Daria! (2020)

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Daria! Issue XI - 2020

Issue XI - 2020

DARIA! Exclusive

EUSEBIO LEAL: “The Father of Havana” By Dr. Dumitru Preda p. 14 DAVIDE DE STEFANO: Maestro of Production Design By Bruno Pischiutta p. 20

In Tune with Blue Jay Jourden: By Margo Buccini p. 11


Albertino Spina Is Romanticizing A Past Long Gone: By Daria Trifu p. 7

Global Nonviolent Film Festival’s


p. 31

ON THE COVER Actress Greta Goldling | Design & COMPOSITION Daria Trifu | Concept Bruno Pischiutta



his one has been a strange and peculiar summer, and I can’t believe it is almost over! Instead of spending it under the sun and the clear blue skies, I - like everybody else - spent it indoors, beneath the shadow projected upon us by this agonizing viral pandemic to be forever remembered as the time of the COVID-19. I am lucky that I had a lot of projects to take care of. In the last few months, I’ve been working on this issue of the magazine, organizing the 9th edition of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival, and preparing my next film production. The days passed quickly with the summer going by so fast. articles for I nthistwoissueexclusive of Daria!, film di-

rector Bruno Pischiutta interviews internationally awarded production designer, Davide De Stefano (page 8), and Former Plenipotentiary Romanian Ambassador to Cuba, Dr. Dumitru Preda, pays tribute to his friend, Cuban historian Eusebio Leal, best known as the Father of Havana, on the eve of his passing (page 18). Starting on page 33, we present each of the sixty-six films from thirty countries that were selected in competition at this year’s Global Nonviolent Film Festival. With visual content to match the writing, we tell the stories of these films and, in some cases, we give our readers a closer look at how they were made as written for Daria! by their directors and producers. The Festival takes place on-line at www.globalnonviolentfilmfestival.com, where the viewers from all over the world can watch the full-length films, their trailers, and the daily video presentations from September 24 to October 4.

know that, since 2012, the cover O urof readers Daria! is in fact the poster of our film Festival, with minimal modifications made to fit the format of the publication. This year is no exception. I personally consider this poster/ cover to be particularly poignant in its look, and relevant in the message it wishes to extend. For this reason, I like to tell you more about its design and meaning. I realized it, in digital collage method, based on a concept of Bruno Pischiutta. It features actress Greta Goldling (page 5). “The poster advertises the Festival. It is also a freeze-frame that identifies the present year; it will stay there forever, and it will be seen for years to come. Until now, 2020 has been marked by two historical elements: COVID-19 and the social unrest in America. The people who will view the poster twenty years from now will not need to read the date of the event, but they will be able to visually identify 2020 as the year when this Festival’s edition took place. 2020 is also the year that marks the debut in the international film industry of actress Greta Goldling who, in this picture, reminisces a young Angelina Jolie,” said Bruno, who also serves as the Festival’s artistic consultant. Nonviolent Film Festival showcases G lobal only nonviolent films since its inception. We were the first to create such an international event and, in 2016, to take it on-line, where the whole world could watch the selected movies. Listening to Bruno describing his vision for the poster, I wanted to incorporate all the elements in a composition where they fuse seamlessly through colors, shapes and contrasts.

DARIA TRIFU, Editor-in-Chief www.dariamagazine.com

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Daria! 2020

EXCLUSIVE 14 THE GENIUS WHO BROUGHT HAVANA BACK TO LIFE By Dr. Dumitru Preda One of the sets designed by Davide De Stefano, page 20.

The beloved Havana of Eusebio Leal, page 14.

Exclusively for Daria!, Plenipotentiary Romanian Ambassador to Cuba, Dr. Dumitru Preda writes about his friend, the late historian Eusebio Leal, Father of Havana.

20 THE VISION OF A GREAT PRODUCTION DESIGNER By Bruno Pischiutta Film Director Bruno Pischiutta Interviews Davide De Stefano.

FEATURE 11 JAY “BLUE JAY” JOURDEN By Margo Buccini “The songs come to me on the wind”, says performing artist and songwriter Blue Jay.

FESTIVAL GUIDE 31 GLOBAL NONVIOLENT FILM FESTIVAL 2020 66 films from 30 countries are selected in competition at the 2020 edition of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival – the most important and renown nonviolent film festival in the world. Out of the selected films, there are eleven world, and seven on-line premieres. Starting on page 31, the readers will find photos, directors’ commentaries and more about each of the films being presented at the Festival. The 9th annual edition of the event takes place from September 24 to October 4 at www.globalnonviolentfilmfestival.com.

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Goldling, Daria!’s Cover Girl and the ‘Image’ of the 2020 edition of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival.

“2020 is the year that marks the debut in the international film industry of actress Greta Goldling who, in the picture displayed on the poster, reminisces a young Angelina Jolie,” says film director Bruno Pischiutta.


FINE ARTS 7 ALBERTINO SPINA By Daria Trifu The artist is romanticizing a past long gone, by taking us back to a peasant Italy that, unfortunately, is disappearing.


EXTRAS Painting by Albertino Spina, page 7.


Actress Greta Goldling, page 5.

Daria! EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, Daria Trifu CONTRIBUTOR, Bruno Pischiutta CONTRIBUTOR, Dr. Dumitru Preda CONTRIBUTOR, Margo Buccini COPY EDITOR, Elio Dell’Unto PUBLISHER, Adhara Properties Inc. www.dariamagazine.com daria@globalfilmstudio.com

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The Poetic Dreams of a Contemporary

ARTIST By Daria trifu

The art of Maestro ALBERTINO SPINA takes us back to a peasant Italy that, unfortunately, is disappearing…

Daria! 2017 / 2018


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ontemporary Italian artist Albertino Spina was born in 1956 in Terni, Italy. The last of five children, he is preceded by Antonino, the eldest, and by Salvatora, Pietro and Giovanna. The year before his birth, his father Angelo, who was then a worker at the Terni steel mills, suffered a serious accident that leaves him with a permanent disability. His mother, forced to follow her husband to various hospitals in the area, makes the life of the children a constant suffering. Pietro, Giovanna and Salvatora were soon sent to different colleges, while Albertino spent his childhood surrounded by sadness that resulted in many mood swings. It is this period that influences his first works, characterized by a persistent use of gray nuances. Maestro Spina is a painter who knows how to capture images of his hometown, with historical and architectural monuments set in moments of everyday life. His painting style is figurative and, with a relief technique, he revives Italian villages as if they are part of a poetic dream. Spina studied the technique of wood priming, and he works with mixed colors, including acrylic, oil, pastel, and watercolor. His craft takes us back to a time when painters prepared their wooden boards with plaster, fish and rabbit glues. He studied Cennino Cennini's book on painting techniques to perfection, until he made them his own. His figurative paintings are accurate representation of the squares and monuments of his city and of the beautiful Umbria. 8 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Daria! 2017 / 2018

In 2018 Albertino Spina is invited to do an exhibition at the Biennale Di Pescara with his works in tribute to Amadeo Modigliani. The same exhibition is shown at the Leti Sansi palace in Spoleto where he receives the ‘Modigliani Award’. (left image) Portrait of Amedeo Modigliani, with the Square of San Marco Venice in the background.

Daria! 2017 / 2018


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like to conclude this article with some of the words written about this important artist by Italian art critic Sonia Terzino: “Spina, like the creative of the twentieth century, has chosen a figurative painting that enhances the beauty of a land that contains millennia of history. This is precisely the strength of his art, that of having been able to create a realistic narrative that involves a city and its people among a thousand quavers of colors wisely diluted and imprinted on the canvases. It is a Terni, that of Spina, which lives anchored to an ancient peasant civilization, to that inseparable link with a past that the artist feels strongly alive within himself. Like an ancient storyteller, he creates his stories on the canvases and they are the ones that once animated the evenings of peasant families who gathered around large fireplaces, where the family was the fulcrum, the backbone of affections and ancient values. It is a journey through history that the artist invites us to take, a path that crosses millennia of ancient traditions which, as long as there are poets, painters, writers who talk about it, will remain moments stolen from the passage of time and forever frozen in memory.� D!

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Albertino Spina


By Margo Buccini


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lue Jay’s mother was a highly accomplished jazz singer who worked with legendary American greats such as Ornette Coleman, Randy Weston, and Dexter Gordon. Jay was inspired from an early age by the exciting live performances he witnessed and their versatile styles and sounds; they instilled within him the desire to become a songwriter and performer. This year, Jourden received the Song of the Year Award at the Josie Music Awards for Every Little Thing. He was also nominated for EP of the Year for Mystic Lovers, and Rock Vocalist of the Year. In 2019, he won the Josie Music Award for Vocalist of the Year in the Jazz/Blues category, for his work on the hit song No More Heartbreak.

Jay Jourden’s EP, Mystic Lovers, is a high powered, cross-genre mixture of uplifting love songs. The title song is a perfect example of this synergy. The pulsating rhythms and beats, brilliant arrangements, and masterful lyrical messaging, create inspiration for listeners to take a chance and fall in love. The second song, Every Little Thing, is a multi-layered swirl of soul, jazzy pop, and vocal excellence that showcases the dynamic range of Jay's powerful voice supported by the background singers.

Jay Jorden performing live. Photo by Steven Martin.

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Thirdly, No More Heartbreak, the high energy, dance rock hit has virtuoso instrumentation within the tight arrangements that keep you on the dance floor. Finally, taking us on a journey into ancient mystical sounds and melodies, and well crafted verses, the last song, Whispers On The Wind, envelops you with the story and promises that love is eternal. Extensive international radio airplay of his songs has generated positive reviews and press worldwide.


ay’s impressive body of work demonstrates the perfect synthesis between an artist and his music. His versatility comes from a deep well of talent and soul. He feels a deep spiritual connection to music and his songs are reflected in the mystical qualities of his work. “The songs come to me on the wind”, Jay’s quoted as saying. When one listens to and understands his lyrics, one is amazed by his ability to weave the literal and the esoteric into a tapestry of sound and vision. Jay Jourden is also known as an accomplished concert promoter and performer having worked on and helped organize major concerts for the American Indian Movement AIM, the Wounded Knee & The Longest Walk, the No Nukes Concert Series, the Disaster Relief 96', the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock 1969-2009 ‘West Fest’, and many more. He performed at many of the concerts he helped organize and where other performers included Stevie Wonder, Richie Havens, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Buffy St. Marie, and John Sebastian to name just a few. Jay Jourden heads the Music Department at Global Film Studio and is in charge of composing and producing the music for the company’s upcoming films and documentaries. D!


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Image: Basilica Menor and Convent de San Francisco de Asis, old Havana City. All photos of Havana published in this article are by Daria Trifu.

EUSEBIO LEAL, THE FAITHFUL COMPANION OF OLD HAVANA As the News of Eusebio Leal Spengler’s Passing Resonates Around the World, Former Plenipotentiary Romanian Ambassador to Cuba, Dr. Dumitru Preda, Opens Up About Their Friendship in this Exclusive Article for Daria!.

By Ambassador Dr. Dumitru Preda 14 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com


n Friday, the 31st of July, a short message received from the Cuban capital brought me painful news: the death of a great Professor, the Historian of Havana, a man of vast culture, deeply a t t a ch e d t o h i s country and nation. For all who knew him, he was a man in the broadest sense of the word, and to me a friend forever.


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usebio Leal Spengler, despite his physical disappearance, remains with Fidel, Che or Raúl Castro, a distinct personality of Cuba, a strong light in this passing world, an example of creative energy in the service of an ideal.

"I don't aspire to anything, I don't even aspire to what they call posterity," confessed Eusebio Leal not long ago.

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“I don't aspire to anything, I just aspire to be useful. And I apologize to all those who, throughout my life, in the necessary search for what I thought was my truth, I could have offended; and, for the mistakes I made with the youthful passion in which every man and every society seeks its own ways. I think that in the end I found it, and that the light I see now, there, in the middle of the darkness of the sunset, is finally the way”, explains Leal. In the few thoughts I have now, with a heavy heart, I will try to relate some sequences of our meetings and collaboration during the five years of my mission as ambassador to the Caribbean island.


uring my training in Bucharest, his name was repeated insistently, emphasizing the urgent need to know him and listen to his suggestions on the cul1. tural dimension of the action I was going to take in order to relaunch bilateral relations between our two countries. Shortly after my arrival at the Romanian Embassy in Havana, I headed to the Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad in the Old Town, located along the canal over a kilometer from the Havana Bay area (Avenida del Puerto). Everyone knew the place and the master who worked for this Patrimonio de la Humanidad that is inscribed on the UNESCO list since 1982. The meeting and discussion with Professor Leal, prolonged for over an hour as a result of common affinities and vibrations, would be the prologue to some intense and diverse contacts, based on professional respect soon transformed into a sincere and open friendship. Its fruit materialized in the organization, for the first time, of the Cultural Day of Romania in 2012 that continued for the following years with exhibitions of painting, philately, photography, folk art, and concerts held at emblematic sites of Havana, as well as conferences, round tables and many other activities. Some of the events had the great honor of the distinguished man’s direct involvement. In this context, I mention the Professor's advice and support in marking the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between my country and Cuba (1960-2015), including an exhibition at the National Library JosÊ Martí.

Photo 1, 2 & 3: Eusebio Leal



Photo 4: Bruno Pischiutta, Daria Trifu, and Dumitru Preda in Havana. 4.

Eusebio’s attention, doubled by a remarkable knowledge of Romanian history and an appreciation of national cultural values as well as by a moving kindness shown to the guests from Romania that I had the pleasure to present, was also manifested in the materialization of the Romanian Film Week project that was inaugurated in 2012 with the presentation of the feature documentary Brasov, Probably the Best City in the World that was directed by film maestro Bruno Pischiutta, and produced by my young compatriot Daria Trifu, president of Global Film Studio. The two were soon to meet Eusebio Leal right at his headquarters in Havana, in June of 2013. The conversation brought about an exchange of views and ideas related to the upcoming 500th anniversary of the founding of the city-fortress of Havana, the future of this treasure of Civilization rebuilt and valued thanks to its initiative and direct support by the Cuban leadership, and, of course, the contribution of cinema to the promotion of the fundamental values of Humanity.

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The open and direct atmosphere in approaching the aforementioned subjects, and especially the personality of our interlocutor, were soon the arguments of a bold film project that Bruno, with his recognized sensitivity and intuition, revealed to me in the immediate period: a history of Old Havana through the life and the work of Eusebio Leal Spengler, who for more than half a century has dedicated his existence, all his creative forces, while overcoming obstacles of all kinds, recovering a fabulous past, giving it for preservation and inheritance to the sons and daughters of Cuba, but also to mankind in general. Since then, I have spoken several times with the Professor, who with his unmistakable modesty told me:

“Yes, Havana deserves to be known and cherished! I have always been by its side with my heart and faith, working to restore its spirituality, dignity and splendor�.


he last short meetings I had with him were in August of 2016, on the occasion of Fidel's 90th birthday, and then in November of the same year, both keeping the hope of reunion on the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana that was going to take place in 2019, and that of the realization of the proposed and accepted film project in the form of a tribute to the City and Cuba. However, the wish for a reunion was never again fulfilled. But the film project, I believe with conviction, will be made as it must honor the memory of this brave son of his beloved Fatherland (Padria amada). I am therefore confident that Daria and Bruno, together with all lovers of truth and facts in the service of Humanity, together with the leaders of Cuban Culture and the Havana Historical Office, will be able to offer a film about this unmistakable creator of history, symbol and example of dedicated work.

In a writing of his, which Eusebio entrusted to me before my return home to Romania, I find this confidence:

“An old proverb says that ‘every large and bushy tree lives from what it has at its roots’; that is why, meditating on it, we feel obliged to take care of our past in order to be able to build a new future, that is, a city reborn from its own ruins.” The road traveled with tenacity and the rich legacy of Eusebio Leal are today a reality that must not only be known and preserved, but especially capitalized in the work of education in the spirit of respect for ancestors, for the history of each nation that is a part of this Earth. D!


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Image: Still of the entrance door of the castle in the film Voice From the Stone. The real door of the location was completely modern; a new one was built and properly aged, and the wall of the castle was decorated with colored ivy.



Film Director Bruno Pischiutta Interviews Internationally Awarded Production Designer Davide De Stefano By Bruno Pischiutta


t’s almost four o'clock. I’m in front of my computer and, in a few minutes, the lazy part of this long summer afternoon of COVID-19 lockdown in Greece will be over, as I have a Skype appointment with Davide De Stefano. I’m happy to speak with him. I will ask how his time in isolation in Rome is going. I haven’t decided if I will conduct my interview for this article first, and negotiate his participation as the production designer of my next film, the feature documentary Retrospective, only later. On my screen, I’m looking at some amazing pictures of Davide’s work. I take a last glimpse at the questions I prepared to ask him and, considering the dates of my film’s production will depend upon the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, I decide to start our conversation from the interview. Our meeting begins, and after the usual greetings, as a contributor for Daria! magazine, I ask Davide my first question. 20 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com


ould you like to explain to our readers what your job consists of, from the idea and the sketch till what we all see on the big screen? My job is to create, draw and supervise all the visual part that revolves around the actors. In interior scenes, my creative eye oversees every detail from the walls to the backgrounds behind the windows, to the furniture, to the props, to the chandeliers, and more. When looking for original locations, it is sometimes necessary to build entire parts of roads or cities in order to create a visual that matches the historical time frame of the story being told in the movie. It is often that my work has a strong influence on that of the cinematographer and the costume designer, because of the colors being used, and the moods of each set. This is quite normal since I'm usually called to start illustrating the sets much earlier than the others, and I come with a lot of already-made visual material. I use my own references and do my sketching because I love to draw. I’m a concept background artist, and I come from a tradition and school of great scenographers who loved to do their own drawings of the main sets or even of all the sets of a film.

During your career, you received awards as both art director and production designer. Could you clarify for our readers the difference between the two professions? Yes, I have received awards and several nominations for both those roles. Of course, receiving a prize as production designer gives you more satisfaction. This is because, as one, you have a role of major responsibility and a great freedom on artistic and stylistic decisions. Let's clarify the two roles: the production designer (PD) is the ‘boss’, the brain of the Art Department, the person who decides styles, colors, locations and furniture, while the art director is the 'arm' of the department, he or she is the production designer’s trusted man or woman, the one who physically implements the designs created by the PD onto the set, makes the very detailed budgets, chooses the department’s staff and has direct contact with the suppliers. The art director further supervises the sets’ construction and solves any small problems that may arise during the work-inprogress.

Images from the set construction for the film Voice From the Stone: (above) Art concept of the exterior Mausoleum; (beneath) Technical drawing of the entrance of the Mausoleum ready for the set builders’ dept. The shape and the idea was inspired from some funerary sculptures of Antonio Canova (famous 19th Century Italian sculptor). Design and drawing by Davide De Stefano.


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Let's say that the art director comes second after the production designer, followed by other members of the art department such as the set decorator and assistants. In big budget movies that contain many set constructions at different locations, we often find a supervising art director who oversees the work and the organization of the various art directors working at different locations. In very small budget films, where there is not a lot of available money, we usually find one art director only, who performs the duties of a scenographer on a smaller scale. Every film production has its own story and, in reality, there is not a prevailing rule; it all depends on the directorial choices.



Images from the set construction for the film Voice From the Stone: 1. The exterior Mausoleum’s set under construction on location in Celsa’s Castle, Siena, before it’s detailed, aged and set dressed; (centre) Technical drawing of the Mausoleum’s set made for the construction of the set on stage; 2. Construction is complete on the exterior Mausoleum’s set.

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Images from the set construction for the film Voice From the Stone: 1. Art concept of the Mausoleum’s set; 2. Application of the aged tombstones (made in high density styrofoam) on the wall of the set, already painted and aged; (centre) Technical drawing of the Mausoleum’s set; 3. Mausoleum’s set aged, set dressed with lighting and ready for shooting.; 4. Still from the shooting inside the Mausoleum’s set complete with all lights, special effects (smoke) and wet floor in accordance with the initial art concept.

2. 1.

3. 4.


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he first step of your work is creating a series of sketches that, in the final phase, they will become the look of the film. Could you describe the various stages of transition from initial sketch to final look? Certainly. The sketch is always the first step, it is the element with which you talk with all departments, with the director, the producers and with your crew. Sometimes, there are producers who contact me early on (even while the project is still in development) to ask that I make art concepts that give them a first visual idea of the sets. Usually, however, this is the creative path: we read the script, and then we do the scouting necessary to find the right locations for the shooting so that we find out if there will be a need for any interior or exterior construction. We may decide to do everything in a studio, or to modify existing buildings. If we talk about creating a loca- 2. tion from scratch - indoors or outdoors - the sketch is essential in order to understand the atmospheres, the possible budget needed, and how the work will have to be distributed 3.


between the various departments, including the digital effects department. In this case the sketch is certainly the visual 'bible' of the film. If, on the other hand, we talk about a film with many locations and some construction in a studio, the sketch is necessary to 24 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com


between the various departments, including the digital effects department. In this case, the sketch is certainly the visual bible of the film. If, on the other hand, we talk about a film with many locations and some construction that is needed to be made in a studio, the sketch is necessary to understand the type of location changes - structural or simple furnishings, the various permits required, the construction times, and the associated costs. Images from the set construction for the film The Cursed Ones: 1. Art concept of the Overlook Hotel in Mangalo’s village; 2. Construction of the Overlook Hotel, made with real brick/mud/plaster in the lower part, and aged wood with corrugated iron on the roof; 3. Art Concept of the exterior streets of Mangalo’s village; 4. Still from the actual movie. The whole village was built in a countryside area near Accra, Ghana.


2. 3.


Images from the set construction for the film The Cursed Ones: 1. Art concept for Our Lady of Hope elementary school classroom in Mangalo’s village; 2. Picture of the classroom set, ready for shooting; 3. Art concept for the church and the elementary school with the ‘Sins Tree’; 4. The tree without any leaves, clear reference to a ‘cursed’ place where sinners/witches are tied around. The tree was found in the forest and transported to the location; 5. The exterior of the elementary school with its children’s playground ready for filming; 6. Still from the movie.

5. 6.


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2. 3.

4. 5.

Images from the set construction for the film Voice From the Stone: 1. Still from the movie - Klaus’ Studio; 2. Art concept for Klaus’ Studio; 3. Detail of the set Klaus’ Studio; 4. The art Studio under preparation and set-dressing. The idea was to create a space where the artist can also live, collect, store items and hide from the reality of his castle/home. De Stefano used as inspiration an old underground warehouse from under the city of Naples, Italy; 5. Still of the Piano Room set. Most of the interiors of the Castle were recreated at a different location from where the exteriors were shot.

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After this first phase of study and conceptual sketch is completed, if everything is approved by the production house and the director, we move on to the design and preparation phase where we begin to engage some collaborators such as designers and art directors. In this phase, purely technical drawings are made as well as any models of the buildings to be modified or of the construction interventions to be brought at the different locations. This material is necessary to facilitate the proper communication with the builder and to come up with a very detailed set budget. When all of that is done, we start the real work on the sets. That is when the art department is at full capacity and it can benefit from the contribution of a very important figure which gives life to the original sketches, the set decorator. He or she is the one who looks for the furnishings that are right for each scene. Among the many movies you made, what are the most dear to your heart and creative mind, and why? I’ve designed for films in many genres, from drama to adventure, to period films, comedy, and fantasy. The only one still missing to

Images from the film Voice From the Stone: 1. Section of Klaus’ Studio. The statues were donated by a retired sculptor; 2. Still from the Piano Room. The piano is one of the leading elements of the story as the main character was a renowned soprano.



complete my professional repertoire is the science-fiction genre. It will happen, sooner or later, and I will be very honoured when it does. Ever since childhood, I was totally fascinated by the possibility of creating worlds that do not exist by imagining the future. I certainly have a lot of experience in period films; I have done many and, more or less, reconstructed all eras, from ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, from the Renaissance to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


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To answer your question, I am a bit attached to all the films I was a part of, because each one has always represented different experiences and challenges from every point of view. For me, there are so many aspects of a project - memories, small and big details, difficulties and moments of satisfaction, that stay with me forever. In consideration of the themes of each film, the budget availability or lack of resources, the beauty of collaborating with different artistic talents from different cultures and countries and, in some cases, with truly visionary directors, does not really let me prefer one film over another. I feel privileged to give my artistic contribution to a film that will stay there forever, and to hopefully positively influence the creative journey of the people I work with, as they do for me. As affectionate as I am to the movies I am a part of, I am also my own worst critic: when I see them in the cinema, I always find myself saying things like “we could have done that scene better, aged the set more or less, chosen a more intriguing furniture, and so on…”. I often think of an artist who paints on canvas and who spends months correcting a brush stroke or remaking a part of the picture until he is satisfied. We, production designers, would like to be able to do that but, unfortunately, our reality is different.

In any case, returning to the initial question, if I had to choose some notable films for me, I will start with The Cursed Ones. The Cursed Ones is an independent, small movie with a touching story about children who are abandoned in Central Africa and considered to be ‘cursed’. We almost entirely shot this movie in Ghana, where I Images from the set construction for the film Voice From the Stone: The top roof had the opportunity to work of the Castle’s Tower that was built at the Cinecittà Studios. The scale was 1:1. with local people who, under All fake chimneys were mobile to allow different camera positions, and the floor my guidance, reinvented of the tower was made with real old bricks. themselves as builders and painters in order to help us build all the sets, from the exterior to the interior, and even the props. I must say that they really did a terrific job that helped me earn numerous awards for ‘Best Art Direction’ and, above all, the African Oscar for Design. 28 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Another film that I would like to mention is definitely Voice From The Stone, an American film shot entirely in Italy, in Siena and at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. In Voice From The Stone I had the opportunity to collaborate with some renowned and famous producers and directors from Hollywood. I appreciated their rare skills and great aesthetic taste, and I worked with a crew of the highest quality level. This film, an atypical psychological horror with unusual Tuscan scenery, gave me the chance to visually create very fascinating atmospheres shifting between the novels of Henry James and gothic film. It all came from a great aesthetic research on colors and styles. Lastly, I would also mention Flying Lessons because it was really fun to make. We shot this love story almost entirely in India, from Mumbai to New Delhi, to Kerala in the south, and in the desert of Rajasthan where we built an entire village with real stone houses covered in mud, and many typical Indian designs. In addition, we also shot some scenes in Turin, in Rome and in Scotland. Let's say that working on this production was a very tiring experience but a very, very fun one. Finally, I like to say that a quality that a production designer must have is, undoubtedly, the ability to have fun when he or she creates the scenography. This quality, together with the inspiration, the technique, and with being a little 'chameleonic' in cultures other than your own, certainly makes this profession the best in the world. My conversation with Davide ends here. I decide to talk to him about my movie another time, when the dates of production will be established. I hope that I’ll be able to work with him soon, and I’m sure that his talent will enhance the aesthetic qualities of my next movie as it did with all the movies in which he worked until now. D!

Davide De Stefano was born in Italy in 1973. He graduated in Art Direction for film at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, near Florence. He worked as a set designer/art director for many plays and opera productions, at renowned theater and production houses in Italy. In 1996, he moved to Rome to work in the film industry, mostly at the Cinecittà Studios as an art concept designer. One of the recent movies he designed, Voice From the Stone, was produced by Dean Zanuck and Stefano Gallini Durante, and it was released in the US, Canada and Europe. The Cursed Ones, another drama movie he designed, received the African Movie Academy Award (African Oscar). He worked with many renowned directors from the likes of: Carlo Lizzani, Pupi Avati, Francesca Archibugi, Dario Argento, Roberto Faenza, Maurizio Nichetti, Lamberto Bava, Ricky Tognazzi, Paolo Virzì, Peter Greenaway, Catherine Hardwicke, Kim Manners, Greg Yaitanes, John Gray, Zeke Pinheiro, Mark Roemmich, Nana Obiri and Eric Howell. At present, he lives in Rome and is attached, as production designer, to several upcoming international movie projects, with budgets ranging between 5-50 million dollars.


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Photo from the film The Redneg that won four awards at the Vegas Movie Awards.


“I started filmmaking and acting late in life but now I cannot live without them! When I’m not on set, I miss it with all my heart.”




Astrid is represented by Global Film Actors Agency.

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Festival Guide


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Feature Film / 79 min. / Azerbaijan

A Feature Film by Shamil Aliyev


his is a story about a man with no name; one who exists and survives on the grassy plains in between Russia and northern Iran, away from civilization. A small whirlwind drifts across the vast steppe and gradually dissolves, followed by the crawling of a turtle. The montage of these two visual sequences at the beginning of the film metaphorically describes the subject and how the story will be told. Tales of atmospheric turmoil and moments of calm in and unto itself, of life in the countryside of the Azerbaijani desert, of a pace of life beyond civilization.

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camel is born and Old Ulu plays with soap stone figures and tells his son, who he only calls Steppe Man, a story. It is the legend of the Steppe Man, who is sitting outside in the shade of a rock and tending his herd of camels. A hoopoe bird lands on the rock and transforms into a beautiful young woman. This legend from his childhood turns into magical reality for the grown-up boy, who has taken over his father’s flock and cabin after his death. One day, out of nowhere, a woman appears in the steppe, now split right down the middle by a noisy highway. She had left her husband’s car after an argument and now she is here. Like a fairy godmother she tidies up the cabin and cleans the windows. He tries to send her away, but she stays. A story begins for the camel herder and the woman from the distant city, an escapee from civilization. This story will turn over a new leaf in their lives and change them both. What is important and worthwhile in life? This is the question. This fairy tale for adults, a cinematic quest for identity, finds answers not in words but in pictures. And, except for a few melodramatically pointed sequences – the jealous husband of the woman shows up in front of Steppe Man’s cabin – this film works mostly in calm images, giving this legend, with all its metamorphoses and twists, its very own mythological truth. D!

“The development and speed of technology condition the speed of globalization. The consciousness of the modern human is turning to be the tragedy of his/ her moral world. As though the human is becoming a biomass. The universal values that have been formed for thousands of years start to erode and degrade. Anthropological tragedy. I tried to raise these questions in the film. In my opinion, the strength of any great artwork is the capacity to raise questions. I was seeking to ask these questions not only the audience but myself as well.” - Shamil Aliyev www.dariamagazine.com

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Shamil Aliyev Film Director Shamil Aliyev was born on June 26, 1960 in Baku, Azerbaijan. He is an internationally awarded film director, and one of Azerbaijan’s most respected voices in film. After graduating from the State’s Institute of Culture in 1989, he worked as film director at Azerbaijanfilm, the stateowned movie studio. He also directed numerous TV projects such as the Classicists and Contemporaries series dedicated to Maestri such as Alfred Hitchcock, K. Zanussi, and Andrei Tarkovski. In 1999, he shot his short fiction film Occasional Meeting in 35mm. His first feature film, Confession, was shot independently. He went on to direct more feature films, shorts and documentaries that were awarded at some of the most prestigious film festival in the world. He is the founder of NURFILM Production Centre. D!

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Feature Film / 110 min. / South Africa, Zambia

A Feature Film by William Collinson


avid Johnson awakes from a 50-year coma at the age of 76. He has a very hard time accepting his old body, the fact that he has lost more than half of his life, and the super modern world he must adjust to. Frustrated and angry, he finally embraces the abrupt loneliness by consolidating his entire life into the one important romantic relationship he left behind, and he tracks down his college sweetheart, Halina McCarthy. How meaningful can life be even at this late age? How powerful love is? For 50 years in a coma, he saw nothing, all was silent. But now he has a chance to love deeply and meaningfully, by passing the lusts and bashfulness of youth and getting straight to the essence of life. Yet, just as he adjusts to this newfound contentment, Halina dies. She is gone. She joins the collection of tombstones that represent the loneliness of his life.


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"I was going through an existential crisis a few years ago and was becoming very aware of my mortality. This inspired a story about a man waking up from a coma after 50 years with only a very short time left to live, waking up in old age and trying hastily to figure out the meaning of life.

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The film has some twists which I can’t give away but despite the fact that it is a drama, the main character is also very quirky and this adds a lot of comedy to the story. Also, although in many ways loneliness is a theme, Mr. Johnson finds company in unique and strange places. Lastly, there are few films that deal with ageism and though shown only in subtle ways, Mr. Johnson highlights some of the ways old people are disregarded, side-lined and invisible in society.� William Collinson D!.


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Feature Film / 78 min. / France, Colombia

A Feature Film by Nicolás Buenaventura Vidal


maranto, a sixty-year old man, has been made redundant from his job as a cashier in a bank several years ago, yet he continues to come to his former workplace to perform menial tasks. The day an armoured cash transportation van has to urgently deliver an important amount of money, Amaranto is presented with the opportunity to achieve a robbery as simple as it is extraordinary.

“I met several Amaranto in my life. They had other names. I remember Neftalí. He had lost track of his age and lived only in the present, like no-one else. I remember Carlos Vitel, in the San Antonio area, who knew the secret to philanthropy. And I remember Almiza, when she read the script, she immediately recalled herself. One word to describe her would be ‘integrity’. These men and this woman reveal a profoundly moving trust in humankind, which goes beyond the wildest imagination, calculation and theoretical conceptualization.

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The film mainly relies on this character, Amaranto, who is embodied in the person of Tulio, the main actor of the film. We filmed his dignity – a threatened, thwarted, almost dubious dignity. We filmed his rhythm. His fragile frame stands out amongst the breathtaking speed of the city. We filmed his time, which is neither climax nor the end.� - Nicolås Buenaventura Vidal D!


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Feature Film / 176 min. / South Africa

A Feature Film by Martyn le Roux


paranormal investigator, George Coetzee, gets a tip from a bar fly about a very scarce frog species in the Tankwa Karoo, a very desolate area in South Africa. He decides to investigate. After a narrow escape with a Cape cobra, he wakes up in a dilapidated dwelling with only one occupant who is a beautiful and very mysterious girl who lives there all by herself. After saving his life, and despite her best efforts to get rid of him, George insists on digging deeper into her life and opens up a Pandora's Box he can't close again.

“The story of The Skinwalker (Die Pelsloper) came to me in a hotel room at three in the morning. I just had to tell it, for it was a different story from all the many clichĂŠ versions of the werewolf myth I've seen in my life. Nothing like it has ever been attempted in South Africa, least of all in Afrikaans!

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I set out to produce this film with zero everything. Didn't even have a camera! But then things just started happening, and people gave their time and talents to tell the story of Samantha and her cursed life. I hope we can inspire others to tell their stories.� - Martyn le Roux D!.


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Feature Film / 91 min. / USA

A Feature Film by Andrew McCardle


ummer, 2016: it’s the hottest day of the year, and the neighborhood is buzzing. A tapestry: the spiritual, the material, and the digital. From the park to the deli, the record shop to the subway stop, the streets are abuzz with talk of the future and the promise of change. Amid brief moments of air-conditioned relief, New Yorkers wander and wander the day away, hanging out and hanging on to personal streams of consciousness that keep neighbors who share so much isolated in their own newsfeeds. Time stands still, we see a city with those who populate it and who are now redefining and preserving it. With exceptional artistic vision, a score that emerges as a character of its own and an ensemble as diverse as the city itself, It’s Always Been You! is a postcard from a moment before unprecedented transformation, a look back at looking ahead.

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“It’s Always Been You! explores time and place; the past as fetish, romanticizing the future, the present as crisis. The characters, moving about their daily lives, never seem to be speaking to one another so much as they are speaking to and about their own stream of consciousness. Opening on a character who is time-agnostic, we cross through the three worlds of the tapestry. My goal with the film was to be firmly actual, yet make the viewer feel the weight of all time, and to allow no singular story to overshadow the feeling of time passing.” Andrew McCardle


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IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU! An Essay By Andrew McCardle


n our current reality (especially now when the hyper-connected world presents a perpetual loop of our own thoughts and opinions fed back to us), anywhere we go, there we are. Anything we hear about, there we are, our own voice is speaking back to us. Outside of all that, which feels increasingly distant, another world opens up to us. With It’s Always Been You!, we’re searching for what lies beyond, outside of ourselves, within others, within and without the world. As a tapestry, the film exists in these three movements: the aetherial, the material and the digital.

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he score is, and always will be, one of the most crucial elements in the paint kit for cinema. With music comes atmosphere, and if the film is a river of time, the sound is the water we all swim in. For a film like this with its separate worlds, it was crucial to have two very different voices speaking to us through the composition. For the main score, composer Silvio Buchmeier wrote and conducted the brilliant pieces that capture each of the tones of the material and aetherial segments. The music for the film needed to feel like the dance of life. With Silvio’s score, a woman walking her dog or even cement trucks suddenly seem to be stepping in tune to the rhythm of the city and the flow of time. His music swells and recedes counterpoint to the roaring of city buses, the hum of cicadas in green-spaces, the shouts and sirens of the streets. All people and all moods fill these streets, and within his music there are the triumphant horns for the elated ones, while his melancholic strings accompany the stillness of the ones who search. When we descend into the digital, electronic artist Tyler Gilmore provides the synths and tones that transform the film. For the movie’s final act, his slowly building, slowly burning composition brings us into that next dimension, filled with longing and humanity in a completely synthetic reality. The characters here, as real as fabrications could be, inhabit a digital dream and eventually a nightmare.

For several key moments throughout the picture, I give many thanks to Giorgio Rossi for allowing us the use of Carlo Alberto Rossi’s incredible piece Stradivarius. The film concludes the final act with the devouring of the mobile devices. The setting is a dining room (in this case Villa Mosconi in Greenwich Village). The characters appear in opulent dress and, with an insatiable appetite, obsessively gobble up what’s on their plate and then some. At the very least they ate their vegetables before consuming their smartphones. As with all things in life, it’s incredibly important to chew, and leave plenty of time for digestion. I thing it’s important to note Debord’s definition of spectacular time when it comes to this film. Wherever you go, there you are; and any experience you may have, no matter how far outside of your self it may take you, it’s always been you. D!

Andrew McCardle Film Director Andrew McCardle is an independent filmmaker and content director based in Brooklyn. He founded his company, External Pictures, in 2016 to produce content and short form video. It’s Always Been You! is his first feature film.


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Feature Documentary / 60 min. / Bulgaria

THE DONBASS CHILDREN A Feature Documentary by Lubomir Dankov


his is a movie about the Donbass war, first-person accounts. You will hear the stories of so-called ‘ordinary people’. These people suffered from irrational military strikes on civilian targets. They are victims of someone's desire to wage war on their territory at all costs.

There are no author's comments in this movie, and no censoring of the thoughts of the local people. This film was made especially for spectators in Europe, who do not know what is happening in Eastern Ukraine. The purpose of the film is to arouse interest in the ongoing six-years long armed conflict, and to make people start to think about the responsibility that each of us bears for peace in Europe.

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hen I first went to Donbass as an amateur journalist, I felt ashamed. Shame on fellow journalists who deliberately avoid the topic of Donbass, shame on the whole democratic community that has buried its head in the sand. It is hard to believe that deliberate war crimes have been committed daily in the geographical centre of Europe for six years already, but it’s a fact. The worst thing is that all this can be quickly and easily stopped, but maintaining an armed conflict in the area is, for some people, a win-win business.� - Lubomir Dankov D!

Darkness gives power to evil. Keep yourself informed. It is up to you much more than you think.


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Feature Documentary / 93 min. / USA


A Feature Documentary by Gary Null & Valerie Van Cleve


ast Call for Tomorrow reflects on the crisis facing all life on Earth. We are witnessing the 6th Mass Extinction of our planet, and it is accelerating faster than most scientists predicted. We are loosing about 200 species a day. Humanity has killed 83% of all wild mammals and half of all plants. Global industrial pollution is killing over nine million people a year, through bad air and water. The current geological age, the Anthropocene, describes a period where human activity has become the dominant influence on the environment and the climate, and it is turning out to be the worst catastrophe since the asteroid impact that destroyed the dinosaurs. Since the Industrial revolution began over 200 years ago, the petrol, chemical, and military businesses have been burning fossil fuels, and spewing all manner of deadly chemicals into our ecosystem. The Earth's surface is the hottest it has been in at least 120,000 years. A cascade of atmospheric and environmental events, including feedback loops, are accelerating the rate 48 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

of further warming. James Hanson, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute said, “all fossil fuel burning must cease before 2030 if humanity has any chance for survival�. The aggressive policies of the elite, with their commitment to perpetual growth and personal profiteering, have for decades perpetuated imperialism, warfare, and ecocide, while displacing, enslaving, and destroying countless numbers of people, animals and plants. Small farming has been replaced with big agriculture, devoted to fossil fuel based fertilizers, pesticides, and GMO seeds, deforestation, perpetual indebtedness, and export agriculture, leaving the planet devastated.

Gary Null Film Director For more than 35 years, Gary Null has been one of the foremost voices of the health movement. He has produced over 70 documentaries, and along with leading experts, he examined a wide range of topics from food production, alternative healing, politics and our economic system. Gary has aired many of his documentaries on PBS. Gary continues to be a strong voice for the consumer, standing up against big corporations and big government. He has exposed the massive drugging of children in our schools, investigated industries such as pesticides, herbicides, artificial sweeteners, food irradiation, water fluoridation, unsafe ingredients in vaccines, nuclear power, the FDA, GMO's and the Gulf War Syndrome. Gary has done an original investigative reporting series on a regular basis and published over 100 original investigative articles. He has also published over 100 books. He founded the web based Progressive Radio Network, with an average of 180,000 listeners weekly. He has the longest running health radio program in American history. D!


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Feature Documentary / 64 min. / France

A Feature Documentary by Luc Bellon


yari is the oldest district of Karachi, Pakistan’s enormous megalopolis. It is here that a marginalized community uses donkeycart racing to escape deadly urban violence and build a world on society’s fringes. All of Pakistan's social, economic and political tensions converge in Karachi. Lyari, it’s oldest district, has been the theater of armed conflicts that claimed thousands of lives. It also fostered a unique musical scene, promoted sports and invented the donkey-cart race. Donkey carters play a key economic role by transporting goods. Yet, being associated with donkeys degrades their social status to the lowest strata. The film investigates how they reverse the stigma to restore their dignity.

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hen I was in Karachi, the media was reporting daily on the violence in Lyari: murders, mafia, corruption, kidnappings, thefts, and more, but I also knew that it was home to outstanding creativity, talented musicians, passionate sports lovers, brilliant poets and a vibrant, though small, intelligentsia. I decided to investigate how inhabitants manage to escape the violent environment. This film is a tribute to an exceptional group of people. Marginalized within the marginalized, they are for the most part illiterate. Despite an appalling level of poverty, they unsheathe freedom from their exclusion, developing their own life rules, codes and social recognition. The film is also a cry against social models that deny power to people and let them endure such levels of deprivation.� - Luc Bellon D!


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Feature Documentary / 91 min. / Niger, Germany

A Feature Documentary by Roberto Fischer


t is one of the most unknown and poorest countries in the world, and yet full of wealth: Niger. Rich because of the smiles of its people, the vastness of its deserts and the mysticism of its peoples. The film accompanies one of the rare expeditions through Niger. Protected from raids and kidnappings by a military convoy, we encounter two of the last nomadic tribes: the Woodabe and the Tuareg. The first part of the documentary takes us from the capital Niamey to the Woodabe tribe, their school for nomadic children in Abulbal and the courtship dances of the Guérewol. The second part of the documentary takes us to Agadez - the gateway to the desert through the Aïr Mountains and the Ténéré desert, and finally to the Tuareg festival in Iférouane.

EXPEDITION NIGER REAL AFRICA Join us on one of the rare expeditions through Niger. Meet two of the last nomadic tribes on earth: the Woodabe and the Tuareg. 52 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com


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"We worked on Expedition Niger for over one year. We financed and produced everything ourselves. Why? Because we love Africa and because few people are interested in countries like Niger. They are always dismissed as ‘poorest countries on earth’.

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Niger deserves to be seen, because it has another form of wealth, namely the smile of its people, the vastness of its deserts and the mysticism of its tribes - unknown cultures, embedded in spectacular landscapes. We should learn to be more curious and finally dare to preserve Africa, because Africa is the cradle of humanity and is forever fascinating but take a look for yourself‌� - Roberto Fischer D!.


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Feature Documentary / 57 min. / UK

A Feature Documentary by Pankaja Brooke


ost of us say that we hate war. Seeing endless news images of maimed and starving children, towns and cities reduced to rubble, swarms of desperate refugees, communities utterly devastated, it would take a pretty heartless person to disagree that war was bad! So, why do we keep doing it? There’s the adventure and bonding, the rush of adrenalin, there’s the national pride and the national power, and there’s the cultural glory. There’s also the shame and the guilt, the traumatized children and adults, the tears of the mothers. In between, there are absurdity, ignorance, lies and the infatuation with power, the separation from our hearts and the play of chance. In Why We Love War, the main protagonists are an Indian Colonel who talks of his love for the army and his regret at not being a front line fighter; an Englishman who tells of his thrill at going into a naval battle as a 19-year old midshipman during the Suez crisis, and how he found himself responsible for the safety of the entire convoy; an Israeli woman, with immense honesty, who describes how teaching other people how to kill changed her - she is now a member of Veterans for Peace; another Englishman who talks about how facing enemy action in Northern Ireland, and even being wounded, made him question what it is to be a man and a human being; and, veterans of the Vietnam war speak about the shame and guilt, and the psychological scars that color their lives.


“I have the very deepest respect for those who were willing to talk to me, often in snatched or rushed interviews, and offer them my heartfelt respect and thanks.” - Pankaja Brooke

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“People who have fought in wars often find it very difficult to speak about their experiences. So many men who fought in World War II hid the trauma they had suffered and never spoke about it to their children or anyone else. Others, suffered mental breakdowns, even after many years, and were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this documentary, I interview people from different countries and different fighting services - men and women, young and old about how they chose, or found themselves, in that situation, what they felt about it at the time, and the effects it had on them afterwards.” Pankaja Brooke D!.


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Feature Documentary / 100 min. / USA

A Feature Documentary by David Glossberg


merican veterans are killing themselves by the thousands each year. It is a national tragedy on an epic scale. A remarkable treatment is proving more powerful than ever imagined: wild Mustangs are taken straight off the range and paired with veterans giving a result that is miraculously turning despair into enduring hope!

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"With an urge to help end veteran suicide, an answer came through making this documentary. It was an honor to be able to capture the powerful emotional relationship between these amazing people and horses, and to follow their journey of healing and of rediscovering life’s purpose.� David Glossberg D!.


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Feature Documentary / 89 min. / USA

A Feature Documentary by Roger Paradiso


n the dark days after President John F. Kennedy’s murder, did you ever wonder what was going on with Jackie and Robert as they grieved over the greatest murder mystery of our history? In this film, we try to understand why Jackie used the Camelot mythology as a metaphor for her husband's presidency. We search for the reasons why Robert ran for the presidency even when he knew “there was a gun between me and the White House”. In our search for Camelot, we discover an epic time in our history full of blood, tears and a romance that will last forever.

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t was an American fairy tale come true, this tale of Camelot, and it is still here in the ether. This concept all came from a young girl playing in Central Park, reading about King Arthur and following her dream wherever it led. Her greatest contribution to history may be Camelot. She spent the rest of her life never once mentioning Camelot. She was revered as the stoic woman who carried on 'for her children’. She survived and suffered the ups and downs of a Queen's life. Once the most admired woman in the world for decades, she dropped down the rankings as time and life passed her by. Her arranged marriage to Onassis was seen as an insult to the memory of her first husband. The press turned on her and called her mockingly “Jackie O”.

“I can only hope that I have captured some of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ magical reign in my film.” - Roger Paradiso www.dariamagazine.com

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ackie O. lived the rest of her life forever romantically in love with her dear Jack and her children. She died in her castle near her beloved Central Park. She was buried next to her husband and her two deceased children Patrick and Arabella. The eternal flame, which she had arranged for the slain John, continues to shine on her to this day as if to say "Long Live the Queen of Camelot". D!.

“What is history, but a fable agreed upon?� Napoleon Bonaparte

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Feature Documentary / 72 min. / Japan

HIV SAVED MY LIFE A Feature Documentary by Paul Edward & Aaron Yamashita


nitially diagnosed with HIV, Paul believed it to be a death sentence at the time. It would in fact become the reason to reflect on life and what it means to him. Paul honestly believes now that HIV may have saved his life.

An Immigrant to Japan some thirty-six years ago, Paul would evolve in the Japanese society, a society which has over the years been accused of being prejudice toward persons with handicaps, contagious diseases, and most things which are looked upon as being outside of the social norms of life. Paul would be diagnosed with HIV in the year 2001. This is a brief overview of what changes this caused not only to Paul himself, but also to the people around him who were part of his life at the time. From a mental breakdown in the beginning, Paul explains the journey which lead him to being afraid of society finding out about his condition, and the lack of trust in the people around him, which would eventually lead to his suicidal tendencies. At a critical time in his life, he is placed into an environment which allows him to discover how life is so important not just to himself but also to the people around him: the awakening. This documentary shows how Paul went from death and destruction to enlightenment, and success. D!


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Feature Documentary / 90 min. / USA

A Feature Documentary by David Licata

A LIFE’S WORK What’s it like to dedicate your life to work that won’t be completed in your lifetime?


ifteen years ago, filmmaker David Licata focused on four projects and the people behind them in an effort to answer this universal question. The subjects are: Jill Tarter, astronomer and Director of the SETI Institute, who has been involved in the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence since the 1970s and who was the basis for the Ellie Arroway character in Carl Sagan’s science fiction novel, Contact; David and Jared Milarch, father and son, tree farmers and co-founders of the Champion Tree Project (recently renamed Archangel Ancient Tree Archive), who clone old-growth trees to combat climate change; gospel music archivist Robert Darden, a journalism professor at Baylor University who founded the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, an organization that is trying to identify, preserve, digitize, and catalog all of the most at-risk recordings from the black gospel music tradi64 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

tion; Paolo Soleri, controversial architect behind Arcosanti, a town designed to test his theories about housing an overpopulated planet while also preserving, and nurturing, the natural environment; and Jeff Stein, Soleri’s mentee at Arcosanti in the 1970s and his successor after his death in 2013. Fittingly, the film begins with Soleri and ends with Stein ruminating about his mentor and what it means to carry on a legacy. We discover what inspired them to begin, what obstacles they face, what drives and sustains them, how they measure success of an endeavor they will not live to see completed. But most of all we discover that their lives really aren’t that different from everyone else’s: who hasn’t gazed at the stars and wondered if we are unique, nurtured botanicals, sought ideal shelter, fell in love with a song and couldn’t wait to share it with someone? And who among us will truly see our work finished before we leave this mortal coil?

“Two events inspired A Life’s Work, events that occurred 34 years apart. When I was nine I was told that medieval cathedrals took hundreds of years to construct, that their architects would not see them completed, that generations of stonemasons would work on them. This made quite an impression. To this day, whenever I see a cathedral, I become that awestruck nine-year-old. After completing my previous film I decided I wanted to make a documentary. I had several ideas and was researching them. In 2004 my mother died. Sometime during my grief, this time of sorrow and contemplation about purpose and legacy, I thought about the cathedrals and the idea for A Life’s Work was born, and the first shoot scheduled. That was 2004. Fifteen years later I completed the film,” explains David Licata. D!.

Photo: Jeff Stein

Photo: Paolo Soleri & David Licata


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Feature Documentary / 56 min. / UK

MAURICE EL MEDIONI A Feature Documentary by Clive Myer & Lynda Myer-Bennett


aurice El Medioni celebrates the life and music of the 90-year-old Godfather of PianOriental. The film acts as a musical stave. It holds layers of potential queries and what if notes when thoughts, either musical or historical, are placed next to each other in a creative, critical but gentle reminder that we are all, at our roots, the same people. Using his personal diary as lines of support, Maurice teases out the musical influences that built his unique style of PianOriental music a fusion of Arabic, Jewish, Andalucian and American rhythms and memories that sees his left hand play Boogie while his right hand plays Rai. D!

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“The underlying theme of the film is the bridge that the music of the dispossessed can make between disparate cultures.� - Clive Myer & Lynda Myer-Bennett

Feature Documentary / 45 min. / Germany

A Feature Documentary by Ulrike Korbach


he storyline follows the former forced labourer Czeslawa Wölfel in her last months of life. She was born in Poland in 1927. During the World War II, she ended up into forced labour in Germany. After the war, she was allowed to stay in the country, and became a member of the so-called homeless foreigners or, as the British put it more accurately, displaced persons. The old lady lives in a retirement home near Bielefeld, Germany. It is difficult for her to come to terms with the new living arrangements. Nobody around her has time, and certainly no time to listen. In this documentary, the viewers get the chance to hear the story of Czeslawa’s more than 80 years of life as a Polish expat in Germany.

“My greatest wish was to tell the story of this unusual family. Their dealing with the hardships of life, their unconditional acceptance of each other, and the humor they have retained. I am very happy that the film is now being shown at festivals around the world and that an international audience is seeing their story.” - Ulrike Korbach www.dariamagazine.com

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Feature Documentary / 83 min. / USA Photo: Martin Sheen and Arthur Kanegis

THE WORLD IS MY COUNTRY A Feature Documentary by Arthur Kanegis


artin Sheen presents the epic true story of the daring, decades-ahead-of-his-time, and controversial World Citizen No. 1, Garry Davis. The film reveals the true story of how Danny Kaye’s Broadway understudy, distraught that he bombed a city in World War II, pulled off a startling nonviolent act of courage that galvanized post war Europe. It triggered a people-power movement that helped precipitate unanimous passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and inspired the founders of the European Union. Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre joined Garry in igniting the movement. Buckminster Fuller extolled him as the new world man. And amazingly, Eleanor Roosevelt challenged Garry to start a worldwide international government! 68 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Albert Einstein hailed Garry for “the sacrifices he made for the well-being of humanity”, and said that he grasped the key “to whether mankind will disappear by its own hand or continue to exist”. The film follows the story of Garry - who lived 65 years of his life as a citizen of no nation, only the World, and brings to light his vision for how we can rise above the nations’ state system to create a People Powered Planet with the power to outlaw war and ecocide and secure a future for humanity.

A Note From Arthur Kanegis:

Garry Davis


hy don’t they melt all the guns and turn them into doorknobs”, I asked my dad when I was three. As an adult, my life-long mission has been to open the doors to peace using entertainment and film. From 1969 to 1972, I worked with the American Friends Service Committee, where we created early documentaries to stop the Vietnam War, including The Automated Airwar to expose the cold brutality of mechanized killing vs. the

ever. I struggled to figure out why and what could we do. Then it hit me. My films were creating fear, not an empowering vision to attract people to a better way. So I turned my attention to a story that would propel us on a journey into a peaceful and positive future. Garry’s story fit the bill! His actionpacked adventures were the perfect vehicle to shake up our old thinking and give a vision of a better way to run our world! Over the next decade, I worked with Garry on developing his story into a Hero’s Journey narrative. He became my close friend and mentor. At first, he was so frustrated that the world wasn’t listening to his critical warnings of our race heading toward extinction - and to his revelation of the key to how we can save ourselves that he felt numb. Working with me on the movie about his life restored his connection to his emotions and helped him get back in touch with the entertainer within him. We worked together to bring to the stage an emotionally compelling narrative of his life, and we were both thrilled with the outcome. This documentary is only the beginning it will be followed by other films about him and about how we can build the people-powered planet he envisioned. D!

When Garry died, I was deeply saddened. But I was honored to have become his video-biographer and more committed than ever to propelling his message out to the world. simple people of Vietnam, and Post-War War to expose the role of the military industrial complex in carrying on the war. Working with retired Admirals and Generals who opposed nuclear war, I produced the War Without Winners film, shot by Haskell Wexler and presented by Paul Newman. It became a key organizing tool for the Nuclear Freeze movement. I also did the nuclear war research for ABC’s The Day After with Jason Robards. The film had the largest audience of any made-forTV movies ever! Ronald Reagan credited it with convincing him that nuclear war was unwinnable and that he had to develop Strategic Arms Limitation treaties with the Soviets. Despite the power of these films, the arms race continued and the threat of nuclear war didn’t end; peace seemed further away than


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Feature Documentary / 43 min. / USA

A Feature Documentary by Ron Taylor


roduced from 550+ hours of video recorded over the last 35years, Side by Side tells the story from infancy to adulthood of a unique individual living with Cerebral Palsy. The film captures the ups and downs, milestones and challenges, smiles and tears, and significant relationships of Micah Sage Bea-Taylor, the son of filmmaker Ron Taylor. Recent interviews with family members, caregivers, and teachers provide narrative commentaries that look back at their work with Micah and the insights and understandings that they gained from his impact upon their lives and careers. In telling his son’s story with “My son’s challenges took me deeper intimacy and mastery, Ron is also into a new paradigm of exceptional telling the story of society's many new nurturing techniques that engage, parenting, and I’ve been documenting include and provide reciprocal bene- his extraordinary growth experience fits to caregivers and person-centered ever since he was born.” - Ron Taylor education for all. D!


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“I am a father of two birth-trauma boys on whom I have focused my documentary filmmaking for the past 40 years. In telling their stories, I gained new insights into the inspiring partnerships that sustain life and evolve our most important nurturing practices. Throughout my film career, beginning at the In-

stitute of Design at Chicago's Illinois Institute of Technology with studies in the humanities followed by graduate school with a master's degree in film and photography, I honed my filmic vision of the world through the lens of my camera, capturing and editing valuable lessons from life into film�, explains Ron Taylor. www.dariamagazine.com

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Feature Documentary / 60 min. / Italy

A Feature Documentary by Jordan River


n 1618, at the age of 23, Artemisia became the first Italian female artist to get international recognition. She came in touch with the most brilliant minds of her time, including Caravaggio. The film recalls her life, for which she is recognized as a modern feminist icon, due to her personality and the unyielding defense of her professional integrity, documented in the letters she wrote to art collectors and other eminent figures of her time, like Galileo Galilei. Artemisia’s fame is also tied to the rape trial she started against a colleague, Agostino Tassi. She survived the experience thanks to her moral strength and, through her painting, succeeded as a woman and as an artist, producing masterpieces that can touch the heart and soul of audiences who admire them four hundred years later.

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he documentary, filmed in 4K with the greatest passion and the most diligent historical accuracy, follows the life of this amazing 17th century artist and takes us on an oneiric voyage through her masterworks, currently preserved in the most prestigious museums around the world, as well as in private collections, such as Aurora (1627), and David and Goliath (1639), recently discovered in London by the famed British conservator Simon Gillespie who speaks of his work in an exclusive interview ex-

son with any other artist, for the brushes that touched her canvas, and the very colors she used, represent a mentality deeply connected to that specific time and her interior energy. The shades of her paintings don’t simply reflect Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro, but also resonate with the moment in which the light generated a new way of thinking, opposed to the material nature of the world – an impermanent materiality that could be overtaken by virtue of the spiritual force that comes from the arts. D!

Actress Angela Curri interpreting the great Artemisia Gentileschi in the film.

plaining how David’s sword, after an accurate work of restoration, revealed the identity of the maker, i.e. Artemisia. In the film, the sword, rather than a weapon, functions like a sacred seal that reveals hidden meanings beyond the veil of time. The work focuses on women, artists, and the most sensible human beings. However, it doesn’t just aim to be a biographical account, but, in a way, it is also an academic opus, which provides theoretical means for both the expert and the beginner, as well as an immersive experience in the emotionally vigorous world of arts, as it helps us understand the soul of a female artist struggling with the hardships of her time and with the challenges of her identity as a 17th century woman. She is a woman who loves painting, in a time when only men were allowed to be painters. The work of Artemisia has no compari-

“Artemisia Gentileschi is one of the first and foremost female painters in the history of arts. Her astounding and exceptionally topical biography never ceases to amaze, as it always offers something new to admire”, says Jordan River www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Film / 10 min. / USA

A Short Film by George Zaverdas


nspoken offers a glimpse in the life of an American family, in a moment of tension and crisis, struggling under the weight of a deep dark secret. D!

“The film addresses a subject matter that is very important to me. Sadly, I know many who have gone through this experience in one way or another and felt a strong need to express it with this film. I spent two month auditioning actors to find the right family. I’m proud of my cast that is led by Taylor Nichols and talented newcomers. It was important for me to hire a female producer, the wonderful Amanda Sweikow Smith. Most of my crew, including my editor, were women.” George Zaverdas

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Short Film / 18 min. / UK

A Short Film by Mark Simmons


he film explores the struggle that a doctor and a patient face while they remain the last survivors on earth during a pandemic similar to that of COVID-19. Desperation and companionship are key to this fictional story. D!


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Short Film / 10 min. / Australia

A Short Film by Eugene E~NRG


wo people: one has a chauffeur, limousine, personal assistant, two mobile phones, and millions in overdraft. The other has no job, no luck, no money, and a bucket full of fish. Together they strike a chord. Aboriginal, black Australia and white, nonindigenous Australia rarely find each other in the same time zone let alone the same neighborhood. By taking some time out, to relax and get better with some entheogen medicine, because they’re both having a bastard of a day... Jacky and Harry, bridge the apparent gap between their lives and find an unexpected moment of connection. D!

“I was fascinated by the idea of two people from very different worlds connecting and finding a s h a r e d h u m a n i t y, which is something we should all seek now more than ever. For me, filmmaking is telling stories that resonate with me personally and touch me emotionally as well as intellectually. Bastard is a fun musical poem with a call-response structure that dips into the harsh realities and natural sacredness of daily reality. This was a very enjoyable project to create and I learned a lot as a director and filmmaker in bringing this short film to the screen.� - Eugene E~NRG 76 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Short Film / 14 min. / Turkey

A Short Film by Mehmet Tığlı


n old man spends the day wandering the streets of Istanbul. He communicates with the trees and seagulls rather than other people. All day, he checks the ATMs to find change like a child, even though he does not own an ATM card. He gets happy when he finds money and indignant when he doesn’t. For the old man, life is like a game that has remained from his childhood. And the sycamore leaves are a part of this innocent game. D!.

“Sycamore is my fifth short film. It’s the first film of my Street Trilogy. The story is based on a true event. Last year, when I was going to work in the morning, I saw an old man play the ATM’s like a child. I was vey impressed with the scenery. I decided to write the script and shoot the film”, says Mehmet Tığlı.


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Short Film / 23 min. / USA

A Short Film by Helen Alexis Yonov


lonely postman secretly recreates postcards for a woman on his route when her boyfriend's homemade cards stop arriving from his travels around the world. With the help of his friend Mr. Rostalle, a blind widower and retired literary professor and poet, Gilbert learns to open himself up to the prospect of love, and in the process of trying to bring someone else happiness, discovers it for himself. D!

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Short Film / 24 min. / UK

A Short Film by Andrew Ball-Shaw


avender is an emotional drama short film that delves into the memories of a person living with dementia, and that is built around an interpretation of some of the difficulties they may face. The story centers around the relationship between two characters: Fern, the mother, and Violet, the daughter. The focus becomes more and more about Fern and how life is for her, living with dementia, whilst also giving insight into its effect on those around her. D!


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Short Film / 33 min. / India

LEMME TELL U A Short Film by Irfan Jami


he film showcases the astute intelligence and smart prudence of a visually challenged brave heart who gets caught in a seductive trap laid down by her sighted male friend. Anamika is a visually impaired girl. She lives in a girl’s hostel for the visually challenged. Her sighted male friend, Prakhar, takes her on a date without telling her the whereabouts of the destination. As intended, she easily falls into Prakhar’s carefully laid trap. But before he could achieve his desired aim, Anamika wishes to have a look at the house she has been brought in. She travels through every nook and corner of the house, carries out a deep probe and does something exceptional that will turn Prakhar’s seductive trap to her advantage and teach him a lesson for life. D!

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s I saw them hesitating in between moving ahead and turning back amidst the cacophony of rashly driven vehicles while trying to move across the road, I rushed to them, talked to them nicely, and helped them cross the road safely by holding the tail-ends of their white canes cautiously. Though they did thank me, they found my demeanor quite unusual to their expectation. I became curious and stayed there to know the reason as their destination bus got delayed. “The uninvited helper most often a ruffian in disguise - would hold us by our armpits, gradually slip into our bosom with ill intentions and start whispering in our ears instead of talking in normal voice even if we refuse to take the help offered”, they said to me. They also said that their sorrows don’t end here, across the road, “We would have felt lucky had our test of patience and endurance ended here but we always got followed, tried, touched and misbehaved all through our journey as an easy prey”. I was literally taken aback when I listened to the daily ordeals, the trials and tribulations that visually challenged girls are put through without being heard.” This is how and why Lemme Tell U was born - where the visually challenged protagonist makes best use of her astute intelligence instead of feeling helpless - in order to write a new chapter of courage and immense possibilities. I am of the view that film is a powerful medium that can bring about a change in social consciousness. My film is a genuine effort towards raising a conscious awareness to the way the vulnerable are perceived or to how a preconceived notion is formed around them. The film will reach many audiences to share a story of the realization of one’s valuable existence. In spite of being a story of a visually challenged protagonist, the film’s essence lies in it’s universal appeal and the galvanizing inspiration”, says Irfan Jami.

“I always strive to voice the concerns of the marginalized and the people in excluded situations but the heart wrenching woes of the visually challenged came as a stimulant to me then and I immediately decided to do something about it.”

Irfan Jami Film Director Ifran Jami is an internationally awarded independent filmmaker from India. He has written and directed over 100 films, documentaries and TV series in a variety of genres. Ifran has also written the lyrics for an international album, Colours of Peace, and for the song Thank You India that is dedicated to the first responders fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. D!


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Short Film / 30 min. / South Africa

A Short Film by Paulo Areal


o greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends. Inspired by a true story from World War II, five Russian officers are stripped naked and thrown into an underground silo no water, no food, no light, no warmth, only each other in the darkness. Two months later two men are found alive, one completely lucid and the other completely mad. From this report, Jonathan Pienaar and Paulo Areal, created Cutting the Darkness when cannibalism becomes the ultimate human sacrifice.

Five cameras, one take, one actor and one director.

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Starring Jonathan Pienaar


ometimes in one's life as a filmmaker, if you are lucky you experience a rare occurrence of truth, a moment where actor, director, cameras and lights all become one. Without knowing what was going to happen next a story unfolded, a story so gripping and human that we are privileged, both Jonathan and I, to have been a part of. I, as a director, strive for and Jonathan Pienaar lives for a film of true cinematic magic”, says Paulo Areal.

“After completing Cutting the Darkness, I experienced a robbery in my studio and everything was stolen. For almost ten years this footage was lost, until last year, when I miraculously found a copy. This is it, a moment in time.” - Paulo Areal Jonathan Pienaar Actor Johnny Pienaar has performed in every area of the dramatic arts for over 30 years. In theater, he played in many of Shakespeare’s one man shows. His film career has blessed him: performing alongside Sidney Poitier, Tim Curry, Michael Caine, F. Murray Abraham, Sean Bean, Jennifer Connelly and Leonardo Di Caprio (in Blood Diamond) to name some. He has also starred in NBC’s series Crusoe. Johnny has a love for what he does as an actor, voice over artist and director. He has a deep respect for all he encounters. He lives with wolves in South Africa and travels the world with deep gratitude for his craft. D!


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Short Film / 31 min. / Taiwan

A Short Film by Kevin Chiu


ypsophila means the supporting role in floriography (language of flowers) but it can also mean hidden love. The principal character in the film, A-Lun, wants to treat a supporting role as a main actor, and give a bouquet of gypsophila with his hidden love to Wei-Xi. A-Lun hopes that he can play a big part in Wei-Xi's heart.

“I recently established my company, Redox Filming Studio, in Taiwan following my return from Canada. My team and I hope that through our actions, art and images will be redoxed to the most pure and original appearance. What we want to do is redefine the presentation of art and image, and give the public a new art. The past art and image circles, like rusty iron, will become brand new and shiny after our redox.� - Kevin Chiu D!

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Short Film / 10 min. / UK

A Short Film by Christopher Lewis-Smith


ilmed in the farming landscape of the Wiltshire Downs, England, Boneline comments on aging and how with age comes an increasing awareness of the transient nature of our existence. The film connects the human body with the earth and stones of a landscape, to suggest an inescapable relationship between them.

“I am interested in the language and design of movement, the language and design of landscape, and the relationship between them. The designing of movement, for me, is both choreography in a conventional sense, such as constructed for and in live performance, or especially choreography created for, and by, the camera lens, and in the editing of film and video. By design of landscape I mean design that comes into existence and evolves through human intervention. In an urban environment, I’m interested in design by architecture, and the relationships between structures, and the aesthetics of decay. In rural landscape, I’m especially drawn to design by agriculture. My current research concerns the relationship between the dancer and the lens. It seeks to develop and experiment with a system of video production that draws on an alternative relationship between a camera operator or director and a dancer during the filming of improvisation”, says Christopher Lewis-Smith, Course Director for Postgraduate Dance at Bath Spa University, UK. D! www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Film / 8 min. / Australia

A Short Film by Malachy Cole


ortraits of the Dead follows the story of Niki, a young woman dealing with the trauma of her ailing mother. It chronicles critical moments in her battle with grief as she desperately refuses to accept the inevitable. In a last ditch attempt to find peace, she employs the services of Theresa Morrigan - a portraitist who specializes in capturing a person's final moments in the physical world. Theresa's final piece, however, will either be a somber or enlightening work of art for Niki.

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his is a small passion project of mine that I have had on the back-burner for a number of years. I penned the first draft

Last year, in 2019, I was unfortunately dealing with a lot between my uncle and grandmother passing away as well as a breakup with my long term partner.

whilst on an airAnyone who has dealt with any form of loss knows plane to Hong Kong with my that it doesn't all immediately come crashing down crew, at the time on you right away, it really can just hit you in waves we were doing a at the most random of moments. This was why we recce for another short film I was chose to approach the film’s story in a somewhat directing called non-linear fashion once we got to the editing room. Neon, and the idea was sort of As for production, it was kind of a perfect storm born out of a compulsion to go against the natof me being in an emotional frame of mind and ural grain of our production company. At Red our business having a wee bit more time to spare Cloud Films we are all massive genre fans; we than usual. I talked to the team at Red Cloud and particularly love Horror and Sci-Fi as a lot of we felt that we could probably knock out a our favorite films fall under these headings. But project like Portraits of the Dead without imthat's not to say that we don't all have a deep pacting our overall schedule too much. We held love for more grounded, personal stories too. On auditions and found our excellent leads in Tess the plane, I was listening to the song Soul Meets McKaige (Niki) and Marnie Gibson (Theresa). Body by Death Cab For Cutie and there is a Since music had been such a large part of the great line that goes “if the silence takes you then inspiration behind this film, and is also a key I hope it takes me too”. Although I've listened to point in the story itself, I knew the score was this song probably thousands of times (Plans going to be vital from the second I put pen to was one of the first albums I ever purchased as a paper. Thankfully, I had a lifelong friend in teenager), it suddenly evoked a real sense of Patrick Ryan, a musical genius, and his availmortality and heartache within me. Perhaps it ability seemed to line up with us entering postwas partly due to the fact that my mind was, at production. So it was really uplifting to tackle the time, overrun with anime and action movie this short with a core crew of people who were references for Neon and I just needed a mental all either very close to me or personally invested break from all that, but it really incentivized me in the project. Like I said, a perfect storm!”, says to begin working on something a little more Malachy Cole. D! heartfelt.


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Short Film / 14 min. / Spain

A Short Film by José Luis López Ortiz


aula’s Clock is a drama-thriller short that offers to the audience an atypical, personal and metaphorical point of view about child abuse that affects more than 300 million children in the world. D!

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Short Film / 30 min. / USA

A Short Film by Ken Sagoes



young and brilliant academic phenom not only passes the bar exam at the age of fourteen but finds himself defending his homeless father on a murder charge when few believe he is innocent. He faces a shrewd law firm, an old school segregationist judge, and an arrogant prosecutor who is preparing to celebrate his 50th consecutive case win. D!


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Short Film / 15 min. / Brazil

A Short Film by Melo Viana


ilent Movie (Cinema Mudo) is a short film that was realized to help integrate residents of a community living in a high-risk area. All the children playing in the movie are actual residents of this community. The story, taking place in the mid-thirties, follows three children who are setting up a movie frame projection room. They build a projector from an empty shoe box. As a background reference, the film uses images from the transition between silent and spoken cinema from 1930 to 1934. D!

“After a few years of research, I designed the concept for this film. I was awarded $37,000 from the Cultural Foundation of Curitiba, therefore, this movie was made with public funding.

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We decided to select the actors among the people living in a high risk community in Curitiba. We conducted a theater course for children between the ages of seven and nine. Nine participants were selected to play in the film and further trained for two months. As the topic is very academic, which could distance the film from the social reality in which we live, we tried to emphasize the playfulness of children with a language as poetic as possible. The film makes direct references to dozens of directors from the period between silent and spoken cinema, as well as some references to the Russian master Andrei Tarkovsky�, explains Melo Viana. www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Film / 7 min. / USA

A Short Film by Ryan Graff


ointless Hello is a dry comedy about a couple that ignores all the signs of doomsday to focus on a meaningless fight. It explores the feeling of holding onto petty grievances versus looking at the bigger picture of our lives. Ultimately, and unfortunately, neither may matter in the end. D!

I wanted to try something different from what I had done before. Irena Murphy had been in one of my films and expressed interest in doing something else together. Pointless Hello was the first script she sent me and we just went for it. It was an interesting challenge combining our styles from adapting the script to filming, and through post production. Ultimately we ended up with something subtle yet funny, odd yet genuine, and dry yet well paced. I don't think either of us knew what reaction we were going to get and have been surprised how well people connect with it being a bit of a foot in two different worlds. While striving to make something different for myself I think we made something really different from what you might normally see.� Ryan Graff 92 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Short Film / 28 min. / Australia

A Short Film by Olivia Foa’i


tenacious female film director makes her biggest career move yet in what is sure to be an Oscar-winning feature. Sparing no expense, she demands it be shot on 70mm film and that stunts be performed using the innovative new Stuntbot robots. Alas a reel of film containing an irreplaceable dramatic moment is destroyed in a fire. She needs that scene and her pain-in-the-butt male lead refuses a reshoot. Failure is not an option, the film must be completed. D!

“This is the first film my brother and I ever made. Super ambitious undertaking! Seven locations, barely any crew, but we got a wild film out of it that hopefully is fun to watch”, says Olivia Foa’i.


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Short Film / 8 min. / USA

A Short Film by Jeff Chan


Los Angeles transplant from Venezuela, who believes that his broken English is an insurmountable hindrance to achieving his own American Dream, is about to give up on his passion for Hollywood when a single defining moment launches his accomplished career as a Spanish-commercial voice actor. Remember This Voice is based on the real life story of Hernán de Béky, who has recorded trailers and promos for over 500 individual film titles and won multiple Emmy Awards. D!

“Hernan and I had a 90minute conversation over the phone before I started writing the script. That helped me understand what he’d been through and a lot about his life that’s hard to express in a one-paragraph story. I heard how passionate he is about what he does and the journey he’s been on. I wanted to capture how far he’s come, from a person who seemed like he had insurmountable odds in front of him to a person who is living his dream, and how much he’s even surpassed those expectations for himself.” - Jeff Chan 94 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Short Documentary / 29 min. / Bahrain

A Short Documentary by Eva Daoud


ne of the first acts by His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa after being sworn in as Crown Prince in March 1999 was the establishment of the Crown Prince International Scholarship Program. A project very close to his heart, the Scholarship Program is the embodiment of Prince Salman’s dedication to empowering Bahrain’s young people and providing them with the opportunity to study at the world’s leading institutions of higher education, regardless of their religious, ethnic or socioeconomic backgrounds. It is also an important pillar of Prince Salman’s larger vision for the future of Bahrain. In line with the vision of HRH, scholarship recipients choose their own desired field of study and universities to apply to. The fact that scholarship recipients have gained acceptance to the world’s leading educational institutions bears testament to the strength of the Program in supporting its candidates, but more importantly, it validates HRHʼs belief in the outstanding potential of Bahrain’s most dedicated students and their ability to successfully interact, assimilate and compete with the finest students in the world. There is no doubt that for the approximately 160 young Bahrainis that have passed through the Program since its inception 20 years ago, Crown Prince Salmanʼs initiative has been life changing. For Bahrain, it has been transformative, highlighting the strength of the country’s human capital and equipping new generations of young Bahrainis with the skills and qualities required to participate in and contribute to the national and global economies. Respected at home and abroad for his heart, his unquestionable love for and commitment to his country and its people, his outstanding vision and his exemplary diplomacy, Prince Salman has created a legacy that will have an impact on the Kingdom of Bahrain for generations to come. D! www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Documentary / 16 min. / Colombia

A Short Documentary by Alberto Galán


arginalized Nation is a tribute to Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán, 30 years after his assassination, and it seeks to give voice to the vulnerable communities that he fought to dignify and empower. In one of the region’s most affected by the armed conflict in Colombia, a group of rural people made a peace agreement that few saw possible. These villagers show us how, despite having to endure a war for six decades, Colombian's resilience remains strong. Through nonviolence, this group was able to achieve a peace agreement (exemplary for the country) that few know of. Thirty years ago, in a context of growing violence against rural areas, Luis Carlos Galán saw the multiple expressions of leadership in these populations as a source of inspiration and motivation. He advocated ending all kinds of inequality in the country and guaranteeing dignity to each Colombian citizen. His solution to generate more opportunities by giving vulnerable populations their power back was to rely on the democratic system. Most of the country saw in him a hope for a better future. Unfortunately, he was murdered in 1989.

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Just like him, thousands of politicians and social leaders have been murdered since, and it still happens today. This documentary aims to show international audiences an introduction to the complexity of the war and to start a larger conversation about Colombia’s potential for progress. What can we learn about Galán's message and the initiatives of all these social leaders? What is their legacy? How can the country move forward?


uis Carlos Galán Sarmiento was a young political leader in Colombia between 1970-1989. He was a firm believer in democracy. Since his assassination in 1989, people have paid tribute to his life to remember what he meant for the country. Helena Quiroga Gonzalez Hernan’s Daughter

After the national government's peace agreements with the FARC guerrillas in 2016, the country and the world have known about the assassination of hundreds of social leaders in Colombia. These people advocated to protect their environment, have land ownership, defend women's initiatives, and speak up against various types of abuse. This documentary is dedicated to those leaders the country has lost, and to those who continue to follow their commitment to their communities with great courage. The filmmakers’ vision is a Colombia in peace where progress is driven by its people. D!

“As the bother of Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento, I wanted to pay tribute to his convictions and political legacy for the 30th anniversary of his murder. The purpose of this documentary was to also pay homage to rural leaders, some of which have been murdered in an absurd war as well. Showing the persistence of these villagers and highlighting their lives and efforts to build a better future, is crucial in the narrative of this documentary. Marginalized Nation shows a parallel between Galán's goals for the country and these social leaders' goals for their community.” - Alberto Galán

Ramon Vicente Cordoba ATCC Founding Leader


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Short Documentary / 26 min. / Canada

A Short Documentary by Phil Comeau


group of Acadians from BelleIle-en-Mer, France, travel to eastern Canada to visit their long lost cousins with whom they share a common history and culture. This film is about exile, finding your roots, the power of heritage and forgiving harm done. In 1605, French peasants were the first Europeans to permanently settle in North America. Some 150 years later, the British occupy their Acadie homeland, burn their properties and deport them to be scattered all over the eastern seaboard of North America and in refugee warehouses in England and France. This film follows the descendants of Acadians from the island of picturesque Belle-Ile-en-Mer, in Britanny, France, who - living some 5000 km away, cross the Atlantic Ocean to see homeland in North America. For most, it is their first time on the continent. They participate to the World Acadian Congress with other people of their world diaspora, but are also able to see, feel and walk on the lands of their ‘lost Acadie’. Will they be capable of forgiving this tragedy that their ancestors went through and survived? D!

“Culture is identity and it makes us all unique. I am moved by the power of resilience in people. What all our ancestors have been through strengthens us today.” - Phil Comeau 98 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Short Documentary / 29 min. / Peru

A Short Documentary by Flynn Donovan


n his own words, director Flynn Donovan speaks about his life-long journey of making documentaries that portray the human condition of the working man and woman. In particular, in Down River, the filmmaker follows a fishing crew in the Peruvian Amazon. What unfolds in this documentary is a richly textured human drama.


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had a fierce background in fine art painting. My fascination for colors and composition really started when I was very young. I was raised in Ecuador and lived in Quito for 14 years. While there, my mother insisted that I take painting lessons as there were several expatriates from Germany that held art classes in their studios.

Flynn Donovan

In 1960 my brother, mother and I moved back to the States. It was at that time when I enrolled in the Museum School in Boston. I started out with night classes. Later on, I was moved to day classes. My painting skills improved. My son, Peter, was born in 1967 and we desperately needed money so I lied my way into a job at a film studio as an assistant editor. Back then, film trims were all spliced together with glue and heat. While working as an editor, I learned of a camera assistant position for a crew that was embarking on a three month shoot in South America. I quickly learned that none of the crew spoke Spanish. I casually mentioned that I was fluent and that I would be very comfortable working in that culture. Much later, in 1972, I was hired as a cinematographer. Because of my persistence, the Swedish freelance director Torgny Anderberg took me on a trial basis. He was extremely demanding and often would express his temper. I thought of quitting many times but didn't. Year after year, for 29 years, he called me to work for him and go to the most tortured, war torn and starved parts of the world. 100 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

We produced many films for the Red Crescent, the Red Cross and Save the Children before my dear friend, the Maestro, died in 2000 leaving me bereft. Ten years ago I started making my own films. I was determined to try and do this because I believed I had something special to contribute to film. Thus far, my short films have done very nicely in the film festivals. Because I am semi retired, I’ve had to reach out to friends for contributions which they have done willingly. However, I have come to a place where I don't want to be asking friends for small hand outs, I really don't feel good about it and am afraid that eventually I’ll be left out in the cold. My latest film, Down River, is doing well in festivals too. The cost of producing this 29 minute documentary came to $11,000 which I think is astonishing considering all the care that went into making it. I’ve had to be very careful with money. Not an easy thing for me. Fortunately, I’ve had very good people along the way plus some luck… being in the right place at the right time is paramount. It’s something I can't explain but I know my instincts are very much awake.

I love making films, short films about people, everyday people who rise very early in the morning, splash their faces with ice cold water, dress, then walk through the dark to the bus stop where many others await an already crowded bus to take them into the city.


’ve concentrated on quarry workers cutting stone in the south Peru quarries, and coffee pickers working all day picking beans and making thousands and thousands of hand movements, over and over again picking beans until it made my head spin. My success came from being really observing and caring for my subjects, and knowing how to stay with them enough till they sensed that I truly cared and was doing something that I loved. This is why I was able to achieve the best results.

I was able to make inroads and eventually arrangements to work with the fishing crew. There had to be money involved and the sum was finally agreed upon. I packed my two cameras, flashlight, sunscreen, microphones and rain gear and the bare minimum of clothing and met the crew before daylight. The word was that there would be a long voyage, many hours and a long week searching the various lagoons for the best fishing. It was with the full understanding that it could be longer and that there were no guaran-

As it turned out, it seemed the more days I hung around the river port the more comfortable I felt with a people that so often were taken advantage of one way or another.

Now, with Down River, perhaps my most successful short documentary, something changed. At first, it wasn't at all obvious what I wanted to do or really how I was ever going to succeed. Almost always, I have some idea from the very start how to proceed and how to fuel the momentum. In Down River, it involved a massive river and a hand-full of fishermen. The tricky part (since I was working entirely alone) was to find an individual - hopefully without too much attitude and who could be trusted to contract five fishermen, a long boat, food and ice for a long stay on the river, and have everyone agree to be filmed.

tees of success. Long story short, on the second day towards late afternoon something felt different with the crew. I sensed from what I was looking at thru the camera that all five fishermen were fixed on the very subtle vibrations in the water, they all stood absolutely still, eyes fixated on one spot and then almost explosively the long boat was off, skimming in a wide circle, the large net fluttering over the gunwale. The end result was truly a gift from the river gods. I thank my editor, William Rogers of Coruway Films, for being a part of Down River’s team and for the truly amazing work he did in post.” - Flynn Donovan. D!. www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Documentary / 15 min. / Spain

Love Letters to a Bullfighter A Short Documentary by Reyes Caballero


his documentary paints a picture of the period from 1936 to 1942 in Spain. In particular, we see stories of people from different walks of life such as women spies, dancers, ranchers, bullfighters, diamond cutters, and much more. D!

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Short Documentary / 10 min. / USA

A Short Documentary by Ly Bolia


e are all met by a single destiny. How we face it is up to us. In this documentary, a man struggles with his mother's independence and strong will as he tries to help her through the early stages of dementia. He has to choose between forcing her to do what she doesn't want or allowing things to go on as they were till a simple tragic moment of confusion would create a crisis that might be irreversible.

“As I grow older, I find friends of mine who struggle with issues associated with their aging parents. I made this film to speak to other people of my age, and to share with them that they are not alone. There are many of us who struggle with the question of how to take care of our parents as they age. I tried to capture my mother as she is, and the frustrations and confusion I am experiencing.” - Ly Bolia


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Short Documentary / 15 min. / USA


A Short Documentary by Kaye Tuckerman


n this documentary, Jeri Nicolas, an Hawaiian woman brought up on mainland USA, retraces her roots, and tries to understand and connect her contemporary LGBTQ+ survivor life to the legacy of her blood line that is descendent from the Royal Hawaiian Family.

“I have loved Hawaii since first visiting as a child. I returned many times to seek private solitude, and soak in the energy of the islands. During the Broadway National Tour of Mamma Mia, I had the pleasure of working with Jeri Nicolas. I instantly decided she would be my new best friend. We spent two years traveling through the US and Canada, and during that time we spoke at length about Hawaii, Jeri's family and heritage, her childhood on the islands, and her longing to reconnect with a culture she felt disconnected from. The more we spoke, the more the idea for a short documentary formed. The conversation about what it means to be Hawaiian, what Hawaii means to mainlanders, the loss and legacy Kaye Tuckerman of the Hawaiian Royal Bloodlines, became fascinating topics. We shared much laughter, many tears, and many moments of true connection on a deep human level. I hope you enjoy The Last Queen”, says Kaye Tuckerman. D!.

Jeri Nicolas

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Short Documentary / 30 min. / USA

A Short Documentary by Tom Phillips


n funeral homes throughout the United States and the UK, there are untold numbers of unidentified and unclaimed remains, twenty percent of these are military veterans. They rest above copiers, on shelves, in lockers, and even in utility closets, unnamed and forgotten. Men, women, children and war veterans. How is it that we know nothing about thousands of unclaimed remains? In Unclaimed Remains, two Vietnam veterans try to piece together what happened to private Donald Sutton, a Korean War veteran whose remains sat on the shelf of a funeral home for over 40 years. Who was he? Why was he forgotten? How did he die? Their goal is to bring peace to the dead and closure to the family.

“I have worked in television for over 25 years on a lot of shows that you would know but nothing as important to me as this was. All the vets who are in this film and who worked with me are just such incredible men and women, so dignified, respectful, and united in a way that you just don't see anywhere else. This film is dedicated to the sister of the man this story is about. She passed away late last year but got to see it before she went. She loved it, and for that alone, it was worth it.” - Tom Phillips D!.


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Feature Documentary / 40 min. / Switzerland

A Feature Documentary by Hassan Lakhdar


way from Guns is a 40 minutes documentary film tracing the journey of several former child soldiers from their recruitment through to their reintegration into society. Made-up of heartfelt and moving testimonies, the film depicts their lives after having witnessed the worst humanity has to offer and yet these men and women still manage to touch us with their strength and courage. Child and soldier, two words that should never coexist, yet this is the harsh reality for hundreds of thousands of children around the world. Ever-increasing political tensions cause relentless wars and conflicts which children either find themselves forcibly involved in or in a situation where they are left with no choice but to defend themselves to survive. Abducted from school and subjected to the heavy rainfall of machine gun bullets, kidnapped from their mother's village or influenced by armed groups, once ‘recruited’, these young children leave their childhood behind forever.

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But how does this situation arise? What is responsible for the failure of these adults to protect children? What exactly does the life of a child soldier look like, and how does one overcome such a traumatic experience? Immersing us in the memories of Junior, Ibrahim, Julienne, Rosa and Carlos amongst other former child soldiers, this documentary denounces the violence that these children are subjected to on a daily basis, having been robbed of their childhood, family, protection and above all, their humanity.

Not only does the film start a conversation about the condition of these minors, it also proposes ways to take action so that everyone, regardless of their position can contribute to tackling this issue. Over 100 young Swiss people who have lived far from the reality faced by child soldiers have been impacted by their testimonies and have come together to raise money that would go towards preventing children from becoming child soldiers and helping rehabilitate children who once were soldiers. The gesture and actions captured in this film spur a feeling of hope. Through poignant testimonies and interviews with a variety of specialists in children's rights, Teenergy Productions delivers an emotional documentary that confronts the audience with the prevalent issue of child soldiers. This film, more than a documentary, is a call to come together and ensure the words child and soldier cease to coexist in our world.


o one can meet Junior Nzita Nsuami without being challenged. When he talks to young people about his past as a child soldier, there is complete silence. He shares what he went through, but also his redemption, present commitment to peaceful conflict resolution and the Peace for Children organization he founded to look after 140 orphans in Kinshasa, Congo. I wondered how I could take his message and make known the reality of child soldiers all over the world with the perspective that characterizes all my film work – giving hope, being sensitive and respectful to the people involved, encouraging commitment. It has been a (peaceful) battle and tough work to translate these thoughts into a film. There were Rosa and Carlos from Colombia for whom we had to change names and mask their faces. Some of the minors we filmed in Syria were killed before the film came out. There were Assad, Masih and Sohail, political refugees in Switzerland because they had to flee Afghanistan not to be enrolled. Junior, meanwhile, had to ask for political asylum in Canada, as his life in Congo was threatened. We have been weeping with Julienne who suffered from war in Rwanda, rejoicing with Ibrahim who could overcome his trauma by years of commitment of François who coached him. And then we could see Swiss young people, mobilizing their school and tennis club in order to support actions for the rehabilitation of former child soldiers. There were politicians like the former Swiss president, Didier Burkhalter, and NGOs who accepted to be part of the film. And we started to see a new possibility of participating in the rehabilitation of these children, by using the fast development of IT. Presently, we are working on a dedicated app. It has been and still is a journey towards hope that changed us all, from the film crew to all the people that have watched the film so far, committed to create a better world.â€? - Hassan Lakhdar D!. www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Documentary / 12 min. / USA

The Door

A Short Documentary by Kendra Jacobson


his is the story of the Francis family that built and have continued to run one of only three surviving drive-in theaters in the state of Oregon since 1953. Through archival footage and current interviews, the documentary tells the story of the ups and downs of drive-ins by focusing on one amazing place. D!

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“This year has seen a resurgence of drive-ins. Personally, I'm thrilled that these unique places are making a comeback! Now that drive-ins are popping up all over the place, learn the history of one of the originals. My film is a love letter to drive-in theaters and why independent cinema still matters as told through the multi-generational story of one of three drive-ins left in Oregon�, says Kendra Jacobson

Short Documentary / 39 min. / USA

TWISP: THE POWER OF COMMUNITY A Short Documentary by Leslee Goodman


eet the residents of Twisp, Washington, a tiny town that has survived the loss of its main employer, back-to-back summers of devastating wildfires, a controversial ski resort proposal, and other disasters, yet bounced back stronger than ever. Though remote, the town boasts an independent newspaper, radio station, playhouse, orchestra, library, and a rich array of other cultural offerings - from primitive skills gatherings to poetry readings. Though small in number, the residents of Twisp tackle big issues: from Native/white reconciliation to affordable housing to sustainable economic development. Though as evenly divided between ‘red’ vs. ‘blue’ affiliations as the rest of the US, residents are continually working to find common ground and bridge their cultural divide. How do they do it? What might other communities learn from the unassuming people of Twisp? This film offers a peek into the workings of one small rural town that is forging its own destiny without Wal-Marts, Costcos, fast-food chains, or casinos. It’s rustic. It’s quirky. It’s Twisp.

“My purpose in making Twisp was to show how rural America can serve as an incubator for many of the qualities urgently needed in our culture - neighborliness, tolerance (the right to be a character and still have a seat at the table), willingness to tackle problems rather than wait for the government, ‘experts,’ or someone else to do it; and an appreciation of many of the things money can’t buy - natural beauty, homegrown food, knowing one’s neighbors, and the joy of making or doing things for oneself - from art and music to beer and bratwurst. While the culture at large seems increasingly polarized, open hostility is a luxury people in small towns can’t afford.

If we alienate people on social media, how are we going to ask them to plow our driveway, coach our kids, or cut our hair? More important, we need that energy - and those people - to address more real and immediate problems. How can we stop a mining company from polluting our rivers? What are we going to do about our local opioid epidemic? Can anyone give me a hand during calving season? People in small towns quickly discover that it’s best to ‘go along to get along’. We may disagree, but we’d better do so respectfully because we need each other. I hope that residents of other communities will take heart from the people of Twisp and find the good in the people and places they call home.” - Leslee Goodman D! www.dariamagazine.com

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Short Documentary / 13 min. / USA

A Short Documentary by Shawn Welling


unday, Easter Day 2020 is not any given Easter Sunday. Shot in a apart of Texas that has taken shelter from an alien invasion: an alien referred to as COVID-19. D!

“There we sat on Easter Morning starring at the church across the street wandering ‘where are the people’.”

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Short Docudrama / 12 min. / USA

FLIGHT 483 A Short Docudrama by Shawn Welling


wo people find the most unexpected encounter on flight 483. From Shawn Welling, creator of If I Could Talk, comes a whole new adventure, one where he becomes personal and tells his own story of living with Parkinson's disease, and the importance of the unconditional love and support from Ranger, his service Labrador. D!


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Short Animation Film / 11 min. / Canada

A Short Animation Film by Joe Chang


he Great Chinese Cultural Revolution was a political campaign in China launched and led by Mao Zedong from 1966 to 1976. Nearly ten million people, including outstanding scientists, artists, intellectuals and ordinary people, died during these ‘ten years of turmoil’ or ‘ten years of holocaust’. This animated short film is based on a real story and set in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1967, It is about a young boy, Liang Liang, whose family is suddenly taken to the countryside by red guards. He is able to grab the only thing he treasures which is a western style music box, and is careful not to expose it to the red guards since it was linked to western culture. The film mirrors tragedies that befall children and families who are forced to leave their homes, due to war, colonization and political campaigns - unfortunately a situation which is all too common today.

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his is the first time I created an animated film that is so personal to me and is autobiographical. While the previous film I made in Canada was about immigration, this one is about my personal background and how it affected me as an artist. This story is not a ‘children’s' story, but a dramatic one about a child who suffers loss and post-traumatic stress. This is a 4K hand drawn and painted animation. I am happy to develop this form in animation, especially since traditional hand drawn animation has been left behind with the advent of computer animation. The method I have developed has been very long and arduous, but I found a technique that gives great results.” - Joe Chang D!


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Short Animation Film / 5 min. / Australia

A Short Animation Film by Xin Li


alking in a snowy forest, a peasant sees an unusual deer and goes to follow it. The deer allures him and the peasant wants to catch it. D!

“With a background in painting and animation, my practice is a hybrid art form recognized as paint-on-glass stop-motion animation. Each frame is hand painted on a piece of glass with back lighting under the lens of a camera. For me, both painting and animation capture shape and movement, and tell stories about our life. My intention is to keep discovering possibilities in my art form enabling me to tell stories I observe and feel in the daily life.� - Xin Li

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Short Animation Film / 4 min. / USA

A Short Animation Film by Sean Burns


his is an anti-trophy hunting short where a little boy with a BB gun fantasizes of being a big game hunter. D!

“This film is a reflection of a personal experience that profoundly changed my way of thinking about respecting the beauty of life.� - Sean Burns


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Short Animation Film / 8 min. / Canada

A Short Animation Film by Margie Kelk & Lynne Slater


he animated film, UnderSee, conveys a world of exquisite harmony which slowly dissolves under the relentless onslaught of pollution. A clean-up crew of aquatic species arrives to eat away the invasive pollutants, and the undersea garden seems to regain some life. The question remains: can the reef and its creatures continue to withstand new threats, or will they give way to a murky universe of jellyfish that can survive in adversity? D!

“The very existence of marine life in our oceans is now threatened by human activity. My passion for the preservation of ocean life motivated me to work with animator Lynne Slater to produce a stop-motion film which revolves around the destruction produced by human pollution in the marine environment.� - Margie Kelk

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Visual Music Film / 78 min. / USA, Cuba


ecrets, Dreams, Faith and Wonder is a feature-length abstract music video ritual of thanksgiving in five parts: first, a lament of surrender, Jerusalem’s Secrets; second, the reading of the lesson, Leur Songe de la Paix; third, the celebration of the ritual, Evigt Dröm; forth, the recitation of the creed, Credo; and fifth, a hymn of benediction, Ora penso invece che il mondo. When looked at it in this way, it follows the structure of rituals of gratitude celebrated throughout the ages and across cultures and religions. The five pieces of music incorporate voices in Latin, English and Arabic languages with texts from the Bible, by M. L. King and M. K. Gandhi, as well as bird and whale songs. Each of the videos was made to fit the music of the respective movement. Each of the five parts has its own tonal and timbral language, and yet they fuse into a whole when viewed as a single large-scale work. The two inner parts, Leur Songe de la Paix and Credo, have text subtitles to the speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. and MoA Visual Music Film by handas K. Gandhi respectively, while the other Stephen Travis Pope parts each has a related text of some sort. The motivation for making Secrets, Dreams, “In intact societies, people organize their lives Faith and Wonder was to around regular rituals that celebrate all manner create a new mass for the of milestones and life-transitions. Many of those new millennium and it is summed up in the followrituals have evolved over generations and incor- ing paraphrased quote porated our most important teachings about the from the late Joseph “Those who human character, our families and communities, Campbell, have heard the rhythms and the role that spirituality plays in our day-to- and hymns of the angels, day lives. Our rituals also reflect and encode our who have understood any of the words of the anshared social metaphors and generally reinforce gels, will try to recite the societal power structures of the group that those hymns in such a promotes them.” - Stephen Travis Pope way that the angels will be attracted”. D! www.dariamagazine.com

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Music Video / 4 min. / South Africa

A Music Video Directed by Uga Carlini


he Door (Die Deur) deals with the fall out of toxic relationships long after the abuser has left and shows how the long lasting hold it often has lies hidden in between the cracks it left behind. But our survivor fights her way through it, to reach the point where red flags are no longer warning signs but deal breakers. This is Uga Carlini's latest directorial piece, a music video for actress and songster Christia Visser, produced for Select Music, Sony Music Africa. Shot in black and white, by cinematographer Rick Joaquim, Carlini like her company Towerkop Creations, which has been specializing in female driven heroine stories since 2010, is always more interested in the comeback than the fall.

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The Door


horeographed by Ananda Fuchs, the dancers symbolize how violence doesn't discriminate. Domestic violence is still the most common killer of women around the world. The most dangerous place for women remains in their own homes.

“My company and I have been specializing in female driven heroine stories since 2010. The Door is no different. A highlight for me was collaborating with Jazzart Dance Theatre which was founded in 1973. Acknowledged as one of South Africa’s leading contemporary dance theatre companies, Jazzart’s distinguished, home-grown methodology ensures that the principles of strong technique are matched by a uniquely South African phiCarlini and Visser's previous music video collosophy of dance which relaboration, 17 shots, released in February 2019, won bronze at the Global Music flects the diverse political, culAwards, was runner up for Best Director and Best Music Video at the International Under- tural and historical heritage.” ground Music Video Film Festival, and was Uga Carlini selected as one of four music videos for the Los Angeles based New Media Film Festival. This was a first for an Afrikaans language music video which just goes to show how Afrikaans belongs to everybody. D!


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Music Video / 4 min. / South Africa

A Music Video Directed by Uga Carlini


ilmmaker Uga Carlini’s music video for Hot Water’s single Home, sees some of South Africa’s biggest names in the Entertainment Industry, in front and behind the cameras, uniting for this quarantine music video.

“Home was made for every single human on this planet that’s going through this surreal moment in time that we are finding ourselves in because of a virus called COVID-19. We also did it to help with the hunger of our children because of this virus that is becoming a bigger threat than the virus itself in South Africa at present. 100% of all proceeds, across all channels during the Epidemic, will be going to the COVID-19 Feed a Child coalition. The music video was made in 100% quarantine conditions, during South Africa’s hard lockdown period. Sixteen countries took part. From my heart to yours, my warm embrace to you: Home.” - Uga Carlini 120 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Uga Carlini Film Director Of Italian descent but proudly South African, multi-award winning filmmaker Uga Carlini has fast become one of South Africa's most versatile and celebrated directors. Her extensive film experience, both in front of and behind the camera, boasts a career that’s stretched across South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Fiji. In 2018 Uga was crowned one of eight female Filmmakers of the Year in the World of Women’s Cinema at the WOW Middle East Film Festival. That same year, she directed two in depth 60 minute TV feature pieces on the water crisis in Cape Town (Day Zero) and the humanitarian global refugee crisis (Far From Home) for the world's biggest TV Network CGTN (China Global Television Network) under the umbrella of multi award winning production and distribution company, Off The Fence. Far From Home won an Award of Excellence at the 2019 Abuja International Film Festival. Uga’s option of the Penguin Random House best-selling book I Have Life has translated into her full-length hybrid feature Alison that became one of South Africa’s most hotlyanticipated and multi award winning films. Voted Woman of the Month by the Extraordinary Women Of South Africa initiative, Uga is the first South African filmmaker whose company was inducted as a member of the South African / American Business Chamber. Among several professional international memberships, Uga and her company are also involved in several local training initiatives. D!

(Above) Donovan Copley performing live with his band Hot Water; (below) Donovan performing at home for the music video Home.


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Music Video / 4 min. / Germany



ars are taking place since the existence of humanity even though we all know that they create misery and weapons bring nothing but death. As long as we don’t stop threatening others with aggressions, and as long as weapons are being produced and sold, there will be no end in sight. Roberto Fischer visited a World War II cemetery with endless graves of young soldiers, when he felt the pain of mothers who lost their children for no reason. All these soldiers had hardly lived a life and all of them were way too young to go. He was deeply touched for a very long time and that led him to the conclusion that “men will never learn”. D!.

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A Music Video Directed by Roberto Fischer


till today, politicians push their buttons and millions die. That is why, more than ever, we need a clear message, and have to tell our children that wars will never win.” - Roberto Fischer

Music Video / 5 min. / USA

A Music Video Directed by Max Masri & Chelsea Eng


o-directed by Max Masri and Chelsea Eng, this music video was filmed in Manhattan in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. Themes of LGBTQIA+ pride, liberated tango partnering and transformation play out against the humid pulse of a New York City Summer day. Masri and his multi-award winning, thrice Latin-Grammy nominated electrotango band, Tanghetto, offer up a new Argentine Tango-infused rendition of Walk On the Wild Side. A butterfly tango cameo is a nod to Las Mariposas - symbol of the international movement to eradicate violence against women.

Max Masri and Chelsea Eng Filmmakers Max Masri and Chelsea Eng are artists for social change. With their art – music and dance respectively; film and writing collectively – Masri and Eng seek to open the audience hearts and inspire an ever wider embrace of gender equity, LGBTQIA+ rights, disability rights, inclusion of the marginalized, and compassion for animals. Both bearing longtime, deep roots in the Argentine Tango world, they also have familial and spiritual ties to Judaism. They mark their joint projects as Tango Tikkun – their contribution to the Jewish teaching of ‘tikkun olam’ – the healing, or repair, of the world. D!


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Music Video / 11 min. / France

A Music Video Directed by Yann Carpentier


meditative journey to Kyoto and within us, where statues become alive, where light, space and time behave in a strange way and seem to reveal a hidden truth. This short movie is a tribute to Andrei Tarkovsky and Terrence Malick. D!.

From Kyoto With Love “When life and art nourish each other, violence steps back, inner peace is found, and beauty can blossom.� - Yann Carpentier

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Music Vide / 5 min. / USA

THAT’S WHO YOU ARE A Music Video Directed by Mike Armstrong


“I’ve watched people travel outside their comfort zones, leaving their homes and families to go and help complete strangers. Firemen, nurses, EMT’s, and even grocery store workers. They put their lives on the line to serve us all. I felt compelled to pay tribute to all the heroes”, says Mike Armstrong. his music video is dedicated to all of those who are keeping us safe during the Coronavirus global pandemic. D!


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Music Video / 3 min. / Russia

A Music Video Directed by Alina Pasok and Iliya Prusikin


ittle Big is a Russian punkrock-rave band on its way to international fame. Their new EP is entitled Go Bananas. The record includes 5 tracks, filled with fresh synthesis of rave, punk and pop music. The band is on tour across Europe and Russia with performances in 53 cities. The music video for one of the singles, Rock-Paper-Scissors, gained over 46,000,000 views on YouTube, while the video for their title track, Little Big - Go Bananas, reached over 130,000,000 views. Alina Pasok and Iliya Prusikin came up with the idea of creating a team where they will play up Russian stereotypes in music and commercials. Their collaboration with the Little Big group began in 2013. “We saved up material for a long time, but without receiving sponsorship, we could not arrange the first concert”, they say.

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LITTLE BIG GO BANANAS After releasing a couple of clips, they realized that the group had gone viral, the band’s videos on YouTube collected a huge number of views, and at the same time, the group had an army of fans in Russia, France, Belgium and other countries.


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Music Video / 5 min. / USA

A Music Video Directed by Paul Helou



here Are Heroes is an original song and music video by musician, actor and writer Paul Helou. Featuring a collaboration with musicians from around the world, the song is an upbeat, uplifting tribute to our frontline workers, as well as a lighter look at one man's shelter in place experience (Paul really does have three plants called Larry, Curly and Moe!). The musicians recorded their parts from around the United States, as well as Italy and Argentina. Featuring a zoom-like format, the song weaves in and out of entertaining visuals and expert solos from sax and piano.

“During an extremely challenging and uncertain time, when the temptation to give in to bleak thoughts constantly came up, I knew I had to dig deeper into a heartfelt, creative project — one that would involve a team of creative musicians and consultants to shine light and share good vibes. The video, shot in locations around the world during lockdown, includes a stellar array of musicians, along with the exquisite voice of Devyn Rush, performing in Tennessee, California, Argentina, and Italy”, says Paul Helou 128 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Music Video / 8 min. / USA

A Music Video Directed by Elizabeth Rossa


he plague of 2020 rips away the veil on the world as we once knew it. Multi-dimensional time lines reveal biological life moving simultaneously with the cosmos. The singular, linear storyline of an emptied, diseased city dissolves and opens to the mind-expanding reality that many stories are always unfolding at once. That which is perceived as empty is full, encompassing the mundane, the glorious, the terrifying and every nuanced iteration imaginable… and unimaginable. The song is a character within the film, a celestial siren calling for a new beginning of harmony on Earth, and in relationship to the unseen. D!.

“In my directorial debut, I have learned how the process of creativity is one of great intimacy. The process began with the original song that my musical collaborators, Johnny Rossa and Meredith Meyer, together with lead vocalist, Lucia Ribisi and music producer, Judah Bauer created together. Of course, the mantra around which the music was created gave the intention that led to an intimate collaboration amongst all the musicians involved, including our esteemed mix engineer, Wayne Trevisani. In contemplating the visuals for the song, my meditation practice guided me to the subject matter, and the process which unfolded from there was one that required patience. The shock of the required pandemic lock-down in NYC on March 15th brought another depth of intimacy to the process. I could have never imagined, prior to the circumstances of COVID-19, that we would be shooting in a desolate Washington Square Park on April 10th, 2020.” - Elizabeth Rossa www.dariamagazine.com

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Music Video / 3 min. / Australia

A Music Video Directed by Elizabeth Usher


kulele Boogie Woogie is a fun and uplifting song written by Elizabeth Usher, with a lyric-driven music video centered around Lauren Swan’s creation of a beautiful whale artwork on a second-hand concert ukulele. It was the first musical release of Elizabeth’s UKEnTHUSED project – highlighting her enthusiasm for all things ukulele! The song itself features beautiful vocals by Renée Jonas, and impressive playing by ukulele virtuoso Cameron Murray.

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The inclusion of the lyrics on screen, using a cartoonish font with a cheery color scheme, add to the enjoyment, allowing you to sing-along to the music video even on the first or second time through. The clever rhymes and witty lines of the song’s lyrics, combined with changes in pace and tone, lean towards an entertaining musical theatre style, and the cheerful upbeat nature of the song cannot be denied. Unique phrases such as ‘an un-humdrum fun strum’ add to the charming and engaging nature of the song, and you can hear the truth in the closing lines of the chorus: While there's blood in my veins You'll find me strumming away Yeah I'll boogie woogie to the ukulele all day. Let your own heart be captured by the positive vibes of the song, and maybe you’ll also find that the perfect remedy for the blues is to say ‘each day is a uke day’ and join the joyful club of 'ukulele groupies’!


was so happy to hear the news that my music video for Ukulele Boogie Woogie had been selected as part of the Global Nonviolent Film Festival 2020. As a vegan for 22 years, and seeing veganism as an important step relating to renunciation of violence, I was overjoyed to come across a film festival so focused on the theme of nonviolence. Prior to starting my UKEnTHUSED project, I was primarily focused on writing ‘message songs’ with the intent to raise awareness about various issues and encourage change and progress, both at an individual level and on a wider scale. However, a pivotal moment happened when I was lucky enough to win my ukulele in a SongsAlive! Australia raffle, and then a few months later attended a songwriting festival in Hawaii for the first time – the home of the ukulele! It was there that I wrote my first ukulele song, and this opened the gateway to an outpouring of joy-filled songwriting. Although initially I did not feel this output was as ‘worthy’ as the other projects I was working on, I’ve come to realize that bringing something cheerful into the world to try and lift people’s spirits is as important a step as trying to promote compassion, empathy, and action for the environment, animals rights, and social justice. So, I have wholly embraced this quirky and light-hearted side of my songwriting. I hope that it brings a little extra brightness to your life, just as it has to mine.” - Elizabeth Usher D!

Photo by Nadine Saacks

“I acknowledge that I live on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and offer my respect to elders past, present, and emerging.”

Photo from the Hawaiian State Archives

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete, a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, mainly from Madeira and the Azores. The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone. www.dariamagazine.com

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Music Video / 3 min. / UK


A Music Video Created by Accept Cookies


look at the human condition explored through the combination of lyrics, music, and experimental film, seen through the lens of but not constrained by our current global pandemic. D!

“I wrote a song so I made a video for it to flesh out my artistic vision, generally process the global emotions around a common enemy, and holistically realize my experimental concept.� - Accept Cookies 132 | Daria! | www.dariamagazine.com

Music Video / 4 min. / UK

COPPER BONE The Door A Music Video Created by Accept Cookies


beautiful love story with a wistful color about a star-crossed intertwining of fates. The music and video were born out of the creation of the ‘light-at-theend-of-the-tunnel’ phase, with people emerging from the pain, hardship, and mental health struggles to see that the future is, indeed, bright and promising. D!

“I wanted to contrast the uncanny solidity that can be achieved using 3D computer animation techniques with an ephemeral and abstract visual story that intertwines with the lyrics and gives them a different vibe.” - Accept Cookies


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D!vine “I am comfortable with who l am, age is a state of mind. Everybody can be beautiful because beauty has many faces. Each and everyone of us has something to contribute to life. I believe that, if you are fair and honest, most things fall into line.�




Serafina is represented by Global Film Actors Agency.

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Global Film Studio Inc. is a Canadian media company focused on ventures that are socially conscious and nonviolent. Global Film Studio’s activities revolve around film production and distribution, talent management, film festival organization, publishing and more. The Company has seven Divisions; each of them is primarily in charge of one activity.

The Divisions of Global Film Studio are: Global Film Production; Global Film Distribution - www.GLOBALCINEMA.online; Global Film Actors Agency; Global Nonviolent Film Festival; Global Film Academies & Film Workshops; Global Real Estate Properties; Global Publishing.