Our Team

Russel Zehnder

Russel Zehnder
Executive Producer / DOP / Photographer

Russel Zehnder, born and raised in Singapore, graduated with a degree in Media Studies & Photography from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

“Photography for me is about life and finding those coincidences, likenesses, and differences in the world. It is a special moment and time when you pick up your camera; you leave one world behind and step into another world”

Russel showcased his first slide installation Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which is collaboration between 3 artists at the Substation in 2002. The same year, he participated in While you Sleep with a number of other artists to document the night of Singapore with a Lomo camera. His first solo B&W exhibition entitled Lost for Words was held in 2003 at The Photographic Society of Singapore, documenting his travels in Turkey. He has also contributed to a sound and photo installation Family (2003) that is another collaboration among artist at The Substation. His exhibition Living Dangerously (2007) was held at Objectifs, a B&W exhibition of photos taken while traveling in India.

He has been actively involved in Short films since 1996. His short film Happy Birthday Sharon (2002) won the Best Short Film Award presented by the jury at the 2nd AFM /International Independent Film Festival in Istanbul and the Audience Voice Award at the 2nd Singapore Short Film Festival. In 2003, Russel participated in the 14th International Electronic art festival, VideoBrasil in Sao Paulo as part of a panorama of short films from Singapore.

His short film, Take Me Home a.k.a. I Saw Jesus (2006) has screened in Restfest Singapore, the 4th Singapore short Cuts, IF Istanbul, Hisar Short Film Festival in Istanbul, 9th International Panorama of Independent Film and Video makers in Greece.

Russel currently runs freestate productions and is the Director of Photography. As a cameraman, Russel has collaborated on various projects in Singapore and internationally. Besides local content, his reel includes idents for Discovery Travel and Living, Food Network Asia, Blackberry and Motorola.

Russel can be contacted at russel@freestatesite.com / Russel’s Vimeo Reel / Russel’s Photos

Gozde Zehnder

Gozde Zehnder
Executive Producer / Director

Born in Istanbul, Gozde graduated with a BA degree in Media Studies & Multimedia from Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Her graduate short film ‘the living wall’ won 2 awards for best experimental film and best editing in 12th WA Screen Awards (1998) in Perth. After moving to Singapore in 1999, she held her first dance video art installation – Daydream - for Project Innocence at Substation working with Eizabeth de Roza and Russel Zehnder.

Gozde has been directing experimental short films that screens in film festivals worldwide since 1997. One of her short films Happy Birthday Sharon won the Best Short Film Award at the 2nd International Independent Film Festival in Istanbul and the Audience Voice Award at 2nd Singapore Shorts Film Festival. For 2005 Istanbul Biennale, Gozde worked on a project with underprivileged children in Istanbul suburbs using art and film to connect with the minority immigrant families from the east part of Turkey.

In 2000, Gozde & Russel set up freestate productions. Gozde directed and executive produced the 13-episode TV documentary, "The Big Unknown", which was nominated in 2 categories at the Asian Television Awards 2003 - Best Youth Programme & Best Editing. Her acclaimed TV Lifestyle series ‘Bare Beauty’ was a runner up for ‘Best Cinematography’ at Asian Television Awards 2006. In 2007,the travel series that Gozde directed and produced around Asia, ‘Exotic Escapades’, was a runner up for ‘Best Infotainment’ at the Asian TV Awards 2007.

In recent years, she has extended her focus on documentary work, mostly directing and producing heritage, art, culture and architecture related projects. In 2009, an acclaimed series titled ‘Listen To Our Walls’ for CH5 investigated the issues and connection between heritage and architecture and how people are affected by en-bloc sales. In 2012, she has directed and produced 6-mini part series titled ‘Eat To Live’ that explores the experience of food consumption during the Japanese Occupation in collaboration with National Museum of Singapore. She has also produced and directed the audio-visuals inside the fashion gallery at National Museum of Singapore. The subject of the videos varied from the history of youth, music, women, beauty and fashion in Singapore.

Between 2011-2015, she has produced and directed short documentaries about history of art in Singapore and in South East Asia for the National Gallery Singapore.

In her work, she puts together poetic visuals, experimental storytelling and music to evoke emotions. Using different mediums such as Super 8mm, still images, colors or text, she values and believes pictures alone can tell a story with an impact. A music video she directed for ‘Change Of Plans’ filmed both in Istanbul and Singapore uses B&W Super 8mm film and digital video broadcasted in MTV Turkey. Having developed the expertise in 8mm filmmaking, Gozde conducts Super 8mm workshops and talks.

Gozde can be contacted at gozde@freestatesite.com / Gozde’s Photos

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