Meet the Documentary Filmmaker: Marvin Blunte
Marvin Blunte is the director of 6 Weeks to Mothers Day a documentary following the students of one of Thailand’s most progressive schools, as they prepare a special celebration to honor the school’s founder and person they refer to as mother, Rajani Dhongchai. As a democratic school system, students of all ages are given a strong voice, are able to study what they choose, and participate equally in village votes.
As Director, Marvin brings extensive docu reality directing experience after taking the helm on such shows as Miami Ink, New York Ink, Meteorite Men, and Construction Intervention for networks like History, Discovery, and TLC.
How did this project come about?
I was working on researching a project in Cambodia and stopped over in Thailand on my travels. I ended up meeting these fascinating children in an absolutely magical setting of the Kanchanaburi village in the Thai jungle. The Moo Baan Dek school is home to some of Thailand’s most underprivileged children and is one of the most progressive and democratic education systems that I’ve ever come across. The more time I spent there, the more obvious it was to me that a Documentary should be made about this subject.
I stayed in Thailand the whole 6 weeks leading up to their national ‘Mothers Day’ to shoot the film with my team. In such a remote location, filming was often full of complications but we received such unprecedented help from the locals, whose knowledge of the environment is unlimited. It was such an experience, made all the more amazing by the details that the community gave us in their interviews.
What would you like this Documentary to achieve?
My goals for this film are two-fold. Firstly, I would like to make an interesting and engaging documentary about one of the most inspiring stories that I’ve come across. Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, I would like to raise awareness for this democratic education system, which is giving these children (who are living below the poverty line) the chance to actually live and get the education and skills that they need. About 80-90% of the donations that they receive are Thai-based and it would be great to raise awareness to achieve International support.
What complications did you encounter when filming?
In these kind of conditions, you can never pack everything that you really need. Small things like running out of batteries became a huge issue for shooting that day. The weather was also extreme, you’d experience these monsoons and extreme conditions that would mean that your shooting schedule would have to be fluid to adapt to them. Insects were also constantly on your face or head when shooting… the crew had to adapt and learn to be around these things 24/7 in this environment.
I’m a skilled Avid editor, so I’ll be editing this film myself back in Miami. I have a few exciting projects lined up after that, and I’d like to see this film head to the festival circuits so that more people around the world get to see it.
Interested in practical Documentary filmmaking? Check out the course pagefor details of courses that Met Film School offers.