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January 2016

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Page 38 of 53 35 POST JANUARY 2016 O S C A R buzz inter On Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom is a documentary that chronicles the events that unfolded over 93 days in 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations in support of European integration turned into a violent revolu- tion calling for the end to a corrupt na- tional regime. Campbell-Grobman Films' Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman re- cently talked to Post about their work on the feature which, at press time, was on the shortlist of 15 documentaries being considered for Oscar contention. What were some of the challenges of creating this feature? LATI GROBMAN: "I think the most diffi- cult task when filming Winter on Fire was to figure out a way to get coverage in multiple locations, as events were unfold- ing simultaneously. It was almost impossi- ble to predict what would be happening next and where, but it was so important to try and be in every place to capture as many key moments as possible. Because we had such a great, dedicated crew and a talented team of real filmmakers, volunteers and journalists who all became a part of our project, they were able to tell an extremely detailed and cinematic story about Maidan. No one was thinking about how they were risking their lives. No one was thinking about the best shots, but each and every person was thinking about how to capture what happened and show it to the entire world. The whole credit goes to our director/producer Evgeny Afineevsky, who risked his life making this movie. We were not at all ed- ucated about the situation in Ukraine until we met Evgeny and saw the footage. We are still learning about it every day." CHRISTA CAMPBELL: "Lati and I re- ceived an early cut of Winter on Fire. We were blown away by what we were seeing and knew we had to get this film out in the world, so we sent the film to Adam Del Deo at Netflix and he called us immediately saying we have to release this film. Then, with the amazing team at Netflix, Adam Del Deo and Lisa Nishimura brought in Rock Paper Scissors to re-edit the film and then it began." What formats were the events captured on? GROBMAN: "Initially, HD Canon camcord- ers, but with the events unfolding very fast and spontaneous, the footage was captured with various equipment, such as DSLR cameras, camcorders, GoPros, cellphones and streaming devices." Who provided post production services — editorial, sound mixing, music, etc.? GROBMAN: "The first cut was assembled in Ukraine, then we moved editing to the USA. We brought on board Angus Wall and his team at Rock Paper Scissors, who produced Errol Morris' movies, and Jasha Klebe, who was working side by side with Hans Zimmer, and he has cre- ated an astonishing score. The final finish of the movie (color, DI and mix) was done back in Ukraine." Did the film come together the way you had imagined? CAMPBELL: "Better! Our editor, Will Znidaric, elevated the movie to an ex- tremely powerful piece." What does it mean to be in the Oscar race, and what do you think about documentaries as a category these days? CAMPBELL: "Documentaries are very important and educational. It's a great honor to be on the shortlist. This film really deserves to go all the way." GROBMAN: "To me it's a dream come true. I have always been a doc-addict, so to be acknowledged for something you love is a pleasant feeling. Documentaries are taking more of a front stage be- cause of the state of the world today. People really want to know what is going on. They don't trust the news outlets anymore because of the big corporate agenda. It feels — and rightly so — that documentaries are a more reliable and neutral source of information." Campbell and Grobman are producing three films that will be released in 2016: The Bleeder (Chuck Wepner biopic starring Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts), Criminal (action thriller with Kevin Costner, Gard Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Ryan Reynolds), and Leatherface (prequel to the popular Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise). WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE'S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM LATI GROBMAN AND CHRISTA CAMPBELL ON PRODUCING A DOCUMENTARY IN A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT BY MARC LOFTUS W Canon, DSLR, GoPro and cell phone cameras were used to capture footage for this doc.

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