Colorado filmmakers had plenty to cheer about at the 2012 Oscar celebrations- their colleague, director and cinematographer Daniel Junge, came home with an Oscar for his short documentary film, “Saving Face”. The film explores the alarming rise in acid attacks against women in Pakistan and around the world, following the work of a doctor who performs plastic surgery for attack victims. Junge was kind enough to answer some of my questions about the film and about his Oscar experience.
Kathryn Gould: What has winning the Oscar done/ do you think it will do for your cause, and for you professionally?
Daniel Junge: Without a doubt this will amplify the message of the film in a profound way. This is a first for me -- with our partners, using the film as a tool, we actually have the ability to make a serious dent in this problem, both in Pakistan and globally.
For myself it's too soon to tell but it's remarkable the attention this one piece of hardware gets. I've already had some very promising meetings with entities that would likely have not considered me or my projects beforehand, so that's promising. At the end of the day, though, I've got to keep making this caliber of work.
KG: Do you have plans for a full-length documentary on the subject?
DJ: No, we determined this length was appropriate for the subject. I believe a feature-length treatment on this issue wouldn't hold audiences in the same way, and I also am ready to move on to the next project.
KG: How did you first become involved with this project, and how did you go about making the documentary when I’m sure you faced hostility and fear and all kinds of obstacles?
DJ: Every documentary faces obstacles, especially when you travel abroad to make them. But I didn't feel any particular hostility in making this film. I attribute this to a number of things…That I'm very focused when shooting and all my faculties are occupied by our filmmaking process…That I had a tremendous partner in Sharmeen (Obaid-Chinoy) who developed a great trust with our subjects…That these women were incredibly brave and wanted to be heard.
Stick around for the second half of the interview, still to come!