Israeli bassist and producer Yossi Fine, known as the Jimi Hendrix of bass guitar, has recorded and produced music with artists from across the globe, including Lou Reed, David Bowie and Brian Eno.
Fine not only performs with world-class artists, but he often helps to define their sound. Since the ‘80s he has been pivotal in the evolution of bass, creating some of hip-hop’s most memorable bass lines (Hip-Hop Hoorah, ho, hay…) and touring with jazz legends such as Ruben Blades, Gil Evans, Stanley Jordan and John Scofield.
At the young age of 16, Fine began his career as a professional bass player. First performing in Israel, Fine moved to New York City in 1985. He launched a successful career performing with a variety of musicians around the city. Fine moved back to Israel in 1995 and in 1997, Fine formed Ex-Centric Sound System with drummer Michael Avgil and three Ghanaian vocalists, Nana Dadzie, Adevo Savour and Benjamin Kouleho, who also contribute melodies on flute, kalimba and balafon.
After travelling to Jamaica and Mali to expand his musical knowledge and get in touch with his ancestral roots, Fine discovers that his great-grandmother is Indian. Invited to perform at India’s Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur, Fine goes to India to collaborate with local folk musicians, and unexpectedly reconnects with old friends and fellow Israeli musicians, Shye Ben Tzur and Gil Ron Shama. Mandala Beats is a documentation of Fine’s journey through India and the impact its music and culture has on his own personal musical style.
Documentary filmmaker, cinematographer and photographer Rebekah Reiko intrigues her audiences by bringing unconventional and unexplored themes into the spotlight. Having graduated in 2013, Reiko holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. Reiko has worked on photography and film projects in Senegal, India, Israel, Canada, Iceland and Germany.
In 2013, the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival awarded Reiko with the Achievement in Film Direction: Non-Fiction Award for her first documentary film called In Art We Trust.
Mandala Beats is Reiko’s first feature-length film that she produced and directed in India, Israel and Canada. Reiko is currently based in Montreal, Canada.
Shye Ben Tzur is an Israeli who found his musical home in the fusion of Indian and Western musical traditions. Making his home in India for the past 15 years, he performs with Rajasthan Express – Chugge Khan (percussion – khartal and more), Nihal Khan (dholak), Zaki Ali Qawwal (vocals) and Zakir Ali Qawwal (vocals). The style of the music, Qawwali, finds its origins in India, it is a form of Sufi devotional music. Yet in addition to the traditional songs they perform Ben Tzur’s original compositions with lyrics in Hebrew, and the arrangements include both traditional Indian instruments and Western instruments, as well as compositional elements, such as harmonic chords, that are not found in traditional Indian music.
Mandala Beats describes Ben Tzur’s musical friendship with Yossi Fine and the fascinating relationship he has with Indian music and culture.
Shye Ben Tzur
Gil Ron Shama
Gil Ron Shama is an acclaimed artist, musician and writer and an ambassador of goodwill on behalf of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Muslim countries.
His artistic work incorporates world music sounds together with poetry of the Jewish heart, African rhythms beating side by side with electronic beats - the ancient touches the futuristic and cultures meet beyond space and time.
Mandala Beats explores the positive impact Indian music and culture has had on Ron Shama's musical career and emphasizes his important music which promotes and influences the peace and connection between Judaism and Islam.
Philip has produced several award winning short films, including the Genie Nominated and Student Academy Award winning Screening and the Student Academy Award winning fine. Most recently he produced the feature film Someone Else’s Wedding, starring Kathleen Turner, Frances Fisher, Kevin Zegers, and Wallace Shawn, directed by Pat Kiely, which is set for a theatrical release in the Fall of 2017.
Philip Svoboda holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Queen’s University and a Masters in Production from the American Film Institute.
Before Producing, Robin Crumley worked up through the ranks from prep through post in a variety of positions within film production. He spent 5 years with Urban Post Production in Toronto Ontario, and has acted as Post Supervisor on two feature films.
Feature Producing credits include After The Ball starring Lauren Holly and Chris Noth, and The Entitled starring Ray Liotta and Kevin Zegers. and the Rock’n’Roll vampire film Suck starring Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Moby, and Jessica Paré written and directed by Rob Stefaniuk.
Mandala Beats marks Crumley’s latest project, but other documentary credits include the feature length documentaries: Marion Woodman: Dancing n the Flames, based on the life of Jungian analyst Marion Woodman, and Global Groove Network, which examines the history and culture of EDM (Electronic Dance Music).
Noam Chojnowski is a photographer/cinematographer based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Originally from France, Chojnowski has lived in Israel since 2005. Chojnowski has a passion for exploring different cultures through film and photography.
Throughout his artistic career, Chojnowski has documented places rich with cultures like India and Ethiopia. He has encountered incredible individuals through his travels that he greatly respects and is deeply humbled by.
Through his documentary work, Chojnowski questions the world we live in and encourages that the key to success is collaboration.