Director: Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson has worked in the British television industry since 1995. He started out as a runner at a post-production facility house but very quickly graduated from tea making to film-making. Over the past 15 years he has produced, directed and self-shot documentaries and factual series for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in the UK, as well as several one hour docs for US channels, covering subjects as diverse as teenage pregnancy, the British adoption system, identical quadruplets and homelessness. It was during a break in his career in 2003 that he went travelling to Latin America for five months and ended up kidnapped in the mountains of Colombia. My Kidnapper has been six years in the making and is his first feature documentary.
"Making this film has been a labour of love. I always wanted to tell the story of what happened to us during those 101 days and it seemed obvious to make a documentary rather than write a book. Then when Antonio emailed me, the idea took on a whole different perspective. It became less about telling what had happened and more about what being in touch with my own kidnapper meant to me and the other hostages. I hoped that in meeting him, I might get the answers to all my questions, especially the big one: why did he want to meet us?"
Director and Producer: Kate Horne
Kate Horne is a journalist and documentary producer-director with a great passion for, and knowledge of, Colombia. She first travelled there in 1995 when she was sixteen years old and has been coming back every year for both work and pleasure. Over the past couple of years Kate has made films in Ecuador and Colombia. In February 2009 she produced "In Search of the Head-Shrinkers of the Amazon" (a co-production for Channel 5 UK and National Geographic), filming with the Shuar Indians of Ecuador. Kate has spent much of 2009 and 2010 in Colombia, firstly making My Kidnapper and most recently producing a BBC documentary about the kidnapping of Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt (to air autumn 2010). She is currently in talks to produce another film in Colombia. My Kidnapper is her first feature documentary.
"The film is just one tale of kidnapping in Colombia, a terrible phenomenon that first drew me to write about the country. Thankfully the hostage situation has improved dramatically in the past six years but I continue to be fascinated by this heinous crime and the unbearable daily torture a kidnapper submits both kidnap victim and their family to. "There is never a need for kidnapping, no need". Antonio’s words at the end of the film were important, not only as an apology to Mark and Reini but as a message to those guerrillas and common criminals in Colombia and others around the world who continue to hold people hostage."
Executive Producer for Renegade Pictures: Alan Hayling
Prior to forming Renegade Pictures Alan Hayling was Head of Documentaries at the BBC, where he was responsible for a wide range of factual programmes including the multi-awarding winning documentary "Children of Beslan". Alan also spent ten years as a Commissioning Editor for Documentaries at Channel 4. Whilst there he created and commissioned the strands "Secret History" and "Secret Lives", "Undercover Britain" and a range of documentary series and single films. He was the Channel 4 executive in charge of work by some of top filmmakers in the field including Errol Morris’s "Dr Death", Phil Agland’s "Shanghai Vice" and Molly Dineen’s film "Geri", Michael Moore’s series "The Awful Truth" and he commissioned Moore’s hit film "Bowling for Columbine".
Cameraman: Guillermo Galdos
Guillermo has spent the last eight years making documentaries primarily in Latin America for a wide portfolio of clients including BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Channel 4, APTN, Channel 5, CNN Spanish, TVN, RCN Colombia and other Latin American Channels. In his roles as Cameraman, Producer and Director he has brought key issues from the region to the screen: immigration, AIDS, terrorism, environmental damage, drugs, war and many other important issues told through human stories. His documentaries have screened at film festivals around the world and in 2006, a three part series for Channel 4 which he produced two episodes, Cocaine, was nominated for a BAFTA. The most important thing for Guillermo is telling stories that need to be told.
Cameraman: Tom Swindell
Tom was born in Cardiff and documentary was his passion from the start. He was inspired by the vivid details of nature and landscapes of his native South Wales and was always fascinated by stories, especially those of travelers. The films of Chris Maker, Sans Soleil and Ron Fricke’s Baraka inspired him to think globally and to pursue a career in film.
He graduated from the ‘International Film School Wales’ with a 1st class BA Hons degree in ‘Documentary Film and Television’ in 2007 and immediately began shooting arts documentaries for BBC Wales. He was nominated for a Bafta Cymru for best newcomer. Now based in London he is a Director of Photography, regularly shooting prime-time documentaries for international and UK broadcasters. He also shoots independent film, commercials and music videos.
"Making My Kidnapper was a real trip. Meeting Mark’s parents, returning to his home and then traveling to Colombia gave me a real feeling of how intense this story was for the people involved. Working with a director who was also a contributor was a most unique situation. It was a 24/7 experience – I would be staying with Mark in the hotel and then filming with him the next day. We became friends and his great sense of humour eased me into his and his fellow hostages’ world."
Editor: Rupert Houseman
Rupert has always been drawn to cut films with meaning. In 2002 he edited the Channel 4 series "Death": observationally filmed over three years it explored the thoughts and feelings of twelve people as they came to end of their lives. In 2006 he worked on "Me and My Mum" an observational doc about our disregard for old people in the UK and a very personal journey for Tony Robinson. In 2008 "I Want My Dad Back"; was a feature doc about two estranged fathers trying to reconnect with their teenage sons, asking the simple question, what is a dad?
"When Mark asked me to cut My Kidnapper a film about fear, courage and forgiveness I had to say yes."
Editor: Tom Herington
Tom Herington is a rising star of documentary editing. His first film ‘Red Sands’ won awards internationally, and became the first short documentary to be nominated for a BIFA in 2008. Since then he has garnered numerous credits for UK broadcasters, drawn to issues-led and social documentaries in particular. Having graduated from UCL with a History degree, Tom started in research at the BBC but soon opted for life as an editor instead. He learnt the craft and did his apprenticeship alongside the BAFTA and RTS award-winning film editors at Directors Cut Films. My Kidnapper is Tom’s first feature-length documentary.
"The edit was an unforgettable experience. To be relaying a personal story with such immediate depth and with such an intriguing background was fantastic. On the other hand, given how many amazing tales there were to work with, the main difficulty was in crossing the cutting room floor. Having a director with experience of the Colombian jungle certainly helped with that!"
Original Music: Richie Spiller
Having previously worked in television as a director and editor, Richie made the leap over to composing in 2006. Since then he has worked as composer on projects as diverse as BAFTA award-winning series ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’, the music & sound design for an animated Redbull campaign, MTV idents and branding, documentaries for Channel Four’s ‘Cutting Edge’ strand, and a drama documentary ‘Duel’ for Timewatch. My Kidnapper is the first feature documentary he has scored.
"I thought Mark’s story was incredible. An intimate and disturbing portrait of how it feels to be kidnapped, with the extraordinary twist that he remained in contact and eventually reunited with a man who held him at gunpoint for 3 months."