THE PROJECT: This documentary is done as part of an Oxfam International competition to advocate against small arms by showing their impact on social and economic development. All of us living in Burundi, we are able to see this dreadful connection first hand, in every day life. So we decided to participate, and this is how we came up with: "Bang for your Buck." READ MORE

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And the winner is...

That's it! votes are closed and the Shooting Poverty competition has its first winner: BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!!!

You can read the communiqué from the Shooting Poverty website and an "exclusive" interview here.

So that's one thing, and a big one! But the journey is not over yet!
We'll keep posting about the movie, which entered a couple of festivals and we'll let you know about our future projects. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bozeman Chronicle Article


Click the Share button to see the bozeman chronicle article on the film, film makers, and the competition.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Bang For Your Buck from ShootingPoverty on Vimeo.

So Bang for your buck is now translated in four languages and has been viewed in more than 68 countries around the world. We're coming to the last leg of the competition while just beginning the festival circuit. If you haven't yet voted for the film, you can vote until February 15th at:

So far the film has been entered in: Seattle, Boston, TriBeCa, South by Southwest, HotDocs, and Sheffield. And we're a finalist in the Africa World Documentary Film Festival. So things are moving forward and so far we're happy with the direction. On the 31st of January if you're hanging around London and have nothing big going on... why not check out the three films and have a good q and a followed by some pints at the frontline club. You can book here if you're up for it:

You just scroll down to the "shooting poverty" event. If you can make it... I'd love to see you there and shake your hand to thank you personally for your support.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


As my good friend Adam forbes says, "documentary on documentary tastic!"

Check out the documentary on us "the Burundi team" the brazilian team, and the East Indian team, and what it was like to "film violence." It sort of makes you want to watch the videos. I'd like to thank Daniel for putting this together. Great work.

Filming Violence (Full Documentary, 14 minutes) from HELO Magazine on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


It's not actually that serious but, "c'est grave". We are in the final lap "Bangers". We are currently leading the charge but that can change in an instant. We put all of your names in the credits of the film because you are faithful "Bang" followers, or as we like to call "Bangers". And we're super happy that you have joined us on this mission. The latest news is that you can vote once a week. Which is quite a bit more voting then we're used too, even during intense election years. Also for everyone who is worried that voting scenarios are always rigged... we're quite sure that this vote isn't rigged, so give it a shot. Here's the link where you can vote:

We just finished screening the film at the UN, DCTV, a school in Brooklyn, and last but not least Tribeca. Now we're promoting the film in an effort to let the world know that these weapons need to be regulated. Now that the film has been inaugurated in New York, we'll now work to get it seen around the world. We'd love it if you shared your story of how you've been impacted by armed violence. You can share it on the "shooting poverty" website and that story will circulate in tandem with the films in an effort to pass the Arms Trade Treaty. I'd love it if you all shared your stories, and I'll even share mine if you share yours. Brice doesn't have any armed violence stories because of his posh and safe lifestyle. But the rest of us may have some stories and this would be the time to share them if you want to have an impact on regulating arms trade... how often does this sort of opportunity present itself. So come on team, let's vote and share.

Join the fight to regulate weapons by sharing your story.

This week, Oxfam International premiered its latest advocacy effort for arms control and violence prevention with a unique new project called

The project allows you - yes, you! - to send in your videos and links to form part of the movement to curb violence globally.

What? How? One wonders whether only those with funds, nice cameras and training will be able to contribute. But filmmaking is getting easier every year with community centers, libraries and universities sharing their tools, and the project really is open and accessible to almost anyone.

You can be anywhere from 7 to 157 years old, computer illiterate or living in a rural area, but if you have a good point to make which persuades a few people at the local college or library with access a simple camera, you can contribute to the movement. If not, then hey, just enjoy the films on the website and tell friends about it and what it means for preventing violence.

To kick off the Shooting Poverty project this year, Oxfam called for youth around the world to submit documentary film proposals, selected the top three, and then had a producer fly out to meet them with funds and equipment to make the short films.

Last night Oxfam premiered the winning films at the Tribeca Cinema. Under the guidance of Executive Producer Oistein Thorsen and Producer Lucas Gath (Sins of My Father), the films included: Grosso Calibre, a film on illegal funk written about violence in Brazilian favelas by Guilherme Arruda and Ludmila Curi, journalists from Rio de Janeiro; Bang for Your Buck, about the plague of grenade killings in Burundi by Seth Chase, a media producer, and Brice Blondel, a UN political affairs guru; and April 6th, about how battles between Indian security forces and rebels have led to many families losing breadwinners to assassination, by Chandam Netraj.

In the former film, Grosso Calibre, we meet MC Smith, a Brazilian funk performer who's attitude simply does not quit. Rapping about how drug dealers ignite fights with the police, who then over-retaliate by laying siege to entire neighborhoods where the dealers are holding out, MC Smith performs on a line similar to that of American gangsta rappers who are simultaneously against gun violence and the hawks in the government, yet in contrast are outspoken champions of macho, tough-guy gun culture. Curi, a charismatic intellectual full of vitality who produces video journalism, and Arruda, a shy and thoughtful news editor, have already considered approaching other funk musicians in the favelas for a deeper feature version of their film.

Bang for Your Buck features Teddy Mazina, a Burundian human rights advocate and reporter who wakes up with a rifle next to his bed, combs out his hair and reports stories about how the after-effects of the civil war in the 1990s are still killing people.

For those readers who are interested in hearing more, HELO Magazine (where I work) was given exclusive behind-the-scenes with the filmmakers this week, the product of which will be added to and the DVD promo for the project.

To participate in Oxfam's latest anti-violence campaign, check out the site at Then, bombard your congresspeople with links to the films. Encourage them to support the latest US and UN arms control efforts.

Photo: Daniel J Gerstle (Guilherme Arruda and Ludmila Curi in Brooklyn).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The FILMS preview

A month ahead of the release, get a feel of what the three movies (India, Brazil and Burundi) will look like!