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Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Meet the chart-topping British filmmaker who calls Bolivia home
Award-winning London-based filmmaker Ian Pons Jewell left for Bolivia to shoot a music video. Six months on, the 28-year-old is still there, captivated by the country that provided him with the inspiration for a second music video which has gone on to be a worldwide hit and dubbed by CNN as “the coolest travel video since Coldplay’s Paradise.”
Pons Jewell is the creator of the video for Naughty Boy’s UK number one smash La-la-la, which he filmed entirely inBolivia and follows the adventures of a little boy around some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes.
The irresistibly catchy song is the fastest-selling single of 2013, and the video went viral with over 50 million Youtube views, making Pons Jewell a Bolivian celebrity interviewed for TV, newsapapers and magazines. The track was even played in the country’s parliament.
HighLives spoke to Ian from his La Paz base to get his thoughts on the city he now calls home:
HL:What were your first impressions of the city?
IPJ: I was surprised when I first arrived because I had heard about Bolivia being very poor so I imagined it to be quite a grimy city but I was blown away by the whole aesthetic- the whole thing of being surrounded by mountains, the people being so quiet and humble, certainly not the brash Latin stereotype.
HL: Do you find Bolivia to be a country welcoming to visitors?
IPJ: I must admit, arriving here was my first experience of being looked at in a certain way, because I’m different, a gringo, a white European. But after six months here I have realised I feel very much at home here. I miss London and my family, but La Paz has made me feel very welcome. But not in a superficial way- not just people welcoming me into their shop because I might buy something.