Take a Peak: Tai Uhlmann

Lund filmmaker tells stories from home

The daughter of Lund hippies, Tai Ullmann has returned back to her roots. She has gone full circle; studying at an alternative college, moving to San Francisco and then New York, where she met and fell in love with her partner and collaborator, Theo Angell, and back to Lund. The couple have done a documentary about Lund hippies called The End of the Road. It will have its world premiere at the Powell River Film Festival.

When did you discover film?
I was a 19-year-old college student getting interested in my Jewish heritage and coming out as a lesbian. I did a piece with a friend of mine called Bad Jews in the Kitchen. We interviewed friends in my kitchen and made a short documentary that ended up getting recognized as this identity piece people could relate to. We learned how to shoot and edit. We were self-taught. We were everything; talent, crew and tech.

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Why do you like making documentaries?
I think it’s like a puzzle; watching it come to life. You never know what’s going to happen. You never know what the story is going to reveal and that’s what’s so exciting. You kind of picture it, you direct the questions, you get people talking and telling you things. When you’re sitting with the material and the story starts to tell itself that is an exciting time.

Is interviewing your favourite part of the process?
I love doing the interviews. These are peoples’ lives and they deserve the time and attention to be heard. I love the interview process, but I think the editing, when you’re sitting there, putting pieces together, playing it and having this initial response like, “Ahhh I feel that,” that’s an amazing moment.

How did you and your partner Theo meet?
We met at a gay bar in New York with some friends of ours and just instantly fell in love, and then we started working creatively together throughout. He’s constantly making art. He’s the most prolific artist I know. This Lund film is the first really big project that we’ve worked on together.

You did the interviews for The End of the Road. What was Theo’s role?
Theo was the main editor on the project. He would edit something together and we’d get to watch it and say, “Oh, wow, that was a story that we didn’t even realize was that important.” This is an unusual film. This film is a community telling its story, so there’s a lot of voices and we didn’t know how that was going to work. It was amazing to have all of these community voices and telling this one story.

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