Behind the scenes with festival filmmakers: Ryan White, 'Mondo Banana'

Ryan White with KeystoneContinuing our series of conversations with local filmmakers, this week we talk to Ryan White, director / producer of Mondo Banana about his passion for vintage cameras. 

For his latest project, which Ryan filmed in Hanoi, Vietnam in January, he used two vintage 16mm cameras - a Keystone from 1937 and one of the first generation of the Bolex from the 1950s.

Ryan told us, "I really enjoyed using these classic cameras. It still amazes me that a 75 year old camera that I bought for $10 at a garage sale (the Keystone) still works! The lens is a bit fogged, but it produces really beautiful, spectral images. They're just really, solid well-made pieces of machinery. Nothing like the planned obsolescence of more recent technology!"

We're thrilled to have Ryan's latest film Mondo Banana at this year's Festival. The film is a riotous journey to the world of bananas!
His passion for making green films comes from his upbringing here in California. Ryan said: "I grew up in Big Sur and my mother is a teacher, so I was raised in nature with a strong emphasis on education. I try to make films that celebrate the wonders of the world and raise awareness about protecting the planet's natural and cultural treasures."

For Mondo Banana, the camera was a little more up to date - a 1980s VHS video camera. Another thrift store purchase that he lugged around Southeast Asia. Ryan said: "I guess I have a thing for outdated camera technology". But we don't think it's outdated at all. Keeping old tech in use and buying from thrift stores is a perfect fit for a green film.

See Mondo Banana at the 4th SF Green Film Festival on Friday, May 30 at 9:00 PM at the Roxie Theater.