Matthew VanDyke's Documentary Films
Matthew VanDyke's first film was a documentary short about the conflict in Syria. Released in 2013, the film has won 54 awards, has been screened at over 150 film festivals in more than 20 countries, and has been seen by millions on television. A DVD of the film was sent to each of the 535 members of the United States Congress.
Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution is a short film about the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a 32 year old rebel commander, Mowya, and a 24 year old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film clearly and concisely shows why Syrians are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been torn apart by war.
Nour is a schoolteacher-turned-journalist who faces death on the front lines to tell the world about the war. The film’s title is derived from the opening line of the film, when Nour says, “I used to wear fancy dresses and high heels. Not anymore.” Now she wears body armor and a helmet. She is fearless, but lives with the pain of friends who have been tortured, raped, and murdered by the Assad regime. She tells not only her story, but theirs, and in so doing she shows the audience what life is like for a Syrian girl who is spending her 20s in war as everything she loves is destroyed.
Mowya is a young rebel commander who bears the scars, physical and psychological, of seven months of torture. But this hasn’t broken his spirit. With incredible wit he tells his story. With disbelief and sadness he walks the streets of ancient Aleppo, telling of how life used to be in a thriving, vibrant city whose heart, as Mowya says, has stopped. With a great deal of charisma he clearly articulates why the Syrian people are fighting for their freedom.
Directed, Written, and Cinemaphotography by Matthew VanDyke. Produced by Matthew VanDyke and Nour Kelze. Edited by Ivan Kander.
Sound Mix by Josef Crosby. Starring Nour Kelze and Omar Hattab (Mowya).
Due to Matthew VanDyke's busy schedule working full-time for the Syrian Revolution, he recruited two-time Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry to direct his second film, Point and Shoot, of which VanDyke is a Producer and Cinemaphotographer. Point and Shoot will premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2014.
Point and Shoot, is a feature documentary about how Matthew VanDyke set off to see the Arab world on a motorcycle in 2007, and four years later found himself fighting in an African civil war. The film covers VanDyke's life story from his childhood to the day he returned home from fighting in the Libyan Civil War of 2011, including the transformational years he spent traveling by motorcycle in North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia that would change his life forever.
Point and Shoot features footage shot by VanDyke during his motorcycle travels and while fighting in Libya, combined with interviews for the film that give a behind-the-scenes view of VanDyke's life off the battlefield and back home in America. It is a story of personal development, friendship, commitment, perseverance, struggle, and triumph that takes place in some of the world's most exotic and dangerous places.
Produced by Matthew VanDyke and Marshall Curry. Directed by Marshall Curry. Edited by Matthew Hamachek and Marshall Curry.
Starring Matthew VanDyke, Nouri Fonas.
Matthew VanDyke is a Producer of a feature documentary film about war journalism following Newsweek and NY Times journalist Janine di Giovanni, as she covers the current crisis in Syria. VanDyke also contributed some footage to the film, which he shot in Syria in 2012 while making his film Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution.
Produced by Robert Rippberger, Matthew VanDyke, Janine di Giovanni, and Scott Rosenfelt. Directed by Robert Rippberger.
Starring Janine Di Giovanni.
Matthew VanDyke is Directing and Producing a feature documentary film about two Americans on an intense motorcycle journey from Iraq, to Iran, to Afghanistan. In 2010, Matthew VanDyke and photographer Daniel Britt bought two used motorcycles in Iraq and set off driving to Afghanistan where they were to begin an embed assignment filming the US military during the war. The journey, from Baghdad to Bagram, quickly became an adventure that nearly cost them their lives.
Directed, Produced, and Written by Matthew VanDyke. Cinemaphotography by Matthew VanDyke and Daniel Britt.
Starring Matthew VanDyke and Daniel Britt.