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L.A.-based director Cutter Hodierne on the making of his Sundance Film Festival debut

Fishing without Nets

Somali modern day piratesA few years ago, stories about modern-day pirates terrorizing the waters off the Somali coast started to emerge, and eventually it led to a small media frenzy. In 2008, the world watched as rescue measures were taken to save kidnapped French couple Bernadette and Jean-Yves Delanne, who were abducted by pirates while sailing home from Australia aboard their yacht, the Carre d’As. Eventually, French Special Forces freed the couple in an operation that left a pirate dead, and six more arrested. Although this happened several thousand miles away from the Californian coast, for Los Angeles based director Cutter Hodierne, the story hit close to home.

Just before he was born, Hodierne’s parents sold everything that they owned and bought a 32-foot cutter-rigged sailboat; Cutter spent the first three years of his life sailing the South Pacific Ocean. At the time, the area was one of the first and only places one would hear about modern-day pirate activity. When reminded of the French couple, Hodierne says, “That could’ve been us.” Over twenty years later, the early memories would lay down the groundwork in what would become the short-film that introduces Sundance to Cutter Hodierne.

No One Knows About Persian Cats

Journey into Tehran’s independent underground.

nooneknowsaboutpersiancatsIn his recent film, No One Knows About Persian Cats, director Bahman Ghobadi shows us a very different side of the independent music scene, one unfolding in modern Tehran under a strict and repressive government.

Near the beginning of the film, one of the main characters, a struggling musician, laments, “Here you can’t do anything. In this country, you don’t have a chance.” Sound familiar? In the Iranian capital, it is governmental control, rather than monopolistic labels and corporations, that keeps non-traditional music underground. Still, the similarities to the music scene in the western world are uncanny.

Currents of Oppression