The World's Story is Yours to Tell
Who are you and what is your profession?
I'm Elissa Bogos and I'm a photojournalist.
Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I received my first Polaroid camera in the first grade and began taking pictures of everything I saw, which ultimately led me to study photography in college. The desire to tell stories with images went, for me, hand in hand with traveling and I developed a strong interest in the Middle East and Asia.
What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
My background is in still photojournalism, but I always had a great interest in film. I was inspired by the work of Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman, and films such as The Passion of Joan of Arc and Andrei Rublev, but it was while living in Afghanistan that I felt that documentary video would be the best format to tell certain stories there.
Who or what do you most admire?
I admire courage and integrity in people living in trying circumstances, particularly those who have suffered tremendously and yet still have the ability to sincerely emphasize with others often much better off than themselves. I'm particularly drawn to films about overcoming obstacles. Some of my favorite documentaries are Hoop Dreams, The Up Series, Born Into Brothels, and God Grew Tired of Us.
What did you film on 10.10.10?
In Afghanistan, I filmed a female baker and a robab maker and his young apprentice. Both are important elements of traditional Afghan culture, and although in the case of the people I filmed, they are not lucrative professions, I wanted to show the simplicity, importance, and the integrity of their work.
What are you planning on filming for 11.11.11?
I think I'll know when I find it!