Vacationing in Afghanistan
View-9 min. - Description & Credits

Not For Broadcast: At What Cost?
View-5 min. - Description & Credits

90 Miles Apart: The Story of the Cuban Dissident
View-9 min. - Description & Credits

 

The Road to Ghazni
View-8 min. - Description & Credits

 

Vacationing in Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN – a world rarely seen by Westerners
9 minute feature
a Full Monte Production

    Leaving the chaotic confines of Kabul, "Vacationing in Afghanistan" enters a world rarely seen by Westerners. Crossing Afghanistan's mountainous region to the enormous Buddha statues left in ruins by the Taliban, the focus of this film is not the wild and stunning landscape which it is set in, but the simple interaction between two very different cultures, and the common bonds found by the characters on this journey. The war on terror, poverty, and the heroin trade splash Afghanistan across news headlines making it famous across the globe, however this film doesn't attempt to address the complex geopolitical maze and problems facing Afghanistan, it merely enjoys the spontaneous encounters with its people. It is the endearing humor of the Afghans which this film celebrates.

Produced by
The Full Monte Productions
Aaron Rockett: producer, writer, and editor
John Monte: Camera and Editing

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Glimpses of Marla

IRAQ – Marla Ruzicka before the war
5 minute tribute
a Full Monte Production

    While leaving Iraq before the war, our convoy broke down on the desert highway. We got out and Marla suddenly darted across the camera lens, while a voice in the background says “bye bye.” Moments later Marla was just a dot running into the desert, the last shot I have of her.

   Marla dodged the camera. Yet, in this glimpse she reveals herself, utterly and completely - her passion, her intelligence, her tenderness, and her bold love. The facts of Marla’s life have spread across the media, but the mystery of who Marla was seems more accurately conveyed by something more than fact or word.

   By chance, or fate the song “Lost Unto this World,” by Emmylou Harris, sing the details of Marla’s story - “I was murdered by the highway, and my cries went out in vain.” It also asks us, “O you among the living, will you remember me at all?”

   Marla Ruzicka gave her life to a question “How many Iraqi’s died? Her story should capture the imagination of this country and penetrate the halls of power with a simple question, “How many?” Marla should be remembered with an answer.

   The piece closes with the sun through the clouds of the Iraqi/Jordanian border, credited “to Marla.” For in Marla’s lifetime, I did not give her the credit she was due.

   Please visit Marla’s Website: CivicWorldwide.org

Produced by
The Full Monte Productions
John Monte: Camera and Editing

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STILL FIGHTING

AFGHANISTAN - three years after the Taliban
7 Min. Trailer
a New View Films Production

   STILL FIGHTING: Power, Politics and the Afghan Woman is a film about, for, and told by Afghan women leaders. It is a production 3 years in the making and follows four women, including Massouda Jalal, the only woman who ran for president in the Afghan elections. The evolving and treacherous socio-political landscape of Afghanistan will come alive through intimate portraits of three brave women on the front lines -- fighting for their countrywomen's rights in the areas of human rights, education, and political reform. This trailer follows Massouda's campaign through the chaotic drama of Election Day, which came dangerously close to collapse. Still Fighting captures the complex realities of Afghan politics, and women’s roles in shaping it.

   Please contact www.newviewfilms.tv for more information. Still Fighting is seeking funds to bring this story to the big screen, and welcomes contributions.

Virginia Williams: Director
Halima Kazam: Co-Director
Gary Griffin: Director of Photography
John Monte: Camera, Field Producer
Susan Bryant: Associate Producer. Sound
Aaron Rockett: Field Producer, Editor
IRAQ: CODE PINK

IRAQ – six weeks before the war
8 minute a news feature
a Full Monte Production

   We capture rarely seen life in Iraq on the street before the US invasion. Saddam’s Ministry of Information strictly controlled entrance into Iraq, demanding large fees for American Broadcasters for limited entrance visas. The Ministry of Information closely policed where the Networks went and what they saw. The people of Iraq, and the opinions of Iraqis remained largely hidden from the press. The Full Monte entered Iraq six weeks before the war to see the face of Iraq by posing as a member of human rights group, CODE PINK.

   We talk to people on the street about the coming war, have dinner with families in their homes, visit the UN Oil for Food program and go into the poor neighborhoods. In the process viewers see how Iraqi citizens have been caught between wars, sanctions, and political pressure over the last quarter of a century.

   In the months before the war The Bush administration controlled headlines with political and diplomatic pressure, while Saddam Hussein strung along the weapons inspectors with the international media in tow. The American public rarely saw the Iraqi people on television. In an apparent attempt to affect the media, CODEPINK was granted Visas. And from the streets of Baghdad CODE PINK hoped to attract the media’s attention to the fate of the Iraqi people. While numerous cameras showed up at CODEPINK’s colorful demonstrations, the message did not get home.

   Sitting down with every major American network in the weeks leading to the war-- not one of them wanted to show this very rare look inside Iraq before the war.

Produced by
The Full Monte Productions
John Monte: Camera, Producer
Aaron Rockett: Writer, Producer

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IRAQ – a journey before the war

Not For Broadcast: At What Cost?
5 minute trailer
a Full Monte Production

   In “Not For Broadcast,” a coffee vendor warns activist Media Benjamin that if the United States invades Iraq all Arabs will unite against the United States. As we follow the woman’s group through Iraq, personal interactions with Iraqi’s take on added relevance. After Texas fisher woman, participates in an amusing mock marriage in an Iraqi home she comments it’s a “whole lot like Texas.” Whether playing marbles with Iraqi children, or listening to the Southern draw of an Iraqi Official (he had lived in Atlanta) the trailer exemplifies many scenes in the documentary. When our vehicle breaks down in the Iraqi desert, Amira Matsouda paces on the side of the road worried of what is come to her homeland. Occasionally inter cut with President Bush’s State of the Union speech “Not For Broadcast” contrasts the Bush Administrations highly coordinated political campaign with CODE PINK’s personal experience.

   We are currently seeking funds to expand the trailer into a short documentary. We welcome support and contributions to share this story of pre-war Iraq. Please e-mail for further information.

Produced by
The Full Monte Productions
John Monte: Camera, Producer
Aaron Rockett: Writer, Producer

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CUBA – 50 years of the revolution

90 Miles Apart: The Story of the Cuban Dissident
9 minute news feature
a Full Monte Production

   In this inside look, viewers are given a rare glimpse of a radically changing Cuba. As the US went to war last Spring, Cuban leader Fidel Castro reacted to the White House's doctrine of preemptive action by arresting 75 Cuban dissidents. Castro convicted them of conspiring with the United States. In interviews with the wives of those imprisoned viewers will see the struggle for democracy in Cuba. They will witness the consequences of speaking out. Viewers are shown how the security apparatus monitors and harasses them as they go about their lives. Shot throughout Havana, this feature puts the audience into the dark allies and door stoops, and into the middle of bustling markets. 90 Miles Apart exposes the complex realities facing the Island nation.

    UPDATE TO THE STORY: A central figure in 90 MILES APART, Roberto de Miranda, sentenced to 18 years by Fidel Castro's government was recently released from prison. The Full Monte is planning a return to Cuba in the coming year to film this developing angle to the story.

Produced by
The Full Monte Productions
John Monte: producer, camera
Aaron Rockett: writer, producer
Allison Shelley: field producer

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The Road to Ghazni

AFGHANISTAN – rebuilding
- 8 minute promotional video
Directed by Jacob Sutton

   Observe how a new road transforms a region of Afghanistan. “The Road to Ghazni” chronicles the long steps of reconstruction: workers patiently clearing land mines, tractors pushing dirt, and steam rollers smoothing pavement. In Afghanistan a new road can mean fresh fruit at the market, or a life saved by an ambulance. “The Road to Ghazni” captures the sincere gratitude of Afghans and demonstrates how hearts and minds of are won with fresh pavement.

   With the miracle of laptop editing (and intermittent electricity), The Full Monte scripted and edited this film for USAID on site in Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul.

Produced by Jacob Sutton
For the United States Agency
for International Aid
Editing and Scripting of by
The Full Monte Productions
John Monte and Aaron Rockett

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