Posted on Feb 07, 2019
We enjoyed a riveting journey through the making of a documentary in a strife-filled region, as five-time Emmy Award winning producer-director Marantha Hay, the owner of Tower Films whose docs are regularly on PBS, presented an interactive experience from a doc she made in Angola to chronicle the attempt to save one rural hospital and its malnourished children during the 30-year war.
She put us on the ground for the shoot on a tight two-day schedule, with obstacles including armed soldiers, impassable roads and skeptical officials at the Ministry of Security. Through the presentation, Marantha shared her passion for documentaries: “You get to witness profound moments that changes lives, and explore the truth in sometimes daring adventure. Think of it as the indie music version of filmmaking – scrappy and dynamic.” She also reviewed the basics of great storytelling — regardless of the genre or type of story — and how her work revolves around the hero’s journey, as laid out by Joseph Campbell decades ago.
Later in her fun and enthralling presentation, Marantha spelled out her three questions when considering a PBS doc: How many crewmembers can fly over? Are there adequate resources for the shoot? Do I feel comfortable going over? Can they extract me if something goes wrong in-country? She’s currently on a break from Africa after seven shoots there, and working in virtual reality productions that are shown on 360-degree screens.
So impressive was Marantha’s work, and her presentation, that not only did she receive the illustrious Rotary Club coffee cup, but President Bill also awarded her a “Be The Inspiration” pin … which certainly describes how attendees felt after her talk.