Phillip Ernest is a Canadian writer with an extraordinary personal history, as even the briefest version of his bio suggests: Born in 1970, Phillip Ernest grew up in New Liskeard, Ontario. Fleeing home at fifteen, he lived on Toronto’s skid row until he was twenty-eight. He learned Sanskrit from the book Teach Yourself Sanskrit, and later earned a BA in South Asian Studies from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Sanskrit from Cambridge University. The Vetala (LLP, 2018) is his first novel. This is Part I of a two-part interview. Part II is here.
Glory to the Filmmaker Amir Naderi, by Abou Farman9 September 2016
I am proud to announce that my friend and long-time collaborator Amir Naderi received the prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award this week at the Venice Film Festival.
On this occasion, we are happy to present his film Vegas: Based on a True Story as a digital rental on Amazon and Vimeo. This is a rare opportunity. Amir's films are much sought after but mostly not available. This will begin to change and Vegas is the first effort in that direction.
Vegas was the first film I produced, alongside the indomitable Ram Devineni, and it went straight to Venice in competition in 2008 - where it won a SIGNIS award - and was also nominated for competition at Tribeca in 2009.
For those who've been following, Amir was also an invaluable contributor to Icaros: A Vision.
Vegas: Based on a True Story is a remarkable film with some crazy backstories - but all that for later. Most importantly, it was a prescient parable, predicting the psychosis underlying the real estate crash that hit the US that year. Plus, it's great film-making, classic Amir. I really encourage you to watch it. No, I beg you to watch it. It is important that such films get clicks on line, otherwise we'll keep getting inundated with those other ones that have already drowned us.
© 2016, Abou Farman
[Photo: Connie Contreras]
Abou Farman is a Canadian artist and anthropologist teaching at the New School for Social Research in NY. He has published widely in the academic sphere as well as the popular press, with essays nominated for a National Magazine Award in Canada, selected for the Best Canadian Essays and twice awarded the Arc Critics Desk Award. His first book, Clerks of the Passage, was published by Linda Leith Publishing in 2012; a French translation by Marianne Champagne entitled Les lieux de passage will be published Linda Leith Éditions in October 2016.
As part of the artist duo caraballo-farman, formed with his late partner Leonor Caraballo, Abou has exhibited work internationally in galleries, museums and other venues, including at the Tate Modern, UK; PS1/MOMA, NY, and the Havana Biennial. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. Amongst other film work and credits, he was producer on Iranian filmmaker Amir Naderi’s Vegas: Based on a True Story, which was in competition at the Venice and Tribeca Film Festivals in 2008, and is producer and co-writer of a 2016 narrative feature film, Icaros: A Vision, co-directed by Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi.