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Filmmaking Confidential

Author: Steve Balderson

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The Filmmaking Confidential podcast is the quintessential resource for independent filmmakers – from aspiring students to seasoned pros. Each episode is filled with invaluable perspective, secret tips, how-tos and general philosophy about making films, no matter the budget, no matter the location. Hosted by award-winning indie filmmaker Steve Balderson, the attention is focused on what it takes to be a productive filmmaker in an industry that is risk averse and locked in a world where rigid process seems more important than creativity. This is the podcast for anyone who has dreams and the determination to see them through. Each week we meet with filmmakers, writers, actors, artists and other notables ranging from Oscar and Golden Globe winners to obscure fringe creators.
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Today's guest is the fabulous Rena Riffel. Rena is an American actress, singer, dancer, model, writer, producer, and director. She is best known for her supporting roles in films such as Showgirls, Striptease, and Mulholland Drive.Riffel landed her breakthrough role in the 1995 film Showgirls starring Elizabeth Berkley, Gina Gershon, and Kyle MacLachlan. Initially reading for the lead role of Cristal Connors, Riffel was cast in the supporting role of Penny/Hope after director Paul Verhoeven decided that she was too young to play an aging showgirl.While on the set of Showgirls, Riffel approached the music supervisor with a song she recorded, "Deep Kiss". The music supervisor tested the song on the production office (without telling them it had been written by one of the actresses) to determine if it was suitable for the film. Director Paul Verhoeven listened to the song and decided to include it in the lap dance scene at the Cheetah strip club.Although an initial box office failure, Showgirls enjoyed success in the home video market, generating more than $100 million in video rentals and became one of MGM's top 20 all-time best sellers.For the 2004 re-release as a DVD limited edition box set, Riffel, along with cast members Lin Tucci and Patrick Bristow, had their hand prints and names put in cement in front of the Hollywood Vista Theater at the red carpet event where they were also interviewed by Access Hollywood. Riffel and Bristow were also special guests at Peaches Christ's Midnight Mass midnight screening of Showgirls in 2008 in San Francisco, California. They were interviewed on stage after the live performance of the Goddess volcano dance performed by drag queens in gold lamé and featuring Peaches Christ as Goddess.When asked if she expected Showgirls to produce such a cult legacy, Riffel replied, "No. I went into it thinking it would be a really erotic, serious, shocking exposé. People would be sitting on the edge of their seats from suspense. [... But] some people were trying to play straight comedy – I played my character with comedy; I was hoping to get a laugh – but no one was acting with tongue in cheek. I know that everyone went into it thinking it would be like Basic Instinct. [...] Maybe it's Verhoeven. Even [Basic Instinct] seems kind of campy now [...] I think it's something with European filmmakers. I think – and this is my theory – [...] that there's something that European filmmakers have, a punched-up, extreme vibe. Everything's extreme."Following her role in Showgirls, Riffel was cast in Striptease with Demi Moore and Burt Reynolds. Showgirls was generally disliked and the filmmakers feared people would pre-judge Striptease for that reason. To avoid any association between the two films, advertisements projected Striptease as more comedic than Showgirls, which had been marketed as a drama. Aside from a common context, Striptease and Showgirls shared two notable connections: Marguerite Derricks choreographed both films, and Rena Riffel played a prominent role in each.In 2001, Riffel appeared in the David Lynch film Mulholland Drive. When interviewed about the film and if she “got it”, Riffel replied, “See…I can’t remember. No, I guess it still doesn’t make sense to me. It’s been a while – I’d like to watch it again….one website put a lot of clarity on it with their theories.”
Today's guest is filmmaker and actor Doug Hurley.  Doug is originally from Kansas, lived in New York City for a while, and now calls Los Angeles home. As a writer/director, his most recent short film, Suicide Date, premiered at the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles, winning the Audience Award for its category as well as the Overall Audience Award for the entire fest, qualifying it for the Academy Awards. As a writer/writer, he's currently developing two TV shows. As an actor, you can see him in MGM's upcoming The Baxters as Dr. Peter West, as well as Brooklyn 99, Lucifer, and many other tele-visual programs. Somehow evidently, he is also an award-winning poet and a painter. He is also very skilled at mailing random parcels to people.
Emma Elizabeth Tillman

Emma Elizabeth Tillman

2021-04-2039:26

Today's guest is photographer, writer, and filmmaker Emma Elizabeth Tillman. Her family lived on a sailboat from the time she was born. Tillman grew up on the water in Southern California, and the ocean has informed and engaged her work in its symbolic attributes; as well as her own confrontation with mystery, intimacy and fear.She graduated with an Masters of Fine Art in Film Directing from UCLA in 2014 and since hasworked across several disciplines, including her most recent solo exhibition of ten years of intimate writing and photography at Gallery 46 in London in 2017 entitled Disco Ball Soul, along with a book by the same name. She is currently at work on a television pilot and several feature length scripts. Tillman and her husband, Josh currently live and work in Los Angeles.www.EmmaElizabethTillman.com
Today's guests are Renny Grames and Boston McConnaughey - the team behind the new film ALIEN COUNTRY.Boston McConnaughey - Director, WriterWith a background in filmmaking and next generation VR storytelling, Boston and Renny have 30 million views on their sci-fi action YouTube series and have created short films online for Sony Pictures, Google, Coca-cola, Nokia, and more... Alien Country’s baby daddy.Renny Grames - Actor, ProducerAn indie film actress with numerous film and television credits. Renny’s work has shown up in dozens of festivals including Napa Valley FF and Heartland FF. She’s produced dozens of films and commercials and is Alien Country’s sugar momma.
Today's guest is Preston Taylor - an American comedian, actor, producer and writer from Gatesville, Texas. Preston started his illustrious career in Los Angeles with a brief appearance as himself on RuPaul’s Drag Race (2009) as part of the pit crew. He also appeared as an outlaw and stuntman in the award winning short film Valley of the Scorned (2011), as well as, his unbelievable one line, one scene as Keith in Parallels (2013). Preston started his comedy career in 2010 with his first ever live performance at the Palm in west Hollywood. He was fortunate as his second show would be downtown in front acting and comedic heavyweight Garrett Morris, who would tell him that night- “Kid if this is show two, you are going to be okay out here”. Preston has since enjoyed the life of traveling as a comic and performing shows mostly in the shadows until now. Before his coming out party with Farm to TV (2021), he performed for years at Hollywood staples such as The Ice House, The World Famous Comedy Store, & Jon Lovitz Comedy Club where in 2012 he was dubbed runner-up in the L.A.’s Best Comic competition for up and comers. As an homage to one his favorite comics Rodney Dangerfield, who was meticulous about the timing when on stage, Preston set out to nail his set for the special at 65 minutes on the dot. Farm to TV was shot and performed one time through, one night only, and originally stamped at exactly 65 minutes with no stage clock.
Filmmaker Adam Barnick

Filmmaker Adam Barnick

2021-03-3036:57

Adam Barnick attended New York's School of Visual Arts for filmmaking, while assisting in production and special effects for theater and independent films. Afterwards he began his career assisting on commercials produced locally for Japanese television.As a writer/director, Adam’s short film MAINSTREAM has played seven international festivals and opened the New York City Horror Film Festival’s theatrical screenings its year of release. Fangoria Magazine and Koch Vision acquired it for worldwide distribution on their FANGORIA BLOOD DRIVE II: America's Best Short Horror Films DVD, sold worldwide. MAINSTREAM was voted one of the top 5 horror films of the year by the editor of Horror-Movies.ca, as well as being featured in numerous print, radio and online articles in the top genre websites.His company Wicked Tree Films has collaborated with Shout! Factory, IFC Midnight, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Starz Home Entertainment, Ariescope Pictures, Crimson Films, A Bigger Boat, Glass Eye Pix, Dire Wit Films and Red Shirt Pictures.In the arena of BTS documentaries and Blu-Ray/online content, he was edited, directed and shot featurettes in the past several years on the short film and feature-length versions of Paul Solet's award-winning GRACE; the horror prequel Malevolence: Bereavement, the true-story drama Aaron Bacon, Adam Green's survival thriller FROZEN, and Solet's followup to GRACE, DARK SUMMER. The DVD extras/documentaries for GRACE have received acclaim from horror fans and reviewers the world over, with the DVD winning "Best Indie Disc" at the 2010 Reaper Awards. FROZEN's Extras were nominated for "Best DVD Extras" in the 2011 Reaper Awards, alongside such heavyweights as The Walking Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Alien Anthology. FROZEN recently became Anchor Bay's top-selling original Blu-Ray and DVD. Recent documentary projects include a series of featurettes celebrating and exploring Larry Fessenden's Glass Eye Pix, which has just hit a milestone 30th anniversary, as well as featurettes on the upcoming Blu-Ray releases of the genre films ITSY BITSY, the 80's horror comedy LITTLE MONSTERS, and Larry Fessenden's DEPRAVED.As a music video director, he has collaborated with artists John Presnell, Rivulets, Barbiana Complex, and Kathy Zimmer. His striking and bizarre video for Presnell's PILLS was reviewed as "the creepiest, most on-fucking-point music video I've ever seen" by the influential music blog SYFFAL. His current music video, THE LOOK for Barbiana Complex, repurposes fan-shot footage into a candy-colored, electrified palette.Recently, Adam founded the company Wicked Tree Creative, to rebrand and expand his editing services as a boutique post production company, delivering solutions for clients worldwide.
Join film directors Elizabeth Spear & Steve Balderson as they discuss the sometimes insane behavior and on-set antics of other Directors, Primadonnas, Assistant Directors, Explosive Producers, Egomaniacs, and how one can navigate all this and still manage to have a creative, warm, and welcoming film set.Elizabeth Spear is an award winning filmmaker from Austin, Texas.  She earned her M.A. in Media and Communication from European Graduate School in Switzerland and has studied under Terrence Malick, Wim Wenders, D.J. Spooky and Slavoj Zizek. Her films have screened all over the world including France, Germany, Norway, Egypt, Ireland and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  AwardsHELL TOWN (2015) Best Feature, Crimson Screen Horror Film FestROUNDBALL (2014), Best Romantic Comedy, WorldFestTHE PEOPLE YOU KNOW (2012), Best Feature Film, 60 Degrees Norway FORWARD/BACKWARD (2009), People’s Choice, Different than What? HANGING (2002), Grand Prize, 72HFP Gene Siskel Theater
William Clift, a Hollywood native, started his career as a Make-up and Hair man for the fashion, film, television and Music Video industry. In mid 2000 he decided to follow his life long dream of becoming a director, writer and produced his first short film, The Fairy Tale, soon after a documentary, The Pure Eccentrics; San Francisco. This led to his first feature film Baby Jane? shot on a shoestring budget, receiving rave reviews from Variety, Fangoria and the Examiner to name a few. Baby Jane? was on Netflix streaming in 2012 and bought by HERE TV. Billy's next project was I Want To Get Married, which was distributed all over the globe. Billy's next feature was his follow up to Baby Jane?, Hush Up Sweet Charlotte, starring a cast of cult icons ( Mink Stole, Varla Jean Merman).
In an industry where the word "Producer" is misused and overused, it's nearly impossible to tell what it means anymore. Amazon Studios Social Producer Rebecca Breithaupt discusses the different kinds of producers (Executive, Co, Creative, Associate, and so on) along with the different roles producers play in various fields within entertainment (film, TV, commercial and music industries).
Adrian is an Australian film director, screenwriter and editor.  His film BROLGA is a short film which has just completed a successful international festival run, and has been released for streaming online. The response to the film across the world has been wonderful, and the story of the project's journey to the screen is both unique and full of interesting lessons for those interested in indie filmmaking.Adrian's work has screened in cinemas across the globe, including the 69th Venice Film Festival, where his film ‘Scruples’ screened as part of a competition spearheaded by Sir Ridley Scott, Michael Fassbender and YouTube, and where Scott commented that Adrian and his fellow finalists were "all clearly talents for the industry to watch". In 2013, Adrian completed work as co-director, co-writer and editor on the WWI feature 'Forbidden Ground', which was released worldwide (including distribution in the U.S. via Lionsgate).He has edited thirteen feature films, including 'Skin Deep' (officially selected for the 2014 Austin Film Festival), ‘Rip Tide’ (officially selected for the 2017 Sydney Film Festival) and ‘Romance on the Menu’ (released by Netflix in 2020), as well as the acclaimed TV series ‘Starting From…Now’ and ‘A Chance Affair’. In 2020, Adrian co-wrote four episodes of the upcoming Netflix series, ‘Dive Club’.As both an editor and director, Adrian has also worked on hundreds of commercials, music videos, corporate videos and documentaries. He has produced content for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Apple, QANTAS, TED, Universal Music, Salesforce, Woolworths, The Guardian, ING, Westfield, Lonely Planet, Volvo, Telstra and Google. His latest short film, ‘Brolga’, which he wrote, directed and edited, has been successful at festivals both at home and internationally, and has garnered multiple ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’ awards.
Starina Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist who can be seen in award-winning films such as “West Hollywood Motel”, “More Scenes from a Gay Marriage”, “A Measure of the Sin”, “Stuck!”, “Casserole Club”, “Watch Out”, and “Roundball.”  Theatre projects include Hollywood Fringe darlings Piñata, directed by Stan Zimmerman, complex[ion] woman, directed by Ebony Gilbert, as well as numerous Towne Street Theatre and NEO Ensemble Theatre productions. She also AD/Co-Produced the revival of Justin Tanner's Heartbreak Help.  Starina’s play Border Towns won SLAM Boston's Diverse Voices in Theatre competition. And her short plays have been produced in theatres across the country.
Nathan Adloff's feature film “Miles” is semi-autobiographical and centers on a high school senior who joins the girls volleyball team in hopes of winning a college scholarship after his father's untimely death. It stars Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Missi Pyle, Tim Boardman, Annie Golden, Yeardley Smith and Stephen Root. “Miles” won the Audience Choice Award in Outfest Los Angeles, received theatrical and digital distribution and is streaming on Netflix.Nathan Adloff Directed/Co-Wrote/Produced his feature film debut with “Nate & Margaret.” It sold for worldwide distribution prior to completion. The film stars Natalie West, Tyler Ross and Gaby Hoffmann. Roger Ebert praised the film as “A smart, observant movie about two very particular people, and its casting is pitch-perfect.” The New York Times called it “Fragile and simple in the best possible way.”Nathan acted in Joe Swanberg's early films and IFC series, "Young American Bodies," in addition to making a handful of award-winning short films. Both of his “Cock N’ Bull” short films, which he also acted in, screened in festivals around the world. Both shorts received distribution on multiple platforms, including Seed & Spark, Revry, Dekkoo and Amazon.
Musician Eric Himan

Musician Eric Himan

2021-02-0934:15

Eric Himan is an award-winning nationally-touring soulful/folk/rock artist.  His music has been featured on Sirius/XM's Coffeehouse radio station.  Eric has toured with Leon Russell and Ani DiFranco.  He has shared the stage with Patty Griffin, India.Arie, Edwin McCain, and many more.  He has appeared in the The Advocate, Huffington Post, OUT, newspapers nationwide, won the Singer/Songwriter Awards in London and is endorsed by Fender Guitars.Eric's most recent album CONTENDERS is his most ambitious album to date.  In addition to Himan on lead vocals and guitar, the album features musicians Fiawna Forte (lead guitar and vocals), Phillip Hanewinkel (bass) and Brandon Holder (drums).  Produced, recorded and mixed by Bixby’s Kendal Osborne at his Closet Studios, the album was mastered by Chris Wiley with Buffalo Hide Mastering.Eric's previous album, GRACEFULLY was recorded with Eric on piano. A horn section was brought in and arranged by saxophonist Ryan Tedder, with Dave Johnson on trumpet. Eric was able to bring in some heavy hitters such as drummer, Brandon Holder (drummer for Leon Russell) and bassist Matt Hayes (Jacob Fred Jazz Odessey, Wayne Newton) thanks to the support of his many generous listeners. The album was recorded in Eric’s hometown of Tulsa, OK by Rockwell Ripperger (of the platinum selling band, Stephen Speaks) and Brandon Holder, mixed by Ripperger, and mastered by the grammy-award winning Chris Bellman (Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Katy Perry) at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, CA.
Elliot Diviney began editing for Best Buy and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2009, Elliot directed his first feature film, an indie crime comedy called “Paper-Maché.” Between 2011 and 2012, Elliot directed two sequels, “Potpourri” and “American “Rescue Squad.” After those films were released, Elliot moved to Los Angeles where he continued to pursue editing and writing. His editing clients include Netflix, the NFL, Doritos, and Sun-maid Raisins. In addition to his own films, Elliot’s screenwriting credits include The Dawn (2019), Rise Against The Fall (2017), and several short films for Red 23 Films.
By the early 1990s, Debbie was working with multiple theatre companies in NYC including The Tribeca Lab where she played multiple characters in Stephen DiLauro’s play The Secret Warhol Rituals. In 1993 Debbie began her career in radio co-producing and co-hosting Oblique Strategies on the terrestrial channel WBAI. 1994 was the beginning for Debbie to land lead roles in film. Abducted II: The Reunion would be the first and in 1995 she co-stared in her first Troma produced film Tromeo and Juliet co-directed by James Gunn and Lloyd Kaufman. This would also be the year Debbie would be given her first writing column which appeared in The Job Bob Report, published by Joe Bob Briggs. She would also pen for numerous genre publications including The Phantom of the Movies’ Videoscope magazine which she still writes for today. Of the multiple roles she would portray by decade’s end it would be Hellblock 13, co-staring Gunnar Hansen, that would begin the wheels turning for a new type of role she would soon be known for. During the 1996-1998-time frame Debbie would co-produce and co-host Illumination Gallery for the internet’s first on-line radio station Pseudo Radio.In 2000 director Jon Keeyes cast Debbie in the now cult classic American Nightmare which garnered much acclaim with legit reviewers and audiences alike. Her role as Jane Toppan would solidify her as a go-to actor for roles of the off-kilter and intense kind. By 2002 Debbie began working for Full Moon Entertainment, starring in four feature films with the company. She continued to write for genre publications and contributed chapters to horror themed books. In 2005 Debbie joined forces with what was then known as Scream TV. The company bought Fangoria magazine and Debbie began producing short documentaries including Fangoria Presents Slither Behind the Scenes. In 2006 they launched Fangoria Radio for Sirius/XM where she co-produced and co-hosted the show with Twisted Sister front-man Dee Snider until 2010. The following year Debbie was granted her own column in the magazine called Diary of the Deb, the first column written by a woman for the publication, it was nominated for three Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards for best column, winning the esteemed statue in 2014. During this decade Debbie also gave critically acclaimed turns in works inspired by some of her favorite classical writers; The Tell Tale Heart (Edgar Allan Poe), Mark of the Beast (Rudyard Kipling) and Colour From the Dark (H.P. Lovecraft).Debbie appeared on the VH1 reality TV show Scream Queens as a guest judge in 2010. In 2012 she served, with Mira Sorvino, Gabrielle Miller, Tamar Simon-Hoffs and Lana Morgan, as part of the first all-female jury at the Oldenburg International Film Festival in Germany. The same year Debbie had her directorial debut with the extreme body-horror film Model Hunger. ETonline.com hailed Debbie as one of the “40 Top Scream Queens of the Past 40 Years” in 2018. Debbie’s current writing column, Debbie Rochon’s Bloody Underground, appears in the Italian published magazine Asylum. She is currently acting in feature films, writing her book and prepares for her sophomore directing project.
Garrett Swann is a Santa Barbara native, now New Yorker, full-time realist, gym rat, go-getter, and a wannabe millennial.  Obsessed with great convos over coffee, he spends his days inspiring younger generations with his personal style, poise and panache. A role model and GQ Insider, Garrett travels the world as a model in campaigns for IBM, T-Mobile, Amazon/Oprah Magazine, Brooks Brothers, Allen Edmonds, Michael Kors, Belk, Billionaire (Phillipe Plein), Phonak, Dodge, Chrysler, Loews Hotels, SLH Hotels, Indochino, 2xist Underwear, Mr. Turk, Moscot, among others. Last year, he laughed when he made the “Silverfox” lists for Buzzfeed, Huffpost and OUT Magazine. He's guessing #daddyisthenewblack. Through his social media platform “The Sterling Compass,” garrett circumnavigates the world, giving positive lifestyle direction to those across the globe.He is also a CEO of an app company called Production Assistant Liaison (paL) in New York City, former star of several TV shows (Fashion House, Unusually Thicke) and questionable indie films (The Casserole Club), and his motto in life is “have swimsuit, will travel.”
Filmmaker Ronni Thomas

Filmmaker Ronni Thomas

2021-01-1238:44

Like many film hopefuls, Ronni started making films at about 9 years old when his father bought one of the first camcorder backpack units that had come on the market.  He remade classics such as Faces of Death and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his Brooklyn neighborhood friends.  Since then, his films have screed at festivals around the world as well as museums and institutions ranging from Carnegie Hall and The MET in NY to the Horniman Museum in the UK.  They've been Honored by BAFTA, Tribeca Film Institute, Raindance Film UK, The British Independent Film Awards and many other prestigious venues. Ronni got his official start in film at Troma in 2000, producing DVD content for the legendary horror outfit.  From there, he teamed up with underground maverick Lech Kowlaski (DOA, The Boot Factory) and together they made Hey Is Dee Dee Home with Punk icon Dee Dee Ramone.  Eventually he found his place in short film and digital content working heavily with Morbid Anatomy and the now defunct Brooklyn Observatory.   His award winning short narrative Radio Girl featured collaboration with long time composer and friend Stephen Coates (The Real Tuesday Weld) and The Witch director, Robert Eggers.  His Midnight Archive web series went on to critical acclaim both on the small and big screens,  garnering praise from Time.com to boingboing and io9, to Forbes magazine, before being co-opted for Discovery Channel's digital network.  His short doc Walter Potter : The Man Who Married Kittens, would be nominated for best short at the prestigious Tribeca Film festival, Raindance Film Fest, and Hot Springs International and wind honors at Morbido fest Puebla, Mexico.  His AMC digital series ‘The Broken and the Bad’ is a 6 film docu-series on the real-life themes of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and features Giancarlo Esposito.
The Asylum is one of the world's leading brand-oriented motion picture and television studios. With a focus on high-concept, market-driven entertainment, like the SHARKNADO franchise and the popular BLACK SUMMER and Z NATION TV series.  The Asylum finances, produces and releases 25 films per year through its direct pipeline to the nation's top retailers and its network of international partners. Since its founding in 1997, The Asylum has released more than 500 films and has built a library of over 250 original productions, including top-rated programs for Netflix, SYFY, Lifetime, Ion Television, Animal Planet, as well as Hallmark Channel, Sony Television, BET, and Universal TV. The Asylum's apocalyptic thriller BLACK SUMMER was the #1 scripted series on its Netflix release and Season 2 is underway. And its critically acclaimed action-horror series, Z NATION, is one of SYFY's longest-running and highest-rated. In 2018 the company launched THE ASYLUM MOVIE CHANNEL -- an ad-supported entertainment network. With over three million hours watched per month, THE ASYLUM MOVIE CHANNEL is one of the top-rated OTT entertainment networks.
Cult Icon Mink Stole

Cult Icon Mink Stole

2020-12-2933:30

Mink Stole is best known for her work in the films of John Waters. Her film career began as a party guest in Waters' film Roman Candles. Since then, she has appeared in all of John Waters' feature films from Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Cry Baby, and Serial Mom (opposite Kathleen Turner) to name a few. She has appeared in a number of films and television shows, such as Stuck! directed by Steve Balderson, and is the lead singer of Mink Stole and Her Wonderful Band, of which musicians Kristian Hoffman, George Baby Woods, and Brian Grillo have been members.  www.FilmmakingConfidential.com
Desh Amila is a documentary filmmaker and serial entrepreneur. Originally from Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia in 2000. With a desire to inspire, Desh is on a mission to educate, entertain and enhance the lives of those he connects with. Currently he is the founder and CEO at This is 42 and is about to release his second feature film, Better Left Unsaid, a documentary that examines political extremis. In 2018, he released his film called Islam: Future of Tolerance. It featured Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz and became the #1 iTunes download worldwide (Documentary Category).In 2011, Desh founded Think Inc. a first of its kind ‘edutainment’ company that tours intellectuals throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company featured speakers such as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, historian of science Michael Shermer, political activist Dr Cornel West, and the late social-political critic Christopher Hitchens. Desh has had quite the walk of life and loves to push social and political boundaries.
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