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Faux Reel Podcast

Faux Reel Podcast

By Dawn Borchardt
Dawn Borchardt sits down with the most interesting voices in indie film to talk about professional and personal growth in their filmmaking experiences, what their stories mean to them, and how their personal beliefs and histories interweave with the stories they share on screen.
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Maxima with Claudia Sparrow
MAXIMA follows Peruvian indigenous farmer Máxima Acuña in her fight to protect her land as she stands up to the largest gold producer in the world: US-based Newmont Mining Corporation.  Throughout Máxima’s fight for justice, the film provides an illustrative case study in the tactics used by transnational corporations to commit human rights violations and environmental crimes, the role played by non-profits and The World Bank, and, ultimately, the resilience of one woman who refuses to back down. Dawn and filmmaker Claudia Sparrow talk about the challenges Claudia had to navigate in making a film in a remote area of the Andes Mountains, the difference each of us can make in fighting for what we believe in, and how Máxima has inspired and forever changed Claudia's outlook on life.  Follow the film:  Instagram: @standwithmaxima Facebook: @standwithmaxima Website: Watch now on Appletv, Tubi or Google Play.  Stand with Maxima:  Sign the petition Donate on Gofundme  Support Taleen Kali:  Taleen Kali is the artist behind our podcast song Lost & Bound, and she is fundraising on Kickstarter to create her new album independently!  Support her Kickstarter Listen to Taleen Kali on Spotify
April 10, 2022
Girl Picture with Alli Haapasalo
GIRL PICTURE is a coming-of-age film from Finland that focuses on three young women over the course of three weekends. The girls are questioning their sexuality, and for one girl her lack of sexuality, navigating their relationships with their parents and each other, and reconciling with the idea that their childhood dreams may not be the direction they still want to go in.  Dawn and Alli talk about the stylistic choices made for the film, how you can storyboard and plan so much but unexpected moments still happen that can make the film feel more real, and the importance of complex female characters on screen. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it went on to win the Audience Award for the World Cinema Dramatic category.  Follow the film:  Instagram: Facebook: Website:
March 07, 2022
Calendar Girls with Love Martinsen & Maria Loohufvud
A coming-of-golden-age film about Florida's most dedicated dance team for women over 60 - The Calendar Girls. A film that is shaking up the outdated image of "the little old lady", and calling for everyone to dance their hearts out, while they still can.  Dawn talks with documentary filmmaking couple Love Martinsen and Maria Loohufvud about how they were drawn to this dance group and built relationships with them, how The Calendar Girls inspired them in their own lives, and what lessons we can all take away from these women. The film just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and will go on to have a theatrical distribution later this Spring.  Follow the film:  Instagram: @calendargirlsfilm Website:
January 31, 2022
Sirens with Rita Baghdadi
Rita Baghdadi's documentary SIRENS premiered today, on her birthday, at the Sundance Film Festival! What a way to celebrate a birthday! The film follows the Middle East's first all-female metal band in Beirut as they wrestle with friendship, sexuality and destruction in their pursuit of becoming thrash metal rock stars. In this episode we talk about the value of multi-faceted female representation on screen, intergenerational trauma associated with political and familial histories, and some of the more tender moments that are captured between these badass rock stars.  Follow the film:  Instagram: @sirensdocumentary Facebook: @sirensdocumentary Twitter: @sirensdoc Website: Watch the film at Sundance 
January 24, 2022
Jacinta with Jessica Earnshaw & Jacinta Hunt
An intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma, JACINTA follows a young woman in and out of prison as she attempts to break free from an inherited cycle of addiction, incarceration, and crime. Now streaming on Hulu.  Follow the film:  Trailer: Instagram: Facebook: Twitter:
October 18, 2021
Fruits of Labor with Emily Cohen Ibañez
On this episode Dawn sits down with Colombian-American filmmaker Emily Cohen Ibañez for her documentary FRUITS OF LABOR. They discuss trickle down issues from systemic racism and immigration policies, children of immigrants having to step up to help support their families, food insecurity, and finding peace in connecting to our food and land.  A Mexican-American teenager dreams of graduating high school, when increased ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become the breadwinner for her family. She works long days in the strawberry fields and the night shift at a food processing factory. Set in an agricultural town on the central coast of California, FRUITS OF LABOR is a coming of age story about an American teenager traversing the seen and unseen forces that keep her family trapped in poverty.  A lyrical meditation on adolescence, nature and ancestral forces, the film asks, what does it mean to come into one’s power as a working young woman of color in the wealthiest nation in the world? The film is now available on PBS's POV series.  Follow the film:  Instagram: Website: Watch the film: Support the garden:
October 11, 2021
Daughter of a Lost Bird with Brooke Swaney
On this episode Dawn talks with documentary filmmaker Brooke Swaney for her newest film DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD. The film follows adoptee Kendra as she discovers her Native culture that she didn't grow up with, is welcomed in, meets her birth mother and other blood relatives, and learns more about how her story fits in with the bigger picture of ICWA, boarding schools and assimilation practices forced upon Indigenous people. Dawn and Brooke talk about making a film from an emotional place of empathy, share stories of their own Native backgrounds, and discuss the importance of representation in media.  Follow the film:
August 30, 2021
Podcast Check-In
Hi everyone! Just wanted to say a quick hello and let you know I'm still here, and more episodes will hopefully be coming out soon! Hope you all are doing well
August 23, 2021
Godspeed, Los Polacos! with Adam Nawrot & Sonia Szczesna
On this episode Dawn chats with Director Adam Nawrot and Producer Sonia Szczesna for their debut feature doc GODSPEED, LOS POLACOS! They talk about their sense of adventure that matches the subjects of their film, some behind the scenes stories, and their Polish roots. The film tells the story of five kayakers on the edge of adulthood who skillfully pull the strings of the Soviet system, and find themselves on a kayaking expedition in the Americas with a six-wheeled military truck, homemade equipment, and little to no whitewater skills. The story follows their epic two-year journey that culminates in the record-breaking first descent of the world’s deepest canyon, and finds the kayakers in Soviet cross-hairs after they leverage their newfound fame to fight for democracy in the Eastern Bloc. Follow the film:  Trailer: Instagram: Website:
August 02, 2021
When Claude Got Shot with Brad Lichtenstein & Claude Motely
On this episode, Dawn has a powerful conversation with filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein and film protagonist Claude Motely about gun violence in their home city of Milwaukee, trauma and its ripple effects, healing, the justice system, and the importance of community, friendship and family.  Claude Motley thought he’d beaten the odds: a business owner who moved his family from the violence of Milwaukee to the suburbs of Charlotte. Yet there he is on a trip home for a high school reunion: black male victim, 43, shot in the face during a carjacking. Two nights later, Claude’s assailant tries to rob nurse Victoria Davison, but she has a gun and shoots him during the struggle. A rush of guilt overcomes her as she overhears the paramedics – the boy she shot, Nathan King, is only 15 years old. Follow the film:  Website: Instagram: Facebook:
July 12, 2021
Sisters Rising with Willow O'Feral & Brad Heck
On this episode, Dawn talks with filmmaking partners Willow O'Feral and Brad Heck for their documentary Sisters Rising. The film is an intimate portrait of 6 Native women who have survived sexual violence and/or domestic violence in their lives, and how that has transformed them. Through their trauma, they have become inspiring women who are fighting to help other women in their communities by providing support, sharing their stories, and working to change tribal and federal laws to protect women in the future. Dawn, Willow and Brad talk about the process of getting to know people in a community that is not your own, the impact these stories have had on them and why they're important to share. The film is streaming now on PBS' America Reframed World Channel.  Follow the film:  Watch for free: Website: Facebook: Instagram:
June 28, 2021
Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It
On this episode, Dawn talks with filmmaker Mariem Pérez Riera about her new documentary RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT. It's an inspiring story of the first Latina EGOT winner, and the struggles she had to go through to along the way. Through therapy, she has been able to heal and move forward and continue being an inspiration to others. The film hits theatres June 18th!  Follow the film:  Instagram: Faceook: Twitter:
June 14, 2021
Potato Dreams of America with Wes Hurley
On this episode Dawn connects with filmmaker Wes Hurley for his autobiographical narrative POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA. Hurley is a Seattle-based, Soviet Union-born LGBTQ filmmaker. POTATO is based on his upbringing in the Soviet Union watching pirated American films on a secret tv channel, and then moving to America seeking a better life after his Mom became a mail-order-bride. Dawn and Wes talk about what films he's seen 1000 times on bad VHS tapes, craving bland Russian food, and being drawn to experimental art and filmmaking.  Follow the film: Instagram: Twitter:
June 07, 2021
After Antarctica with Tasha Van Zandt
On this episode Dawn chats with fellow Midwesterner Tasha Van Zandt about her debut feature AFTER ANTARCTICA. The film focuses on Minnesota-based explorer Will Steger via archival footage from his historic International Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1989-90, and then today as he continues his expeditions at age 75. The film is a beautiful reflection on life, and the effects of climate change then and now. Dawn talks with Tasha about what inspires her as storyteller, they share stories of humbling moments in nature, and what brings them comfort when they're away from home.  Follow the film:  Website: Instagram: MountainFilm screening: Follow the podcast team:  @fauxreal222 @taleenkali
May 24, 2021
The Zen Speaker: Breaking the Silence
We have all seen sex trafficking popping up in the news at alarming rates recently, making many of us realize that it is not just happening overseas, but in our own backyards. THE ZEN SPEAKER: BREAKING THE SILENCE is a personal portrait of Amy Ayoub, a prominent public speaking coach, confronting her traumatic history to help change Nevada sex trafficking laws. In coming out with her truth, Amy is able to release herself after years of shame, and is now able to connect with other survivors and help empower them.  Watch the film on Amazon: Amy's website: Check out Freeland:
April 12, 2021
Wild Indian with Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr.
WILD INDIAN is the feature directorial debut from Native filmmaker Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr, which had its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Corbine Jr. is one of Variety's 10 Directors to Watch. On this episode, Dawn and Lyle discuss the experience Native actors have when they get to play multi-dimensional characters, generational trauma and personal accountability, and the importance of keeping a connection to home. 
April 05, 2021
Violation with Madeleine Sims-Fewer & Dusty Mancinelli
A therapeutic film...with lots of blood. VIOLATION is a horror film built from trauma, about a woman trying to reconnect with her sister while dealing with relationship problems, and then a life-altering experience with her brother-in-law. On this episode Dawn chats with VIOLATION co-directors Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli about bonding over trauma, revenge, and some of their favorite horror films. VIOLATION played at Sundance, TIFF and SXSW and is now available to stream on Shudder. Watch VIOLATION on Shudder (free trial available): Follow the filmmakers:
March 29, 2021
Ludi with Edson Jean
Dawn and Edson Jean dive deep into personal experiences and family histories in this episode. They talk about the immigrant experience, the importance of finding your community, financial literacy of lower and middle classes, the power of story and a whole lot else. LUDI is about a Haitian immigrant living in Miami overworking and getting caught in the hamster wheel that is capitalist America because she has to take care of herself and her family in Haiti. LUDI was the opening night film at the Miami Film Festival and recently screened at SXSW. Excited for you to listen to this episode and keep the conversation going.  Follow the film: - -
March 22, 2021
Knocking with Frida Kempff & Cecilia Milocco
Recorded just before their Sundance premiere screening in the Midnight section, on this episode Dawn chats with Swedish filmmaker Frida Kempff and KNOCKING star Cecilia Milocco. KNOCKING is thriller about a woman who is released from a psych ward after experiencing a mental breakdown following the death of the one person who truly understood her. Now she's in a new apartment and thinks she hears morse code knocking from a woman in danger but no one believes her. Dawn, Frida and Cecilia talk about women's experience with gaslighting, strong emotional responses to trauma, and trying to fill up more space in the world.  Follow the film:
March 15, 2021
Workhorse Queen with Angela Washko
On this episode Dawn interviews filmmaker Angela Washko after the world premiere of her documentary WORKHORSE QUEEN at the Slamdance Film Festival. WORKHORSE QUEEN follows RuPaul Drag Race contestant Ed Popil (Mrs. Kasha Davis) as he navigates his career and personal life post-Drag Race. Mrs. Kasha Davis stood out from the rest because she was an older contestant emulating Ed's mother, quite unlike many of the youthful and highly energetic drag queens. Dawn and Angela talk about how Mrs. Kasha Davis resonated with Angela, Angela's creative community in Pittsburgh, and the difference gender and sexuality education and exposure could have on future generations.  Follow the film: &
March 08, 2021
Strawberry Mansion with Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley
On this episode Dawn talks with filmmakers Albert Birney and Kentucker Audley for their Sundance hit STRAWBERRY MANSION - a wildly imaginative film about a dream auditor who finds his time-transcending soulmate while on the job. They talk about childhood inspiration for the film, the creative and quirky set and prop design, and share some of their own memorable dreams. Follow the film:
March 01, 2021
The Blazing World with Carlson Young
This week Dawn talks with young visionary Carlson Young with her feature film debut THE BLAZING WORLD after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. They discuss fantasy history and inspiration, their dream worlds, and advice to upcoming filmmakers.  Follow the film:
February 22, 2021
Pleasure with Ninja Thyberg
Happy Valentine's day everyone! I thought this was the perfect episode to celebrate this holiday. This episode features Swedish filmmaker Ninja Thyberg for her feature debut PLEASURE, which just had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. PLEASURE is about a young Swedish woman who moves to LA to get into hardcore porn, and the experiences both good and bad that she has with it. We talk about Ninja's research in the porn industry when she was working on the script, our personal experiences as teenagers with porn, and what we can do to help change the harmful aspects of the industry.  Content Warning: Not suitable for children! Sexual content. 
February 14, 2021
Superior with Erin Vassilopoulos
Welcome to Season 2!! Kicking off this season with an interview with the talented NYU alum Erin Vassilopoulos for her debut feature film, SUPERIOR. SUPERIOR had its world premiere last week at the 2021 virtual Sundance Film Festival. Dawn and Erin talk about the importance of collaboration, shooting on 16mm, location and vintage prop scouting, and more!  Follow the film on instagram for updates:
February 08, 2021
Current Sea with Christopher Smith
Dawn shares one of her favorite Q&As she hosted from the Freeland Film Fest! CURRENT SEA is a documentary directed by Christopher Smith and stars journalist Matt Blomberg. Christopher and Matt are covering a wild and inspiring story of marine conservationist, Paul Ferber, who has had to resort to physically protecting the sea animals off the coast of Cambodia from illegal fishermen from Vietnam. He patrols the sea (often at night) and runs a program during the day working with college students to come up with lasting solutions for protecting the wildlife. Rent CURRENT SEA on Amazon for $.99: Read more from Matt Blomberg: Check out Freeland: & Donate to the conservation project:
February 01, 2021
The Killing of Two Lovers with Robert Machoian
In this episode Dawn interviews fellow Utah filmmaker Robert Machoian for his newest film THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS. They talk about their academic backgrounds, local art scenes and the influence of place and home in filmmaking. The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was bought by Neon. It's currently scheduled to be out in theatres Feb. 23rd, 2021.
December 21, 2020
Love and Fury with Sterlin Harjo
In this episode, Dawn interviews Native filmmaker and writer Sterlin Harjo for his newest documentary feature, LOVE AND FURY. They discuss the traditions of family storytelling, and the importance of modern Native storytelling through writing, filmmaking, music, painting, and more. Harjo also shares his newest project, FX series Reservation Dogs, that he's co-creating with Taika Waititi.
October 07, 2020
Mucho Mucho Amor with Kareem Tabsch
On this episode of Faux Reel we travel back to the Sundance Film Festival where Dawn sat down with MUCHO MUCHO AMOR co-Director Kareem Tabsch. They talk about the influence of Walter Mercado on the Latinx and Latinx gay communities, and what it's like to meet your idol. Mucho Mucho Amor is now streaming on Netflix.
July 16, 2020
Lovemobil with Elke Lehrenkrauss
In our fourth episode, I interview Berlin-based documentary filmmaker Elke Lehrenkrauss for her first feature, LOVEMOBIL. Her film tells the stories of sex workers living and working in RVs in rural Germany. We discuss what it takes to tell a good story as a documentary filmmaker, her experience shooting in tight spaces, the dangers and the strength of the women in her film, and the reaction audiences have had to the film. Film link:
May 12, 2020
Summer White with Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson
In this episode I sat down with Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson, director of SUMMER WHITE. We discussed the authenticity of an autobiographical narrative, the challenge of  casting a child actor and non-professional actors in a market dominated by soap operas, the importance of balanced and honest characters instead of just good vs evil, how secrets can fester, and Raymond Carver influences. SUMMER WHITE premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.
March 28, 2020
Coded Bias with Shalini Kantayya
In this episode we go down the AI rabbit hole with CODED BIAS director Shalini Kantayya. We dig into the pernicious creep of AI, the power of its gatekeepers, "the coded gaze” and the presence of women in science and tech shaping a vision of our future. CODED BIAS premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary Competition. Follow the film:  Website: Watch on Netflix:
February 23, 2020
Horse Girl with Alana Carithers & Mel Eslyn
On the first episode of Faux Reel, Dawn sits down with Alana Carithers and Mel Eslyn co-producers of HORSE GIRL. They discuss making independent films with various approaches to improvisation, aliens, time travel, horses, DNA tests, trick photography, the "Three Rules,” the benefits of creating a good set environment, and the ever shape-shifting roles of a producer today. Watch on Netflix:
February 08, 2020