Spinning a Yarn?

June 11, 2014
gloriaku
Documentary, Experimental, Film
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Spinning Title

 

The new short, “Spinning a Yarn?” is a transcendental journey.¬†As the unusual protagonist, a silkworm, spins a yarn about his fellow kind’s regrets, an unexpected parallel strikes surprisingly close to home.

I had a pleasure to film it last year in Muang Thee, Isaan (Thailand) and it was only possible thanks to help of those amazing people:

- Joy Pasakanon and the whole Pasakanon family
- Goob Gift (Gip) and her family
- JJ Harrison
- Brandon James
- Weavers from Ban Tha Sawang
- Richie Bennett

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The film is not yet available online as it now on it’s festival circuit. “Spinning a Yarn?” has already won a grand award at the Faces of Wisdom Film Festival in Helsinki.

Official Selection:
- Faces of Wisodm Film Festival, Finland (April 2014) – Grand Prize Winner
- Long Beach Indie, USA (August, 2014)
- Avvantura Zadar International Film Festival, Croatia (August, 2014)
- Seoul international Extreme-Short Image and Film Festival, South Korea (September, 2014)
- Film Fest Granada, Spain (October, 2014)
- Festival de Cine Rural Arica Nativa, Chile (October, 2014)
- BOGOSHORTS, Colombia (December, 2014)
- Eastern Breeze International Film Festival, Canada (May, 2015)

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Director/DP/Editor/Producer: Gloria Kurnik

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// Camera : Canon 5d Mark II
// Lenses : Canon 100 f2.8 IS, Canon 17-40 f4
// Editing/Grading : After Effects, Premiere Pro

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Where the Silk Grows

April 27, 2014
gloriaku
Documentary, Photo-Story
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Silk in Thailand

 

Recent summers have been way hotter than usual and that has killed thousands of silkworms, dealing a big blow to the meager earnings of the poor villagers. The villages around Surin in eastern Thailand were once a hub of silk production. The women in the household used to take care of each step of the silk making process, from rearing the worms to weaving the fabric.

Cocoons are boiled to ease the silk threads out. Pimnipa Pasakanon squints in the acrid smoke from her small wood-burning stove while performing the process. Doing it for the upteenth time, she's skilled and swift. If not for the irritating fumes and the fierce heat, she would have finished in time to serve the boiled silkworms for breakfast.

It is a sad short life, the life of a silkworm. Most of them die boiled alive. But as a sort of consolation, their death never goes to waste in the village. Boild silkworms with a pinch of salt are considered here a delicacy.

The girl is unlikely to learn the craft. The youth flees from the villages to the cities, and even if they remain, they indulge in far more sophisticated pastimes like watching TV or taking drugs. The household silk production, once a source of pride and entertainment in the dry season, is in the hands of the passing generation. And, sadly but probably, they will die alongside.

Each handmade silk cloth is unique easily recognizable because of its irregularities and occasional knots. The patterns are often a signature of the village or even a family, secretly guarded for generations. In spite of its beauty, the handmade silk attracts less and less buyers every year. Since the markets are overflowing with cheap factory-made silk from China, small looms struggle with distribution.

There are rare places around Surin where the hand-weaving is extremely profitable, like this commercial village of Ban Thasawang. The village is of a great renown in the area as it produces the silk for the Royal Family itself.

The process of weaving in Banthasawang is much more complicated than on the household semi-automatic loom, and requires four and sometimes even five people working together on one piece of fabric.

 

 

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