|"I read these articles about these guys, fisherman who become pirates, who had nothing going out and doing that â robbing ships and pirating - and thought, 'who are they?'" Hodierne said.|
By Sarah Valerio
ALEXANDRIA, VA. - “There are two ways to fish; with nets or without. But if I fish with violence, will my net be full of blood?”
|Photo courtesy of John Hibey.|
Director Cutter Hodierne on the set of Fishing
This is the profound question asked by Abdi, the main character in Fishing Without Nets; a fictional film told from the perspective of Somali pirates, and directed by local director Cutter Hodierne, who grew up in Arlington and Alexandria.
The 17 minute film premiered here last weekend to a sold-out crowd at the Newseum, after capturing the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
In fact, “sold-out” crowd doesn’t quite do the scene justice.
Audience members stood along the walls and sat in extra rows of folding chairs brought in for the event, after, and during which, the audience continually erupted in roaring applause.
Some of the loudest applause came from the family and friends of Hodierne, the 25-year-old native who directed the film.
Hodierne and producers John Hibey and Raphael Swann walked on stage in sneakers, slacks, and t-shirts after the event for a question and answer session. The experience seemed surreal to the three young men who even took pictures from the stage of the audience with their phones.
| Photo by John Arundel|
It was a big win for 25-year-old Cutter
Hodeirne at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
His documentary short, Fishing Without
Nets," took top honors in its category.
Here Robert Hodeirne, Tina Radler and
Alicia Shepherd celebrate his win at the
Hodierne said his inspiration for the film and fascination with Somali pirates came from articles published in The New York Times by Jeffrey Gettleman.
“I read these articles about these guys, fisherman who become pirates, who had nothing going out and doing that – robbing ships and pirating – and thought, ‘who are they?’” Hodierne said. He also admitted he further developed a lot of his ideas over Google Chat before picking up and relocating to Kenya, where Fishing Without Nets was filmed.
Due to unanticipated road blocks, it took Hodierne and his crew months in Kenya to film what they initially thought would only take days to complete.
The main snag they encountered was obtaining guns from the police, which are illegal to own in Kenya. But from the guns to the filming locations - often on privately owned land - to the actors themselves, discovered for the most part at an informal casting session at a local night club, “people were amenable if you gave them the right price,” Hodierne said.
But even once acquired, it seemed that every step in the process caused Hodierne and the crew more woes. “You guys were robbed so many times, I’m surprised you had enough money to make the movie,” quipped Swann about Hodierne and Hibey.
“When we were done filming, the police arrested the entire cast and threw them in jail on the last day of filming,” said Hodierne, adding that he and the crew quickly got them out.
Hodierne sees Fishing Without Nets as “just the beginning of a feature length movie about this subject.”
If the size and enthusiasm of the crowd at the Newseum and the award at Sundance are any indication, this could also well be the launch of a successful career in filmmaking for Hodierne, Hibey, and Swann.