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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Canadian film on Afghanistan

Scott Taylor (left) & Sasha Uzunov (right): filming in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2007.


Canadian film on Afghanistan

View the complete film at this link:

www.cpac.ca/forms/index.asp?dsp=template&act=view3&pagetype=vod&hl=e&clipID=4759

Canadian documentary film, "Afghanistan: outside the wire," 60 minutes long, camerawork by Scott Taylor (host/producer), David Pugliese and Sasha Uzunov.

CPAC Special
"Afghanistan: Outside the Wire"

Join respected military journalist Scott Taylor on a journey outside the protective walls of NATO bases into the heart of Taliban country.

This one-hour documentary examines how the war has affected the people of Afghanistan. It reveals efforts by Canada and its international partners to rebuild the country while dealing with political corruption. Come face-to-face with aid workers, diplomats, warlords and would-be suicide bombers in this exclusive CPAC special program.

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Created by Cable for Canadians

CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel, is Canada’s only privately-owned, commercial free, not for profit, bilingual licensed television service. Created in 1992 by a consortium of cable companies to preserve an independent editorial voice for Canada’s democratic process, CPAC provides a window on Parliament, politics and public affairs in Canada and around the world. Since 1992, the cable industry has invested close to $50 million in CPAC, and today CPAC programming is delivered by cable, satellite and wireless distributors to over 10 million homes in Canada, and worldwide via 24/7 webcasting and podcasts available on this website.

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TAYLOR & PUGLIESE: THE REAL McCOY - GENUINE MEDIA TOUGH GUYS


Sasha Uzunov, an Australian cameraman/ independent film maker/ freelance journalist and former Australian soldier, talks to the New Zealand media about his involvement in an up-coming documentary film on Afghanistan, produced by award winning Canadian journalist Scott Taylor,


Money shot Quote:

Uzunov has praised Scott Taylor, the producer of “Afghanistan: outside the wire ,” and fellow cameraman on the project, David Pugliese, an award winning print journalist with Canada’s national newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen.

“Taylor and Pugliese are genuine media tough guys, there’s no pretense. They are the Real McCoy! The focus is on the story not on cheap theatrics or clichéd war reporting poses such as wearing a flak jacket and acting tough in front of camera... But unfortunately we now get celebrity style of war reporting on Australian TV screens.”



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- New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) wire story -

www.voxy.co.nz/national/aussie-cameraman-inspired-kiwi-courage/5/71620

Friday, 12 November 2010.

AUSSIE CAMERAMAN INSPIRED BY KIWI COURAGE

An Australian cameraman whose work features in an upcoming Canadian documentary film about the Afghanistan War says he drew inspiration from tenacity and bravery shown by the average New Zealander (Kiwi).

Sasha Uzunov, an independent film maker, freelance cameraman, and former Australian soldier who served in East Timor, is featured in the Canadian documentary film: “Afghanistan: outside the wire,” which will be broadcast on Canadian Cable TV news network, CPAC -the Cable Public Affairs Channel, on Sunday 20 November 2010, produced by award winning Canadian journalist Scott Taylor.

Uzunov said that New Zealand, with a small population of over 4 million, punched well above its weight on the international stage.

“Take a look at film director Peter Jackson and his conquering of Hollywood or humble bee keeper Sir Edmund Hillary conquering Mount Everest in 1953,” he said. “Recently, there was the New Zealand national soccer team, The All Whites, fighting like uncaged wild lions against the might of Italy at the 2010 World Cup.”

“I see myself in the same boat, that of underdog fighting against the odds,” Uzunov said. “Unfortunately, some sections of the Australian media do not believe that a film maker or journalist who is an ex-soldier has a democratic right to voice an opinion on defence/national security issues.”

“But that makes me more determined to get my point of view across.”

Uzunov said he cannot understand why Australia’s top war reporter John Martinkus is not being used by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS TV) to cover that conflict.

“Martinkus is a heavy hitter who understands the Afghan war inside out and for the life of me, I can’t understand why SBS TV Dateline program isn’t using him,” Uzunov said.

“It would be like having legendary Australian leg spinner Shane Warne at his peak as 12th man and carrying the drinks during a cricket test match.”

Martinkus, a former SBS TV Dateline reporter ,is now an academic at the University of Tasmania.

Uzunov, who has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, made his comments in response to SBS TV Dateline’s controversial story about Australian commandos and the accidental killing of Afghan civilians in a raid last year.

“In their haste to get the story out, the powers that be at Dateline were inadvertently fooled by a group of imposters claiming to be relatives of those Afghanis killed during the Australian commando raid,” Uzunov said. “Eventually the real relatives were tracked down. This is a huge mistake, something that Martinkus would’ve avoided.”

Uzunov has praised Scott Taylor, the producer of “Afghanistan: outside the wire ,” and fellow cameraman on the project, David Pugliese, an award winning print journalist with Canada’s national newspaper, The Ottawa Citizen.

“Taylor and Pugliese are genuine media tough guys, there’s no pretense. They are the Real McCoy! The focus is on the story not on cheap theatrics or clichéd war reporting poses such as wearing a flak jacket and acting tough in front of camera,” Uzunov said. “That is why Martinkus was devastatingly effective when he was on Dateline. But unfortunately we now get celebrity style of war reporting on Australian TV screens.”

Uzunov said he wanted to report on Afghanistan without military assistance.

During his two trips to that country in 2007 and 2008, he dressed in local outfits and toured the country to interview locals with fellow journalists Scott Taylor and David Pugliese from Canada.

“A lot of the reporters go embedded,” he said. “That is, they go with the military, so their movements are largely confined to what the military allows them to do.

“We decided that we had to go what they call ‘outside the wire’ and basically take a look for ourselves what was going on.”

Uzunov, an Australian of Macedonian heritage and is olive skinned with dark southern European features, was often mistaken for being an Afghan.

He said appearing like a local and showing the people from Kandahar, the heartland of the Taliban insurgency, some respect helped grant them access to locals’ stories.

“As unembedded journalists we were able to go to villages (which embedded journalists couldn’t go to),” he said.


“A trickle of fund money was being used (in these villages) to give them water, and to help them build a bakery and so on,” he said.

“But a lot of the problems aren’t being solved. There’s lots of corruption.”

Uzunov has also praised Australian reporters Paul Toohey of News Limited, ex-ABC-TV legend Chris Masters for their in depth understanding of the Afghanistan War.

He has also singled out Mark Corcoran, of ABC-TV. “Mark is the ABC’s only badge-qualified war reporter, having served in the Royal Australian Navy and later in the super-secret Defence Signals Directorate (DSD). I find it strange that the ABC don’t use him more, especially as an expert comments man as well as war reporter,” Uzunov said.

Uzunov released his first documentary film in 2009, TIMOR TOUR OF DUTY.