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Directed and Shot by Patrick Morell

INUIT LANDS
The Melting Point
USA. Greenland. France.
2017 

HD 1920/ 1080p

Running Time: 112 minutes

 

Opened the Film selection of COP 21, in Paris, France.

Jack London Spirit Award 2017
31st Annual Wine Country Film Festival
Valley of the Moon, California

Greenland—the name conjures images of majestic Arctic landscapes and Nordic legends shrouded in mystery. The Inuit of Thule, Greenland—the northernmost people in the world—are proud, heroic hunters whose material and spiritual lives are inextricably bound to nature. The French anthropologist Jean Malaurie discovered these communities in 1951—the year the U.S. government began building a military base in the middle of Thule Eskimo territory. Today, mining, oil exploration, and global warming threaten the traditions and the very existence of this ancient hunter society.

This documentary explores the resilience and the vulnerability of the Inughuit communities of North Greenland, who face new challenges posed by social and climatic changes.

It is also a tribute to Jean Malaurie’s lifetime study of the Arctic people.

HIGH TRAIN to TIBET
USA. China. Tibet
2009/2014
HD 1080p
Running Time: 90 minutes

Opening in July 2006, the final segment of the highest train in the world, from Beijing to Lhasa is a technical feat. But is it not also a threat to the survival of the cultural and religious identity of Tibet?  For thousands of years the indigenous people of the Tibetan Plateau lived in relative isolation, surviving as a devout nomadic agrarian society, following the teachings of the Dalai Lamas, including the current one. Today the railway completed in 2006 has opened up this region bringing a wave of Chinese migration from Beijing to Lhasa and to the Tibetan Autonomous Region.  What does this train mean for survival of the culture of the Tibetan Nomads and how has it affected and will it continue to affect their lives? These are the questions explored in the High Train to Tibet- an epic and exciting look at one of humanity’s most ancient and heroic people.

Library by Patrick Morell

IN THE REEKS
Shot in Ireland in 2011.
1080p. 1920/1080

“In the Reeks” is one of several poems on the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks composed by Michael Carter and included in the book: “On Bolus Head”, published by the Cill Rialaig Project, Ireland. The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks is a mountain range in County Kerry of Western Ireland.  Stretching over 12 miles; it includes the highest peaks in Ireland. Etchings and lithography by Brian Gormley, accompany, illustrate and provide the visual component for the poems.  Like the poems , the film “In the Reeks” was composed  while in residency at the Cill Rialaig village located in the same region of the Ring of Kerry, in Western Ireland.  It was made possible by the Cill Rialaig Project, a restored 1709s Irish village in the South West Kerry Province created by the Dublin based art collector Noelle Campbell Sharp.

Road Maps focuses more on the Works of Brian Gormley and especially the doodles reminiscent of American abstract expressionism and the work of Jean Michel Basquiat. These etchings inspired the visual texture of the film “In the Reeks” also. Road Maps was mostly filmed in Pennsylvannia, in Brian’s studio.

Running Times:
In the Reeks: 17 minutes
Road Maps: 52 minutes

THE NAKED TRACE
New York
2009/ 2010
HD 1080p

After first devoting himself to photography, Mark Wiener, based upon observations of the photographer Irvin Penn’s process, began an approach to painting that he calls “the white surface”. This combines the acting out of a “visual story” during the creation of the work.

In “The Naked Trace” Mark Wiener comments about his technique and organic gesture of throwing, dripping and pouring paint, and thus reconciles figurative and abstract painting in an urban context where the traces and marks of the city play first role.

Running Time: 60 minutes

TIBETAN HIGHWAY.
Shot on location in Chang Tang Plateau (Tibetan Autonomous Region)
October 2009.
HD 1080p
Completed in 2011.

Tibetan Highway refers to the 700 miles of the Qinghai- Tibet highway stretching from Lhasa to Qinghai through the vast Chang Tang Plateau in Northern Tibet. Tibetan Highway pays tribute to the enduring spirit of the Tibetan nomads who inhabit these high lands, soon to be exploited by new Chinese entrepreneurs.

Through the sights and sounds of what the camera records and with barely a spoken word,  “Tibetan Highway” is a testament to the magical power of film. It transports the onlooker into other lives and distant lands and kindles a contemplative reflection while offering exciting perspectives through the poetic beauty of these unknown and very remote Tibetan lands.

Running Time: 50 minutes.

TIBET: THE END OF A WORLD
Shot in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, West China. (5 CLIPS)
2009/2010
HD 1080p.

These clips take the viewer from the heights of Mt Everest  to the plains where farmers harvest barley,  beside the icy shores of Namtso lake ,  through the back quarter of the “Old Barkhor” in Lhasa and across the vast and remote Chang Tang Plateau in Northern Tibet, home of  wild yaks and Tibetan antelopes.

This travelogue film seeks, in a contemplative way, to capture the dazzling array of contemporary but still mysterious and wonderful Tibet.

Running time: 40 minutes

NOMAD’S LAND
Shot in Kham-Tibet Autonomous Region- China
2010
HD 1080p

Between the high Tibetan plateau and the rice fields of the Sichuan Province in Western China lies a set of mountain ranges, running from north to south. In between these mountain ridges is located the region of Kham.  These rugged and remote lands are inhabited by the Khampas: Tibetan nomadic and semi nomadic populations.

“Nomad’s Land” memorializes several unique aspects of the daily lives of these native Tibetan nomads while providing a glimpse into a Tibetan culture that is desperately trying to preserve its authenticity despite the major upheavals that are shaking the land of its birth.

Running Time : 26 minutes

TRAVELOGUE: COSTA RICA
Costa Rica: 2009
HD 1080p
4 clips.

With over 615 wildlife species per 10,000 square kilometers, Costa Rica tops the list of one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world.  Home to an incredible abundance of exotic tropical flora and fauna, this tiny Latin American Country is the habitat of 12 key ecological zones.  With an estimated 5% of the world’s biodiversity found here, it is no wonder that Costa Rica is often referred to as the “living Eden’ by many scientists and naturalists from all across the globe.

The Film “Cost Rica, a travelogue” explores the themes of Fire, Water, Wind and Wildlife and associates these themes with the four Cost Rican regions of:

  • The Arenal Volcano
  • The Monteverde Rainforest of Cloud Forest Reserve
  • The Nicoya Peninsula’s Pacific Beaches
  • The Tempisque River in Guanacaste

Running time: 26 minutes

CHINA ARTS: HERE and THERE, NOW and THEN.
Shot in Bejing and Shanghai, Paris and New York.
2 parts series. 2008/2009.
Stand def. PAL. 720 X 576.

Following the death of Mao in 1976, and the movement of Tiananmen Square in 1989 which gave birth to the Chinese artistic New Wave, Chinese artists began making their mark on the international art scene. This documentary examines the trends in the explosive generation of contemporary artists by visiting them where they live and work, in mainland China (Beijing and Shanghai) and in the US and Europe.

In painting, sculpture, photography, and filmmaking spaces – this 2 part documentary highlights not only the artists’ governing aesthetics and everyday working life, but also a particular vision of China, now and then, through its transformative aspects from a architectural, sociological and esthetical points of view.

Running time: 120 minutes (Part One)

THE GHOST OF THE THREE GORGES
Shot in the Three Gorges Region, Central China.
2008.
Stand. Def 720/576

This film is a travelogue on the Yang Tse River through the Three Gorges region in Central China. China’s greatest engineering project since the Great Wall,  the Three Gorges Dam keeps pooling dangerously high levels of pollution and has displaced more than a million people to new re built towns on the hillsides and banks of the River.

The program examines the impacts of the Three Gorges Dam, half way between Yitchang and Chongqing, from a humanitarian, archaeological and ecological point of view.

Running Time: 26 minutes

NAGALAND: THE LAST OF THE HEADHUNTERS
Shot in North East India.
Region of Nagaland in 2007 and completed in 2012.
Stand. Def 720/576

“Nagaland, the Last of the Head Hunters” is an exploration of the Nagaland Region, home of the Naga tribes which are based in North East India and Northern Burma. The rituals are where the concepts of war and fertility remain dominant.  These rituals underscore traditions of headhunting, tattoos and bravery.

The film  “Nagaland, the Last of the Headhunters” depicts scenes of daily life, recorded conversations, particular festivals and family events.  It bears witness to how this traditional lifestyle blends with the intrusive modern world and the Christian values that the first missionaries introduced at the end of the 19th century. Though these paradigms, the film intends to convey a deeper understanding and clearer perception of the complexity and richness of these tribal cultures.

Selected at the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Museum of Natural History. NY. Nov 2012.

Running time: 70 minutes

BURNING MAN SERIES. (3 films. “Hope & Fears”. ‘The Green Man”. “American Dream”)
Shot in the Black Rock desert, Nevada. U.S in 2006, 2007 & 2008.
Stand. Def 720/576
Golden Rabbit Films/ Burning Man LLC. 2006/2008.

Every year during the week of Labor Day week end, tens of thousands of people (45 000 in 2008) gathered in the Black Rock Desert in the state of Nevada for the Burning Man Art Festival. These people make the journey to the Black Rock Desert for one week out of the year to be part of an experimental community, which challenges its members to express themselves and rely on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life.

The result of this experiment is “Black Rock City” and “The Playa” home of the Burning Man event.

Running Time:

  • Hope & Fears. 2006. 120’
  • The Green Man. 2007 180’
  • The American Dream. 2008. 70’ (not completed)

WATERS IN THE WEST
Shot in Arizona in 2005
DVCam PAL.  720/576.
Golden Rabbit Films / Sedgwick Foundation.

In the American West, the inequalities between urban centers such as Los Angeles or Las Vegas and the local farming communities for the access of the Colorado waters have raised numerous legal battles, since the last forty years.  The situation has become worst the last few years with the increasing frequency of the droughts and the aridity of the fields.

Shot entirely on the Cabot Sedgwick Ranch, between Tucson and Nogales (Arizona) and with the cooperation of the Sedgwick Water Foundation led by Anthony Sedgwick, this program describes the different issues that American Ranchers in the West are facing today.

From the disappearance of small streams and an increase in the aridity of the soils to an historical background of waters rights since the opening of the West, Anthony Sedgwick, rancher and lawyer, led us through a chapter of American History usually unknown to the general public and where water is generally taken for granted.

Running Time: 26 minutes

The Gates (cinematographer)
New York.
Mayflies Films/ HBO/Arte
2005

The installation of The Gates in New York’s Central Park was completed in February 2005. The 7,503 gates with their free-hanging saffron colored fabric panels seemed like a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees. I was hired by Al Maysles and Antonio Ferrera to be one of the several cameramen/ camera women to shoot the multiple interactions of the public with the works of art as well as “beauty” shots.

It was a great New York experience of togetherness, arts and beauty. The film premiered at the closing of the Tribeca film Festival in 2007 and was later shown on HBO.

WATER’S WARS SERIES:
“JORDAN: BETWEEN a ROCK and a HARD PLACE”
Based on the script “Water: the Middle East in the wedge”
Shot in Jordan in 2004.
Stand. Def 720/576
Golden Rabbit films/ Jordan Royal Film Commission/ Suez Environment. 2004

Through the example of a private / public partnership in regards to the country’s water management, (with the French company Suez Environment and US Aid) the program evaluates the effects of this intervention in the agricultural and urban sector and its positive impacts on the quality of life.  It also provides a model of sustainability, a drive toward a more opened society and democratization in an otherwise very unstable region.

Made with the full cooperation of the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, the program shows a diversity of water management examples in urban centers, as well as water preservation and recycling in the agriculture sector in order to create and maintain a productive and sustainable agriculture industry. The application of new technologies, such as drip irrigation, recycling of used water, computerized openings of canals and weather studies, help in the maintenance and progress of a rich local economy. At the dawn of the 21st century, one can witness in Jordan the continuation of a rich and ancient heritage of water management put in place a long time ago with the Nabateans and for which Petra, the “Pink City” remains a true vestige.

Running Time: 26 minutes

Petra/Dead Sea
2 meditative programs.
Shot in Jordan. Stand Def. DVCam PAL
Golden Rabbit Films/ Jordan Royal Film Commission. 2004.
Running time for each program: 26 minutes

Petra, also called “the Pink City” (because of the colors of its buildings, carved directly into the limestone rocks) was first established around the 6th century B.C by a nomadic tribe called the Nabateans Arabs.

After the Romans took over, Petra was left to the local Bedouins.  It was rediscovered by the 19th century Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Bockkard. The Nabateans were expert hydraulic engineers.

The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and Palestine to the west. Its surface and shores are 429 meters (1,407 ft.) below sea level, earth’s lowest elevation on land.

The Dead Sea is threatened by excessive withdrawals of water from the Jordan River in the north and dams and industrial development in the south.  As a result the Dead Sea has already lost a third of its surface area. The Dead Sea ‘s depth continues to drop by up to one meter per year. At this rate, experts predict its total extinction in 25 years.

Also available is an industrial film on Jordan treatments water plants and Water distribution in Amman Jordan commissioned by Suez Environment, France.

As well as footage shot in the desert of Wadi Rum (Jordan, bordering Saudi Arabia) as well as in Syria and Lebanon.

EGYPT. JOURNEYS on the NILE
This exploration film was shot in Egypt on the Nile, mostly between Aswan and Abu Simbel and the Sudanese border  (in a region originally called Nubia)
DVCam. PAL. 720 x 576.
Golden Rabbit films/ U.N.E.S.C.O. France/ Egypt. 2004

In the early 1900s a dam was built along the Nile River in Aswan by Egypt to help control flooding and to provide hydroelectric power to the region. However, in times of extreme flooding, it proved inadequate and the land and towns thought protected by the dam would be covered with floodwaters. In the 1960s, it was decided that a second dam would be built at Aswan to solve the problem. This dam created a 500-mile-long lake. The area used to create the lake was located on the site of an ancient civilization known as Nubia. Prior to completion of the dam, the United Nations began a rescue operation to excavate the area so that endangered Nubian monuments could be uncovered and moved to other locations. All together, twenty-four monuments were dismantled and relocated and many others were identified and documented before the area was flooded to make the lake.

Over 150,000 Nubians and Sudanese were forced to relocate off the land their ancestors had called home for over 5,000 years. Over 45 Nubian villages were washed away along the banks of the Nile south of Aswan.

Running Time: 45 minutes

Les Grünewald du Musée de Colmar
France.
DVD Cam. PAL St. Def. 720x 576
in French.
Philippe Fredet Production / Golden Rabbit Films. 2004.

This program focuses on the Mathis Grünewald masterpiece: “The retable of Issenheim” placed in what is today the Colmar Museum. This museum of north eastern France is the ancient cloister of Issenheim were the painting was originally conceived.

Based on the Huysman’s text related to the paintings, the documentary leads the spectator into the nine panels constituting the famous altar. This introspective documentary completed in 2004, marries the Huysman’s text and the visuals, in order to give a unique, compelling, intimate, and original view of this unique world re known masterpiece.

Running Time: 45 minutes

TURKEY, THE MIRACLE OF WATER
Shot in Turkey, in South east Anatolia and at the border with Syria. In 2003
DVCam. PAL Stand Def. 720X576.
Turkey/France. 2003.

With the setting up of the GAP, project of development of the Anatolia region which consists in the building of 22 dams and 19 hydro electrical plants on the Euphrates and the Tigris, Turkey is not only stirring up the tensions with its neighbors but also with the local communities and the people living in these regions, mostly Kurds.

Coming down from the high snowy high peaks located north of Turkey, the flow of the Euphrates and the Tigris is strong and the dams are stocking large quantities of water thanks to vast artificial lakes. These large reservoirs flood entire regions, dismantle many villages and displace thousand of people.

Shot in south east Anatolia in the Harran plain and at the Turkish Syrian border, the film “Miracle of Water” examines how the building of these large dams affects the local populations, and what are the consequences on the environment in these arid regions. It also gives an update on how the geopolitics of the region has been transformed by the building of these large dams.

Running Time: 26 minutes

JOE DOWNING (1925- 2007)
An Artist’s Life

3 films constitute this series :

  • Le Bonheur de Joe (Joe’s Happiness)
  • Le Bonheur retrouve ( Happiness regained)
  • Looking for Joe.

Shot in France  (Paris and Ménerbes, Provence) and in U.S (Kentucky)
DVCam. PAL Stand. Def. 720 x 576.
Golden Rabbit films/ Joe Downing / Martine Lelouch Productions, France.2003.

Raised in rural Kentucky, Joe Downing was sent to Normandy at the end of World War 2. Upon his return to America, Joe studied optometry in Chicago; it is at the Art Institute of Chicago where he was taking night classes, that he first encountered the Art world and French painters; the likes of Degas, the Fauves, and Picasso (whom he will meet later in Paris) to name a few.

After a few years of study in Chicago, he decided to return to France for a short while, in the early 50’s.  He ended up staying in Paris where he became one the first artist involved in the Abstract Lyricism movement, in vogue at the time in the Parisian artistic circles.  The documentary, partially biographical, follows Joe Downing’s s path, from his early days in Chicago to Menerbes, a village in Provence where he lived until 2007, passing through the prolific Parisian art scene of the 50’s, and the Abstract Lyricism movement.

The stories/ anecdotes are narrated through interviews with the painter at his home in Paris and Menerbes in French and in English but also through archival materials, photos and films as well as through his very colorful and diverse palette, paintings and earth sculptures.

Running Time:

  • Le Bonheur de Joe (Joe’s Happiness) (45 minutes)
  • Le Bonheur retrouve ( Happiness regained) (26 minutes)
  • Looking for Joe. (26 minutes)

TIBET in EXILE
Shot in Dharamsala/ Mc Leod Gang, India, in 2001.
DVCam PAL. St Def. 720x 576.
Golden Rabbit Films.

If the fate of Tibet and Buddhism is largely known all around the world, the conditions and situation of its exile is much less witnessed by a general audience.  As our bus crawled into the misty highlands of Dharamsala, we felt like we had left India behind. The humid heat and raucous chaos were all gone, only to be replaced by cool mountain air and calm serenity. Tibetan monks stroll languidly through the town’s narrow alleys. Since China claimed Tibetan territories, the Tibet government including His Holiness the Dalai Lama have been in exile here in Dharamsala, India.

Tucked in the highlands of the Indian Himalayas, Dharamsala/ Mc Leod Gang has a mystic air for both its heavenly location and its spiritual residents.  This 2 parts series examines the exile of Tibet in India and Nepal in refugees camps with a strong focus  on the preservation of Buddhism and Tibetan culture through crafts, language, visual arts (thangkas), dances, folklore and libraries.

Running Time: 52 minutes

In supplement : “Compassion in Exile”
by Mickey Lemle
Cinematography & stock Footage: Patrick Morell

Blue pollen Productions. 2006
Running time: 26 minutes

RAINHARVEST in NEPAL.
Shot entirely in Nepal.
DVCam. PAL. St, Def.  720×576.
Golden Rabbit Films/ ICIMOD Kathmandu. 2001/02.

This program focuses on new alternative and sustainable methods of “harvesting” rainwater, in the High and Middle Himalayan regions of Nepal.

Running Time: 26 minutes

INDIA SERIES:
The Sacred & the Profane
Shot entirely in India.
DVCam. PAL. Stand Def. 720×576
India/ France. 2000/ 2001.

“The Sacred and the Profane” acquaints viewers with very unique scenes of India’s cultural and spiritual traditions, and reflects on environmental factors, caused in this case by the Tehri Dam.

“The Sacred & the Profane” examines the impacts of a large dam, the Tehri Dam, on the Ganges River and its populated surroundings, half way between Gomukh (the source of the Ganges) and Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas where the Ganges enters the plains; the most important impact being the displacement of thousands of “Hill People” to the urban areas of the middle plains.

The film was never completed in post production due to lack of funding.
Stock Footage ( 4/3 St def PAL)AVAILABLE.

Ganga, Ganga, Will you Remember my Name?
DVCam. PAL. Stand Def. 720×576
India/ France. 2000/ 2001.

This film is an exploration of the region from the Gangetic plains to the source of the Ganges in the High Indian Himalayas.

Running Time: 45 minutes

Varanasi, City of Lights
DVCam.PAL.Stand def. 720×576
India/ France. 2000/ 2001.

Travelogue through the small streets and temples of Varanasi (Benares)

Running Time : 26 minutes

The Lake Baikal Series.
Shot in Siberia, Russia.
Series of 2 films:
“Baikal Sacred Sea of Siberia.”
“The Nerpa, an endangered species.”

DV Cam. PAL. Stand. Def. 720x 576
Jakaranda Productions. Fr/ Visual Arts Productions. Int. U.S. 1997/ 2000.

“Lake Baikal, Sacred Sea of Siberia” is an environmental and sociological study of the impacts of a Pulp and Paper plant built by the Soviets during the Cold war, on the southern bank of the lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is located in the southern part of Siberia, at the confines of Mongolia and the Republic of Buriatya. Lake Baikal was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1994.

Running Time: 52 minutes

The Nerpa, A Species Endangered”
DV Cam. PAL. Stand. Def. 720x 576
Jakaranda Productions. Fr/ Visual Arts Productions. Int. U.S. 1997/ 2000.

Second part of the series on Baikal which examines, from a scientific point of view, the impacts of the pulp and paper plant on the Nerpa, the only fresh water seal on the planet.

Running Time: 52 minutes

The Lake Baikal films were co produced by the French production Company Jakaranda and were shown in France on TV 5, in 2001.

DVDs and related materials available.

SOULS GROWN DEEP
Shot in Georgia and Alabama. U.S. in 1996.
Hi 8/ Beta Cam NTSC.
A.C.T/ Visual Arts Productions. 1996/97

“Souls grown deep” 97, based on the art show exhibited during the Olympic Games at the High Museum in Atlanta in 1996, depicts the portrait of three generations of self taught black artists from Birmingham Alabama and the surrounding areas.

Interviews and art works blend in order to give an original portrait as well as a social study of self taught black Artists in the South, today.

Running Time: 60 minutes

For copy of the film and stock footage please contact:
Arts Cultures & Technologies/ Iva Kaufman/ Video 35. NYC or myself at Golden Rabbit Films.

PASSIONS for the LIGHT
Shot in St Petersburg Russia. In 1995.Completed in 1996.
Hi 8/ Beta Cam. PAL. 720x 576
Arte Fr. / Visual Arts Productions.

This program is an exploration of the New Russian artistic “Avant Garde” who flourished in the late 80’s and early 90’s at the time of the “Perestroika” in St Petersburg, with the City’s strong cultural and intellectual heritage as a background.

The main subject focuses on an exhibition at the Russian Museum (St Petersburg) entitled “The Golden Ass” which can be described as a series of contemporary “Tableaux Vivants” (photos) illustrating the twelve chapters of the book by Ovides “The Golden Ass” which retraced the time travels of a lad through different time periods of the Antiquity.

Running Time: 52 minutes

ALASKA: CROSSROAD OF CONTINENTS.
Shot in the Inupiak villages of the north coast of Alaska and in the Bering Strait (U.S).in 1994
Hi 8/ Beta Cam. NTSC.
University of Anchorage/ Smiltsonian Institute/ Visual Arts Productions. 1994.

This series of 7 films, sponsored by the University of Anchorage, the Peabody Museum and the Bering Air, is an illustration of the Smithsonian Project titled “Crossroads of Continents:” an anthropological study of the American Eskimos and their Siberian neighbors and cousins, at the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1991.

Running time: 360’. Series of 6 of 60 ‘ minutes videos. (non edited. Archival footage)
See University of Anchorage for the edited programs, and the dance programs at Lincoln Center NY for materials related to Inupiaks dances.

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