Emmanuel Itier is a French born film producer and director, a music journalist and composer, and a man who is dedicated to the relentless pursuit of a peaceful and just world. His documentaries, The Invocation (featuring Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and other other spiritual luminaries, discussing the nature of the Divine), and more recently, Femme (featuring Sharon Stone, Dr. Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Gloria Steinem and many other renowned women from around the world, who are actively transforming and healing global society), are a far cry from his earlier work making horror films. This fascinating three part interview, speaks of a profound change of direction for a complex man, determined to change the world, one film at a time.
This is my exclusive interview with Emmanue Itier Part 2 of a 3.
Sharon Stone has been a huge supporter of your work and has narrated 'Invocation' and is also featured in 'Femme.'
Do you plan to create more Films with Sharon Stone. If so what so Film would that be?
Yes! We are now! Sharon and I working on five more very important and impactful pictures. These films Documentaries in the same style, shot all over the world, with lots of important and well know persons, as well as unknowns, just to show we can all make a difference and be an agent of change. The themes and names of these 5 films are:
-WE THE PEOPLE: A Re-Evolution of Economics and Politics. A quest to find new
sustainable and viable systems for the XXI'st Century.
-THE CURE: A journey into healing the mind and the body. A quest around the
World, to find sustainable solutions to cancer, Aids, and other diseases and
pandemics. This will also be a study about nutrition and how to feed Humanity.
-WAR: A LOVE STORY: A study about War from the beginning of time, and to
clearly show that war today is obsolete. How do we transform our war armies into
peace corps. How do we get to World Peace?
-IN SPORTS: We Think -Therefore We Are -Therefore We Do. A study of sports,
'A healthy mind in a healthy body', seen through the four elements of Earth, Wind,
Fire and Water.
-ANIMALS: We All Are: A study of the human animal and its relationship with the
animals of the World. How animals heal the human spirit.
These films are part of a new branded style of Documentaries: 'The Universalis Collection - Documentaries for a Conscious Humanity'. If you go on our website www.WonderlandEntGroup.com, you will see what motivates us, and our vision for these films. Basically we want to make Peace, one movie at a time. After seeing the impact of both 'The Invocation' and 'Femme', I can feel confident that we are on the right path, the right way. This new endeavor will take roughly three years, and 2.5 million dollars, plus dozens of countries to be visited, hundreds of interviews to be filmed. Then it will take thousand of hours of footage to properly edit into five comprehensive movies of ninety minutes each. But this time, we will also make a television series out of it, with sixty minute segments. So we'll see you again in 2017 for the launch of the first film! And then watch them be released back to back...
Besides film work, you've had a successful career as a music and film journalist. The music for 'Invocation' was provided by Annie Lennox, and for 'Femme', by Yoko Ono and Ricki Lee Jones. Can you talk about the importance that music plays in these films?
Einstein said one day "Without Music Life would be a mistake!". Well, without the music of these amazing souls in 'Invocation' and 'Femme', my film would be flat-flat-flat and soul-less! And I'm not only talking about the divine music of well known performers such as Annie Lennox, Yoko Ono and Rickie Lee Jones, God Bless them, as they were so kind and trustful to offer some of their music, but I'm also sending a huge hug full of Love to the many lesser known musicians and singers, such as Gina Villalobos (she was one of the first singer I ever promoted and fell in love with, when I moved to Santa Barbara, and she has been part of my film from the very first day!), Tiana Star, who did the opening song for FEMME (just an amazing and moving composition!), Dru Allen, from 'This Ascension' and 'Mirabilis', Ronit Shefi, from Israel, Nicole Renaud (French, but living in N.Y), Kirstin Candy, who was also the music supervisor, Mercedes (the Angel of Los Angeles, who was introduced to me by my very good friend, Dany Bohbot), Laety, the fantastic singer from France, who wrote the two closing songs, in French, for Femme, and also Aliza Hava, who did the song just before the end credit in Femme (with the smiles of all the women from the movie), plus the magical piano composer, Elizabeth Spano (from Toronto, Canada!). Then, of course, you have the Men! Men can sing too, you know (ha-ha)! First, there is my magician composer of all my movies, Vincent Gillioz. If I was Luc Besson, the famous French director, Vincent would be my Eric Serra, the favorite and long time music partner of Besson. But also, there are several songs that I wrote with my partner in music 'crimes', Kevin Ridel. Kevin and I go way back, to the days I was a little promoter of bands in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. We've done two albums, with a third tobe released for Christmas. Then I have to mention also Rey Villalobos (brother of Gina!), who contributed to most of my films with his solo compositions, or with the band 'The Coral Sea'. And, I should not forgot my very good friend, Simon Dray, who did some emotional tunes for both The Invocation and Femme. Simon's music has been adored by legions of fans, both in the US and France, and it's an honor to have a few of his compositions in my movies. So, yes, music brings the beat and the bit to the heart of my films. This is what truly allows for the emotions to rise, for the passion to firework, and for the audience to make one with the film, and feel truly that they are the Change, they are the Peace in Action and Music!
You've talked about how very difficult it was getting funding to make 'Invocation'. You put up your own money in the beginning, which was itself a 'leap of faith.' After finally establishing yourself as a documentary filmmaker with 'Invocation', was it any easier funding "femme?
Ha-ha! So far it is not getting easier with the financial aspect of making these movies. But I'm not losing hope to meet, sooner than later, a philanthropist, with deeper pockets than mine, to really back us up with true means. We did each of these films with not even $400,000, and it was a miracle we managed to complete them. If you take in account that we filmed each movie over a three year period, and had one year of post and editing, and the fact we filmed all over the World, it is a tour de force that the budget was so low. The reason is mainly because we filmed them with a crew of two: my maverick director of photography-cameraman-sound engineer, Claude Budin-Juteau, and myself! Claude made me a really generous deal on his fee and expenses, and in return I gave him a co-producer credit. Also, we only had three hard working editors on this film: the lead editor Amanda Estremera (who became a producer because she saved my ass by finding an amazing viable structure and dynamic for 'The Invocation'), and the two virtuoso editors: Yvan Gauthier and Christina Neferis. So, with such a small team, and with me putting a third of the investment at pure risk (to this day I still need to recoup my investment...so talk about passion and dedication!), we were able to bring this movie to completion, with a more than ridiculous low budget. Now, did the success of Invocation help convince investors for Femme? Yes, in a way, because they were quite impressed by that first film, but not totally true, as lots of people questioned my vision as a Man, and my capacity at doing a film about and for Women. But with persistence, hard work, and yes, with my French charm, I was able to convince enough people to back us up. Now, my hope has been that after surviving "God" and "Women" that it would be easier to find backers for the next five movies. How surprised and saddened I am, to still be confronted with lots of doubts, and people making strange faces at me.... but you know what, I will show them, and I will make these beautiful, important, and for some people, 'life changing', movies. I am not doing this only in the hope of making a living. I'm doing this because it's my duty as a human being from this planet to show how good we are, and how good we do help at making a better world, and building a better future. So, no, you cannot stop the mad french bulldog! He will keep going until his films, his messages get to the masses, and inspire them to excel, to wake up, to rise, to be born again, and feel what it is to be Alive, in Love, in Faith that the future will be, that there is a Destiny for everyone. Together we rock the Heavens and the Earth. So join me and let's Re-Evolutionize Existence!
Article by Radhaa Nilia
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