Interview with Nadia Hennrich, one of Skateistan producers
We’re working hard for the screenings of Skateistan The Movie in X-Games Barcelona & CaixaForum in Madrid this week. We’re so thrilled to support this wonderful project! We had a chat with Nadia Hennrich, one of the producers of the documentary along with Rene Kock. Read and get inspired.
LGC. How did you find out about this project in the first place?
NH. Our director friend Kai Sehr came into our office one day with an interview he had found in a German magazine. My husband and I were immediately intrigued and contacted Oliver Percovich in Kabul, eventually met with him in Hamburg and beat a lot of other contenders to secure the exclusive rights to document Skateistan’s efforts to build the first skate park in Afghanistan after we volunteered to cut a 7 minute film for him to promote the project to the German government that helped to raise the first funds for the park.
LGC. Did you go to Afghanistan with the idea of shooting a documentary or went there and felt the urge to film it?
NH. We only went to Afghanistan once we knew that we could do the documentary. On the first of those 5 trips to Kabul my partner and producer Rene went alone to check for himself if it would be safe to bring an entire crew there. He was instantly overwhelmed by the warmth of the Afghan people, particularly the kids.
LGC. How’s the feedback with the locals?
NH. Well, the only people in Afghanistan that got to see the film are the staff and the kids of Skateistan at a screening at the skate park – and they loved it! Otherwise we had to promise Oliver that the film wouldn’t be shown in Afghanistan because it would only endanger the organization.
LGC. Any story about the kids you want to share or that touched you particularly?
NH. I was particularly touched by the way all these kids reacted to our cameras. Everybody wanted to be photographed wherever we went – but none of them smiled into the camera like we’re used to in the West. They all looked straight into the lens with very stern faces and only started to laugh, joke and warm up when they saw themselves on the digital display of the camera.
LGC. What can we do to help?
NH. Just go to skateistan.org and you’ll find various ways to help, from donating, purchasing their merchandize to volunteering you’ll find lots of options. Generally, spreading the word about the organization and about our film will already help a lot.
LGC. Have you ever tried skating?
NH. Yes and immediately had a lot of respect for the board:) I’m still trying, but I’m not very good at it. It’s hard to practice up where we live, in rural Northern California where we have more dirt roads than smooth asphalt
LGC. Thanks a lot Nadia!
NH. No, thank you for bringing our film to Spain. We very much appreciate that!
If you’re in Spain, don’t miss the screenings!
X-Games Barcelona May 16th at 18.00 in the X Fest scenario
Caixa Forum May 18th at 17.00
Link to the Facebook event here
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