LIZ MERMIN’S FILMS
BBC STORYVILLE / IRISH FILM BOARD / RTE
****"Remarkable.... the most searching portrait of equine personality since George Stubbs." – The Independent
How does the world look from the perspective of a racehorse? Based in a stable in Southeast Ireland, HORSES follows three equine protagonists as they prepare for national hunt races: grueling trials in which a dozen or so thoroughbreds gallop in a tight pack around 2 - 5 mile grass courses, leaping (or trying to leap) over obstacles of 4 ½ feet or more. Will they win or lose? Do they care? Why do they do it? What happens if they fail? Trainers, grooms, and an equine masseuse help us explore the distinct personalities of three professional racehorses.
HORSES was released at London's ICA BBC4/Storyville and RTE and available for streaming on Sundance Selects and Docsville.
Shortlisted for a 2010 Grierson award.
"Crisp editing and elegant lensing foster engagement with a narrative that doesn't dumb down the racing world's complexities." – Variety
**** "enjoyable, well made, and thoughtful… by turns informative, gripping and just a little bit odd." – View London
*** "A pleasure to watch." – The Guardian
TV pick of the day in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Evening Standard, & Time Out
“Absolutely lovely" The Guardian
TEAM QATAR follows five Middle Eastern teens from the world’s richest country as they are initiated into the cutthroat subculture of competitive high-school debate. Guided by two young Oxford grads, they're determined to show they aren't closed-minded extremists – and even more determined to win. An unlikely, surprisingly entertaining window onto the global culture of the Arab world and its relation to the West.
Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Now streaming on Docsville.
*Best Feature at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival
"Hugely enjoyable" TIME OUT
"Engrossing" SUNDAY HERALD
Featured on Al Jazeera's Fabulous Picture Show
SHOT IN BOMBAY
BBC STORYVILLE / SUNDANCE CHANNEL
"Sensationally Entertaining" - Metro
With unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to a star-studded, high-octane Bombay gangster movie, SHOT IN BOMBAY tells three entwined stories: the rise of the city’s underworld in the 90s, narrated by ‘Bombay's Dirty Harry'; the tribulations of superstar Sanjay Dutt, on trial for alleged involvement in India’s largest terrorist attack; and a young director’s dogged quest to master the delicate art of making a Bollywood blockbuster.
Cinema release at London’s ICA, many international film festivals including South x Southwest, Sheffield Docfest. Streaming on Docsville.
**** "Absolutely fascinating" - Time Out London
"Her keen eye for ironies and quiet wit make for superior, very entertaining documentary." - The Telegraph
"Riveting" - Financial Times
"Fascinating" - The Times
"Extremely entertaining" - View London
"Mind-blowing" - Total Film
BBC STORYVILLE / SUNDANCE CHANNEL
“Vladimir Nabakov once said satire is a lesson, parody is a game. This fantastic documentary by Liz Mermin is both.” – The London Paper
A feature-length documentary and mini-series about an office full of young Indian professionals and the executives teaching them the rules of corporate culture. Set in an American-owned out-sourcing company in India, whose clients include the top investment banks in the world, the documentary offers a rare look at cross-cultural corporate training, the lifestyles of young urban professionals in a conservative South Indian city, and at the changes that outsourcing is bringing to India. Comic and dark.
Feature documentary premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“Engrossing…. Office Tigers looks at a caste system of a 21st century variety – the kind created when a new elite is formed whose mantra is ‘make more money’”.
TIME OUT - PICK OF DAY
“Horrifyingly fascinating.” – RADIO TIMES
THE BEAUTY ACADEMY OF KABUL
“A spiny, puzzling, and highly entertaining film” – Salon
What happens when a group of hairdressers from America travel to Kabul with the intention of telling Afghan women how to do hair and makeup? This engaging, optimistic documentary tracks a unique development project: a shiny new beauty school, funded in part by American beauty-industry mainstays, which sets out to teach the latest cutting, coloring, and perming techniques to practicing and aspiring Afghan hairdressers and beauticians. The Beauty Academy of Kabul offers a rare glimpse into Afghan women’s lives, and documents the poignant and often humorous process through which women with very different experiences of life come to learn about one another.
Premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, garnered many international festival awards.
Released in cinemas across the US by Shadow Distribution. Broadcast in UK on BBC2 and across Europe and Australia..
“Wonderful. A profound reminder of the things that make us human.” – LA Times
“Documents the hilarious, moving and sometimes fractious meeting of diametrically different cultures.” - New York Times
“A classy film - beautifully shot and understated” – The Guardian
YLE / DR
‘Amazing Azerbaijan!’ pulls back the curtain on the glittery facade that this oil-rich nation presented to the world when hosting Eurovision 2012, telling personal stories of human rights abuses to which Europe's leaders have turned a blind eye.
Produced by Crowhill Films, in association with YLE and DR.
Broadcast on 9 national public broadcasters before the 2012 Eurovision semi-final . Screened at London’s Frontline Club. Opened Brussels edition of One World Film Festival.
Received a Bertha / Britdoc outreach grant.
Used by Index on Censorship for press freedom campaign in Azerbaijan.
ON HOSTILE GROUND
Liz’s first film, co-directed with Jenny Raskin, produced by Catherine Gund, this documentary profiles three US abortion providers at a time when those providing abortions were being killed by snipers, sent letters filled with “arsenic”, and having their offices firebombed. The film follows three providers, showing their working and family lives and asking what motivates them to continue despite the risks. Sadly as relevant today as it was in 1999.
The film was funded by foundation grants, including a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. It was distributed in cinemas by Cowboy Pictures and acquired for broadcast by the Sundance Channel.
'‘'On Hostile Ground'….goes looking for heroes in the real world and finds three extraordinary individuals who put their lives on the line daily, motivated purely by their commitment to a cause.” — The New York Times