Fresh from its U.S. premiere at Third Horizon Film Festival 2020, the documentary “Uncivilized” will make its online premiere via the Caribbean film platform Studio Anansi on Saturday, May 23rd at 4pm EST on both Facebook and YouTube Live.
The gripping film follows documentary filmmaker Michael Lees into the forest of Dominica with some basic survival gear, a camera, his disenchantment with the modern world, and a question: “What makes for a good life?” Three months in, just as he starts to acclimatize, disaster strikes in the form of Hurricane Maria, one of the most devastating storms ever birthed by the Atlantic Ocean.
For a private screener or an interview with Lees, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Lees and USC School of Cinematic Arts Writer/Editor Desa Philadelphia. For Lees, there’s much to talk about, particularly how the harrowing experience readied him for the fallout of COVID-19.
“The coronavirus pandemic is another ‘disruption’ of normality, but it’s strange; living and filming after Maria oddly prepared us here in Dominica for this,” reflected Lees. “At least this time we still have roofs, electricity and the internet. It makes you realize what the essentials are: food, water, and people. On an island like Dominica, we will always have those things.”
Immediately following the online premiere, the film will be made available for free for two weeks on Studio Anansi, after which it will join the platform’s roster of Caribbean films.
“The Studio Anansi platform is one of a handful dedicated to curating and streaming Caribbean films, and we’re excited to feature a film as timely as Uncivilized,” says Romola Lucas, Co-Executive Director of Third Horizon, the Caribbean filmmaking collective behind Studio Anansi. “It contextualizes one of the world’s biggest environmental challenges from a uniquely Caribbean perspective.”
Lees is a Dominican filmmaker whose films explore themes of environmentalism and spirituality, aiming to connect the dots in the “bigger picture.” Michael attended UNC Chapel Hill, where he spent the first half of his college career studying business at the KenanFlagler Business School, later switching his major from business to film. Lees has written, shot, and edited for clients ranging from Billboard to UNICEF.
Studio Anansi is an online platform for emerging Caribbean cinema. It is operated by Third Horizon, a Caribbean filmmaking collective whose films, such as the award-winning short film Papa Machete, routinely screens at some of the world’s most acclaimed film festivals such as Sundance, TIFF, Sheffield, and more. It also stages the annual Third Horizon Film Festival in Miami, a celebration of cutting edge film and filmmakers from the Caribbean and its diasporas.