Bermudian Producer Is The Toast Of Tinsel Town

March 6, 2013 | 12 Comments

BayardOuterbridgeAspiring Bermuda movie producer Bayard Outerbridge was the toast of Hollywood’s student filmmaker  community on Saturday [Mar.2] when his gripping short “Machsom” had its world premiere screening at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Mr. Outerbridge [pictured here on the film's set] is the first Bermudian to attend the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory’s  Master of Fine Arts programme;  ”Machsom”  – the Hebrew word for “Checkpoint” — involved Mr. Outerbridge and fellow students Jonas Sacks, Frederic Richter, Xue [Fox]  Yin and Joel Novoa taking on the cinematographic, writing, editing, directing and production chores of an original film as a thesis requirement.

In July 2011, the American Film Institute was voted the top film school in the world by “The Hollywood Reporter” which called it “among the most selective film schools in America,” with its students benefitting from “speakers and teachers drawn from the highest levels of the industry, supported by the full weight of AFI itself…AFI’s glittering parade of alumni, from David Lynch to Darren Aronofsky, remains unrivalled when it comes to auteur filmmakers…If you know where you’re going, AFI can get you there.”

Drawing its theme from Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi’s maxim that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, Mr. Outerbridge’s  well-received film takes an unflinching look at the human toll extracted by the seemingly intractable Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Funded by donations — including a grant from the Bermuda Arts Council — “Machsom” is set in the Israeli-occupied West Bank at the beginning of the second Palestinian intifadah in September, 2000.

Trailer for Bayard Outerbridge’s film “Machsom”

Shot on 35mm film in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound, the ambitious production was made in and around Los Angeles last year. “Machsom” tells the story of Yaniv Greenblatt, a teenage Israeli soldier stationed at one of the most dangerous checkpoints along the demarcation line dividing Jews and Palestinians on the West Bank.

Yaniv has just one more year to finish his mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces. He would like to be a pacifist and struggles to be fair to the Palestinians, but has to contend with the prying eyes of Sgt. David Melamed, and his other superiors.

The problems Yaniv faces at home are no easier. His mother is a wheelchair-bound, extreme right-winger due to the same terrorist attack that killed her husband. Avi, Yaniv’s younger brother, seems to be drifting in the same direction.

“Machsom” depicts the physical separation of  the Palestinian and Israeli communities

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The story centres on the day Yaniv goes to pick up his brother at school but finds Avi and several other kids bullying Mohammed, an Arab Israeli boy who lives with his Palestinian father across the Green Line. Mohammed’s father, Khalil, cannot cross the checkpoint due to a curfew that has been imposed that day.

Unable to help Mohammed get home that evening, Yaniv decides to take Mohammed to his own home.

Yaniv and Mohammed must contend with both Avi and Amalia, neither of whom want Mohammed to be there. Yaniv manages to speak up against his mom’s prejudices, and Mohammed and Avi find common ground.

The following day, a troubling incident at the checkpoint leaves all involved to reconsider their previous resolve.

Following its weekend premiere, it was announced that “Machsom” has been selected as one of five films to screen at the Directors Guild of America Showcase this month.

Tense confrontation scene from “Machsom

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“The annual private screening, well attended by industry folk, will be held at the Director’s Guild of America theatre in Hollywood,” said Mr. Outerbridge.

“Machsom” will soon be submitted to screen in competition at US and international film festivals.

Born and raised in Bermuda, Mr. Outerbridge’s passion for filmmaking solidified into a career path when he moved to the UK in 2006 to crew on films in various capacities, culminating in a position on the Myriad Pictures feature, “Death Defying Acts”.

Bringing his talents back to his island, he spent one year producing television segments for local production company LookBermuda before heading to Montreal, Canada.

There, he obtained his BFA, with Distinction, from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema receiving, amongst other awards, the Susan Schouten Documentary Film Award for best documentary of all undergraduate and graduate students that year.

Producer Bayard D. Outerbridge, actor Ayman Samman and director Joel Novoa at the premiere

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Drawing on his creative and entrepreneurial skills, Mr. Outerbridge set his sights on Los Angeles, where he moved to complete his MFA in Producing at the American Film Institute.

While completing his degree, he worked as a development intern at Phoenix Pictures, produced four short films and crewed on several others.

Most recently, Mr. Outerbridge was associate producer and production manager on Stephanie Martin’s “Wild Horses”, shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson.

While working towards the completion of “Machsom”, he has been actively seeking feature scripts to develop into movies, with a primary focus on thrillers, coming-of-age dramas and adventure films.

“Machsom” premiere photos courtesy of Kristen DiLiello

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Comments (12)

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  1. wicked says:

    Check my boy! Well done Bayard!

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  2. street wise says:

    Well done, Mr Outerbridge. There is so much creative talent on this Island, yet the place is so effed up. Is the Gov't not listening to... Not understanding... Afraid of the creative mind. Very few people in fields that desperately need creative minds, like Tourism, are actually creative... Or maybe their creative ideas are squashed because the nerds who make the decisions wouldn't know a creative idea if it slapped them in the face! Idiots. Not impressed with the direction the DoT is taking with regards to advertising and marketing. They are missing the boat completely!

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    • Cray says:

      ^ Dat S*** CRAY!

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      • I'll use my brief moment behind this virtual pulpit to say that if anyone from Tourism is listening, we have three Bermuda commercials story-boarded, scheduled, budgeted, packaged and ready to go with a good idea of distribution platforms that can help boost our tourism product and bring more tourists and jobs to our island... just sayin...

        My e-mail's on our website: www.machsomfilm.com

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  3. Judge Dredd says:

    On one hand I want to congratulate your career successes. On the other I'm so tired of narratives that portray the humanity of the oppressor in the face of the inhumanity and savagery ("terrorism") of the oppressed. As if it isn't enough that the occupier skilfully depicts the occupied as savage, he must also further aggrandize himself by depicting himself simultaneously as a saviour to them while feigning contradistinction to the undeniable evil of the side he represents. The old tactic of evoking us to question the obviousness of siding with the oppressed furthers this cause. "I'm even more of a hero because they may not actually deserve my good treatment of them. I'm risking so much. Woe is me! The same "terrorists" that I'm so kind to, killed my father and handicapped my mother, but despite her legitamate grievance I press on"
    Let's see the humanity of the oppressed depicted in the face of the oppressors savagery instead of this self-aggrandizement at the Palestinians' expense. It's nothing more than a masturbatory display of moral superiority. Skilfully disguised superiority complex.

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    • Wow, articulate and valid opinion here Jedge Dredd. I wish you'd post your actual name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym. First of all, I'd like to say that we've had equally adverse reactions arguing that we show some of the the Israeli characters as far more harsh than and racist than what they have observed and experienced first hand. I would also point out that a short narrative film is often unsuccessful in maintaining a cohesive narrative when one switches point of view too much. The writer/director chose to tell the story through the point of view of an Israeli soldier, his own Jewish heritage allowing him to draw on his own experience and tell a story that smacks of more veracity than if told from a Palestinian point of view (Trust me, we tried it the other way around in the lengthy and involved development process, which involved a trip to the West Bank!) All of that said, I invite you to actually WATCH THE FILM before casting apsersions on our film!!

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      • Michael Pantry says:

        haha... wicked burn. Don't take the hate too serious. Some people will forever complain, and doing so in advance of actually watching the film shows the ignorance you're up against. Great job here. i wish you the best of luck.

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      • Judge Dredd says:

        Why would my opinion be more or less valid if I choose to post my birthname or not? How do we know that you are not hiding your true opinions and character behind "Bayard Outerbridge" to protect your reputation and the "name" you are making for yourself in the public sphere? It's an old and quite coward tactic to try to paint commenters with a brush of cowardice because they choose not to be as public as you are when in fact you may have adopted a totally FALSE and PHONEY character in public due to using your "actual name which would make you far more of a coward than anyone who shares their honest opinion with a screenname. As for the film, I read the description and I can assure you I'm tired of watching the Israeli Zionist Jew perspetive and, as I called it earlier, his humanity and moral superiority. I concede to your excuses as I am sure you would justify the approach you took and thats fine. I just gave my opinion and since you need to protect your "actual name" you are incapable of bravely letting a comment go unresponded to by you. People hide behind the false reputations and "names" they make for themselves in public all the time. Look at all the celebrities who use their "actual" names yet live a false life. So right back at cha!

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  4. Alisha Gabriel says:

    Congratulations Bayard! It is so awesome to see that your hard work and talent has paid off! You make Bermuda proud. Good luck with all of your future endeavours and keep making Bermuda proud!

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  5. Boyd says:

    Great Job B Man, it takes a lot and you seem to have a good grasp and some depth behind it too. Would love to see some of you tourism stuff go through.
    Hope to catch your flic when it is on de rock. All the best . Very good comments back and forth. I see both points. Its always difficult to represent others and we do our best. Every side/opinion has another. would be interesting to do one of those films where we see it from both perspectives. there are always two stories and history os written by those that write. They may not live it but they do the best they can based on their own experiences. what else do they have?
    Maybe dredd should do his own film.

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