VIDEO: FILMMAKER DAVID LOWERY ON “A GHOST STORY”

We sat down with filmmaker David Lowery to talk about his  new film A Ghost Story. Lowery wrote, directed and edited the film.

At first blush the film appears to be about a ghost that haunts its old home. But, the film stays with you long after you have seen and prompts thoughts about the cycle of life, rebirth, memories, home, passage of time and love. These are questions that we typically shove to a forgotten corner of our minds and seldom think about them A Ghost Story left me wondering about what is life, and what is your role in the world.

How did Lowery get the idea for writing the script for this unusual film that evokes strong memories of love life, history, time and home? Was he inspired by Steven Spielberg’s ET? Or was it the children’s book on ghost that he read as a child? Tune in to hear Lowery share what inspired him to write A Ghost Story, and what he learnt from it.

A Ghost Story stars Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and others. The film releases wide in the US on July 28, 2017.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

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VIDEO: SFFILM’S NOAH COWAN

We sat down with Noah Cowan, Executive Director of SFFILM to find out about their long-term strategic direction and what it means to be a film institute in San Francisco. In early 2017 they changed their name to SFFILM from San Francisco Film Society.

SFFILM has year around programs and works with various organizations to help promote films,filmmakers, artist development and outreach programs for students. They host an annual international film festival, provide grants and support artists, and work with high schools to educate students on how to read films and apply them in learning other subjects. SFFILM has one of the biggest grant making programs for commercial films and were instrumental in the making of Patti Cake$, Fruitvale Station, Beasts of Southern Wild and other films says Cowan.

We are not a standalone entity but are part of the San Francisco Bay area fabric points out Cowan. They work with various organizations like San Francisco MoMa, San Francisco Opera, Pacific Archives and others. It is essential to connect with the technological change in cinema and evolve with the community points out Cowan. Earlier this year they introduced an online screening room and a mobile app for their members.

Cowan joined SFFILM in 2014 and prior to that he spent many years at the Toronto Film Festival.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcasts where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: JAMES IVORY ON FILMS, ISMAIL MERCHANT AND INDIA

We sat down with director James Ivory to talk about growing up on the west coast, arts, films, Ismail Merchant, Ruth Prawar Jhabvala, Satyajit Ray and India. Ivory also shares some of his favorite films from his childhood days.

Ivory was born in Berkeley, grew up Oregon and every year they visited San Francisco Bay area to spend time with their extended family. He studied architecture and fine arts at the University or Oregon and filmmaking at University of Southern California (USC). At USC he made a short film called Venice: Themes of Variations. His second short film The Sword and the Flute was inspired by Indian miniature paintings that he first saw in an art gallery in San Francisco. It was this film that led to his interest and connection in India and also his first meeting with Ismail Merchant.

In 1961 Ivory and  Merchant formed the Merchant Ivory Productions. Around this time they also started their collaboration with writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The trio made award-winning films like Shakespeare Wallah, Heat and Dust, A Room With A View, Howard’s End, The Remains of the Day and others.

This interview was recorded at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, where his film Maurice was screened.

This interview was aired on TV in the US.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: WOMEN IN TECH – NANCY ZAYED OF MAGICCUBE INC

Meet Nancy Zayed, Founder and CTO of MagicCube Inc, a Silicon Valley-based mobile digital security startup. Working in a startup demands a lot or time and attention and cuts into your personal life. Zayed grew up with working parents. Her father was a medical doctor and her mother was a pharmacist. What did she learn from her parents when it comes to work-life balance? Tune in to find out.

This is a highlight of an upcoming interview with Zayed in our Women in Science, Tech & Business series sponsored by Zoho Corp.

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VIDEO: SHIREEN SANTOSHAM, CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER AT SAN JOSE

Meet  Shireen Santosham, Chief Innovation Officer in Mayor Sam Liccardo’s office of San Jose. We sat down to speak with her about her role as a Chief Innovation Officer about building a smart city. How do you harness technology to improve the lives of denizens of this Silicon Valley city? How do you improve digital infrastructure of the city? How do you deal with connected cars and autonomous vehicles that are fast becoming a reality? How do you build San Jose into a smart, sustainable and innovative city by 2020?

Santosham is acutely aware on how technology can help improve the lives of people. Previously she was with a telecom organization and worked on how to bridge the divide for women globally. Women are less likely to use and own a mobile phone she points out.

Santosham grew up in an Indian reservation in Arizona where both her parents served as doctors. She thought she would follow her parents footsteps, but opted to study finance for her undergraduate and got an MBA from Harvard University.

This interview aired on TV in the US and is part of our Women in Science, Tech & Business series sponsored by Zoho Corp.

Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: DIRECTOR JAMES IVORY ON INDIA, SAEED JAFFREY AND ISMAIL MERCHANT

We caught up with director James Ivory at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival, where his film Maurice was screened. This is a highlight of a longer upcoming interview. In this clip Ivory shares how his interest in India developed and the first documentary he made on India called The Sword and the FluteIt was through this documentary that he came to meet actor Saeed Jaffrey and Ismail Merchant.

Ivory and his filmmaking partner Ismail Merchant through their Merchant Ivory Productions have made nearly 40 feature films. While neither Ivory nor Merchant have won an Oscar for their work as director or producer, their films have won them a handful of Oscars. Their repertoire of films include Howard’s End, Maurice, Heat and Dust, A Room With A View, Mr & Mrs Bridges, The Householder and others.

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VIDEO: AMY GUITTARD OF GUITTARD CHOCOLATE COMPANY

We sat down to speak with Amy Guittard of Guittard Chocolate Company to find what it takes to run a 150 year old chocolate company that runs 24/7 and produces over 200 chocolate products. Guittard Chocolate Company is one of the best kept secrets of San Francisco. The company was founded by Etienne Guittard in 1868, who came from France during California’s Gold Rush.

Amy Guittard is a fifth generation member of the family and the first woman to work in the chocolate company. She wears many hats and one of them is director of marking and she also works quite a bit with the sustainability aspect of the company. We also talk about her parents and how she came to write Guittard Chocolate Cookbook that is based on her family recipes.

This interview aired on TV in the US and is part of our Women in Science, Tech & Business series sponsored by Zoho Corp.

Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM

This was my first trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium that is about 90 minutes away from Silicon Valley. While I have visited Monterey and Carmel many times, I never did manage to visit the famous aquarium. Monterey Bay Aquarium demands your total attention from the moment you step in. There is so much to see and learn about oceans and marine life and how to conserve them. You need about 5-6 hours to explore the museum and even then you might feel you did not do justice to it.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located right down the famous Cannery Row of Monterey.

 

The aquarium is located in a former sardine factory. You can find out more about the history of the former sardine factory right as you enter the aquarium.

There is so much to see and experience at the aquarium from the kelp forest to the live feeding of penguins to exploring the Ocean’s Edge, the sardines, jellyfish, the sharks, stingrays and other marine life. I found myself standing mesmerized by the Kelp Forest exhibit and had to reluctantly walk away to explore other parts of the aquarium like The Open Sea and the jelly fish exhibit.

DIRECTIONS TO THE MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM: The Monterey Bay Aquarium is about 90 minutes from Silicon Valley. We parked at the Cannery Row Parking Garage and walked down to the aquarium.

VISITING THE MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM: The  aquarium is open from 9.30 to 6.00 pm PST. Check Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website before you plan your visit.

RELATED LINKS: Travelling through the back roads of Gilroy, Salinas, Watsonville and Carmel

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: FILMMAKER AMIT MADHESHIYA ON THE CINEMA TRAVELLERS, WALTER MURCH & FILMS

Filmmakers Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham’s award-winning documentary The Cinema Travellers shows you a different side of India’s love for films. The duo takes you on a magical ride around the small villages and towns outside of Mumbai (Bombay), India’ entertainment capital, which is home to Bollywood film industry. What we get to see in the film is a dedicated band of cinema travellers or dream merchants who show films to an audience that gets to see 35mm films about once a year.What you see is a whole different world – an analog world filled with old 35mm films and 35mm projectors and the films are screened in pitched tents.

We sat down to speak with Madheshiya during the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival. Madheshiya and Abraham produced, directed and co-wrote their debut film that took them nearly 8 years to make. Both had to learn a lot about filmmaking and how to edit the film. Madheshiya shares that he learnt a lot by reading Academy Award winner Walter Murch’s (The Godfather) books and watching his films.  The films’ cinematography is the one that hooks you into the film and we wanted to find out how Madheshiya shot the film and what kind of camera he used. We also find out how he developed an interest in photography and about his mentor in his boarding school in Nainital, India. Tune in to find out about the making of The Cinema Travellers.

This interview was aired on TV in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where we feature new interviews.

VIDEO: ROBERT BYRNE OF SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL

Meet Robert Byrne, President, Board of Directors of San Francisco Silent Film Festival, film restorer and engineer. We sat dow to talk about how he developed his passion for silent films, the legacy of silent films and his work in restoring silent films. We also find out why Byrne switched his major from film and theatre to computer science. After working as an engineer for many years, he went back to pursuing his primary passion in films.

Many films were destroyed or lost over the decades. But every now and then a lost print will surface like the 1916 on Sherlock Holmes starring William Gillette. Byrne was involved in the restoration of this iconic  film since Gillette is the one who created that memorable get-up for Holmes through his stage play, which later on became a silent film. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle approved of Gillette’s stage play on Holmes. That long coat,  curved pipe and the deerstalker hat are creations of Gillette points out Byrne.

Every June the San Francisco Silent Film Festival takes place where they showcase silent films from around the world. The festival recreates the silent film era experience complete with live music by well-known orchestras. This year the San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs from June 1 through June 4, 2017 at the Castro Theatre.

You can watch our weekly TV show in the US. Here is a list of TV stations in the US that broadcast our show. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and podcast where every week we feature new interviews.