SOHEI PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
THE REAL MADAGASCAR
A SOHEI PRODUCTION MADAGASIKARA
EDITORS TIFFANY PECKOSH-SOFFRIN & CAM COWAN
COMPOSER EMMETT COOKE ADDITIONAL MUSIC UYANGA BOLD & D'GARY
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR TEFINJANAHARY TANTELINIRINA
CO-PRODUCER TIFFANY PECKOSH-SOFFRIN
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY CAM COWAN
"This is the reality, a stark, unfiltered observation that shows a people who find and define in the darkest times what it means to be human when so much of what most take for granted is stripped away."
"A stunning, exciting and revealing film that sets new thresholds for engagement."
- Syracuse International Film Festival
In 2009, fed up with increased poverty and widespread corruption, Madagascar's citizens took to the streets in protest. After the president was forced to resign, the international community terminated most foreign assistance to this chronically impoverished island nation. Over 60% of the country's revenues were immediately wiped out, resulting in the dramatic curtailment of education, health care, sanitation and access to food.
MADAGASIKARA offers us a look at an island we don't know, past the serene beaches and the lovable, profitably animated wildlife, into the perilous lives of three strong, tireless mothers working to create better futures for their children.
After four years of filming and post-production, MADAGASIKARA had a successful film festival run in 2018 and 2019 and is now in distribution. It will be on multiple streaming platforms soon. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates.
Read director Cam Cowan's February '19 interview with Film Fest International in Film: The Magazine about the making of MADAGASIKARA and the state of Madagascar today.
Listen to director Cam Cowan's interview with Cyrus Webb on "Conversations LIVE!" about making Madagasikara
"What exactly makes a lawyer turn into a documentary filmmaker?"
Watch director Cam Cowan's June '20 video interview with Film Threat Podcast Live
MEET THE CHARACTERS
Meet the vibrant women who bring Madagasikara to life.
Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Co-Editor
Cam stopped practicing law to create Sohei Productions, believing that documentary film can give voice to those not seen or heard and can move the justice dial in ways conventional law and politics cannot. The Sohei were Buddhist warrior monks in feudal Japan, and Cam took this name for the production company to reflect that in matters of human rights and social justice, compassion is necessary but not enough. Action is also required.
Sohei's first project, "Madagasikara", was inspired by University of Virginia Law School students who reported on human rights issues in Madagascar. After a year of research and planning, Cam made his first trip to Madagascar in June 2014 and finished filming in 2017.
"Madagasikara" is now in distribution and will be on streaming services soon. "Opeka", the inspiring story of the extraordinarily gifted humanitarian Father Pedro Opeka, will be screening in film festivals throughout 2020. The two films are related: the first is about survival, and the second is about hope.
Co-Producer, Lead Editor
Tiffany is an award-winning producer and editor based in NYC. Her work has premiered at festivals including Sundance, Cannes and Tribeca, and aired on PBS, CNN and BBC.
Tiffany has worked on several independent features including the award-winning BBC documentary Icebound (co-producer), Daze of Justice (editor), a MacArthur Grant recipient and a Centerpiece Documentary selection at CAAMFEST, Bluebird (additional editor), starring Adam Driver (Girls) and John Slattery (Mad Men), which was listed as one of the Best Films of the year by Indiewire and Variety, CNN Films’ Ivory Tower (asst. editor), and Oscar-nominated Strong Island (asst. editor), which won the Special Jury Award for Storytelling at the Sundance Film Festival.
Prior to joining Sohei Productions, she spent six years as an in-house documentary producer for the late Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning, and Peabody-winning director Daniel Anker. She also served as festival director and board member of the Malibu Film Foundation and worked as a production manager on music videos and commercials for Activision, Warner Bros. Records and Virgin Records.
Assistant Director, Associate Producer
Tefy is a teacher, freelance interpreter and translator in Antananarivo, Madagascar. He studied English language, English literature and American history and literature at the University of Antananarivo. Tefy was a Fulbright Scholar and attended The George Washington University, where he received his MA in American Studies in 2004. He later studied language interpretation and translation and is proficient in both simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of English, French and Malagasy.
Tefy was the first member of the Malagasy crew. He functioned as Assistant Director and Associate Producer, as well as fixer, interpreter and translator. Tefy scheduled, organized and ran all of the shoots until the end of filming.
The very first "crew" - the original Sohei team - was three University of Virginia Law School students who had been to Madagascar as part of their human rights project in 2013: Sabrina Talukder, Jesse Wallin and Dustin Elliot. After studying for the bar exam, they joined Cam in Madagascar in August 2014. They identified and interviewed experts and characters and assisted with production.
In August 2014, Cam met several Malagasy professionals in Antananarivo who joined the team as technical assistants, supporting camera and sound until shooting was wrapped in 2017. Because of the political themes of "Madagasikara" they remain anonymous for now.
Emmett is an Irish film & TV composer. Born in 1986 in Waterford, Ireland, he studied under the prestigious minimalist composer Eric Sweeney. Emmett has a BA in Music and a Specialist Certificate in Orchestration for Film & TV from Berklee College of Music in the US.
Emmett’s style is described as a combination of minimal underscore with a cinematic and electronic infusion. He has composed for documentary and narrative film and mini-series and his music can be heard worldwide on TV stations, including ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, The Science Channel and The History Channel.
Úyanga is an internationally acclaimed soundtrack vocalist from Mongolia based in Los Angeles. Forbes magazine says, “her voice harkens back to ancient civilizations” and Cosmopolitan magazine nominated her as Best Female Singer of the Year in 2013. Úyanga composes her own music, works in studio for TV and film productions, and tours around the world as a concert soloist.
D’Gary is a Malagasy musician and an outspoken defender of social justice in Madgascar. He has made several albums sold around the world, including “Mbo Loza” and “Akata Meso”, and tours in concert internationally. He is one of Madgascar’s premier musicians and has been acclaimed as one of the most brilliant guitarists in the world. D’Gary lives in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Media Coordinator, Associate Producer
Ross is a media designer, actor and producer based in New York. Ross trained and works as an actor out of a passion for encountering new lives and global perspectives and sharing them with audiences who would otherwise never know them. He has traveled the world in search of those stories. Ross has a BA in Theatre Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Madagascar - one of the poorest countries on the planet - has a population of almost 30 million people. Half of them are children. Half of the children are chronically malnourished.
Sohei has created a U.S. charitable organization dedicated to helping children and their families in Madagascar by contributing to Father Pedro Opeka’s Akamasoa Humanitarian Association (“Akamasoa”).
This is the only U.S. charity for Akamasoa endorsed by Father Pedro.
Please click the link to visit Madakids.org and help the children of Madagascar if you can.