festival at the Missouri Theatre on Friday evening. Shapiro was pleased that it was larger than their venue at the Sundance Film Festival.

“This party was easy to get into,” he said.

Shapiro noted that it seemed this audience enjoyed the film more than the Sundance crowd.

“The laughs were bigger,” he said. “Maybe you guys have a better sense of humor.”

Shapiro added that bringing his film to Columbia turned out to be a great experience, before pausing to rethink his statement.

“I’ll tell you after the barbecue,” he said.

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