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@FUSIONFILMFESTS WEST EUROPE EDITION BRUSSELS 2019 ISSUE: 03

NISREEN AL-SBEIHI NOMAN A FILMMAKER’S MISSION TO TELL HARSH TRUTHS

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EDITOR

“Everyone seemed to agree that Steve and you must be crazy to do FOUR festivals per year, but if you ask me, it’s the best kind of crazy. I hope you’re not becoming sane anytime soon.”

Leonard Garner (Filmmaker)

HERE COMES FESTIVAL NUMBER THREE! Dear Filmmakers & Creatives, It is our absolute pleasure to welcome you to Brussels for our West Europe International Film Festival!

creatives to meet and collaborate. We will always be on hand to offer industry advice should you need it.

This wonderful city is set to be the base for our West Europe Festival for many years to come - we are delighted that you were able to join us for our inaugural festival here!

We have been fortunate enough to connect with a number of industry professionals ranging from the UK and international distributors, marketing consultants, production houses and colour grading specialists who are keen to support our network of film makers at festivals and from afar.

Both our North & South Europe International Film Festivals held in London and Valencia respectively were such a huge success and we are so grateful for the continued support we receive from everyone that attends and those that follow us from around the world. The films and scripts we have had submitted to this Festival have been of the highest quality once again, so a huge congratulations for your official selection. We know how much hard work and dedication goes into each aspect of making a film, this is why we recognise such a wide range of categories with our film festival nominations. We love independent cinema and the stories that are told - we feel so fortunate to meet and connect with so many of you! The diversity of the projects you have created are wonderful and inspiring! In a world full of recent tragedies and devastation you are all heroes. Offering education, humour, analysis and narratives that really capture the viewer. Navigating the world of independent film festivals can often be a challenge in itself. The aim of Fusion International Film Festivals is to continue to support the industry offering a platform for like-minded

FILM FOCUS IS PUBLISHED BY FUSION FILM & MEDIA EUROPE LIMITED Steve Grossmith Editor & Co-Director steve@fusionfilmfestivals.com Dan Hickford Festival Coordinator & Co-Director dan@fusionfilmfestivals.com Stephen Mina Graphic Designer/Illustrator & Head of Technical mina@fusionfilmfestivals.com

Thank you to our Festival Jury for supporting us and our wonderful filmmakers & script writers. Your feedback and insight allows us to recognise our winners in an honest and transparent way. Our Fusion Team is small but our hearts and passion for what we do is unmeasurable - we would like to thank Stephen Mina for all his hard work and for continually making our concepts a reality as we grow from festival to festival. Molly and Anashe have been truly wonderful from day one and we feel so fortunate to have found such enthusiastic and passionate students to support our journey. Colin and Laura Graham our festival ambassadors - we thank you eternally for sharing our passion and supporting us in our adventure. We hope that you enjoy your time with us and that we may see you at other points on the compass. Dan Hickford & Steve Grossmith – Festival Directors

All rights reserved, no part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any other means including (but not limited to), electronic ,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express prior permission of the publisher. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is accurate and up-todate, the publisher takes no responsibility for errors or omissions. All supplied articles – including adverts – that are published in this magazine whether printed or in digital form are not necessarily the views or opinions of

the publisher and it is the sole responsibility of the supplier of this said material to ensure that they have the right to use all text and images that we use. By publishing in this magazine you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Fusion International Film Festivals and Fusion Film & Media Europe Limited and their agents, from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to all legal fees, and any and all court costs) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, defamation, slander & disputed data.


3 PHOTOGRAPHY: STUART WATSON


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NISREEN AL-SBEIHI NOMAN Nisreen Al sbeihi Noman – A Filmmakers mission to tell harsh truths and with a powerful vision to improve the lives of the people of Yemen.

My name is Nisreen Al sbeihi Noman, I am a Jordanian director who is concerned with the people of Yemen, especially women and children.

I always try to express my convictions with absolute impartiality. I am a human being in the first place. Anything that harms or hurts a person provokes me. I believe that humanity is an attribute and an affiliation that transcends all other affiliations. I have already directed a film about the children of Yemen, “Dawn hasn’t come” it tells the tragedy of the children of Yemen and the consequences of war on them. The film has won three international awards. I do not know where to begin, to talk about the situation of this devastated country which once was called “happy Yemen”. What I have seen with my own eyes is beyond any description. Yemen is no longer happy. Hundreds and thousands of miles away from happiness, there is nothing in Yemen other than poverty, misery, famine and fear. In fact, living conditions in Yemen are very bad. Most Yemenis are engaged in a bitter struggle to get a living that unfortunately is no longer in the hands of many. In a small town named Aslam, located north-west of the capital Sanaa, its inhabitants are forced to eat foliage, so as to survive. I saw with my own eyes many children die of starvation. There was no tangible effort of the international organizations in those areas which I visited, and I also saw the disregard of the de facto authority, known as Ansar Allah Houthi, for the difficult living conditions of people in that geographical area, Under the pretext of their concern to fund the fighting fronts. Yemenis suffer from suffocating crises due to the war that has been going on for nearly four years, but the most dangerous thing they face is the inhuman investment of their suffering. There is an unfortunate consecration of famine and tragedy, in

addition to the lack of development of the region by the parties concerned. And even in delivering Aid to people in need there. The world’s commitment to Yemen should be more than ever before. People here suffer a lot, and there are those who invest in this, as I mentioned before. The Yemenis have no one to care for their suffering, and what you hear in the media is a bad investment in the crisis. Few are reaching out to help. And I emphasize that the biggest danger lies in the mechanism of delivery of aid, as it seems that there is a concern to keep the famine and the humanitarian crisis by the beneficiaries, to invest in the auction of the political. I wonder why do we fight and struggle instead of coping and accepting each others. All religions praised the acceptance of the other, and coexistence. We have many historical models that maximize the idea of ​​coexistence, and to make the love of man to his fellow human is of the most important importance. And to take advantage of that difference to enrich our human experience, rather than taking a cause of rupture, targeting, and counter-targeting. I also believe that diversity is like a piece of art which is full of colors, that enriches the painting, so diversity should reflect our lives whether it is religious, cultural, partisan, political or sectarian. It is also a reflection of our individuality. If we recognize the value of difference we realize that we have a great wealth that can make the world a better and beautiful place to live in. I have already directed a film “Dawn Hasn’t Come” which talks about the tragedy of the children of Yemen under the war there.


CONTINUED

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PHOTOGRAPHY: STUART WATSON


6 The film won the Science and Learning Award at the Madrid Film Festival, the Best Documentary Short film at the Northern Europe International Film Festival in London, and the South European International Film Festival in Valencia, Spain, for Best Short Documentary film. (This is what my film Assem will address).

ASSEM

One September night, whilst browsing the newspapers, I was shocked by an article about a famine in Aslam, a village of Yemen, which drove people to eat tree leaves. The pictures were horrible, so I decided to go there and see things as they were. I left for Yemen from Queen Alia Airport, Amman. Then headed to Sadaa from Addan airport, on 30th September. I crossed over 40 security checkpoints, some for legitimate forces, others for Ansar Allah-Alhouthi, who controlled Sadaa, the capital, by force and resourcefulness. Since 21st of September 2014,Yemen did not experience either stability nor security. The president of Yemen fled Sadaa to Addan and declared it as a temporary capital. When the Houthi and their allies started moving towards Addan, the president appealed to the World and Arab countries for military intervention, which led to the formation of the Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia. Arriving at Saada, I started the procedures to extract a permit from the Houthi minister of information. I obtained the permit along with a representative from the ministry to accompany us and monitor us at the same time. On 14th October I left for Aslam, 244Km from Sadaa, in Al-Hajjah governorate. I went through more than 10 security checkpoints for the Houthi forces. It wasn’t easy to cross all of these check point, in spite of the fact that I had the permit and the representative. The camera crew and I were stopped many times. Once, at one checkpoint we were detained for more than an hour, they only allowed us to pass after many calls which were made with operation rooms at Sadaa and Hajjah. Reaching Aslam, at the last security checkpoint, the members prevented us from entering he village, despite the representative’s relentless & strenuous efforts. We were only allowed to enter Aslam, after the interference of members of Ansar Allah, from Hajjah, who introduced themselves as military media journalists, working at Al-Masirah channel affiliated with Ansar Allah, they accompanied us to Aslam. The people of the village welcomed us but very sadly, the effects of famine were clear on their faces. I wondered in the village searching for a corner to install my camera. I found out that each corner needs to be shot and each person needs a camera to tell the world the amount of pain, misery, hunger, poverty and helplessness they suffer. At first glance, you realize that famine here has many sources, the most severe of which is the harsh nature and ignorance of its nearly 60,000 inhabitants.


Women are the first victim of ignorance, which is reflected on children and people of the village. People of this place are very simple and primitive. They are ignorant of their most basic human rights, they have an instinctive readiness to be led, to be humble, to be humiliated and to be indoctrinated. When I first heard it, I didn’t believe slavery was still in force, and yet there are more than 3000 slaves in Aslam. Coming here, seeing people in misery, helplessness, agony and suffering made it impossible for me to ignore that fact. Everyone is waiting for someone or something to finish their agony, give a helping hand to rid them of the situation they are in, which includes slavery. Many of them know who caused their suffering, they say in whispers or hint, for fear of authority. Ansar Allah Al-Houthi indoctrinate them with phrases which go with their slogans and orientation such as America, Israel and Saudi Arabia are the reason for their agony and misery. They echo these words without any objection or hesitation. You can’t notice any trace of education or awareness. During my tour, I didn’t notice any cleanliness nor health awareness, there is no health care for both children and women, especially pregnant ones, which raises an important question about the role of the de facto power, as well as humanitarian organizations. We noticed the modest capabilities of the health center, when we visited it and talked to Makiah the health counselor, who runs it with the simplest primitive techniques. Wondering in the halls of the center, we saw many women carrying children waiting for death, for many because of the inability of the center to provide the proper care for such cases, others are sending mayday calls hoping for an answer. Makiah, the health counselor, told us that some critical cases are transferred to AlSabien Hospital in the capital Sadaa. We went there to meet people of Aslam, the victims of the starvation. Many children were suffering from chronic malnutrition, doubled because of eating tree leaves. We didn’t see any benefits of the de facto authorities, there isn’t any attempt to deal with the suffering and misery of the people. When we put this to the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Social Development, as well as to the Ministry of Education, everyone refused to declare and interpret. We felt that there was a deliberate desire to invest the hunger and misery of the village in politics. In Aslam village, there is little impact on the work of international or local organizations, despite the campaigns launched by these organizations to address the famine. Where are these Organizations? This is the important question, which I posted to Doctor Sheren Vakry, Deputy Head of the UNICEF office in Yemen.

CONTINUED

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Everyone is waiting for those who went to collect Halo tree leaves. Men came carrying bags of tree leaves. Some volunteered to remove the branches leaving the leaves to prepare it to be cooked. Politics has left marks on the body and soul of a woman, along with everybody else in the village. She is preparing the leaves to be cooked now,e verything here is at the lowest hygienic standard. The water is not clean to drink, nor the vessels used for making food, in addition to the danger resulting from the smoke produced by burning plastic. Half an hour is needed to cook the leaves, everybody, grown-ups and children are waiting impatiently for the meal to be ready, a plastic cone filled with dirt and perhaps other things in the pot that they empty the tree leaves in. Tools that are not suitable for human use are their daily utensils. The meal is ready now, but everyone should have the speed and the ability to maneuver to get a bite of food that lacks any nutritional value. I left Aslam, but the image of the boy, searching for crumbs at the folds of the dirty bag to stave off his hunger, didn’t leave my mind. I left Aslam, but it didn’t leave me. Aslam haunted me. Later, I learned that the child Motub, died a month after my visit to Al Sabien hospital, while Basem a child with cerebral hemorrhage and bone lumbar, is still struggling in intensive care.

Who will end the death, misery and starvation in Yemen? This is the major question.

NISREENALSBEIHI@GMAIL.COM

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

RUN TIME 21 MINUTES

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ASPECT: WITH MODEL SOUNDINGS SHOWING RELATIVELY DRY AIR BELOW 3K FEET...PLAN TO MAINTAIN VFR CEILINGS AND VISIBILITIES IN THE TAFS. PREV DISCUSSION...ISSUED 304 PM SHORT TERM...TONIGHT RATHER AMPLIFIED UPPER LEVEL TROUGH AXIS TO SLIDE IN TONIGHT. SEMI-DARKNESS. EXT: THE TERRITORY. (Iron Oxide Red, natural # 48600) DUSK. QUICKENED, THE BUS OF MANY FACES CIRCLES A STUDIED ERECTION, AN ELEVATED INSTALL OF PRICKED, CRIPPLED CHAIRS. SYMMETRICAL. PASSENGER IN BLACK - AN EX-ACTOR. DESCENDS FROM BUS OF MANY FACES. BENT OF BODY, HE CASTS ABOUT FOR A PERFORMANCE SPACE. SCUFFS AND GOUGES AT EARTH. I’m not sure he knows what to with me. He writes me… (pause) I don’t want to force it. I do not own. (Pause - thinks) Milk and animal fat. Let’s go thru this pain first… can we do ballet? THE HUGE MURDER DESCENDS. THE SECRET CHORUS WAKES. HEAVY SONG, FRAGILE FANTASY OF GROIN AND POISONOUS BIRDS. BENT EX-ACTOR IS AT A LOSS HOW TO BEHAVE. IMPROPER DIGGING IN HIS HANDS, HE SAW PITY, ROCKS, ANTS, AN OILY TWISTED FACE. SULLEN TANGLE ON THE SLY. BRACED IN ENDLESS EXHAUSTS AND SULFUR LIGHT EX-ACTOR PULLS AT A NATION OF CHANCES - PERFORMS. It was the very first time I had ever listened. Not wasting a moment. It lasts about 10 seconds… I used to,…I should look dead AUDIO UNDER: WE HEAR WITNESS AND THE LINEN FOOTFALLS OF THE EMBALMED WOMAN AS SHE MOVES ABOUT THE BALLROOM BACK AT THE HOTEL.

Asphalt, Muscle & Bone

Page 129

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JOHN Y FILMMAKER AND ACTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE…

NOT ONLY WERE WE LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE JOHN Y BREAKDOWN ALL THREE OF HIS FILM IN COMPETITION AT OUR BRUSSELS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL BUT ONE HIS FILMS, THE UNKNOWN MOTHER FEATURES A STAND-OUT ACTING PERFORMANCE BY SUSAN YAM YAM SHAW WHO WAS KIND ENOUGH TO GRANT US AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW OF HER EXTRAORDINARY ACTING LIFE. SUSAN HAS APPEARED IN OVER 135 FILMS AND WAS IN FACT DISCOVERED BY BRUCE LEE. All films were produced by our Hong Kong company, JK Holdings Limited and we are delighted to announce are to be screened at The West Europe International Film Festival – Brussels edition.

The Unknown Mother

RUN TIME 9 MINUTES

Screening: 21:10 - 19th August 2019

In their daily lives, John (John Y) and his mother (Susan Yam Yam Shaw) always engage in fights and arguments -- she never likes the smell of cheese that John loves, and he never likes the way she throws things randomly at home, and always messes up his date of birth. One day, John and his mother visit their favourite restaurant together. During their meal, they quarrel over tiny little matters as usual. The fight between John and his mother is nothing new to the restaurant manager. However, John’s behaviour is somewhat absurd to the manager this time ……

Million Loves in Me

RUN TIME 110 MINUTES

Screening: 13:25 - 22nd August 2019

Million Loves in Me is a Malaysian film in Cantonese and Mandarin that takes place in Hong Kong and is based on a true story and a court case. Following the release of the film in Malaysia in 2018, the film went on to be screened in some major film festivals worldwide this year. First , it was screened in the North Europe International Film Festival, then Beijing International Film Festival in April 2019 and then it was screened on 17 May 2019 in the Marche du Film Section of Cannes Film Festival in Nice, France. Million Loves in Me follows the story of a wealthy mother and daughter who suffer from the psychological issues of obsessive - compulsive disorders, and their controversial private lives are exposed to the public through a charge of their animal hoarding behavior by the police. The story begins when Katy, the 45-year

old daughter, is charged with animal cruelty after the police discovers more than a hundred dogs and cats being hoarded at her apartment. Following her trial at the court,the abnormal lives of Katy and her mother are unveiled. Behind their weird appearances, the mother and daughter live an extremely well-off life, with an uncontrollable urge to shop excessively for clothes, handbags and pets.They are despised and disliked by people wherever they go. Their unusual behavior arouses the attention of their neighborhood reporter who starts to investigate into their lives. After he finds out about the animal hoarding situation at their apartment, he discloses the matter to the public for the sake of justice. However, after seeing Katy being caught by the police and devastated by the intense public criticism, he begins to doubt the morality of his own actions... The film examines the common mental disorders that affect people from all ages across the world, while sometimes the sufferers may not even notice about the illnesses. In the story, both Katy and her mother are victims of these obsessivecompulsive disorders. Katy’s mother has developed an obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) after being abandoned by her husband and son. Consequently, she has an obsessive need for control over her daughter’s life. On the other hand, Katy has been living in an invisible cage set up by her dominant mother since childhood, without enjoying any normal school or social life. Being physically and emotionally abused by her mother, she has developed symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) from an early age. At the age of 45, the poor woman only has the intellect of a 15 yearold child, and her gullible character makes her easily fall for men who cheat her out of money. Although her life is miserable under her mother’s domination, Katy is indeed unable to live an independent life as a normal person. Likewise, in order to cope

with her compulsion to control, her mother is unable to detach herself from her daughter. The two inseparable women seek relief from their respective disorders through excessive shopping, ending up in the hoarding of pets at their home. The role of Katy is to feed these animals and clean up after them, and the only time the audience sees positive qualities in her is when she is fondling one of the small dogs and is talking to it about herself and her life. Million Loves in Me has won numerous awards at international film festivals for its unique story of animal hoarding and most of all for the feeling with which its two lead characters are portrayed. One critic, Mr Gunther Kramer who watched the film at the opening of a film festival commented that the film is a story about alienation of people in a consumerist society. The animals in cages are no more lonely than people. He further took the view that this is a story of ultimate loneliness and false illusions; it is a story about people creating their own cages, living in them and being afraid of breaking them. The story of Million Loves in Me is original and provokes empathy towards the protagonist and poses many questions about life and love. Another critic, Mr Bill Kelly who attended the screening of the film in a film festival in Los Angeles, commented that as he watched the film, he initially wondered why he was doing so. In his initial view, the subject matter and the characters were so unappetizing that he felt revulsion rather than concern for their plight. What made it worse was that Mami was incredibly rich and threw money around as a way of getting people to comply with her. As such, in his opinion, there was no chance that he would identify with these two as victims of an unjust society whose insane behavior was the result of structural forces pitted against them. But as the film goes on, he realized that ordinary people like us are not such an attractive bunch either. The crusading reporter, the rest of the media and the neighbor are not much better. The neighbor gangs up on the mother


and daughter and demand their banishment for having violated the building’s rule against keeping pets. Like the media, Mr Kelly takes the view that the neighbor is a crowd that behaves in the most narrow, unreflecting, and ant-like way. By the end, Mr Kelly was surprised at the extent to which he had been drawn into the story. No longer did he feel superior to the two “misfits”. He began to feel that he has been faced with similar issues that the mother and daughter were facing over the years. He began to identify with and feel for them rather than see them as different and crazy. He acknowledged that the leading actor, John Y had showed a remarkable understanding of Katy as he brought out her different sides and showed how the ordeal of trial and imprisonment enabled her to grow. Finally, MrKelly stated that the great achievement of the film is that it helped him to see that there was so much more than what first met his eyes. The producers of Million Loves in Me would like to see how the audience attended the screening of the film reacted, whether they have the same feeling and view of the critics or they take a different view. Million Loves in Me is directed by Sampson YUEN, whose previous works include a famous TV drama in Hong Kong in which featured the international renowned Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung’s acting debuts and the topgrossing films “Bullets Over Petaling Street” and “Petaling Street Warriors”. Million Loves in Me is produced by Kenny CHAN and John Y, a first time producer of feature film. It is interesting to note that John Y was the lawyer acting for the real life Katy in the court case. He has empathy towards the real life Katy that prompted him and gave him inspirations into writing the original screenplay of the film. This debatable drama about animal hoarding, mental disorder and confinement of life is the acting debut of John Y. The mother, Mami is played by LO Koon-Lan, a famous and renowned actress in Hong Kong. She is a frequent winner of acting awards on stage and film. She has been a professor of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and was the acting instructor in television companies and film institutions. After performing their roles as Mami and Katy in the film, both LO Koon Land and John Y have great reflections about lives and human values.

My Dear Banquet

RUN TIME 13 MINUTES

Screening: 15:10 - 22nd August 2019

This short talks about a loving and caring but poor in finance son (John Y) as he struggles to collect funds to buy a birthday dinner for his annoying and demanding mother (Helena Law Lan). They patronize a high end restaurant but to their surprise, it sells low quality food. The restaurant owner (Hiro Hayama) and his staff (Jason Wong) are also in financial difficulties. They struggle to negotiate with the son as to how to settle the outstanding amount of the bill. This heart-warming short film reflects the economic situation of the current Hong Kong and the attitudes of most people towards their financial situation and how they survive in this difficult environment. CONTINUED

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14 An interview with Susan Yam Yam Shaw Ff: we really liked the dynamic between you and john’s character, were you given a brief before filming started as to how to play his mother? Susan: I was provided with the script for review before accepting the role. Although there are only a few characters in the short film, I feel that the emotional aspect in the film is very rich. John, the lead actor and I have the same vision, so that during the shooting, we have the same rapport and chemistry. FF: Were always really interested in films where there are essentially 2 main characters as it means the dynamic has to look genuine, is this something that can be “taught”? Susan: I feel that if the writer only concentrates on two main characters, the screenplay writer and director must choose the most appropriate persons to act as they can provide the appropriate emotion during the shooting process and can produce the best chemistry.  FF: For this film, did you make any suggestions about the original script or suggest any changes – for instance the ending was powerful and very moving with the reveal about you having passed away and not being John’s biological mother? Susan: My character is that from youth until now, I am very concerned about the information provided in the script. I was moved by the script to take up the role. I did not make any suggestions for changes in the script. The script gave me a philosophical insight and a view of life. I do not act because of my acting career. My mission as an actress is to show my emotions and the messages contained in the films through the screen.  FF: How did John Y (co-director and main actor) and Wai Ying Wong (director) persuade you to be in this film? Susan: I am very pleased that the director and John found that I am the  most appropriate person for the role, so I feel so fortunate and joy to be chosen to act in such a touching film. The director and John therefore did not have to persuade me to act.  FF: I read that before you became an actress that you were a singer who caught Bruce Lee’s attention and that lead to an audition, can you tell us a little more about that? Susan: It was so difficult to get into the Hong Kong entertainment industry many years ago. I worked as a nurse in a ship owned by the shipping magnate, Tung Chao Yung,   father of Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR. When they were waiting for the schedule of the ship named “Universal“, I met the father of my ex-classmates who was a Japanese translator (at that time there were not many people who are fluent Japanese speakers in the industry). I went to the site of shooting of a scene in Golden Harvest where Bruce Lee was shooting a scene. Bruce Lee noticed me and found that I was very suitable to be his actress, so he suggested the company to do an audition for Me. I was selected and provided a role. It was under these circumstances, I first touched upon the entertainment industry.

FF: How hard was it to break into the film industry and remain there for so long? Susan: It is so difficult to enter into the industry but there are so many dreams around because many people like to watch films. But it is so difficult to match reality and dream. Chinese people believe in karma and fate. I believe it’s fate to bring one into the industry. It’s not because you are pretty that you can enter into the industry. It’s difficult to be in the industry for 50 years, it is very tiring and I want to give up there & there are so many so many power struggles in the industry. There are so many injustices in the industry, sometimes it feels so harsh and I want to quit. The pressure from the top level personnel and the bad guys is also very harsh If you act as a villain in films, it’s very easy to be criticized and condemned by the public but as I am in the industry for so long, I like my career. FF: Is there a period or performance in your career that stands out? Susan: I am a very serious actress and try my best to play every role accepted regardless of the time. I am not affected by any happy or unhappy moment. I do not have any unmemorable roles, But like in particular the role of Hua Yu in Moods of Love, the first film shot for Shaw Brothers which was directed by Han Hsiang Li.

FF: Everything is so instant now, with movies on demand and social media rising and the future of cinema perhaps a little uncertain, do you see these as positives or does the future concern you? Susan: A good commercial film is very crucial to the world, no matter how the world changes. Entertainment and art are necessities to Hong Kong. As compared to China, Hong Kong is such a small place. Very little of the population goes to cinemas watch movies in Hong Kong. There are not many investors for films in Hong Kong. Talking about the future, China is still a major player. As such, there are less investors for local films in Hong Kong. With the recent protests in Hong Kong, many filmmakers will be eliminated from the industry. The investors are not certain about the future of Hong Kong. As such, they either do not invest or put everything on hold. I have 7 films in hand but investors have put everything on hold, so the job opportunities are lost. I do not have much feeling. From my days in Shaw Brothers, I experienced and went through a lot. I take the view that there are so many unexpected events happening, the most important is to encounter those challenges in a positive way. 


FF: If you could play any other character in any film, who would it be and why? Susan: I will not think of any other character, I take the view that the directors must find me suitable for the roles in different films. I have been tying my best and dedicated to act in all roles provided to me.  FF: What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?  Susan: Every director has his own thinking. Some directors are not used to pinpointing the inadequacy done by some major roles played by famous stars because these stars were surrounded and supported by famous agents and assistants. Take for example, Mr Han Hsiang Li  was a very serious director. He would tell off every cast regardless if you are a famous star or worldwide best actresses in order to bring out the performance required by him. Young directors have a different thinking. They may want the actors to display different attitudes to shoot different versions for them to choose one. This is the progress of the film industry. Every director is the soul of every film. Every day, when we contact different things and people in our lives, we have different feelings and we learn more in our lives. 

FF: You have had the most amazing career with over 130 acting credits on IMDB alone, what’s the very 1st thing you would look for when you are sent a script? Susan: When I’m first provided with a script for review, I will ask the producers the synopsis of the film and then I will find out the character of the role, how the relationship of my particular role with the film and the role affects an event in the film. I will then single out the event and then look at the script as a whole and then I will discuss with directors and script writers whether my way of acting is appropriate. FF: If a good friend or family member suddenly said that they wanted to be an actor, what would your advice be!? Susan: I am very supportive of those who like to act to enter into the industry but I will have to see if he or she has the potential.

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MILLIONLOVESINME

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SIN NOVEDAD/NO NEWS A STUNNING THRILLER BY MIGUEL BERZAL DE MIGUEL

“Sin novedad” (“No News”) is a 2017 Spanish psychological and social drama film. It’s the debut feature of Spanish writer, director and opera singer Miguel Berzal de Miguel (1991). The film, starring Silvia Espigado, was premiered at Alicante International Film Festival 2018. Lola (Silvia Espigado) lives alone with her son, Jorge (Ignacio Jiménez), near to an industrial estate in Madrid. She works a lot of hours for a stingy and strict boss (Gonzalo de Castro) in a storage company. One night, Jorge confesses to her mother that he has begun to keep in touch with his father, Marcos (Fernando Guillén Cuervo), who abandoned them a long time ago... “No News” got 19 candidatures for 2019 Goya

Awards and 7 selections (included “Best Film”) at prestigious Forqué Films Awards 2019. It has received great critical reviews of National and International Film Festivals and Film Critics in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, Iceland, Austria, Malta, Netherlands, Chile or USA: “Powerful and Visceral. Wears its heart on its sleeve. An emotional rollercoaster. Visually Beautiful. An emotional journey into the mind” (Gold Movie Awards, London); “Captured our attention from beginning to end, such a thrilling ride and powerful performances!” (Oklahoma); “Excellent acting and art direction” (Germany); “Fresh and innovative with a gripping storyline” (USA); “Deep and thought provoking film” (France) or “A gripping story about the hardships of family” (Austria). For example, AISGE, a very important cultural Spanish media said about “No News”: “The independent cinema of 2018 in Spain can boast of new jewel. Personal and shocking drama. Spectacular Silvia Espigado”. The Original Music was composed by Javier Berzal de Miguel (1995), the younger brother of the director. Javier has been candidate for “Best Original Music” at Goya Awards and he has won “Best Original Score” at London Independent Film Awards 2019, at Oklahoma

Cine Latino Film Festival 2019 or at The European Independent Film Award 2019, USA. Critique Melómano Digital (a very important cultural Spanish media) said: “An Original Music as interesting as honest”. Their mother, María Jesús de Miguel is the Art Director, Costume, Make-up and Hairstyle Designer of the film. She has been candidate for “Best Art Direction”, “Best Costume Designer” and “Best Makeup and Hairstyle Designer” at Premios Goya 2019, Spain and she has been awarded in Italy. Part of the cast, Silvia Espigado, Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Ignacio Jiménez and Silvia Marsó have been awarded too at International Film Festivals. And all the cast were candidate for “Best Performances” at Premios Goya 2019.

THRILLER

RUN TIME 70 MINUTES

WEBSITE: HTTP://MJBM.ES


WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MIGUEL BERZAL DE MIGUEL

NO NEWS SILVIA ESPIGADO IGNACIO JIMÉNEZ

ESMERALDA MOYA NICOLÁS CORONADO

and special appereances by Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Silvia Marsó, Gonzalo de Castro and Lola Casamayor

7 SELECTIONS “BEST FILM”, “BEST ACTRESS: SILVIA ESPIGADO, ESMERALDA MOYA AND SILVIA MARSÓ” AND “BEST ACTOR: FERNANDO GUILLÉN CUERVO, IGNACIO JIMÉNEZ AND GONZALO DE CASTRO”

"Captured our attention from beginning to end, such a thrilling ride and powerful performances!"

19 CANDIDATURES PREMIOS GOYA 2019, SPAIN

“Fresh and innovative with a gripping storyline” World Film Fair

Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival

“A raw, gripping film”. Cinema New York City

“The independent cinema of 2018 in Spain can boast of new jewel. Personal and shocking drama" Álberto Úbeda-Portugués (AISGE Film Critic)

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OTTO NEURURER HOPE THROUGH DARKNESS SYNOPSIS In May 1940, Catholic priest Otto Neururer suffered an agonising death which lasted 36 hours in Buchenwald concentration camp. Decades later Heinz Fitz, an ageing actor, goes in search of the traces left behind by the blessed priest, together with juvenile delinquent Sofia and Fr. Anton, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Heinz wants to heal the shame of his father’s guilt and find peace. His father was a Nazi and did terrible things. Otto Neururer was beatified by Pope Johannes Paul II in 1996. DIRECTORS STATEMENT Violence, lack of respect and intolerance seem to be gaining renewed ground in a more and more complex and ephemeral world. The Catholic priest Otto Neururer was brutally murdered by the Nazis for his non-violent resistance in a concentration camp. The profoundly humane way in which he opposed the totalitarian regime is in many respects exemplar, even in our times. Thus, it was particularly important to our film crew to tell this story, which is touching and at the same time tragic, in a way that would be contemporary, instructive and amusing for the audience. Thanks to the tireless contribution of the entire crew “Otto Neururer” has become a remarkable and unique movie, sending a strong message!

PRODUCED BY OTTFRIED FISCHER AND HERMANN WEISKOPF WRITTEN BY DR. PETER MAIR & KIRSTEN OSSOINIG ACTORS: OTTFRIED FISCHER, LUCAS ZOLGAR, JASMIN MAIRHOFER, HEINZ FITZ, KARL MERKATZ, ANTONIO WANNEK, JULIA GSCHNITZER DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: GINO SGREVA, JESSE KENT SCORE: BERNHARD FALKNER, MARLON PRANTL COSTUME: GWEN MC GUIRK SET DESIGN: HANNES LEITGEB MAKE UP: ALINE KRABACHER SOUND DESIGN: TOMAS BASTIAN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER GERMANY: ROBERT MÜLLER DIRECTED BY HERMANN WEISKOPF

AN AUSTRIAN – GERMAN CO-PRODUCTION COPYRIGHT 2019 HERMANN WEISKOPF AVG FILMPRODUKTION E.U. GRAUER-STEIN-WEG 9 6020 INNSBRUCK AUSTRIA TEL. 0043-660-6516432

DRAMA

RUN TIME 89 MINUTES

INFO@AVGPRODUKTION.COM

WWW.AVGPRODUKTION.COM


IN KOPRODUKTION MIT

Ottfried Fischer

Sein Glaube war stärker als die Nazis His Faith was Stronger than the Nazis La sua fede era più forte dei Nazisti

TRAILER

WWW.AVGPRODUKTION.COM HOMEPAGE UND SPONSOR

Otto Neururer Hoffnungsvolle Finsternis

Otto Neururer – Hope through Darkness / Otto Neururer – Una luce nelle tenebre Ottfried Fischer Karl Merkatz Lucas Zolgar Heinz Fitz Jasmin Mairhofer Antonio Wannek Hans Jürgen Silbermann Julia Gschnitzer Sophie Resch Peter Miklusz Mathias Renneisen Enzo Weiskopf Hermann Weiskopf Madeleine Weiler Michaela Posch • Produktion: Hermann Weiskopf, Dr. Peter Mair, Robert Müller, Kirsten Ossoinig, Verena Lanzinger, Giovanni Balestriere, Elsa Bral • Make uP & Hair: Aline Krabacher, Barbara Hainz, Claudia Hörtnagl • kostüMe: Gwen Mc Guirk, Eileen Hill • ausstattung: Hannes Leitgeb Vera Larch • song „Bist du Bei Mir“: Marlon Prantl • ton: Massimilano Baccella • tonMiscHung: Tomas Bastian • kaMera-assistenz: Lorenzo Balestriere • kaMera: Jesse Kent • cHefkaMeraMann: Gino Sgreva • scHnitt: Jesse Kent • filMMusik: Bernhard Falkner • dreHBucH: Dr. Peter Mair • regie: Hermann Weiskopf Plakatdesign: wedot.net - Roberta Gobbo, Elsa Bral

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GRACE FURY BY LAURA CARRUTHERS A WOMAN. A STORY. A DREAM. A FIGHT… A VOICE WITH LEGS. Professionally executed by an eclectic cast of performers, who have graced stages across the globe with major ballet companies, Broadway shows and more, Grace Fury is a 60-minute tour de force that crosses realm and genre, experimentally fusing musical dance, diary, and documentary to ride the elements of artistic struggle and success. Both dynamic and delicate, Grace Fury reveals an inner self and story - the curious journey of an artistentrepreneur – a woman “pioneering” from a worldranked Scottish dance and professional Ballet background to build independent projects for stage and film. The fighting, free spirit of her dance and message is bound to satisfy any audience moved by exuberant and thoughtfully crafted performing arts films – of, by, and for the people. LauraCarruthers.com “...an autobiographical journey through dance, imagery, spoken word and the power of presence that redefines everything you’ve ever expected dance to be in a documentary...Thought provoking and freeing, immensely entertaining and trailblazing, Grace Fury is an absolute must see...”  ---- The Independent Critic 

POWER PLAY INTRODUCING THE SCREENPLAY POWER PLAY & BASED ON THE NOVEL BY F. ETHAN REPP

A cancerous political suspense cocktail, based upon deceit, revenge and envy. Our young, handsome mayoral aspirant, Collier Winthrop, is recruited by a crusty old political boss, Al Caso, to upset the status-quo. He soon is faced with opposition from within and without. 1970’s. Before, House of Cards, there was Power Play. SCREENPLAY WRITTEN BY COLIN STEWART, “I wrote the book Power Play in 1978, following a failed run for the US Congress at the age of 33. Full of remaining adrenalin and loss of all consuming activity, I spent the next 4 months writing. Once finished I really didn’t know what to do with it. The popular Mayor of NYC, John Lindsay, a good friend, passed it around to a few publishers, who were complimentary but passed. The work needed editing. I put the typed book away forever. Two years ago, I told my grandson about the book. He wanted to read it. (Pause)  The manuscript was buried somewhere in the garage and I didn’t really know what shape it was in anyway. I rescued the work and began to

“Ancient symbol, visual metaphors, and fictional action from my earliest short films are incorporated to give Grace Fury depth, mystery, and character… to authenticate my artistic ‘evolution’ through her voice - her thoughts, feelings, and realizations from remote, rugged foundation to destination. The brainchild of my own ‘fire & grace’ over the years, she speaks to the little guy or gal of modest, middle class means, with a well-rooted dream and the resolve to ‘make it’ – true. I hope others will join me in her message of grace, hope, and faith. GraceFury.com ----Laura Carruthers Grace Fury has already moved hearts and minds, among film experts and enthusiasts. She premiered and won Best Experimental Feature at the Manhattan Film Festival and later received Best Dance Film at the Golden State Festival in Los Angeles, a *Platinum* Remi Awardfor Documentary from WorldFest-Houston, Best Woman Filmmaker from the World Music & Independent Film Festival, and Best Director & Choreography at the San Francisco International New Concepts Film Festival. Many sincere thanks to Fusion International Film Festivals for screening Grace Fury in Europe this year!

read. I had forgotten the story but realized, hey this is good stuff. It is real. First Edition Design publishing immediately wanted to publish and claimed that they could scan the typewritten work to Word. We published in 2014, 36 years after being written.   Amazon has 12 million books. It is impossible to get noticed. I decided to turn the work into a screenplay. Through the Internet I found a screenwriter anxious to transform my book into the desired format. As well as being nominated at the Fusion South International Film Festival Valencia edtion, the script has been nominated and won at several other film festivals including at the Fusion North International Film Festival London edition and Nice International Film Festival. Young handsome, charming Collier Winthrop, heir to Winthrop Manufacturing is enticed by a crusty old political boss, Al Caso to run for Mayor of the City. The scheme is to utilize the reputation of a prominent family to split the opposition party vote majority. But there is a threat of losing some of his own party base through the disappointment of not being anointed themselves. Caso is running a risk and it could be his head if he is not successful.   In this story, they talk, up front and personal”. - F. Ethan Repp.

MUSICAL FEATURE

RUN TIME 60 MINUTES

LAURACARRUTHERS.COM


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CROWNSVILLE HOSPITAL FROM LUNACY TO LEGACY

A UNIQUELY MADE AND THOUGHT PROVOKING DOCUMENTARY BY R. TODD STEVENS

Crownsville Hospital: From Lunacy to Legacy is a featurelength documentary film highlighting the history of the Crownsville State Mental Hospital located in Crownsville, MD USA. Drawing on many documentary works such as “The Thin Blue Line” and “Night and Fog” for inspiration, the film utilizes archival footage, animation and original music to unfold the story and evoke a mood. Both exterior and interior presentday footage and photos have been combined with exterior/ interior archival footage and photos to capture the changes to the hospital through its 96-year lifespan. In addition, interviews with historians and former hospital workers as well as patients help to round out the experience. Constructed in 1910, Crownsville State Hospital, formerly known as the Hospital for the Negro Insane of Maryland, was the third asylum in the U.S. designed to house only African-Americans. In 1962, Crownsville began to accept all mental patients regardless of their race. Crownsville Hospital Center closed its doors on June 30, 2004 and has since sat vacant.

22 MARZO 2016 BY STEFANO CINTI

MORE INFORMATION ON THE HOSPITAL’S HISTORY CAN BE FOUND AT THE ADDRESS BELOW: EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/CROWNSVILLE_HOSPITAL_CENTER

R. Todd Stevens, wearing the hats of Producer, Director, Cinematographer and Editor had this to say, “I am very excited about the completion of this project and would not trade its 5-year production schedule for anything. I consider it my greatest life lesson and achievement and I am so pleased to now be sharing it with the rest of the World. I used to live within two miles of the hospital and would drive past its dilapidated buildings often. Every time I did, it cried out for its story to be told. It was a film waiting to happen and I am grateful for the opportunity to be its vessel.” Most of the talent and crew involved with this project donated their time and their efforts. This film would not have been possible without their creativity, experience, and positive attitudes. What the audience is left with is a historical snap shot that captures the ambiance of a state mental facility, its surrounding 500acre campus, and the lives it touched.

DOCUMENTARY FILM

RUN TIME 108 MINUTES

WWW.CROWNSVILLEHOSPITALFROMLUNACYTOLEGACY.COM

At the end of the video the final image shows the heart surrounded by people’s statements of grief that make this spontaneous memorial created during the aftermath at the exit of the station unique and that recalls the intricate web of the metro.

The author’s notes On the morning of 22 March 2016, three coordinated suicide bombings occurred in Belgium: two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels. Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured.

The story The song and the images describe the feelings and the thoughts of a commuter in the metro, just a few minutes before the tragic event and during his transition from life to death. The journey on the metro becomes the journey of the commuter’s life and, through his thoughts, it becomes a hymn to the beauty of life, to the little wonderful things, like hugging a beloved one, eating strawberries and cream or feeling the warmth of the sun, that we often take for granted and that make our experience as human beings worth living. In the background of the video are the portraits painted several years before the attack on the walls of the Maalbeek metro station by the Artist Benoît van Innis. These faces became the silent witnesses of the event.

Every day I take the metro to go to work and I stop at Maalbeek and I cannot help thinking even for few seconds of this tragedy. Some months after the event, I felt the need to honour the memory of the victims and to find something worth to be said. I composed the song “22 Marzo 2016” with a clear flow of images in my mind. The music, the words and the photos of the Belgian photographer Stephane Wertz have been merged together in the video, which is an attempt to keep the memory of this tragedy alive.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY MUSIC VIDEO RUN TIME 6 MINUTES

HTTPS://STEFANOCINTI.COM


22 MARZO 2016 INGO FILMS = R. TODD STEVENS Œ

From Lunacy to Legacy _ ADRIAN BOND e R. TODD STEVENS @ R. TODD STEVENS < BRYAN MCCOLLOM p R. TODD STEVENS Ž MICHAEL ALLEN, VAL FULTON, YVONNE CHAN { SHILKE a PATRICK O’CONNELL k R. TODD STEVENS crownsvillehospitalfromlunacytolegacy.com

THE REVIEWS ARE IN

B Y S T E FA N O C I N T I

“AN EXCELLENT AND EXHAUSTIVE LOOK “THE ONGOING DYNAMIC NATURE OF “A COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENTARYTHE PROPERTY IS COMPELLING.” TRIBUTE-EXPOSE OF CROWNSVILLE.” AT CROWNSVILLE HOSPITAL.” - MICHAEL N. ALLEN - DOUG STRUCK - STEVEN SUNDAY

“THE WRITING AND DIRECTING OF THIS IS HIGH CALIBER FOR SURE.” - WINDFIELD FILM FESTIVAL

THE FILM SERVES A HIGHER GOOD, ON MANY LEVELS.” - BECKY ESTEP

DIRECTOR RICHARD TODD STEVENS REPRODUCES THE MOODY ATMOSPHERE.” - FILM VOICE

”YOU’VE HELPED TO PAINT A RICH PICTURE OF CROWNSVILLE.” - TODD R. SMITH

I WATCHED EVERY SECOND OF IT AND TRULY ENJOYED IT.” - VELMA TUCKER

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THIS HAPPENED TO YOU ..? ESTO LE PASO A USTED..? A SHORT FILM BY ANA MARIA ESTRADA

ANA MARIA ESTRADA is an actress, producer, entrepreneur, writer and director; she has the distinction of working in both the Hispanic American market and the general market, better known as Hollywood. Peruvian by birth, she currently resides between the cities of New York, Lima and Miami, which allows her to work much more freely on various artistic projects. Her love for the performing arts started at an early age and she decided to polish her talents studying acting with wonderful masters in New York, Los Angeles, and London. She also studied film at the Prestigious New York Film Academy. Estrada, a member of the important AFTRA and SAG actor unions, has produced several independent films under her own company, Dakini Productions and with Triangle Entertainment. Among them Teresa, the lover of the Liberator (2014), Caigaquien Caiga a famous Peruvian movie plus Hell Girl & Progress Girl with Eva Mendez amongst others. Ana Maria served as an actress and producer of the made for television series, Santa Rosa

de Lima and San Martín de Porres, a series translated into several languages and presented in several countries and appreciated by more than 90 million people. She wrote, produced and directed her first short film Esto le paso a usted? (This happened to you?). This has been nominated and recognized by international film festivals around the world. The director Ana Maria Estrada found inspiration in showing the concerns of people in later years feeling vulnerable to the threat of Alzheimer’s. This terrible disease can make people prey to be swindled and scammed by some who want to take advantage of this dreadful situation. Our character Fausto is struggling with his memory when he encounters Jaime. Fausto feels that he has started to develop Alzheimer’s. This situation makes Fausto follow Jaime hoping at one point of the conversation he will remember Jaime but in the end Fausto is deceived when he learns that Jaime has swindled him. A very real short film & something that can happens in our lives.

SHORT FILM

RUN TIME 15 MINUTES

DAKINI24180@GMAIL.COM

WWW.ANAMARIAESTRADA.COM

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 go 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 only in a few weeks. When searching for the actors, he tried to connect on a personal level instead of the usual audition process. The core scenes were shot within a month while adding additional shots afterwards during a whole year. Post production was eventually a very long process, in cooperation 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 an unusual 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. All had to make sense and be believable as

it would be in real life. And it becomes the real life - with weaknesses, vulnerabilities and motives, even though they might be a little bit crazy, like life itself! THRILLER

RUN TIME 117 MINUTES

WWW.THERADICALIZATION.COM


All men dream, but not equally . . .

Ballad of a Righteous Merchant Filming Herzog ďŹ lming . . . A film by Herbert Golder

SOIL MILK a Screenplay by Vanessa Marlowe

Dishing Up Dark Comedy

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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 (co-written 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 FILM

RUN TIME 63 MINUTES


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MOTHER’S DAY THE FORGOTTEN VICTIMS OF DEATH ROW

A POWERFUL SHORT DOCUMENTARY BY LINDA BROOCKS

As controversy rages about the efficacy of the ultimate punishment, as the Supreme Court of the United States is called upon to issue eleventh hour stays of death sentences, public awareness of the issues surrounding the death penalty has never been greater and public debate never more heated. The filmmaker’s approach was to include mothers whose children reflect the general demographics of death row in the United States: four men, and one woman--two African American, two white, and one Hispanic. She also interviewed a leading social scientist, Elizabeth Beck, the author of “In the Shadow of Death: Restorative Justice and Death Row Families,” who explains the social and psychological phenomena that result from society’s treatment of these mothers. Linda Broocks made documentaries about social issues in college, but then pursued a career in civil trial law while maintaining her interest in criminal justice issues and the power of film in promoting social change. In doing pro bono work involving the death penalty, Linda found her heart being saddened by the stories of the family members of death row inmates, particularly the mothers, whom society was often quick to blame for the troubles of their children. While continuing to practice law full time, Linda researched and recruited five mothers whose stories she wanted to feature, interviewed them, and created a compelling presentation of the problems and sorrows facing them as a result of their children’s incarceration and death sentences. This timely film addresses an important but missing component in the public discourse on a major moral issue of our time.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

RUN TIME 27 MINUTES

LJBFILMS@YAHOO.COM


Mother’s Day The forgotten victims of Death Row Directed By Linda Broocks

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TERESA MULAR MD WE ARE DELIGHTED AS ONCE AGAIN THE TALENTED FILMMAKER TERESA MULAR HAS TWO FILMS IN COMPETION AT OUR WEST EUROPE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN BRUSSELS. A COMEDY FEATURING DOGS THAT REVOLVES AROUND THE ABSURDITY OF TRAVEL AND THE SECOND PART OF HER DOCUMENTARY TRILIOGY…

NOSTALGIA This is chapter #2 of a three part documentary, entitled ‘Flying on the Wings of Time. This chapter is called ‘Nostalgia’ and it presents several interviews with artists (photographers and children both of a renowned Argentinean photographer, Annemarie Heinrich), and another with a Museum archivist, who tells us about the amazing life of one of the most renowned artist (painter) of the 20th century, Quinquela Martin. It reveals the majesty of the greatest murals in Buenos Aires, a look at the most splendid bookstore in that city and a true work of art. It ends with a look inside one of the best literary cafes and the best tango museum. DIRECTOR STATEMENT The significance of this particular chapter is for the emotions and reverberations arising from the director’s memories and related to the feelings of “ nostalgia “ so profoundly tagged to the idiosyncrasies of the Buenos Aires inhabitants. Looking back at one’s own experiences as a young person, it infuses and suffuses a myriad of sensations which I believe cannot and will not be experienced but only until later on in life. Revisiting places and people once seen with the eyes of a less mature individual, makes us reflect about the importance of a past that once was noticed from a different angle. This chapter #2 , takes us through the amazing career and works of one of the most outstanding photographers of Argentina’s XX century ( Annemarie Heinrich ) .This is followed by another Master of the Arts of the same period ( Quinquela Martin ) his life and legacy. RUN TIME 55 MINUTES

NOW BOARDING Director Teresa Mular examines the hilarious indignities of airplane travel as seen on a dog-centered airline with her own beloved German Shepherd acting as co-pilot. Seemingly an absurd tale, it is actually based in most part on the director’s experiences as an average passenger checking- in and boarding in various airports, mostly around United States but also in Europe . In this film, the plot unfolds within the realm of dogs to make the experience more surreal and the unexpected ending gives it a special and memorable flavor. “Now Boarding” has been officially selected at 14 international film festivals: Golden Earth Award - February 2019, Fusion Film Festival Valencia Edition – May 2019, Red Wood Film Festival (California) October 2018, Short Cine Fest - August 2018, Canine Film Festival (Miami , Florida) June 2018, Lake View international Film Festival February - 2017, Nice Int Film Fest - May 2017, Chandler Int Film Fest (Arizona) - November 2016, Best Shorts Comedy (La jolla, California) June 2016, International Independent Film Awards (Encino, California) - March 2016, Colortape International Film Festival (Brisbane, Australia ) - June 2016, Comedy Shorts Film Festival 2015, New York Dog Film Festival (New York City ) 2015, Finow Independent Film and Script Festival - February 2016. RUN TIME 15 MINUTES


DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY - TERESA MULAR Dr. Teresa Mular was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was raised and educated there, completing her University studies and graduating as a Medical Doctor at age 23. Parallel to that she studied piano and voice at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires. As a young person she developed a lifelong passion for classical music and the arts. She moved to New York, to further her training at Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York-Kings County Hospital, in Brooklyn. She became an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology years later at the same institution and had a long career as a physician and teacher. She is fluent in Italian (which she studied in Florence starting in 2006) and it is in Italy, where she found the germinating seed for making her first documentary about the land that witnessed her birth. She recently completed this three-part documentary that pays homage to the various artistic complexities and cultural life of Buenos Aires, under the title “Flying on the Wings of Time - Volando en las Alas del Tiempo” which was re-edtied in 2018 and she is currently editing her latest documentary “94 to 104.9”. THMULAR@OPTONLINE.NET

F LY I N G O N T H E WINGS OF TIME

CHAPTER TWO: NOSTALGIA A Short Documentary by Dr Teresa Mular MD

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DON A SCRIPT BY ALBERTO BATTISTUTTI INSPIRED BY ACTUAL EVENTS – A RAILWAY WORKER HAVING ALREADY DONE HIS SERVICE, IS FORCED BACK INTO THE ITALIAN ALPINE TROOPS AND SENT ON THE ICY RUSSIAN FRONT, WHERE HE FIGHTS TO MAKE IT HOME TO HIS LOVED ONE.

It’s 1942 and the Don River is the border between two conflicting ideologies, where Italian soldiers are being sent to fight. Rinaldo, a man who already served his country, is one of them. But despite courageous resistance, the Russians break through, forcing Rinaldo and his team to an infamous retreat which marks the beginning of the end for both Italy and Germany. Meanwhile, Rinaldo’s wife is about to have their newborn, alone. For all the families at home, the fact that their loved ones are on the Don is the only known thing. Rinaldo’s wife has a son and for generations to come, she hopes that one day her husband will return to her. When he doesn’t, his son sets out — now a man himself — to discover the truth.

Don is also an Italian word which stands for “father” and here, the son discovering the truth about his own missing father in the aftermath of the conflicts. Alberto is a writer born and raised in a small town in the northeast of Italy, where he lives with his wife and two little girls. In addition to a degree in communication, he has a background in journalism and screenwriting. While during the day he works in the field of Marketing, in his spare time he enjoys writing, inspired by his father in search for the truth about his own father during World War Two. His writing is focused on human values like friendship, hope and perseverance, and by telling the true story of his grandfather in “Don”, he has won more than forty international awards.

SCRIPT

ALBERTO.BATTISTUTTI@LIBERO.IT

SILENCE VILLAGE A FILM BY PENG JINGQUAN

The movie Silence Village describes the special handover ceremony between the grandfather and granddaughter of the Miao ancient song in the Western Hunan Province, China. The language of the characters in the play is pure Miao language. The actors of the whole play come from the local ordinary people. It

reflects the beauty of nature, humanity and harmony between man and nature in the Miao Village in Western Hunan Province. It reflects Miao compatriot’s desire, care and maintenance for their national cultural works, and arouses the lost memory of national traditional culture in film appreciation.

SHORT FILM

RUN TIME 34 MINUTES


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Best Feature Film

Slava Jolobov Natalya Vdovina Liza Boyarskaya George Marchenko Alexey Agranovich Dima Sova Alexander Feklistov Sofia Kashtanova Lev Prudkin and Vladimir Prudkin Film Music by Yevsey Yevseyev

© MIRAGE ADVENTURES –ISRAEL, UKRAINE

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NO-ONE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY VLADIMIR PRUDKIN AND LEV PRUDKIN

Last year NO-ONE, the film created by Vladimir and Lev Prudkin and with the most incredible Russian cast,triumphantly marched through several acknowledged film festivals in Europe, including the Best Feature Film and the Best Cinematography Awards at the Vienna Independent Film Festival, the Best Feature Film Award at Winchester International Film Festival, UK, and received nominations and positive reviews after the respective screenings at the 40th Moscow International Film Festival, 48th International Film Festival in Kyiv the 33th Haifa International Film Festival and many others. From the first glance it may seem that the IsraeliUkrainian co-production NO-ONE deals with the events of August 1991 in Moscow, Russia, when the attempted coup d’état put a spectacular end to the presidency of Mikhail Gorbachev. However a closer look shows that the film has no ambition to give an analysis of a bygone era. The script touches upon political events only in passing references and conversations about unfulfilled expectations and dreams. Another speculation is the love drama in the centre of the story –  the wife of the General of the secret service (the almighty Russian KGB) and a famous actress (performed by the spectacular and irresistibly seductive Natalya Vdovina) cheats on her husband (the ageing but still powerful Slava Jolobov). She is cheating on him not only with a beach boy (Dmitro Sova), but also with the general’s nephew (George Marchenko).  The story unfolds in the Crimea, annexed today by Russia from Ukraine, where the actress comes for a holiday. The General’s nephew is also there to visit the daughter of the local boss of the Communist Party (languishing beauty Liza Boyarskaya). Lovers of the actress will face inevitable revenge of the general, who in the final scene leaves Crimea – he is off to swim in the direction of Constantinople aka Istanbul aka Byzantium.

As you may already guess, the love story also turns out to be not what it seems. The authors offer us mystification both when it comes to political drama and when it comes to melodrama. There is no place for love in the relations between the characters, neither are they interested in politics either. Just as the Soviet Empire was teetering in August 1991 on the verge of the return of the hermetic totalitarian power of the party elite and the war of all against all, the film balances between genres of drama, phantasmagoria, mystery play and high tragedy. Big characters, recognizable types, precise household sketches and the overall atmosphere of that time – all that meticulously constructed reality is deliberately eroded and destroyed by the narration,  as if sea waves were washing away a sand castle.  The characters talk a lot. Sometimes pompously, sometimes even evasively, but always in high literary language, with a large number of quotations and postmodern references. At first, this theatricality of their dialogs surprises, later it draws you into the mysterious atmosphere of the circumstances, and then – opens up certain  black holes  in the ordinary fabric of life, through which enters the blowing wind of predestination.  In the opening sequence of the film, we can already see and hear it coming. And this whistling and blowing reminds us of the gloomy myths


of the Russian KGB counting its bloody history almost since ancient times. At the end of the film newsreel footage presents  a clear prospect of the inevitable despair, predicted by the general with a curl on his lips. As he is both crushed by the karmic forces and carries out their verdict. He  executes retribution to everyone, including himself, with his own hands, with no hesitation or mercy. During these moments Slava Jolobov, who is playing the general, rises to the heights of Shakespearean passions; we see the powerful tragic temperament of the actor at work.  Not historical events, but the inevitable drama is in the center of attention, relationships of the characters with all nuances and overtones. The narrative is a solid well-knit chronicle of the collapse of everyone who was on screen, showing us NO-ONE. In the idyllic setting, with the sea, beach, cliffs, high-class sanatorium at a Crimean resort. Here there is conflict and discord. Treason, spying and skeletons in closets displace the peaceful resort. But the most curious thing is how this drama is finally solved. The task is difficult – it requires investigation of the characters and  their psychology. Natalia Vdovina faces the hardest task as her role is the General’s wife who carries the main emotional load of the film. She performs her task in a minimalistic fashion. One of the main assets of NO-ONE is the cinematography with perfectly symmetrical shots, correct composition and experiment with lighting. The camera moves as if in an air-free space, intertwining light and shadow into the overwhelming atmosphere of satiate ancient Roman eroticism. In the end, in front of the viewer, the evocative picture turns into a thriller, a phantasmagoria, an absurdist play. For almost two hours of warm colors, and the “atmosphere of time”  dries up, disappears. And in its place grows a terrible story about the world which is dying before our very eyes. One cannot fail to mention the sorcerous soundtrack by Evsey Evseev that can safely compete with the Twin Peaks themes of Angelo Badalamenti.  It is also important to note that the Prudkins, associated with cultural territories of Israel, Russia and Ukraine, are representatives of an eminent acting family: the father of Vladimir and the grandfather of Lev, Mark Prudkin is a Chekhov Moscow Art Academic Theatre legend and a student of Stanislavsky. Much has been said about

the genre of this neither cheap nor big budget film – something very personal, close to theatre and literature, and really intellectual. These seemingly unrelated to cinematography definitions, when put together, create a new paradigm where everything is possible and it resembles magical realism, there is no other way to describe it. To speculate about the genre of this motion picture, we need to consider several layers put one onto another. The first layer is the plot line of the last days of the Soviet Union. The second layer is the genre of melodrama suddenly jumping into a criminal drama towards the end of the film. The third layer is the depiction of the epoch, very precise not only in details such as costumes, cars, and decorations, but also in the sense of the ephemerality of time and the invisibility of the future. Finally, the fourth layer is the actual text the characters speak, which is a challenging version of literature language with philosophical content.

For the predictions made by the main characters almost thirty years ago are nothing but the analysis of the past for us, people of the future. Including one of the most horrific predictions when the general speculates about the fact that the “democrats”, who have been destroying the USSR, will not be in power for very long, as they simply do not know how to rule such a country. The implication being is that somebody from the bloody former KGB will have to take over. This became a reality in the beginning of this century, when Vladimir Putin became the president of the Russian Federation. And he flashed on the screen in the last scenes of the film. NO-ONE by Vladimir and Lev Prudkin is a strange and enigmatic film; it requires some serious mental work from the viewer. For those who are ready for such work, it brings a highly valued fruit.

DRAMA

RUN TIME 118 MINUTES

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SCEPTER TWO SCHOOLS ACROSS THE GLOBE CREATE A STUNNING SHORT ANIMATED FILM TOGETHER When you imagine a screenwriter, you probably don’t think of a, 17-year-old, homeschooled 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 pre-visualization 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 3 years to make; all written, animated, and voiceacted 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 program 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, et cetera; 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 (Junior School) 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 Fusion International Film Festival in Brussels. 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.  Approximately100 students work on each film production over a two-year period.

For more information about our program or to collaborate with us on a film project, please contact us at the following address: SHORT ANIMATED FILM

RUN TIME 18 MINUTES

PROJECTSPARKSTUDIO@GMAIL.COM


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AN OPEN DOOR & CHOC’LATE SOLDIERS WITH TWO DOCUMENTARIES IN COMPETITION, HERE ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY MAKER NOEL IZON, GIVES US SOME EXTRAORDINARY BACKGROUND TO THESE THOUGHT PROVOKING FILMS INCLUDING AN OPENING PERSONAL FAMILY CONNECTION TO “AN OPEN DOOR”.

“Of the 1305 Jews who were able to make it to Manila, two of them are very important to me and to who I am today. The first was an Austrian physician named Otto Zelezny. He came to the Philippines in 1938 and eventually became friends with my father. When my father became deathly ill in 1945, he saved my father’s life. So I would not be talking with you today if it were not for the skill of this doctor. Between my younger sister and me, we have eight children and six grandchildren. The other Jew that was very instrumental in my life was Dr. Herbert Zipper, He had been to two concentration camps before he got a visa to be the conductor of The Manila Symphony Orchestra. Fortunately he stayed on after the war and I got a chance to meet him personally when I was in 5th Grade. He brought the Manila Symphony to my school and for the first time in my life I had an adult talking to me like I was an adult. He explained the construction of the orchestra and the symphony and various instruments and I was totally fascinated with this and because of him I began to play in a band that continues to this day. So one gave me my life and the other my lifelong love of music.” Noel Izon Noel Izon is an independent filmmaker based in Hyattsville, MD. He was born in Tondo Manila in 1946, the year the Philippines attained full independence. He is the fifth child of acclaimed Filipino cartoonist and artist Esmeraldo Z. Izon. He moved to the United States in 1967. He has been involved in creative and broadcast design and production for over four decades. His production credits encompass more than 250 films and videos. He has filmed internationally in Asia, Europe, the United States and Israel. He has won many national awards for his work, which include some 100 nationally televised programs produced mainly for PBS and for National Geographic Television. He has produced films and videos for numerous national and international clients including the White House and the Vatican.

AN OPEN DOOR: HOLOCAUST HAVEN IN THE PHILIPPINES A dramatic story of rescue and friendship and how the Philippines was able to provide sanctuary to more than 1305 Jews fleeing Nazi Europe prior to 1941 and is the third in Noel’s trilogy of forgotten WWII Stories. In the1930’s, when nations of the world were closing their doors to refugee Jews fleeing the growing horror of Hitler’s Germany, one small island nation in the Pacific chose to do what others would not – save those lives. On July 6, 1938, 80 delegates from 32 countries around the world met at a French resort in Evianles-Bains at US President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request to address the growing Jewish refugee crisis in Hitler’s Greater German Reich. Over 200 international journalists and representatives from Jewish relief organizations recorded 10 days of deliberation by the delegates that ultimately failed to perform the task for which they were assembled – to save Germany’s persecuted Jews through orchestrated resettlement. It can be characterized as one of the greatest diplomatic and humanitarian failures of 20th century Western civilization. Not one of the attending delegations voiced a commitment to

either lift or suspend their nation’s quota restrictions within their immigration laws or vowed to increase the numbers of Jewish refugees entering their country by offering them political asylum. But while these relatively lowlevel diplomats, mostly from the Western nations in Europe and the Americas, lamented the plight of the refugees without offering any solutions, the small Asian nation of the Philippines had already set a rescue plan into operation. Holocaust historian, Bonnie M. Harris, Filipino-American historian, Sharon Delmendo, and award-winning Philippine filmmaker, Noel “Sonny” Izon, have collaborated in creating a timely documentary, “An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines,” in which this previously unknown episode in history has been beautifully captured. And while this rescue, orchestrated and empowered through Pres. Quezon, ultimately saved these refugees from the uncertainty of Europe’s future, it also gave them a new welcoming homeland as the Filipino people opened their hearts and accepted them within the fabric of Philippine society. This event in history, the rescuing of 1,300 refugee Jews by the small Asian Commonwealth nation of the Philippines, saved these persecuted Jews of Europe from the fate of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, and while 1,300 Jewish lives, when compared to six million Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities, are not so many, to those hundreds who found a haven in Manila, each Jewish life that was rescued was a blessing for the more than 8,000 members of their current posterity. The greatest legacy of the Holocaust Haven created in the Philippines and retold in Izon’s film will always be this – they healed wounds inflicted by the worst of times as only the Filipinos can. Bonnie M. Harris, Ph.D. Lecturer, Dept. of History, San Diego State University, Grossmont College, Southwestern College DOCUMENTARY FILM

RUN TIME 78 MINS


Choc’late Soldiers Choc’late Soldiers from the USA is a feature length documentary on a little known episode of World War II. It is the untold history of 140,000 African American soldiers sent to Great Britain during WWII. It becomes an explosive story when a thoroughly segregated US Army collides with a racially non-restrictive England. In the years leading up to D-Day, Black GIsand English citizens develop friendships and serious relationships, some even leading to matrimony. The responses from the US Army and ordinary white GIs to this unexpected social phenomenon bring American racial policies and practices under close and unflattering scrutiny. It is ironic that while these African American soldiers are valiantly fighting the organized racism of Nazi Germany, they also are serving in a segregated US Army. It is a testament to the goodwill of the English people, that despite their history of colonial expansion, they treat Black troops with genuine dignity and respect, and in some cases, love. Veteran John Wood expresses a widely held belief among Black GIs when he states: “They treated us as Americans, but they (the British) knew we were different Americans. Choc’late Soldiers from the USA examines social experiences born of the unique

circumstances of 1.6 million American soldiers stationed among British civilians. For African American soldiers, navigating their way through a predominantly white, color-blind society is novel but relatively easy. However, the barriers imposed by the US Army and American culture will prove more problematic. For British civilians who bond with Black GIs, learning about the American way of life, is life altering. Irene “Girlie” George, now in her nineties, still gushes about her days working in the Red Cross Club in Bristol, saying, “It was the most memorable experience of my life.” The characters’ unique experiences are captured in first person interviews at locations of personal or historical significance. The era is coaxed to life through personal photographs, period recreations, archival stills and film, artist’s depictions, and Hollywood movie clips. It has an original score by Charlie Barnett. Renowned American and British historians provide historical context and political subtext pertaining to the African American sojourn in England. Choc’late Soldiers from the USA focuses on the human drama, engaging the recollections of Black soldiers and English civilians, all of whom share with us their insights and stories. It is a rare political and social event that one historian once described as a “utopian interracial moment.”

Choc’late Soldiers from the USA is a character-driven story in which subjects discuss a variety of “social” issues including the African American cultural aesthetic, Jim Crow, and the interracial dating that would ignite violent behaviors among many ordinary white Americans. This film is conceived as a conversation among African American GIs, historians and English civilians who share personal anecdotes and observations of WWII England and of the time when Black GIs became part of their social landscape.

DOCUMENTARY FILM

RUN TIME 61 MINS

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SOIL MILK A SCREENPLAY BY VANESSA MARLOWE

MAKEUP ARTIST: RALICA MLADENOVA

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Such is the life of an artist…with a day job. Thankfully, she’s got very lenient managers. (Little do they know she is eccentric and likes to interview herself, flipping from first to third person, insanely.) Like most artists, Marlowe has faced a lot of rejection,and overcome anxiety and depression in the face of a bipolar father, divorce, and a wholelot of job instability. In one happy position, working in collections for insulin pumps, Marlowe recalls patients answering their phone with a gleeful, “F*** you!” by way of hello. “And when the good people you’re requesting payments from have houses going into foreclosure, adult children in diapers, and/ or are victims of hurricanes, floods, natural disasters, or just plain, horrible luck, you start to wonder if there is hope for any of us.” Marlowe confides, relieved to not be working in a call center. But hey, everyone’s got their issues. From the misunderstood drug addict turned prostitute, to the over-worked doctor turned drug addict, life is an ongoing revolving door of contrasts, chalk full of characters who all have a story and are worth writing about. “I’ve never met a weird person I didn’t gain something from, because I am always listening. Always watching. (As creepy as that may sound.) I see things…and I write them down or I imitate them – or both, preferably. Why? Because it makes me happy. And it’s what I do.” Marlowe confides, rambling excitedly. And that’s the real task of the artist. To listen to the stories everyone, from the mailman to the pharmacy cashier, and everything, from the dying orchid by the sink begging to be taken out of direct sunlight, to your insistent, orange, meowing tabby who is hungry or wants to be tickled under his chin, or maybe both at the same time – everyone and everything has a message. And as an artist, we attempt to interpret and illustrate

these stories in any creative way, shape or form possible. And just hope that it’s not crap. Or worse – mediocre! But hey, Hollywood is built on mediocrity and everyone needs funding… As I write the last section of this piece while gazing peacefully out from a train window, I spot a small herd of cattle. They’re adorable. Simple, naïve, big nosed creatures. Unsuspecting of their fate, they frolic with one another innocently, skipping through the fields, their tags and ears flopping joyfully in the wind, not knowing they are raised to be slaughtered. I imagine them mooing, then facing a chopping block, much like Marie Antoinette facing the guillotine. But well, these cattle, they are raised for food. And they go to a far better place. Alas, ‘tis a short journey, but it is theirs – for now. And this is the way of it. But, like the cattle and sheep, the masses are mindless and perhaps,”yearning to breathe free…”

Marlowe ponders the plights of humanity by offering biting social commentary with an intimate glimpse into some of her own personal experiences, and the lovely, colorful, ugly, absurd mélange of characters she’s encountered. “You have this moment of clarity where you accept that the thing that motivates you the most as an artist, is when you overcome your own obstacles and find a way to do what you love. Because that’s what life’s about. Love. Loving it all.” *Vanessa Marlowe’s dramatic feature, Soil Milk, is nominated for best unproduced screenplay.* Special Thanks to: The Flavor Of India Restaurant 161 E Orange Grove Ave, Burbank, CA 91502

So, the question remains what really sets all of the cattle apart from one another? It’s finding their own moo…their own voice, and putting it into what they love. And obviously it ain’t easy. Just take the film, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? A classic starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Said Bette Davis on Robert Aldrich getting funding for the film, “He would go to people and they would say, ‘Those two old broads – never!” But it got made, and it was amazing! Because it’s not about being beautiful. It’s about being raw. Truthful… Whether it’s a short, witty musical on infertility and endometriosis, or a two-part psychological thriller about the futility of war and humanity’s greed in capitalism, Vanessa

PHOTOGRAPHY: MYRON ROGAN

…It’s one o’clock and she wipes the white makeup from her face with a pajama sock, as she races from her extended lunch break/ photoshoot, back into the lifeless arms of her cozy cubicle chair and cushy corporate job.

PHOTOGRAPHY: MYRON ROGAN

ON MY LUNCH BREAK…

SCREENPLAY

VANESSAMARLOWE@GMAIL.COM


THAT’S OPPORTUNITY KNOCKING WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY CHARLES PELLETIER

Comedy based on a true story wins 22 film festival awards! “The keen ensemble performances make this funny production hilarious.” Huffington Post Writer/Director Charles Pelletier got the idea for the script “That’s Opportunity Knocking” by an anecdote told by one of the actors, Thomas Anawalt, at a bar after a play in which they were both involved at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Thomas had been living in New York, and one night got home with his roommate, and went to bed, only to find the next morning that he had been robbed, and the burglars had been in the apartment the whole time they had been home. Hiding. Somewhere. The true story became a comedic “tall tale” in which two wanna-be thugs attempt to rob an apartment; everything goes awry when the owners show up early for a little latenight sex. Toss in the third wheel roommate, fresh out of the mental hospital and comedy was created. “Brilliant writing that is perfectly performed by an extremely strong cast.” Movie-Blogger.com DIRECTOR CHARLES PELLETIER’S NOTES: I was anxious to write a project for some of the very gifted actors I had worked with at the Hollywood Fringe Festival (C. Stephen Foster, Charlotte Gulezian, Moronai Kanekoa, Satchel Andre and Thomas Anawalt), mostly recent graduates of the USC MFA Acting program. Cynthia Webster read the script and was immediately excited about producing it. As a cinematographer, she had won two Emmy’s, so when she agreed to be the DP, it was a perfect scenario for me, as a first-time film director. Since she owned her own studio, we were able to have many rehearsals over a period of weeks, on the set, and find the characters, in the way you would direct a play. My philosophy is to cast the right people, and stay out of their way. The state an actor is in, when he or she is acting well, is vulnerable. I believe great actors will eventually find their way, if given a safe space and a morsel of guidance, but that journey is largely an internal one.

SHORT COMEDY

RUN TIME 22 MINUTES

THATSOPPORTUNITYKNOCKINGTHEMOVIE.COM

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NO MAXIMAL DOSE A FEATURE FILM BY RANDY AYRES MOVIES CAN SAVE LIVES Capturing cinematic video and clean audio is much easier for independent filmmakers now than ever before. Companies like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Zoom, Rode, Tascam, and Sound Devices among others make affordable gear that can deliver blockbuster Hollywood production value. But production value is still unwatchable without a good story. And every story is enhanced by attention to theme and social relevance. No Maximal Dose is a new feature film on the festival circuit by guerrilla filmmaker Randy Ayres and has all the production value you’d expect from a big budget. And, more importantly, its story and social relevance are right out of today’s headlines. Ayres trained as a medical doctor and currently practices integrative addiction and chronic pain management in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He also has a masters level degree in screenwriting from Southern New Hampshire University and says his film training includes extensive education with professional videographers and photographers at PROCAM (www.procam.com) in Livonia, MI as well as live MZED (www.mzed.com) seminars with Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent La Foret, Saturday Night Live (SNL) film crew director Alex Buono, SNL editor Adam Epstein, and SNL sound designer Mark Edward Lewis. He says this training as well as YouTube tutorials by Film Riot’s Ryan Connolly and former BBC cameraman and director of photography Phillip Bloom gave him the skills and confidence to tackle ambitious feature films like No Maximal Dose with a micro-budget and a heart filled with passion. According to Ayres, “No Maximal Dose is a vehicle to stimulate dialogue about the origins and impact of the opioid epidemic on families, chronic pain patients, and physicians.” He says he created an anti-hero named Marco Justus who decides to get some retribution after his teenaged daughter overdoses and dies. Ayres says Marco literally puts the American medical profession on trial by taking her doctors hostage and cross-examining them with a gun in one hand, a dead man’s switch in the other, and a bomb ready to detonate. While the film functions seamlessly as a thriller/suspense movie with action elements, it also fulfills Ayres’ broader ambition “to illustrate the bio-psycho-social changes that occurred over the past thirty years and set the stage for a perfect opioid-epidemic-storm that now kills more Americans every year than were lost in the Vietnam war, on 9/11, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan combined.” Ayres says “This film can and will save lives, and, with enough attention, it will hopefully catalyze community demand for policy makers to formulate and implement rational, evidence based systemic changes.” He also hopes that people watching will internalize and process the events they witness in No Maximal Dose and begin to ask questions, demand solutions, and make choices to heal themselves, each other, and our planet.

No Maximal Dose was an official selection at the July, 2019 Action on Film Festival in Las Vegas, NV where Ayres won Best Editing and was nominated for Best Feature Drama, Best Guerilla Film, and Best Cinematography. It’s also an official selection at the West Europe International Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium where it’s nominated for Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Directing, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and Best Supporting Actor. The West Europe International Film Festival runs from August 17thto August 24th, 2019. More information about specific festival dates and times is available at https://www. fusionfilmfestivals.com/west-europe/ With a great start like this, doctor-filmmaker Randy Ayres is well on his way to proving that movies can save lives and changing our world for the better. FEATURE FILM

RUN TIME 106 MINUTES

HTTPS://NMDMOVIE.COM


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HANNI BERGESCH WRITER, DIRECTOR & ACTRESS

Circles of life. This is the name of Hanni Bergesch’s new script. Life changes... in circles... people go... people come... new phases present themselves... new decisions happen... It seems that life is often a copy of fiction. At least that’s what has happened in Hanni’s life. Recently the journalist had to take over the management of the car company she founded with her husband over 10 years ago. “At this moment I am 100% focused on the company; it is a circle... a phase. In the near future I will make my films again, because that is what fulfills me.” says Hanni. In “Circles of Life” a woman leaves one culture, for another, adapts, realizes, is happy, and sees that everything was worth it. We wish the very best for Hanni Bergesch

SHORT DRAMA

RUN TIME 15 MINUTES

FACEBOOK.COM/DIEGRAUEFRAU


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THE MARVELLOUS MOCKBUSTER IN DEFENCE OF HOLLYWOOD’S MOST FAMED FOE By Steven Allison

Are you sound asleep? Because that’s the only way the marvellous ‘mockbuster’ could pass you by. It’s hard to miss the umpteen major motion pictures eclipsed by these crafty, low-budget knock-offs, usually dropping around the same time as their muse hits movie theatres. Typically found sporting horror or scifi B-film apparel, these high-concept, straight-to-DVD flicks piggyback on the razzmatazz of the pricey marketing campaigns of prominent features with copycat titles, themes, or artwork. In this way, filmmakers often manage to slyly fox less seasoned film fans into believing the real McCoy awaits them as they settle on the sofa, snacks in hand. Snakes on A Train (2006) and Paranormal Entity (2009) are but two of the most overt attempts to hoodwink viewers in recent years. Others – like War of the Worlds (2005) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) – don’t even bother making a stab at the subtlest of changes, replicating the title of their source material verbatim. In one sense, it’s easy to accuse those behind mockbusters of professional chicanery that goes well beyond the pale. Plenty of the biggest Hollywood studios certainly do – and alongside fairly intimidating threats too. In another sense, it’s near impossible not to admire their

audacity – something of which nearly all creatives can be accused at some point or another over their career. Anyhow, what is it the omnipotent ‘they’ say? Ah, yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And – with many mockbuster production companies reporting annual revenues running into the millions –it’s one that turns a sweet profit. Many of these companies swear blind that their intention is not to impose on the trust of consumers, nor to mislead their bread and butter. Instead, they strive to provide wider choice. Naturally, the cohort of novice cinephiles who wind up fleeced – as the result of knowing efforts or otherwise – have the right to feel peeved. Yet, indie production company The Asylum claims the low number of people requesting refunds after renting its mockbusters indicates that most select these junky flicks on purpose. With a few exceptions, compliance with copyright legislation is high. Because the bulk of mockbusters are only loosely based on the general premise of their source material, The Asylum and other studios normally cover their backs well. Even most word-for-word titles fly under the radar since they’re inspired by stories already in the public domain. This is

especially true of the folk tales several Disney movies stem from. Good Times Entertainment, for instance, released Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast to coincide with their Disney counterparts. At times, the proverbial crap hits the fan, like when Brightspark was taken to court over duping consumers with Tangled Up and The Frog Princess. The studio was instructed to destroy all copies of the offending titles. Legality aside, there exists an everexpanding band of time-served movie buffs and critics willing to look past the brass neck of cineastes brazenly capitalising on the endeavours of major studios. You don’t merely need to take The Asylum’s word for that though. Why? Because I’m part of that merry band. For me and my fellow bargainbasement B-movie enthusiasts, the likes of The Amityville Haunting (2011) and Jack the Giant Killer (2013) are far from erroneous picks. By contrast, we select these rogue titles with eyes wide open, singularly eager to cast aside our hotdogs and popcorn – as well as our love of quality filmmaking – to scoff down the fun, wilfully schlocky indulgences they offer. Once the closing credits roll, we paradoxically announce, “It’s dreadful – I love it.”


For any cynics, let me make one thing crystal clear. As B-movie gastronomes, we’re not purely on the lookout for any old tripe. Not by any means. We crave only the finest entries in the broad sobad-it’s-good genre – mockbusters so terribly trashy they constitute little short of sheer joy. While the features touched on so far sit comfortably within that canon, others don’t come close to making the cut. Sadly, in my role as a film critic, I’ve been forced to endure a few of the latter recently, and they’re just frightfully bad and barely watchable. Nonetheless, for the sake of respecting the hard work of their creators, let’s steer clear of roasting these atrocities. So, yes, independent studios may very well cash-in on the buzz surrounding the pictures they imitate, but they’re more than aware the market for their products is thriving. But why is that market thriving? Why is there such a hefty bunch of movie nerds out there salivating at the concept of cheesy, cutprice impostors filling their Friday nights? A straightforward answer to that is: Why the dickens wouldn’t there be? In all honesty, souls like me see a unique mashup in mockbusters. And we’re addicted to it – that compelling blend of unflagging energy poured by filmmakers into their

craft and the consequent production of wittingly tacky material. Ultimately, they achieve what they set out to do, and that’s grand. That same appealing combo can’t be found in bad or even good-bad flicks falling outside mockbuster boundaries. Even if their creators are guided by passion, they don’t have comparable intentions. These projects flop when they are initially scheduled for success, which evinces a lack of fire – not necessarily in filmmakers but in the work itself. As a critic, while I can’t avoid attacking this inadequacy now and again, I do feel strongly that deriving pleasure from the blunder of any fellow creative is frankly a smidge unkind and twisted. Even if titles like The Room (2003) – possibly the most renowned so-bad-it’s-good example of all time – gain cult statusdue to their epic cinematic failure, I can only imagine how it must feel to be ridiculed for an undertaking I hoped would be taken seriously. Who knows – perhaps I will be sooner or later. Perhaps I already have been.

entendre, referring not only to imitation but to mockery too. When we groupies find these poacher features, we get it. We understand our screens won’t be graced by the familiar faces of our favourite actors, but by those of secondrate Z-listers. We laugh at the acting, at the concepts, at the titles. And we laugh along with the studios that brought all of this into our lives.It’s good-hearted fun to be taken in the spirit in which it was intended. With any luck, if you’re one of the hordes of bewildered consumers chucking twoquid copies of newly-released major motion pictures in your supermarket baskets; I’ve thrown some light on the situation. If it saves you a penny or two, terrific. If I’ve made you view mockbusters with fresh perspective, priceless. If I’ve made a fan out of you, well, you’ve cheered-up my day more than a cheap Tuesday at the picture palace.

Deliberately cruddy movies are, however, fair game. They’re made in the knowledge ridicule will surely follow. In fact, the term ‘mockbuster’ might be a double

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EVOLUTIONARY FILMS ACQUIRES DOCUMENTARY FEATURE “MINIATURE WARGAMING: THE MOVIE”AT FUSION NORTH EUROPE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN FEBRUARY 2019. Following a presentation held at the Fusion Festival in London, Evolutionary Films CEO John Adams and Creative Director Ross Boyask met with Director/Producer Joseph Piddington to talk about his film. A screening of the film impressed the team at Evolutionary Films, who saw the financial potential of bringing it to market and led to discussions about distribution and marketing strategies. Having won the National Film Award for Best UK Film Distribution Company of 2019, Joseph could see the potential in signing with Evolutionary Films as international sales agents and exclusive distributors of the film across the UK later this year. In addition, Evolutionary Films are proud to be debuting “Miniature Wargaming: The Movie” at the upcoming Cannes film market in May 2019. When asked about his experience of the Fusion Festival, Joseph Piddington said “One of the highlights of Fusion was the industry seminar hosted by John Adams and Ross Boyask from Evolutionary Films.

The seminar was invaluable, giving everyone guidance and knowledge from inside the industry. John and Ross took genuine interest in seeing my film, addressing any questions and concerns I had at the same time. I’m delighted to be working with Evolutionary Films and I look forward to what the future holds”. Evolutionary Films CEO, John Adams,added “It was a pleasure to host an evening at the 2019 Fusion International Film Festival in London and meet such a fantastic group of talented filmmakers. Our ambition is to establish Evolutionary Films as the go-to partner for emerging talent. We’re delighted to be working with Joe on Miniature Wargaming the Movie and to be taking the title to Cannes as part of our line-up.” Evolutionary Films has strong working relationships with broadcasters and digital platforms, having released a number of titles in recent months, including “A Life Lived”, a drama starring Denise Richards and Jennifer Taylor, and “Acceptable Damage”, a hard-hitting drama touching on topics such as anti-bullying, gang culture, and the cycle of abuse.

WWW.EVOLUTIONARYFILMS.COM

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SHAO STUDIOS & SFILMMAKER.COM Shao Studios is an international promotion, production and distribution platform dedicated to connecting media outlets around the world to media producers, distributors and financiers in China- the world’s largest media market. Based in Beijing, Shao Studios was founded by film director Joanna Shao who saw the potential to reach out to China’s diverse independent film-makers and give them an international outlet. Shao Studios’ markets of distribution include, but are not limited to: Internet channels, mobile channels (via telecommunication providers), theatrical channels, air media channels (aboard commercial airplanes) and digital cable providers.

Sfilmmaker is Shao Studios’ film festival registration platform, with over 10,000 film-makers registered to the platform and hundreds of festivals from around the world. Sfilmmaker addresses the problems many small independent Chinese filmmakers have in getting their work into competition and the problems international festivals have finding true Chinese independent cinema. Coupled with Shao Studios’ Young Director Patron Programme and it’s online media education platform which connects Chinese film students with movie experts worldwide, Shao Studios aims to be a voice of development and a bridge between Chinese Media and the World.


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE SCREENING SCHEDULE OF ANY NOMINATED FILM WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE. FOR AN UP-TO-DATE LIST PLEASE CHECK AT THE FESTIVAL ON A DAILY BASIS OR ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.FUSIONFILMFESTIVALS.COM


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE SCREENING SCHEDULE OF ANY NOMINATED FILM WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE. FOR AN UP-TO-DATE LIST PLEASE CHECK AT THE FESTIVAL ON A DAILY BASIS OR ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.FUSIONFILMFESTIVALS.COM


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE SCREENING SCHEDULE OF ANY NOMINATED FILM WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE. FOR AN UP-TO-DATE LIST PLEASE CHECK AT THE FESTIVAL ON A DAILY BASIS OR ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.FUSIONFILMFESTIVALS.COM


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE SCREENING SCHEDULE OF ANY NOMINATED FILM WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE. FOR AN UP-TO-DATE LIST PLEASE CHECK AT THE FESTIVAL ON A DAILY BASIS OR ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.FUSIONFILMFESTIVALS.COM


PLEASE NOTE THAT WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE SCREENING SCHEDULE OF ANY NOMINATED FILM WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE. FOR AN UP-TO-DATE LIST PLEASE CHECK AT THE FESTIVAL ON A DAILY BASIS OR ON OUR WEBSITE WWW.FUSIONFILMFESTIVALS.COM


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FilmFocus ISSUE 03  

FilmFocus ISSUE 03  

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