In Dreams I Run Wild video clip
Tenderness. Vulnerability. Deeper meaning. All these are qualities of Ramaa Mosely’s films.
It’s no surprise that her first film, the documentary “We Can Make a Difference” about global pollution’s effect on children was screened around the world and went on to win a United Nations’ Global 500 Award in Geneva, Switzerland. What is surprizing is that she made it at the age sixteen. And then again… it makes sense that the daughter of fellow artist/dancer, Marilyn Mosely-Gordanier, would show such early genius. Marilyn didn’t just home school Ramaa, she started Laurel Springs to cater to the unique needs of gifted children like Ramaa. And the results are stunning.
The body of work Ramaa shared at the Dance Camera West mentorship series demonstrates what can happen when a human being is encouraged to express their potential. The creativity, purity, storytelling mastery and substance of Ramaa’s work opens your heart. She weaves a spell with her visual images that captivates and communicates far more meaning than words, sounds, images and music can convey taken separately.
A not to be missed milestone for Ramaa is “Girl Rising.” Ramaa directed the Afghanistan segment of 10×10’s feature film. At the DCW event, she shared details of the difficult shoot that told the story of Amina, a girl who was married off at 11 years old. Many of the other segments featured the actual girls. But in this part of Taliban controlled Afghanistan, this particular child would have been in grave danger. So Ramaa and crew had to find another girl to tell Amina’s story. And that became another touching saga. In making this film, Rama explained (and I paraphrase here), “I realized there was something joyful there – I couldn’t have told the story without there being some positive element. To protect Amina, we went to a village in Africa to find another girl to tell the true story. As soon as I saw this little girl, I knew she was the one. She’d never seen a camera before. In directing her, I asked her to think about what the actual girl must have felt like. It was very powerful. She gave the performance of a lifetime. At the end of the film, shot in very difficult conditions, it started to hail. We were filming the girls running up the hill, throwing off their burkas. And a rainbow appeared. It was mystical. You’ll see it in the last shot.”
One story that is especially compelling is that of Amina, a girl from Afghanistan. Amina was married to a cousin at the age of 11 for $5000, which her father used to buy a car for her brother. Amina has a child, though still a child herself. But she is determined to go back to school and finish her education.
Ramaa attended Bennington College in Vermont, where she studied theater, literature and photography. Upon graduating in 1997 Ramaa was hired by the Dutch government to direct a documentary on the Aymara Indians of Bolivia. Within months, Ramaa was directing music videos and award winning national and international commercials for clients such as Adidas, Powerade, ESPN and Microsoft Kinect. Ramaa won best director at the First Glance Film Festival for her short film “Grace”.
Ramaa’s feature film directing debut “The Brass Teapot”, a magical comedy starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was released in theaters April 5th, distributed by Magnolia Pictures. Click here for trailer: Brass Teapot Trailer
Dance Camera West (DCW) was wise to choose Ramaa as an mentor for emerging filmmakers to emulate. I’ve followed DCW for a few years and commend them on their efforts to celebrate the intersection of dance and film. In their 12th year, DCW brings live performances, an annual festival, the mentorship series and more to the Los Angeles area and we are better for it. It’s exciting and uplifting to witnessing how they express their goal “to expand the way we think about dance beyond the limitations of the stage and to challenge the boundaries of motion, rhythm, form and gravity.”
Dance Camera West is a leading force in providing audiences a new way to view dance, and offers many their first and only opportunity to access dance. The unique collaboration of filmmakers, dancers, choreographers, and musicians creates a synergy that makes dance media a wonderful new genre to watch and participate in! Thank you, Dance Camera West, for your dedication.
– Lia Azeal, Consultant