Josu Ozkaritz is an independent filmmaker and documentarian born in Basque Country in the north of Spain. With a lifelong passion for cinema, Josu travels the world making films about the places he visits, the people he meets, and the cultures he envelops himself in.
“Every single project is a learning lesson” Josu said. “Before creating two of my latest films (Breathing Ashtanga Yoga and Muay Thai, Every Corner) I had no idea about these topics. While we were filming, I did a lot of research and learnt a lot with the cast. There is a fascinating world inside these disciplines and I wanted to capture the essence of them and share them with the world.”
But when shooting documentary films, things don’t always go to plan. Josu learned this while filming a documentary in Malapascua. “I wanted to make a doc about the beauty and easy lifestyle of a small, idyllic island in Philippines that I lived in for two months. Suddenly, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the whole island, so I had to give a new direction to the whole project.” Josu is donating 50% of the profits from digital rental of his movie to a charity organisation in Malapascua. “I hope the film will get to a broader audience so the lovely, humble people of this isolated place will get as much help as possible” Josu said.
Being a globetrotting documentary filmmaker isn’t always as luxurious as it might seem. “The whole process of filmmaking can be truly exhausting” Josu said. “Doing everything on my own (directing, producing, writing, editing...) is always a big challenge and many times a lot of obstacles and problems arise along the way.”
“When the film is made, you realize you are only half way through as you need to find distribution to market it. The audience only sees 50-60 minutes of a product that has only been possible after an endless amount of hours of work” Josu said.
With Screen Showcase, Josu Ozkaritz is able to securely digitally distribute his films to a worldwide marketplace.
“Josu is an extremely talented filmmaker” said Screen Showcase’s Business Development Manager, Hugh Whitehouse. “His films offer an insight into vastly different cultures and traditions throughout the Asia Pacific region. Being able to distribute and boost exposure for filmmakers like Josu is why we built Screen Showcase in the first place.”
“I think companies like Screen Showcase are very important, specially for new, independent filmmakers like me, so we can have the chance to get our work out there” said Josu. “I am pretty sure that everyone who works in the film industry, at some point early in their careers got help from someone who was already in the business.”
“All my projects are self financed under very low budgets, so there is not much left for self distribution, and being unknown to the industry is hard to get in. I hope this distribution will also bring me the opportunity to finance future projects.”