Issue 020 London 2019

Page 1







From short to feature film, a classical musician finds new hope in life after living on the streets.

– Turn to pages 4, 5 & 6 for an in-depth look at A Precious Life –



WELCOME TO THE INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKER FESTIVAL OF WORLD CINEMA LONDON 2019 Dear Filmmaker, Congratulations on your nomination, we hope you have a wonderful time with us in London and we look forward to meeting all of you! Our events are always held in one location, and over the past 14 years of developing the Festivals, I have found that this format works very well. Having all the filmmakers and professionals mixing together makes for an ideal fun and professional environment. For the filmmaker, this helps them engage at all of our Festivals, which then allows them to make new contacts and the possibility to do business with each other in the future. Our Festivals open with a meet and greet, which is an informal gathering. For


Of course, we are open to the public but this is not our only consideration – we are keen that this is the start of a journey for you.

I would also like to remind you that during the week we offer you the opportunity of a filmed interview – as we do at all of our Festivals! All of the interviews are then posted on YouTube, and you are more than welcome to use these on your social media to promote your latest movie or script. You can find a number of previous interviews by visiting our website.

We have with us the support of industry professionals Brad Blain, Neil McEwan and Ray Davis, who are readily available with advice on your project and can help with any questions you may have.

Other than our red-carpet Awards Evening on Saturday the 23rd of February, all of the events that we offer are free to all attending filmmakers and guests – screenings, meetings, filmed interviews, networking panels and so on.

With a back to back screening programme, we have multiple screening rooms to showcase the incredible amount of talent that has been nominated at this year’s London Festival.

However, for the Awards Evening there is no obligation to attend, although of course we would be delighted to see you at any point during the Festival week.

filmmakers, this is a great chance to mix and socialise with other filmmakers and scriptwriters from all over the world.

During the week we will also be holding networking nights, professional panels and Q&As to fully connect as much as possible (please check the daily screening display for times & dates).

I wish you a wonderful Festival! Regards, Carl Tooney President & Chief Executive Officer


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The Radicalization of Jeff Boyd Written and directed by Uwe Schwarzwalder

This drama is about a businessman, Jeff Boyd, who dreams of living in Australia. When he signs an investment contract, he’s full of hope to be able to leave with a pocket full of cash. He soon realizes that it’s not that easy. And after a heavy argument with his boss, Jeff’s world collapses. That’s when he meets a young woman, Wendy, also in a delicate state. Their common worries about what the world turns into comes more and more into light, and they decide that they want to change that – with a dangerous plan! The cast includes Uwe Schwarzwalder, Yessica Sanchez, Zarina Tadjibaeva, Jörg Reichlin, Julian Booth, Brian Pinkus, Freigeist van Tazzy, Leonard Kocan, Patricia Sluka and many more.





Uwe Schwarzwalder wrote the story in late summer 2014. When meeting the actors, he tried to connect on a personal level instead of the usual audition process. The core scenes were shot within a few weeks early in 2015, while adding additional shots continuously until 2016. Post-production was eventually a very long process, in co-operation with 4 musicians, Michael Klubertanz, Paco Periago and Brendan Gillespie who also wrote and performed Fall and Amanda Ply with Waiting, who all underlined the film with a vivid score. This is his first film as a director. He tried to bring out the essence of each character and to stay truthful to the moment. (So truthful, that one time a real police SWAT team showed up as they suspected a hold up.) Also important to him was the logical aspect of the story being told. Everything had to make sense and be believable as it would be in real life. And it becomes the real life — with weaknesses, vulnerabilities and objectives.




Run Time: 117 Mins




BASED ON A TRUE STORY Directed by Fraser Precious

Each and every life on our planet is precious. Life is short. Life can be even shorter for some more than others. It is without a doubt vital to cherish who we are, where we’ve come from and how we move forward, regardless of the obstacles thrown in our path. For one day it could all come crashing down at once. It is only then that we must find our inner strength to carry on and discover a new path or journey in life. My 30 years have led me to where I am today, writing this article to share with you a small story that ultimately brought me back from nothing. 30 years on, regardless of the journey it took to get here, I am even more motivated and determined to climb the path I‘ve laid out. It’s the times we get knocked down that not only shape our future, but more importantly shape our character towards a stronger more resilient existence.


From the age of 4, music was brought into my life in the form of a piano. But it was a year later at 5 that my father first placed a wonderful instrument into my hands to see how I would respond to it. A trumpet that would inevitably shape the rest of my life and lead me to achieve unbelievable highs, but also colossal lows. After embracing the trumpet at an early age, I continued to excel throughout my childhood. I first gained a music scholarship to the prestigious Sedbergh School in the north of

England at the age of 11, and then went on to achieve university diplomas in music at the age of 14 and 16. However, it wasn’t until after a gap year of teaching music in Sydney that I was offered a music scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where I really focused on reaching the top. Following the offer, I moved my life to Australia in 2008 to


achieve a degree in music. It was during this time I would ultimately experience everything I had hoped for followed by something I could never ever plan on happening. While studying at the Conservatorium, I was performing professionally at the highest level as a trumpet player all over Sydney. Playing with big bands, brass bands, brass ensembles and symphony orchestras.



During my first year I was lucky enough to perform in the Sydney Opera House alongside the trumpet maestro James Morrison and his big band, in front of the Australian Prime Minister. But it wasn’t until I performed a solo for the Verdi Requiem with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, standing amongst the audience, that sent shivers down my spine. It was a surreal moment that I will never ever forget. Hearing those beautiful notes ring out from my instrument in that incredible concert hall is definitely a highlight of my life so far.

father. A family that taught me what it meant to work hard, be self-sufficient and retain important values and standards.

Unfortunately, everything else that was going on in my life surrounding those performances was sadly creating a negative spiral within me. A negative spiral with my own mental health, my ability to cope under extreme pressures and the circumstances that I found myself in the other side of the world from my family in an unfamiliar country.

It was during this period of severe anxiety brought on from the extreme pressures I created for myself, the never ending financial burdens that I took on for my degree and the mental abyss that swept over me, that ultimately left me becoming homeless on the streets of Sydney at the age of 21.

I have always had the most loving and supportive family, thanks to my mother and

By this point, I had prided myself on these values and so it became almost impossible for me to let my family know when things got tough. I couldn’t even come to tell my brothers, one of which a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and the other now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Marines, who at the time was fighting for his own life in Afghanistan.

With not a penny left in my pocket I was kicked out of the house I was renting. The only thing I could do at this point was wander out to the


streets of an unfamiliar city with nothing but a bag and my trumpet left to my name. The next thing I remember was collapsing down on a park bench. After several prior counselling sessions which regrettably didn’t sink in, my mind was completely lost and my body felt broken. From the ultimate high a few weeks earlier of performing in the Sydney Opera House in my Tuxedo, to the ultimate low of not knowing where or who I was anymore, slumped down on that bench. The first night was probably the toughest, not being able to know what was in front of me. Feeling helpless and lost, even scared, although there would be scarier nights ahead. Everything around me was unfamiliar, unknown. Noises louder than normal, lights brighter than usual. That first night soon faded into another and another and another. Who I was became just a distant and compressed memory.




The one constant was my trumpet, beside me the whole time. After a week of not being able to even look at it, I started to doubt it’s meaning after the joy and love it had given me throughout my life. It started to become an object of hate, a reason why I had become homeless and fighting for my own survival. A few weeks of not eating seemed to catch up on me and override any sentiment towards the instrument. Survival had kicked in after wandering from street to street, aimlessly walking and forgetting where I was. The more I held my trumpet the more I wanted to get rid of it. I found the nearest pawn shop and with the heaviest heart, proceeded to sell my trumpet for money. What felt like hours standing in front of that unpleasant man behind the counter, was most definitely the saddest moment of my life. After accepting his soul destroying offer, I ran and ran until I collapsed down a long dark alleyway, hiding from what I felt forced to let go. I must have passed out for the rest of the night until a heavy sound woke me the next morning. Ironically the sound of music. After following the sound to a man playing the drums, something immediately came over me. I took the money out of my pocket and immediately sprinted back to the pawn shop. I burst through the door and slammed the cash back down on the counter and demanded my trumpet back. After an explosive argument, I managed to retrieve my instrument and ran as far as I could to another park where I huddled around my trumpet for quite some time.


Without revealing too much more, this moment would ultimately trigger another small journey on the streets for me. A journey which finally led me to re-discover a new purpose, a reason to live and my love of music again. The rest of the story that I hope will be inspiring is what I would love to achieve with the vision for A Precious Life as a feature film. To be shared and witnessed in cinemas around the world. Following this period in my life, it took a few years to rebuild myself and somehow I ended up stumbling into the film industry and falling in love with the craft of acting. Maybe adapting to a life on the street opened up an inner sanctum within me. Something that must have been in my bones all along as a musician. I remarkably managed to complete my degree of music in 2011 and found myself accepting a new challenge in Stockholm, Sweden where I went on to teach music, perform the trumpet and develop my acting for the next 3 years. As soon as I realised my new path I set my sights on one day moving to Los Angeles to train and work at the highest level. This time however, I would be much stronger, wiser and ready to forge my career as an actor. Moving to Los Angeles in 2014 felt like a lifetime’s achievement. After initially training at the New York Film Academy in LA and then developing my experience in the world of film, I realised I had my own story to tell and share. A story that I hope can help inspire others

“Our aim is to create something beyond film, something that leaves an imprint and provides much needed inspiration to anyone who needs it.” through their struggles and challenges in life. So after spending the past 5 years developing my life’s work into a feature film, I successfully premiered the short film concept for A Precious Life at the Cannes Short Film Corner last year. Something that almost 10 years ago seemed unimaginable. The short film that I am proud to screen at this festival gives just a small insight into the grander vision that I hope to tell with the feature film. Our aim is to create something beyond film, something that leaves an imprint and provides much needed inspiration to anyone that needs it. Through the short film’s success at festivals I only hope it will continue to build the momentum to really bring the story to life

on the big screen. We aim to raise much needed awareness for the mental health and homeless communities, as well as give a rare insight into the classical world and power of music. To make the feature film possible, we are seeking an investment of $4 million to produce the film in the most authentic way possible, with a high calibre director and cast to support my character. As can be seen in the short, our plan is for every element of the story to be portrayed authentically, from my trumpet playing to a life on the streets and to the uplifting ending that resulted in me discovering a new path and journey in life. If anything can be taken away from this film and story it would be to inspire or motivate someone through a difficult period in their life and to give hope. Hope for anyone that needs it, or for anyone looking for a new purpose or reason to make the most of their life and never ever give up. I will always be eternally grateful for the support I’ve received throughout my life and with my vision for A Precious Life. Fraser Precious

For more information on A Precious Life email: or visit: Drama

Screening | February 21st | 18.00 | London IFF


Run Time: 29 Mins



A M E R I C A N BARBARIAN A film by Paul L. Carr

“American Barbarian is a film I felt compelled to make following the election of Donald Trump. Literally overnight, the American landscape fractured and entered a surreal dimension. Like a virus from a science fiction tale, the upheaval and divisiveness embodied in Donald Trump infected communities nationwide. The main character in my film, Dorothy, is a young woman coping with the aftermath of the election, a grotesque reality where the bogey man is no longer hiding under the bed, as in a child’s nightmare, but occupies the office of President.

some laughs and end on an upbeat note, which I believe was accomplished. Sometimes you have to whistle past the graveyard!

Dorothy’s plight mirrors that of any woman who feels besieged and targeted in a society celebrated for its alleged freedoms. For although America is a land of plenty, there remains a plethora of abuse toward women and the horror genre is an appropriate way to tell this tale.

Locations around the city of Chicago provided great streetscapes and American Barbarian also incorporates public art and sculpture, scenes shot in a bar, a hot dog stand and a rooftop, a bedroom, a bondage dungeon, a psychiatrist’s office. Chicago, a cinematographer’s dream, displays itself beautifully.

The tools of satire and dark comedy, mashed up with a strong rock n’ roll soundtrack, provides the film a tragicomic vibe befitting of the absurd times we live in. Nonetheless, my goal in making this film was also to provide

The spirit of the young woman, Dorothy – at times desperate, frightened, confused, is also relentless, buoyant, determined. Clearly, in this era of Trump and #TimesUp, American Barbarian speaks of the tumultuous times

every woman, and man, must navigate. In addition to American Barbarian, I created a 3-minute rock video entitled, Die, Trump Zombie! Die! This trippy rock and roll extravaganza features the lovely heroine of the film, Zoe Pike, in perilous B-movie splendor as she is pursued through alleys, junkyards and the streets of Chicago, sometimes by a creepy dude in a ’55 Chevy. Not to be missed!” Paul L. Carr Drama


Run Time: 46 Mins


A brilliant debut comedy drama by Hakan Yilmaz & Volkan Yilmaz

Crime, a stand-up comedian, robbery and a crazy club host. A screwed, gangster comedy in a true suburban spirit. What happens if you mix an IQ freed stand-up comedian with two tough friends, Hakan and Volkan, who are the exact opposite? Together with their mutual friend, Jigaar, a real loser and very unsuccessful stand-up comedian, we follow the friends’ journey from nothing to everything, and about Jigaar’s fall and rise. Jigaar is a man with a heart of gold but with a brain like a six-year-old child, who does not hestitate to show his ‘sharpness’ towards the children Efe and Pelin.

The comedy movie Jackpot is made by Sweden’s equivalent to Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, the directors Hakan Yilmaz and Volkan Yilmaz. Jackpot is their first feature film. It is interesting to note that Hakan and Volkan have done everything in the film, such as the scriptwriting, directing, producing and editing. They have also acted as lead actors.



Run Time: 73 mins




An off-Broadway actor in his forties, after years of success on the New York scene, is going through a midlife crisis. Marcello is stuck between the present where he is acting in others people’s dramas and the past where a lost love is the safe haven from daily life. Will the talented Italian actor move to the next chapter of his life or will his nostalgia take over him? The Blurry World of Marcello Casagrande is a suigeneris existential drama that pays homage to the magical realism of Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2.

the director’s statement I could list many reasons why I wrote this movie. The most simple one was the need for artistic creation. When I started writing The Blurry World of Marcello Casagrande, it had been four years since my last short film Nando and I was missing not having a new story to tell. I felt empty and without a real purpose. That empty feeling helped me to find the strength and the discipline to keep myself consistent during the whole pre-production and production process of the short film.

The other reason was that in 2015 Nando won the Audience Award at the Soho International Film Festival in New York. This little win gave quite a positive boost to my self-esteem as a filmmaker, and fired up my inspiration and writing process again.

and this is probably the major reason I came up with this story. My creative inner child and my dreams of love were stuck in limbo, and the feeling of not evolving as a filmmaker and a human being was growing and becoming unmanageable.

At the time I wrote the story of Marcello Casagrande, I had been living in New York for almost eight years and I was feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the city that never sleeps,

I realized that the only way to get out of that limbo was to listen to those fears and translate them into images, giving life to The Blurry World of Marcello Casagrande. Drama


Run Time: 17 Mins

Ballad of a Righteous Merchant a stunning documentary film by herbert golder A fresh and candid glimpse of one of the great masters of cinema at work, by his longtime friend (of more than 25 years) and collaborator (on 10 films) Herbert Golder, Ballad of a Righteous Merchant chronicles Werner Herzog’s making of the feature film, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (cowritten by Golder), which was nominated for a GOLDEN LION at the Venice Film Festival, and which stars Michael Shannon, Willem Dafoe and Chloe Sevigny. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done was inspired by the true story of an actor who acted out in reality the crime he was supposed to enact on stage in a production of an ancient Greek play: he murdered his mother. Ballad of a Righteous Merchant explores the process through which this true story, itself inspired by a fiction, is transformed back into a fiction – that is, a narrative feature film – once again. Unlike other documentaries which have been made about Herzog, in which he stares almost defiantly into the camera and, in his inimitable

way and in his famous voice, articulates his views on life, this film shows a side of him known only to his friends and close collaborators. Although refreshingly candid and surprisingly revealing, this portrait in no way diminishes Herzog’s mystique – quite the contrary – but it does deepen our appreciation of his humanity, and offers, through Golder’s running commentary – as much part of an ongoing conversation with Herzog as a conversation with the viewer – an insider’s insight into his craft. Even as we come closer to knowing Herzog

more intimately in this film, we also become increasingly aware of his privacy and the deep solitude that in some essential way defines him. Herzog’s idea that film should be, not analysis, but an “agitation of the mind” informs the telling of the story that unfolds here. Not without its moments of humor and warmth, Ballad of a Righteous Merchant nonetheless manages to explore, through what we see taking shape on screen and through Golder’s voiceover narration, some of the most abiding and deepest themes of Herzog’s films. Documentary


Run Time: 63 Mins


BUNCH OF GRAPES A film by Shomsuklla Das

Bunch of Grapes is the story of an over obsessed mother and her troubled daughter and the working relationship between the two. A story of love and hate, the film was shot by ace cinematographer, Alex Megaro, against


the scenic backdrop of a vineyard in Los Angeles, USA. It was wonderful to work with Catherine Black, an award-winning director and actress who I met at a festival. Having gelled so well, we spontaneously decided to work together, which was a fantastic experience – as was the experience with Sharmila. So well suited was Sharmila to playing a mother that when delivering harsh dialogues,

she broke down. It was so intense. Added to which, when dealing with food, we avoided nuts as Cat was allergic to them. A seven-day shoot involving long hours, we started just after breakfast and wrapped up in the evening. Aside from the vineyard, we also travelled to different locations and had awesome shoots there too. Our first collaboration with American actresses, it was a very pleasant experience.



Run Time: 80 Mins




A Shomshuklla Film A Shomshuklla Film

The Bird

Music Ankur Mukherjee

The Bird

It is the story of a successful corporate woman, who is at her high, but decides to leave all the glamour and frills of corporate life, to go back to the family and be domesticated, as she realises the value of a family to a corporation.

Watch the trailer now : Bird Actors : Sohini Mukherjee Teeshay Shah Dipti Harwani Story and director : Shomshuklla Producer : Bhaskar Das Dop : Ritam Banerjee Cinematographer : Ashish Singh Music : Ankur Mukherjee

Sohini Mukherjee Teeshay Shah Dipti Harwani


For information on our films & more :

THE BIRD A film by Shomsuklla Das

The Bird is the story of a corporate woman, successful, a wife and mother. Her world revolves round her small loving family and her work family. But there are a lot of sacrifices to be in the corporate world and to be successful. She is at the crossroads. What is she wanting more and more – corporate success, or the simple pleasures from her family, to spend quality time with her husband and daughter?

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENt This film is very interesting to me, as I shot it in four hours in an office space. I used two cameras and I did the shoot like a documentary. I wanted to challenge myself whether I could shoot a film like this. I was highly influenced by David Cronenberg and his film after watching his Cosmopolitan. It is a very important film to me, because of the way I shot and how I shot. I took great care in the edit too. And of course, the film has my signature style, which is experimental. Drama


Run Time: 73 Mins



In October 2018, Another World won at its Norwegian premiere at BIFF – Norway’s biggest international film festival, with the jury stating: “Another World is a surprising and ambitious work which circles around a touching story of friendship and courage. While plunging the viewer into a dark and mystical universe, the film never ceases to surprise with its many and wonderfully bewildering turn of events.


The jury was impressed with its lush sound design and well instructed acting, and the daring way in which it raises questions instead of simply providing answers. With its impressively executed special effects, daring plot and stunning images – both above and below the water surface – this is a captivating film that will linger in the viewer’s mind.”

A film by Rolv Lyssand Bjørø

When Tommy and Even gets trapped in another world, Tommy must confront his most terrifying inner demons to save his friend. The Film He Had to Make Rolv Lyssand Bjørø is a Norwegian director, editor and screenwriter who has made numerous award winning shorts and documentaries that have been screened internationally. Bjørø wrote, directed and produced Another World in 2018. Another World has so far won five awards and received 11 nominations. The screening at London International Filmmakers Festival will be the official European premiere. The film is nominated in the categories ‘Best Short Foreign Language Film’ and ‘Best Director of a Short Foreign Language Film’.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT I strongly believe that understanding the role of everyone involved in making a film makes me a better director. I drew on many years of specialising in different roles in preparation for this film. This is my passion project and this was a story I had to tell. I wanted to prove to myself that even on a low budget it is possible to craft a high production-value film, with complex special

effects and a compelling story. I wanted to create a unique world by using supernatural elements to bring the viewer along on a psychological journey that would not be possible in a realistic universe. It is fascinating to see how the audience iteroperate different details and characters in this film. Therefore, I feel excited and honored to be presenting the film here in London for the first time to a British audience. Adventure/Fantasy/Thriller


Run Time: 24 Mins




H A L F W AY TO HELL Directed by Chris Simoes

“What if one day you just woke up…with no recollection of your past, no idea of who you are, or what brought you to this time and place...not even your name. You stare endlessly at a picture of unfamiliar people, because it showed up in your pocket, hoping it to be a link to your previous life. Oh yeah... everyone else you encounter; just as crazy. A world of survivors and killers, all on the same trip to Hell.” John Savage This is a unique tale of post-apocalyptic survival, revolving around our main character, John Savage, trying to find his identity in a world torn down by a mutation of dementia. What was once considered a disease for the elderly, has now touched all walks of life. The Earth as we knew it, has become utter chaos!



WRATH & envy

not a lecture, and to offer classic storytelling and mainstream filmmaking style.

Dale Johnson - Cinema eVerite LLC

This highly unusual, multi-purpose film short story Sin platform was created for a variety of socially conscious reasons: (1) Because the film shorts are ultra-micro budget and therefore low risk they allow artists to take chances to create unique, intriguing, risk-taking ideas and stories. (2) They allow a multitude of minority voices and stories to be heard. (3) They can be shot anywhere with anyone, allowing talented minority writers, directors and crew anywhere in the world to learn and grow. (4) They deliver specific socially conscious messages to audiences thirsting to hear truths not conveyed in mainstream films. (5) They can make profits because audience members viewing one will want to pay to view the entire series, making not one sale but dozens. (6) They are limitless and can eventually be a series of hundreds of entertaining bitesize shorts.

The Cinema eVerite’ LLC project Dale Johnson’s Deadliest Sins is an incredible series of socially conscious yet entertaining short films. They are twisted, dark, powerful, meaningful, intensely creative, and shine a light on human nature and the sins that plague our personal and group relationships within society. Imagined as a blend of the Twilight Zone and Black Mirror, each mini bite-sized fiveto twelve-minute ‘Sin’ offers insights into a contemporary human issue affecting our ethical and moral behaviours and often society as a whole. Each Sin is presented truthfully yet artfully without bowing to financial or censorship pressure, and each group of film artists are encouraged to examine the meaning of humanity through their individual Sin. Yet these Sins are meant to be an entertainment,

The first series of three sins, Wrath, Envy and Greed, has gotten off to a great start. Shot recently in 2018, Wrath, concerning gun

control, was accepted into the Newark 2018 Film Festival and Milan filmmakers Festival 2018, while Envy was also accepted into the Milan Filmmakers Festival 2018. More Sins are in development to be shot in 2019. The Series is looking for collaborators, representation and distribution. Founded by veteran theatre writer/ producer Dale Johnson in 2010, joined by producer Alexandra Tebano in 2017, Cinema eVerite’ LLC has shot both fulllength movies and shorts. It has a multiplegoal Mission Statement: (1) Make substantial profits for investors and participants. (2) Advance the career opportunities of talented minorities, particularly women. (3) Shine a light on controversial issues with an uncompromising approach. (4) Merge the best intentions of Off Broadway and independent filmmaking. Cinema eVerite’ LLC therefore welcomes collaborations and co-partnerships with diverse and talented filmmakers with a unique style and voice.



Run Time: 87 Mins

Wrath - Run Time: 6 Mins Envy - Run Time: 12 Mins





Run Time: 90 Mins


A film by Takumi Shimomukai

In 2027, Japan, Artificial intelligence (AI) such as automatic driving has developed and adapted in daily life. However, people try to eliminate AI because they are afraid of AI’s occupation. One day, one automatic drive car has a car crash, causing the death of Ranko Fukami (Meiry Mochizuki). Amane Yonago (Marina Yoshimi) who unwillingly belongs to the traffic department starts to investigate the crash with her lazy colleague, Otori (Yutaka Hoshino). When she tries to sue MACO2 (Hikaru Kamiyama) as the suspect of this crash, he testifies that “I killed Fukami on purpose”. An exciting legal thriller story about whether or not AI has begun to have emotion.



Run Time: 70 Mins



MADAGASIKARA Directed by Cam Cowan

INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR CAN YOU GIVE US A SHORT OVERVIEW OF THE FILM? Most of us know Madagascar for its lemurs and unique biodiversity, and as the setting of the popular animated films. But the real Madagascar is drastically different from the cartoon images we have seen. Since its independence from France in 1960, the country has suffered frequent political turmoil, including unconstitutional changes of government in nearly every decade. In 2009, after the forced resignation of the president, the international community cut off essential foreign aid to Madagascar, which was already one of the poorest countries in the world. This film explores how those sanctions were imposed and the devastating impact they had on the population. Against that backdrop, the stories of three remarkable Malagasy women are told, as they fight for the survival of their families and the education of their children. This film reveals the real Madagascar. You can learn more at

16 WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE TITLE? Madagasikara is the name that the Malagasy people gave their country, long before French colonization re-named it “Madagascar”. We had a different working title at the start of our project, but as the story grew to encompass the entire country, and as our respect for the Malagasy people deepened, we realized that the country’s true Malagasy name was the perfect title.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO MAKE THIS FILM? Several years ago, I attended a presentation of law school students reporting on Madagascar as part of a human rights study program and was stunned by what I heard. I knew nothing about the people of Madagascar. I did not know that Madagascar was one of the very poorest countries in the world, where 93% of the population live on less than $2 per day. I did not know that children comprise half of


the population, and that half of those children are chronically malnourished. I wondered, how did the country get this way and why do we not know about it? And why had so much activity and money been spent to warn about endangered lemurs and the rainforest, but not about the endangered children? That became the focus of my inquiry, and I spent close to a year researching Madagascar’s history and politics before I started filming.


HOW DID THE COUNTRY GET THIS WAY? What I found was that politics — both domestic and international — had caused this extreme poverty. Moreover, my country, the U.S., had played a leading role in Madagascar’s politics, particularly in the 2002 and 2009 political crises. In fact, I came to believe that given the country’s extreme poverty and dependence on foreign assistance for essential social services, the international community’s suspension of aid in 2009 constituted a violation of the Malagasy people’s human rights. How was it that our political leaders could have so easily imposed those devastating sanctions? The answer I found was that they would have impunity for their actions, because few Americans know about the real Madagascar, or have a stake in its well-being — and that goes for all the Western leaders who imposed sanctions. One of my objectives in making the film has been to reveal Madagascar and its wonderful people; another is to start a dialogue about the use of universal sanctions, that are often hypocritically imposed by the wealthiest nations, but which have ruinous effects on the poorer countries. There is a very high likelihood there will be another unconstitutional change of government in Madagascar. What will be the response of the international community then? THERE IS A POLITICAL THEME, BUT MOST OF THE FILM IS ABOUT THREE WOMEN; WHY? I decided early in my planning that I wanted to focus on real people in Madagascar, because our natural empathy with them


would increase our interest in what is happening in their country. On my second trip to Madagascar, with help from new friends and collaborators there, I found Lin, Tina and Deborah. Their personal life stories were very different, but their life missions were the same: to find some way — any way — to facilitate the education for their children. I learned that almost all Malagasy women have this mission, and that despite their dire circumstances and their own bleak future, they fight for a better future for their children. This is a driving force for most Malagasy women. THIS IS A FILM ABOUT SURVIVING, BUT IS THERE HOPE FOR THE MALAGASY PEOPLE? While filmmakers are advised to end a film with hope or some upbeat message, I wanted the film to be as uncontrived and true to life as possible.

WILL YOU CONTINUE YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH MADAGASCAR? Shortly after we began shooting, we realized that we had to do more than just make the film, and so we started to explore opportunities to create a U.S. charity that would raise money for the children of Madagascar. But given the circumstances there, it was a struggle to find a way to make the contributions matter, to make sure that money contributed by people who wanted to help would in fact make a difference. Then, on my second trip to Madagascar, I met Father Pedro Opeka. He is an extraordinary humanitarian who has created a highly functional city in a dysfunctional country. His community — Akamasoa (meaning “Good and Faithful Friends”) — started with families he found living in the city landfill.

The reality for most Malagasy people is not hopeful, and this is reflected in the film. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its population will likely double in a generation, without any reassurance that available resources will keep pace.

He convinced 70 families to leave the landfill and taught them the skills to build their own homes, with the objective of building their dignity. Thirty years later, Akamasoa houses tens of thousands of families and has hospitals, maternity clinics, schools, athletic facilities, work sites and a supporting infrastructure.

But feedback from festival audiences has been wonderful around this question of hope. Viewers observe that there is little hope generated by the policies or conduct of the male Malagasy political leaders, or the international community; but they strongly sense that there is hope for the country in the strength of its Malagasy women. I could not ask for a more affirming audience reaction.

A ka m a s o a i s a n o n - d e n o m i n a t i o n a l humanitarian organization that depends on private contributions. So, we have created a U.S. charitable organization called MadaKids. org. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to Father Pedro’s Akamasoa. Our next film, expected to be in festivals later this year, is the biography of this extraordinary humanitarian. Its title is OPEKA.



Run Time: 84 Mins




Miracle of CHRISTMAS A film by Eri Tsukimoto

a director that truly loves art I’m so grateful to have our first films nominated at your fabulous London international film festival! I depicted and entrusted important messages for these films, such as the

greatness of true love, friendship, dreams, the power of overcoming difficulties, world peace and equality. I graduated from the University of Chichester in England by learning Performing Arts with Music. I love art that is mysterious and enjoyable to be involved with. I had a revelation at University that I could gain practical studies and knowledge of art by watching theatre, musical art work and getting involved. I found that free inspiration, original creativity and deep passionate expression were important abroad. I loved imaginatively cultivating these essential elements for art. In addition, I learnt it’s very important to be able to use our opinions and personalities to express ourselves about many world issues. It’s a fantastic revolution and new enjoyable awakening.

to fit for charactors’ feelings, and was responsible for the backdrops and painting. Not only was the balance of artistic colour important, it proved effective to make the best of background music for each scene as well. That’s why I carefully recorded every scene’s background sound. For MA, I spent weeks staying up for much of the night to ensure a balance between the voice sounds, music and background. From Hokkaido to Kobe, I travelled to all the places in Japan to shoot scenery for films and had 12 hours-worth of footage to select the best shot from. Within the footage, there are two New Year sunrises that were shot from different mountains. I really love art as a whole and making films! I would love to continue to make new completed scripts real and make every effort to do so. I want to elevate myself and artworks by making good use of experiences. Thank you so much for our nominations!

In Japan, I always continue to act, sing, make songs, write stories, paint and direct theatre and films. To make our films, I’ve also learnt directing, shooting, editing and post production by myself. I taught acting to develop actors’ skills, as well as shot every scene except for my own. I planned everybody’s schedule, booked all the places, contacted over 100 people for my films, made properties, arranged costumes Drama


FULL CIrcle Written, produced and directed by Noel Brady

The lives of two men, an Irish war journalist and an American living in Ireland intertwine in an unusual tale of enlightenment and redemption. Documentary Film-Maker and war journalist, Malcolm Walker (Michael Bates) returns to Ireland after his last production in Gaza went horribly wrong. A tragic accident occurred while filming his documentary about underground tunnels used by ‘Hamas’. This accident caused the death of Malcolm’s wife and producer Linda Walker (Susan Bracken). Two years on and Malcolm barely recognizes himself or the man he has become. Poor life-choices leave Malcolm facing a night in the local police cell following an unfortunate altercation… But he’s not alone in the cell. Enter Travis Sear (Mark Schrier), an American that met Malcolm some three years earlier and his cellmate for the night. Malcolm had interviewed Travis and his wife at the ancient site of Newgrange

Run Time: 115 Mins

Co.Meath for another TV show at that time. Following the interview Travis and his wife Rose (Annette Kelly) were in a car accident. Travis survived, but his wife Rose was left in a catatonic state. Travis now believes this car accident to be the result of the curse of the ‘Órach Stone’. An ancient stone that Rose found at Newgrange that day. And her taking it from the ancient site caused this curse and the subsequent accident. Travis believes that the ‘Órach Stone’ has to be returned to Newgrange and an ancient ritual performed with the chosen ones. Only this ritual can lift the curse that plagues Rose. Having met Malcolm once again after all these years, Travis believes that Malcolm is a sign, and a chosen one. And he and only he can help perform this ancient ritual and bring Rose back. Seeing the opportunity of a story, Malcolm reluctantly agrees to help Travis on his journey. This journey will take Malcolm to places other than Newgrange as he struggles to face his own demons and deal with his own loss and the nightmarish memories of Gaza. Nominated in the following categories: Best Director, Best Lead Actor & Best Original Screenplay of a Feature Film.



Run Time: 100 Mins




the bulgarian SCHOOL A Film on the struggles of the

Macedonian Nation & its Diaspora The Bulgarian School Short excerpt from the Feature Film ‘No Minorities’ (Winter 2019 Release) Jovan L Boseovski, Producer/Screenwriter

Jovan L. Boseovski is a producer and screenwriter based in Toronto Canada. As the creator of the feature film project No Minorities and the short film excerpt The Bulgarian School, it’s clear that Boseovski has the passion and historical knowledge to deliver a story that needs to be told. Having received 3 nominations for The Bulgarian School short film at the Milan International Filmmakers Festival (2018), the production masterfully sheds light on aspects of the tiny Macedonian Nation’s history of oppression. Jovan emphatically claims that: “Whether at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, the Bulgarians through numerous conflicts, the Greeks during their civil war, or by the Serbs in Yugoslavia, Macedonians have been oppressed and supressed as a Nation continuously for over 500 years. Including the ongoing name dispute with Greece!”

The Bulgarian School short is an effective snap shot into the oppression that Boseovski mentions. It symbolises the resilience of the Macedonian people to stand up to oppression, but also highlights their positive attitude to find the silver lining in all situations. As this excerpt shows, the feature film No Minorities, which shall be completed and released in 2019, beautifully weaves the modern lives of the Macedonian Diaspora with historical word-of-mouth flashbacks characterising life in the Macedonian ancestral homeland. “What Jovan has done with his screenplay is very unique and impressive. Immediately, as I read the script, I could virtually see the edit in my mind. He truly has a talent for script.” The nomination for Best Original Screenplay of a Short Film at Milan IFF (2018) is the perfect accolade, says Ian Pearson, the film’s

editor with over 20 years of experience in the film industry. Boseovski appreciates being recognised for the strength of his writing, but adds: “Regardless of how strong the script is, once the ‘brass brads are bent’, so what! The next step is critically important and that is building the team to make it happen.” If The Bulgarian School is any indication, as the producer he has done just that for the feature film as well. “As the team works together to bring to life the Macedonian story, it is my job, particularly as a Chinese-Canadian, to make this into a universal story with universal appeal,” says co-director Remjie Li. “Whether it’s the cast, crew or production unit, Jovan and I have brought together a very talented group.” On top of the nomination for Best Original Screenplay of a Short Film, The Bulgarian School was also nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Short Film and Best Editing of a Short Film at Milan IFF 2018. Drama


Run Time: 7 Mins


PROJECT SPARK STUDIO When you imagine a screenwriter, you probably don’t think of a 17-year-old home-schooled girl with too many ideas for her own good. And yet, here I am.

My name is Patricia Leejohnson and I’ve been an intern at Project Spark Studio for three years, helping with the animation and previsualisation of our animated films. I’ve greatly enjoyed being part of this project. There’s a lot of hard work involved, but it’s fun too, especially for a learning author like myself. Project Spark Studio started out as the tech elective at Cottonwood Creek Charter School, clear back in 2010. We made several short films, but our first long-term project was called Whirl. It was 30-minutes long and took three years to make; all written, animated and voice-acted by the students. After Whirl, we needed a new challenge, and decided to experiment with an international project. Split was collaboration with a school all the way over in Ireland; the students at Cottonwood Creek Charter


did the animation, and the students at Bohermean NS in Meath, Ireland did the voice acting. The majority of the story was written by two eighth graders, my best friend Genna and me. Split felt like an avalanche of new experiences for me. Talking to and working with the kids in Ireland was interesting, but writing that story was something else entirely. I’ve always enjoyed reading and thinking about stories, but before Split, I’d never really written anything of my own. After graduating, I returned to help out with the tech programme as a high school intern. I found out about another collaboration project that was being planned, this time with a school in Fareham, England. This story was a different experience yet again. I was basically at the head of the project for the whole making of the movie, which was both intimidating and amazing. The writing process took longer than you might think – it took us several weeks to even figure out what the story should be about. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my experiences with Project Spark, it’s that story is everything. Details, animation, voice acting, sound effects, etcetera; none of that matters if you don’t have a story to tell. The idea for Scepter came into being slowly but surely, as we learned from the students in Fareham and researched local history. Pirates became the main theme. A haunted castle near Portchester was the perfect choice for the film’s setting, since it is near Orchard Lea JS and the English students knew it well. We added a real historical event

involving Henry V and a shiny gold scepter, which was how we decided on the title, Scepter. The English kids we were working with made some alterations to the script; added details and corrected our history. The whole creative process was a crazy adventure involving everything from llama imitations to searching for names for our hero, a double-peg-legged pirate we decided to call Crispin Arvel. Writing can be kind of haphazard sometimes – you think you know where a story is going, but then a whole new idea crops up that changes the entire plot. Yes, writers can be surprised by plot twists too! Now Scepter is finished, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be able to follow it here to the London Film Festival. It’s truly amazing to see all the heavy lifting that it took to make this movie pay off. Working with Project Spark Studio has taught me a lot about writing, filmmaking, teaching, networking, and more. Project Spark Studio was founded in 2017 as a film studio that connects students across the globe. Our mission is to develop skilled leaders with character and confidence through collaborative film production. Approximately 100 students work on each film production over a two-year period. For more information on our programme, or to collaborate on a film project with us, contact us at




Busted City ProduCtions Presents a film By Paul l. Carr

Horror! 5

Rock n ’ Roll ! 5




the DRIFTINg post Directed by Kento Shimizu

ABOUT THE FILM This is a true story that took place in a devastated area. Having lost her friend Kyoko in the Great Tohoku (East Japan) Earthquake, Nozomi lives her life, but in her heart she still can’t come to terms with her friend’s death.

One day, Nozomi finds a time capsule they both buried when they were students that contains letters that were written to their future selves. It brings back Nozomi’s beautiful memories and the guilt over an irreparable mistake that she still regrets. As she thinks about the past, she finds out about ‘The Drifting Post’, a mailbox that receives letters containing undelivered words and feelings to those who died in the earthquake.

To move on from her past, Nozomi decides to deliver a letter to Kyoko and sets out for ‘The Drifting Post’, built in the mountain side in Yamagata Prefecture. There are around 500 letters delivered to ‘The Drifting Post’, all of them written by people who have lost an important person in the disaster and are still seeking to be healed. It is thought that writing these letters can ease people’s sorrow and help them to face their future.






From my own experiences, I was worried about the memories of the disaster fading away. When I worked as an assistant, I knew of ‘The Drifting Post’, so I contacted to Mr. Akagawa who holds the post. I wanted to make the movie that could not only ease people’s sorrow but stop memories fading away. It was this motivation that inspired me to make this movie. I did a lot of interviews with people who visit ‘The Drifting Post’ and send letters through the post. I then used their true story to make my film. All the letters that appeared in the film are real letters. Through them, I was able to emphasise the true extent of what happened in the disaster. When I conducted interviews with the people who wrote the letters, all the actors joined us


so they could face the reality and make full use of the humanity they were witness to. I also did a unique audition for the actors. For example; I set up a scene where they read letters that delivered to ‘The Drifting Post’. To draw their reaction, I then recorded the video for the actors when they read out the letters. Of course, they didn’t notice that the camera was on. In addition, when I did auditions for the student role, I let them write letters to their best friends, because I also needed to see their emotional reaction. In exploiting their personality, I could pursue the reality and use it for my own creation. By conveying people’s emotional difficulties, I was trying make a film that showed the five senses of being human. How a beautiful life was suddenly taken away by the disaster, like bubbles popping, or a calm sea becoming a rough sea. The film contains beautiful scenes


and sounds effects, using poetic expression and a sense of distance.

intention of the project Through focusing on people who were injured by the disaster, we learn that our daily lives are precious and yet people don’t seem to mind how fragile it is. Therefore, it is difficult for people to accept the reality when their important person loses their precious life. However, finally, there will come a time when they accept everything, when they need to live their lives because of this loss of life, time and themselves. Eight years on from the disaster, did we learn from lessons we learned? I would like to speak to a society surrounded by conflict who don’t seem to mind the loss of human connections. It is my hope that this film will inspire people to look to the future.




Film credits cast Rise Yukinaka Miki Kamioka Yurine Nakao Kota Fuji Koji Oda Megumi Uemura Daisuke Nagakura

staff Cinematographer: Takeshi Tsuji Boom Operator: Isao Tahara Hair & Makeup: Azusa Oue Stylist: Satsuki Shimoyama Location Driver: Kazumasa Fukuda Sound: Hidetsuna Kuwabara / Momoko Murata Music: Asuka Ito Casting: Mayumi Hayashi English Subtitles: Yoko Senno / Ayumi Kageyama

ABOUT KENTO SHIMIZU Kento Shimizu has created many TV advertisements as an assistant director, and has received many Japanese and international awards. In 2012, Kento started his career as a film director, with his feature film, Moment Girl screened in 2013. He then started to make VR films. In 2018, Kento directed, wrote, edited and produced The Drifting Post. Drama


Run Time: 30 Mins




WIND OF SUNSET Written, directed & edited by Hideki Oshima


Mutsu lives in the village located in Nishi-noKuni. He is the flutist and usually can play the flute very well. However, he can not play it these days… One day, he had a dream. In the darkness of his dream, he met an old guy and he gradually understood the true meaning of ‘play the flute’.



We created this movie based on Japanese mythology, dream, the human mind, and memories that we can’t see through our eyes. This film was made to remind of us of these elements using the style of ‘fiction’. We used to live with nature, protect it and was pleased by its existence. What do you think of this modern materialistic world? We should stop and look around at our surroundings. It is time to face ‘wealth’ and ‘truth’.



Run Time: 20 Mins




ALL FOR ONE A film by Daniel Flores

THE SCREENWRITER TALKS ABOUT HIS story OF A reluctant BOY who takes up boxing to overtake a ruthless bully AT HIS SCHOOL. Why did you write this screenplay? It’s a tip of the hat to my 8-year-old best friend at my school in the 1970’s who pulverized a bully for my sake. If he wasn’t there, I’d be death on toast. So, when I started writing this movie, my past and a whole lot of hidden injustices came out. In this movie we settle the scores. What genre would you consider this screenplay? I’d say it’s a cross between the movies Sandlot and Stand by Me. It’s sappy, sad and funny. It’s based around kickball games on the yard at my old school yard growing up. Kickball identified you as a titan, or a weakling. There’s also this ruthless bully that terrorizes my main character. So he takes up boxing. This screenplay is about sacrifices, lost dreams, parents that neglect, and parents that love. It’s about life.

What’s your background, were you always a screenwriter? No, I was a metal head from the 80’s. I grew up playing guitar, played in clubs when I was 16 in Los Angeles, and joined a thrash metal band when I was 25 we put out a few CD’s and toured Europe and Mexico . It was a blast. I am in the process of writing a screenplay based on all sorts of crazy events that I experienced; it’s called Bleed for the Godz. When I was about 33 I got accepted to USC film school, so I quit the band, and majored in the production program. My natural inclination was writing. Do you have any advice for filmmakers or screenwriters out there? Don’t be surrounded with “yes” men/women. You want honest feedback. Find your own voice – watching your favorite movies and taking notes over and over will make you a clone. You are not them. I know everyone borrows, but think of the new directors and screenplay writers who are known. They brought a new breath of life into stagnant genres. Make people love the job they do best. “Refresh others and you will be refreshed.” God Bless ! Drama



Directed by Akihiko Matsuzawa

A controversial story of snowboarders in the Olympic games who are caught up in an amateur sports organizer’s power game. The film depicts the athletes’ struggle and conflict through the beats and rhymes of rap music. Hiroto, a snowboarder on the Japanese national team, is at a press conference to apologize for his underage drinking and smoking photo scandal in front of reporters and a nationwide audience. Iwatani, the chairman of the winter sports federation, removes Hiroto (without his knowledge) from the national team and replaces him with Shu, an old friend of Hiroto. Hiroto heads to the snowy mountain to cool down his uncontrollable rage. However, he comes across Shu surrounded by fans, followed by the blissful Iwatani. Instead of anger, Hiroto just feels pity for his old friend. The truth behind the picture that started the media fire is finally revealed. cast Ryota Nojima Yuki Kawahito Gomess Taisho Abe

Oji Osuga Toshiaki Suzuki Keiko Shimokyo Hiraku Funyu



Run Time: 20 mins



MOUNTAINS Directed by Nurmat Sakebaev

A story about a young adult who risks his own life in order to save snow leopard from the hunter, shot entirely in the wilderness of the mountains of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. interview with the director What do you think the biggest surprise about the process would be to an outsider? It would happen during production stage while filming. I think most people don’t realize how much time it can take for a film crew and actors just to prepare for one shot. There could be hours and hours put into a five second shot, and audience might not even appreciate it.


What is the toughest thing about getting a project done? Toughest thing, I would say, is to write a really good script. Nowadays, where the same stories are being told over and over, you have to come up with unique ideas and more importantly decide how are you going to portray the subject. So the beginning stages including pre-production in my opinion are the hardest things to do because you need to find the best crew you can, do the scheduling, budgeting and then work on shot list etc. If you prepare really well in pre-production the next stages are going to be easier to complete and there will be more room left for creative ideas. What advice can you give to people wanting to get into the business? A good advice would be to look at Quentin Tarantino. That man didn’t go to film school, but he watched a lot of good and bad films while he worked at the video rental store back in the days. That and huge amount of genuine passion helped him to make brilliant movies. I think the same applies to everyone, as long as you have stories to tell and keeping that passion throughout the whole journey is going to bring you places. What is the best thing that ever happened to you while shooting? I can’t help but to think about the early morning around 3am during filming Spirit of the Mountains where we had to get to the big mountain hill before the sunrise. We had a lot of equipment including big generator. It was

snowing and really dark and the only way to get there was to walk. We were ready for that and prepared horses to carry equipment. It took us enough struggle and sweat but after couple hours we finally made it in time, which let us prepare for the first shot of the day. I even had time to fall from the horse on the way there, but I was fine due to my physical condition. And right before we started shooting, I looked really far at the horizon, the amazing panoramic view on fascinating mountains caught my attention. The time kind of stopped, and I could enjoy the sounds of nature and the whole view. At that moment I felt something inside me. I felt myself whole with the nature and the universe. It was a wonderful moment of connection with the nature. What do you love about directing? I love when great directors explore the subject deep down to its core in their films. We get an authentic and interesting story that feels organic and natural when viewing. As I said before, it is all about exploration of the subject, and this is what I love, when the story just unfolds in front of you, of course after many weeks and months of writing it. What areas would you like to explore in the future? I am aiming to get as much experience while I can in all fields of art besides filmmaking. I believe it makes you more creative and just brings joy when you get to do different kinds of things to experiment with. I am very thankful that we live in times during technological innovations where we have so much freedom in expressing ourselves, which will lead us to create more incredible works all around the world.



Run Time: 19 Mins




THE FIT GENERATION Directed by Elton Hubner

A documentary about

the lives of active seniors on Canada’s West Coast

Cancer, arthritis, heart attacks, bone fractures, knee replacements and loss of loved ones. These are some of the challenges that seniors in their 70s and 80s face in The Fit Generation. Yet, they choose to stay incredibly active and to have the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives. This film invites us to rethink our concept of aging and will inspire anyone to take action for a healthier future.


The film is nominated for Best Feature Documentary, Best Director of Feature Documentary and Best Cinematography in a Documentary at the London International Filmmaker Festival 2019. In this interview, Canadian filmmaker Elton Hubner tells us a little bit more about the film: Congratulations on all your nominations. How did The Fit Generation start? I was a long-distance runner in my teens and I’ve always believed that exercising and pursuing my dreams are the best ways to live a healthy and fulfilled life. I live in Vancouver, which has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. It’s very common to see grandmas and grandpas running on the seawall, skiing on the mountains or working out in the community centres. I wanted to learn more about what kept them going and I realized that they all faced obstacles in spite of doing incredible things such as skiing seven days a week or running marathons in their 80s.

Can you give an example? George is the perfect example. He’s 85 now and has arthritis and constant back pain. He’s had prostate cancer and two knee replacements. And he’s a ski instructor at the biggest ski resort in North America. He’s probably skiing as we speak. I mean the guy is a super hero! And he’s not the only one. Gwen, also 85, broke the world record in marathons many times and she had only started running in her 60s, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. All the seniors featured in the film face similar obstacles. So do they overcome those obstacles by exercising? Indeed, but there’s other aspects, such as socialising. I found out that being part of a group that exercises is also very important. It’s like their family or therapy group. One example is ‘The Fit Fellas’, a group of more than 100 guys with an average age of 78 who work out every morning in a community centre in West Vancouver. After their workout, most of them stay another hour talking and laughing while having a coffee with the best cinnamon buns in the world.

It’s starting to sound more fun… It’s definitely fun! You’ll see what I mean when you meet 73-year-old Marcel, aka “the dancer”. At times, I’ve also seen the audience tear up and I think the film elicits all sorts of emotions because people can resonate with these real-life stories. There’s also the beauty of British Columbia that you can see in the film. Lots of beaches, pristine lakes and giant mountains within a few minutes away. No wonder it’s considered one of the best places to live on the planet. What is your goal? I want to touch people’s hearts with powerful stories and, with this film, motivate people to exercise more and do what they can to have better quality of life as they age. I hope to see you all at the screening on February 18th and be sure to check out my website.



Run Time: 44 Mins




What is the toughest thing about getting a project done? Telling yourself, “okay, this is the day I start shooting”. Because you think you can always find better actors, better locations, you can have better production design or equipment like lights, cameras etc. But if don’t tell yourself that “this is the day” I have it all and I can start, you will never start. It is all about a compromise.

A film by Martin Grof

an interview with the director What is Excursion about? Tom wakes up in the middle of the night to see his twenty-year old self, Tomas, pointing a gun at his face. Tomas just travelled through time from 1980’s USSR to see how socialism is prospering. As a dedicated party member and future soldier, he has been chosen specifically by the Socialist government for this vital experiment. Tom laughs in his face and shows him the events of the last twenty years. It becomes very clear to Tomas that there has been a huge mistake. He has to do all he can to save Socialism from its fate, at any cost.

How did you get started? I was born on April 17, 1982 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. In 1998, I shot my first student film Illusions at High School in Vienna, Austria, which was also screened at a local movie theatre and was considered to be the best student project. While studying at the high school, I had already got a job in the national Slovak TV, STV, and became a professional cameraman at 20 years old.

What inspired you to make this film? I always wanted to tell stories. I got my first still camera when I was 8 and I shot my first film when I was 16 on high school in Vienna, Austria. Also, my both parents worked at the national TV in Slovakia.

I was 24 and had already directed Live TV shows in the biggest TV in Slovakia, National Slovak Television. Both of my parents worked at the Slovak National TV, so I basically grew up in TV studios, which inspired me for sure. What advice can you give to people wanting to get into the business? Grab a camera and start shooting what inspires you today! Write it, prepare it, shoot it, edit it, show it. Only that way, are you able to find out if you are better at doing DOP or being production manager, editor, writer – or if you even like this business.

What do you look for when looking for a project? If the story is ‘big enough’. We live in a time of big budget films. But I say that if a story is big enough in our heads, then the size of a budget is not an issue. For some, it is a big story to fall in love, for others, it’s to reveal some secret information, for me, for example, a big story is to travel in time or telling a story based on true events.

Many young people want to be actors, stars and directors. But then, once they find out what it takes to actually shoot a movie, they find it hard learning all the character’s lines and boring during the pre-production, not to mention time consuming on the set.

What is the best thing about your role? That I can pick different people with different skills for my film, and see how it works together and how my vision is created. That after all the hard work, I can sit in a movie theatre and I can watch how people emotionally react to my story.

What do you feel is missing in entertainment today? Fair distributors for independent films.

What do you think the biggest surprise about the process would be to an outsider? How slow the whole process on set sometimes is, and that the pre-production takes a lot more than the actual production on set.

What do you love about filmmaking? I love the part, when I start looking for actors and locations. At this point, my visions start to actually “exist”. Thriller


Run Time: 85 Mins



buddy cruise HOW THE STUDENTS WERE IMPACTED Directed by Vanessa Bundschu

director’s statement Buddy Cruise: How The Students Were Impacted was written, narrated, directed, and produced by Vanessa Bundschu. She graduated from Ringling College of Art & Design in May 2018, then, moved to London last fall in pursuit of a Master’s degree in television at the University of the Arts, London. Her main focus is on producing strong video content development through scripting, concept, storytelling, and film production. She aims to utilize her degrees in creating inspirational storytelling through television and documentary series as a producer. Vanessa felt inspired to provide a new perspective of Buddy Cruise to the world and how the students felt truly moved from working and bonding with the families. She wanted to give back to the organization with her production skills. When it comes to a new project, Vanessa looks for a certain focus that will motivate or have others reconcile on a subject. The best thing about her role is learning how to work on a collaborative team, management, and new aspects of producing


within each project. Along with how to work alongside different personality types as well as developing bonds with others like never before. The biggest surprise about this process would be the amount of time it takes to create a short documentary film. One of the challenges with getting a project done would be going through all of the footage and finessing the details to demonstrate the main purpose of the story within a given length of a deadline.

biography Vanessa Bundschu is half American, half Brazilian born in Miami, Florida and raised mostly in Tampa, Florida. She discovered her love for art at four years old. Throughout her life, her family members would usually have a camera to capture photos and footage of her, her siblings, and friends during special events. Vanessa can even recollect photos of herself from early childhood days of drawing or performing in competitive figure skating. She has always been a storyteller at heart whether it is through verbal usage, creating a drawing, painting, or through a camera. During her time at Ringling is where she found a love for production through a company called Art Network. During the last year of her undergraduate program, she was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and create this documentary with the Art Network Crew and her mentor, Lisa Moody.

advice for budding filmmakers Vanessa’s advice for people wanting to get into the business is to: “Find your passion on what you want to do within the film industry and apply it to every project you do. It is not easy, however, if it was, then everyone else would be doing it, too. Despite the hard work and gruelling long hours, the payoff is worth it all. What I love about Filmmaking is telling a new story in a new format within each project. Also, with the amount of information you learn tremendously about yourself and production from a personal and professional perspective is absolutely incredible. Because of that, it keeps me progressing forward as well.”

synopsis of the film Buddy Cruise is a non-profit organization, founded by Pamela and Jorge Arnoldson, where families who have loved ones with Down Syndrome and other disabilities can enjoy a week-long journey filled with entertaining workshops on the Royal Caribbean cruise line. Buddy Cruise: How The Students Were Impacted is a documentation of behind the scenes footage on how the Art Network crew members were impacted by educating the Buddy Cruise children on film production through events and activities.




The Making Of GARY ALLEN’S VISHNU Hare Hare

A Lucien Fiiyer-Smith Film

Executive Producer Annmarie Macy Starring Gary Allen Cita Taquila Mockingbird



BEYOND TRANSPORT Directed by Ched Lohr


ONE HUMAN STORY Beyond Transport is a multi-cultural investigation of our openness for direct conversation in the personal device era. In this short documentary, first-time filmmaker Ched Lohr travels to each of the continents to interview taxi drivers and other professionals in the transportation industry on the subject. The idea for Beyond Transport developed during a 2015 backpacking trip in Australia when Lohr observed fellow travelers preoccupied with personal devices and less available for conversation.


Prior to departing for home, a casual conversation with a taxi driver led to the man sharing details of his legal career prior to his career driving a taxi. Lohr believed connecting these contrasting experiences would be an interesting and timely topic for a documentary, especially interviewing taxi drivers in multiple cultures. Beyond Transport’s stage includes many alternates beyond the conventional yellow cab including a purple 1950’s Chevrolet in Havana, a limousine in Ho Chi Minh City, and a Bike Taxi in Charleston, SC. The collection of interviews is balanced by spectacular footage of the various cultures during this extensive pursuit. Audiences gain insight on our preferences for communication while passing by public exercise parks in Cambodia, on top of a mountain in Chile, in front of grazing giraffes

in Tanzania, and into frigid water beside a host of penguins in an amphibian-like vehicle that transports the small number of travelers making their way onto the glaciers of Antarctica. Lohr calls on taxi drivers, viewing these professionals as a qualified resource to characterize social trends due to the variety of clients who pass through their vehicles. Having a keen intuition is beneficial and many taxi drivers are also master conversationalists. Their expertise is confirmed through interviews conducted in 14 countries during 16 months of filming. The drivers share insight on passenger’s openness for social conversation and how it has changed in the last 5-10 years, as personal devices have become more integral to our lives. The score for the documentary is every bit as eclectic as the footage but appropriately fits

into the background and reinforces focus on the primary point of the documentary- our dialogue. Beyond addressing the primary objective of this documentary, drivers share their own personal stories on topics ranging from family to love to friendship to struggle. These conversations verify the common threads of life that connect us all. We may not know the future ramifications of distraction from habitually checking our phones but we are reminded of the vital importance of continuing to practice the art of conversation. This documentary’s theme is not to disavow personal devices. Instead, the theory that there is no equal substitute for direct interaction is affirmed. Lohr hopes audiences will consider mindfulness after viewing his film to balance use of technology with an openness and interest to converse with fellow human beings. We all have a story to tell; our stories connect us.



Run Time: 23 Mins

Nominated . Best Short Documentary . Best Editing of a Short Documentary . 2018 Amsterdam IFF



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M I N I AT U R E WARGAMING: THE MOVIE Directed & produced by Joseph Piddington

Miniature Wargaming: The Movie is the brainchild of Director/Producer Joseph Piddington who became a wargamer himself in his youth. The hobby of collecting, painting and playing with miniatures, often dismissed as “playing with toy soldiers”, forms the fascinating backdrop to a number of real-life stories of individuals and businesses deeply involved in this popular pastime.


skirmishes to huge battles and even long-lasting campaigns, and covers conflicts from the ancient world right up to the most recent clashes in Afghanistan and Syria. Even more popular are games set in entirely fictitious worlds portraying fantasy and sci-fi settings, with huge numbers of gamers enjoying battles between, for example, orcs and elves or human space marines and aliens. Also unlike Chess, wargaming does not have a single over-arching ruleset used in all games; instead, each games company, and even individual, writes their own rules to cover a particular historical era, fantasy setting or style of game.

A series of interviews, coupled with highlights of the hobby’s history and its literature, are presented in a way which is both informative and entertaining. The viewer quickly comes to realise that this is a thriving activity with a rich history reaching back over centuries, but which has really come into its own since the release of the much-loved and inexpensive Airfix plastic kits and soldiers in the late 1950s. This transformed the hobby from the idle pursuit of relatively few well-off lead soldier connoisseurs into a mass market pursuit, supported by its own magazines and an increasing library of books, which is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide.

Piddington interviews a host of people whose livelihood is based in and around the hobby. These include Rick Priestley, the eminent games designer who, in his time at the hobby’s colossus Games Workshop was responsible for creating the world’s most popular wargame Warhammer 40,000; legendary sculptors Alan and Michael Perry, from whose skilled hands have come many of Games Workshop’s most popular miniatures and who now run their own historical miniatures company; Henry Hyde, best-selling author, editor, podcaster and blogger whose book The Wargaming Compendium became the hobby’s ‘bible’, and who provides the historical narrative of the hobby’s development; co-founders of Warlord Games John Stallard and Paul Sawyer, at the helm of one of the most successful wargames companies in the UK—and many more. There is even an appearance by renowned movie director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit etc) who learned to sculpt miniatures with Alan and Michael Perry.

Unlike Chess, wargaming comes in a huge variety of forms, ranging from tiny

But the heart of the movie can be found in the engrossing stories of four people: Andy

Bryant, a British Army veteran who served in the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict, which left him suffering the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); Chris Nicholls, the owner of a small gaming business fighting to survive in a highly competitive market in order to secure his family’s future; and two gamers, Matt and Adam, as they prepare to travel to Scandinavia to fulfil their dream of competing in an international wargaming tournament. It is in these interludes, particularly in the second half of the film, that Piddington’s skill as a compassionate storyteller is obvious, as the participants reveal their very personal, moving and occasionally harrowing lives in which the miniature wargaming hobby has played a key part. For them, this is not a frivolous pursuit—wargaming is shown to provide not only an entertaining hobby and vital source of livelihood, but also a key psychological support structure, both in terms of the engrossing nature of the skills required to prepare for and play the games, and in the network of close friendship it provides amongst like-minded people. By the end, we have been given privileged access to some candid and heartfelt revelations and come away with a much deeper understanding of what motivates them to participate in this extraordinary pastime.

It would be easy to dismiss Miniature Wargaming: The Movie as a niche exploration of a nerdy and fringe pastime, but that would be a huge mistake — here, we have a highly accessible, fascinating and frequently moving portrait of a world inhabited by intelligent, creative and sensitive souls that deserves every minute of the loving attention lavished on it by Piddington and his team.



Run Time: 105 Mins




made in ITS entirety by one filmmaker SINGFEST: THE LITERACY OF MUSIC

A film by Amel Tresnjic

Emerson School & Brave Archer Films® present SingFest: The Literacy of Music. This uplifting multi-award winning documentary film takes us on a journey into the world of music and how music, as a literacy in schools, unlocks students’ full potential and transforms their learning.

SingFest: The Literacy of Music is an inspiring documentary that reveals what happens when one Australian special needs school shares its love of singing and music making with the local community. Emerson School, a special needs school situated in Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, invites nine local schools to its grounds for the purpose of sharing its love of singing and music making. Whilst each school brings its own unique strengths and talents to the day, Emerson School shares insights on the role of music and music education in the special needs educational setting with a view to everyone imagining new potentialities. The students from the invited schools come together as strangers but when united through their voices and choral singing for the day, that strangeness and unfamiliarity is taken away. The power that music has to transcend a wide range of cultural and social barriers is demonstrated in this unique educational film. Thus, the literacy embedded within music as an art form has the power to bond people of all different cultures and engender learning that is multimodal and transformational. The embodied cognition in music education is a potent tool that humans use to give meaning in both linguistic and nonlinguistic ways. Most importantly, music draws people together and helps make their learning journey socially-directed and purposeful. SingFest: The Literacy of Music was made in its entirety by all-round filmmaker, animator and educator Amel Tresnjic. In addition to writing, directing and producing, Amel filmed, sound recorded, and completely post-produced the entire film on his own. His passion for film-making began when he was a very young boy. From the age of nine, he developed a tradition of watching films every night until he fell asleep and always imagined how he would grow up to become an influential filmmaker. In 2012, Amel began to realise his dream with the international success of his first entirely self-made documentary film 2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning. A feature documentary that embarks on an enigmatic journey, forming a greater perspective of our worlds ‘current state’ and the awakening of a new wave of consciousness. On the day of its free YouTube release, the film went viral and has now been seen by over 4million+ on YouTube alone. With 90% likes and countless positive comments, the film touched the hearts of many worldwide. It received an Honour Award ‘New Age of Activism 2012 and Beyond,’ top 5-star reviews, 8/10 IMDB rating as well as high ratings across many documentary hosting sites. The positive message of the film inspired its’ supportive fan base to host numerous screenings worldwide as well as translate the film into nine languages. The film was also offered three distribution deals, but most important of all to Amel, the film inspired positive change in the world. Through his passionate and busy work ethic Amel creates projects for his wide ranging clientele, while still working on personal projects that are close to his heart. Though busy making films, Amel still finds time to teach young filmmakers the art and influence of cinema. He wishes to inspire more storytellers in the world and dedicates much of his time teaching Screen and Media at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Since the film’s release SingFest: The Literacy of Music has been critically acclaimed and become a multi-award winning film. The film won the 2019 Golden Fox Award for Best Documentary Film at Calcutta International Cult Film Festival. Out of 61 fantastic documentary films nominated for this prestigious annual award, SingFest: The Literacy of Music won first place. In California at the 2018 IndieFEST Film Awards, the film won the Award of Merit - Special Mention for Best Documentary Short and was awarded the prestigious IndieFEST 24K Gold statuette. The film was publicly voted TOP 3 FINALIST at the Toronto Lift-Off Online Film Festival and is an Official Selection at the 2019 London International Film Festival – Nominated in two categories: Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film and Best Sound Design in a Documentary Film. Although now a successful and very busy filmmaker, Amel still watches films every night until he falls asleep.

“Through the art of film, my aim is to inspire a better world. My method is to produce films of a conscious and moral nature. Films that inform, empower and inspire audiences with untold perspectives on various topics that afflict the world at large!” Amel Tresnjic



Run Time: 49 Mins


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