Film Focus #05

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A VISIONARY FILMMAKER Nisreen Al-Sbeihi Noman Returns With Her Latest Documentary | Page 4

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IT IS OUR ABSOLUTE PLEASURE TO WELCOME YOU TO WHAT IS OUR FIRST FESTIVAL OF 2020! 2019 was an incredible year for us and we have been truly blown away and overwhelmed by the amount of support and kind words we have received. We have a vision and passion to support, encourage and connect creative minds from all over the world and bring them together at festivals across Europe. Independent filmmakers and creative’s need independent film festivals and film festivals certainly need you. Our International Film Festivals will provide an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and industry professionals with countless networking opportunities with others from within the film industry. This also offers the perfect platform to share advice, tips and information on topics from a vast array of subjects including technical aspects of filming, casting, location hints and script writing. We truly want you to enjoy your experience with us and know that we are available to reach out too at any time. The films and scripts we have had submitted to this Festival have been of the highest quality, 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. 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 creative’s to meet and collaborate. We will always be on hand to offer industry advice should you need it. We have been fortunate enough to connect with a number of industry professionals ranging from UK and international

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



distributors, marketing consultants, production houses, VOD platforms and Film Commissions who are keen to support our network of film makers at festivals and from afar. 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 immeasurable and 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. This year we welcome new volunteers to run our screening rooms, we appreciate your enthusiasm to support us and we hope you find the connections you make to be useful and insightful. 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 & Steve

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WHAT REMAINS OF ME Never afraid to take risks, here we are delighted to present another powerful and moving documentary by the award winning filmmaker Nisreen Al Sbeihi Noman.

“My latest film “What Remains of Me“ is a Yemeni documentary that sheds light on Taiz, the most densely populated city in Yemen. It’s distinguished by its cultural, commercial, tourist and industrial activities.

Hawban entry” but it has been shut down for more than five years. The Houthi’s closed it right after they took control of it and prevented any movement in and around the entrence ever since.

It is situated southwest of the capital Sana’a, it took weeks of filming and documenting events as it was difficult to move in residential areas full of randomly laid minefields and tricky explosives made in the shape of toys, stones, and tree trunks. Due to the fear of snipers who target any living creature in sight and the scourge of the imposed siege on the city, we resorted to walking through impassable routes as if we were making a deal that leads to death while trying to document everything that was going on. Taiz used to be a beautiful city, but it has become destroyed and saddened, I together with the crew decided to enter the city through its main entry “Al

The Houthi’s are Iran-backed militias who staged a coup against the internationally recognized government and made their way towards Taiz after taking over the capital Sana’a. This increased the suffering of the inhabitants turning the once beautiful city into a large prison where medical and food aid was delivered through airdrops because of the siege. In a fourhour risky drive, we entered the city through an alternative route, it used to be a ten-minute drive to get to the center of the city before the siege. On the backside of a four-wheeldrive vehicle in a bumpy road, through which some made it to hospitals and others died before reaching the city.






We arrived after enduring a lot of suffering, we were faced with different forms of death: landmines, explosives, snipers, and artillery shells, it is literally a grief-stricken city subjected to terrorism and massive sabotage that affects all aspects of life. Inside the city, there are warning signs, but not enough to spare civilians from the danger of mines. Nobody knows what they will come across: landmines or explosives on the roadside. Or those planted in houses deserted by their owners or in facilities and schools, which still exist now. Hundreds of civilians in Taiz, including children and women, have lost their lives or parts of their bodies due to these shells and mines, which are still lurking for their victims. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


During the time of filming and until I departed the city, there were little or no efforts to reduce this danger. The movie spotlighted the story of Jamal Jameel who lost both his feet to a shell while playing near his house, and child Malak who was on her way to the store to buy candies as a reward for being excellent at school, but the reward was a shell that amputated her arm. The documentary also shows the misery of a young woman named Dalila who had both her legs amputated due to a landmine that was planted near a well in front of her house and other stories being addressed in the documentary. The cases I met portray a realistic model for this city. I saw Taiz in the eyes of its children, women, and youth:, Broken, sad, and greatly

depressed. Taiz, known as the Dreamy City, has lost thousands of its best young men and women. I read about the tragedy of the city and decided to shed light on it in this documentary: “What Remains of Me� Through which I hope to make the voice of its people be heard and become part of the conscientiousness around the world, so that they may cooperate to stop this tradegy.









This comedy short is about love, drug addiction, same-sex marriage, grief, abandonment, dysfunction, and of course, ACCEPTANCE. As the tagline states: “A comedy about a toxic family situation with a splash of Holy water and a twist of lime.” The story is about two screwed up families getting together for brunch to celebrate a young boy’s baptism. The young man’s family includes a father and stepfather in recovery, over the top liberal grandparents, an ignorant and homophobic step-uncle, a flamboyant step-grandmother, along with his extended family of socially impaired individuals. What was to become a beautiful backyard celebration turned into a painful poolside party. David Luck, the creator of Brunch before Baptism, believes that “laughter” is the key to surviving everyday life in this chaotic world that we all live in. The short film took place in Luck’s hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana. It was David’s goal to bring in southern humor (or just humor in general) to defuse the tension between the hurting relatives.

Brunch before baptism has been a beautiful journey for David. This past year, his short film was nominated and received award several awards from film festivals nation-wide such as Best Dark Comedy, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress & Actor, Best Faith-Based, and Best Comedy. David will be forever thankful to Kent Arceneaux, Director, and all his incredible cast and crew. Nine months before shooting, David’s mother, Janie Luck, had passed away, and his film family is responsible for his muchneeded escape of loss and pain by coming together and giving birth to this meaningful comedy.





The Fusion North Europe International Film Festival is set to host the U.K. Premiere of the award-winning feature documentary from the U.S.A., THE RINGMASTER, on Tuesday, February 18th at 10:30am. The film is about an aging chef whose life is turned upside down when a relentless filmmaker from Las Vegas tries to make the chef’s onion rings world famous. The film was co-directed by Molly Dworsky and Dave Newberg.

These dual narratives end up intertwining to culminate in an unexpectedly emotional climax to the film. The documentary also features a wonderful eclectic cast of characters from Minnesota and includes special appearances from legendary rock band KISS and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. What was initially supposed to be a lighthearted film about the world’s greatest onion rings, THE RINGMASTER eventually evolves into a deeply personal journey dealing with mental health, addiction, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is an honest and fascinating character study of both filmmaker and subject, Zachary Capp and Larry Lang, respectively. There are no shortage of twists, turns, and emotional reveals in this exciting documentary that reminds the audience of an onion – the more you peel away the layers the more you discover. When THE RINGMASTER obtains a distribution/TV deal, a portion of proceeds will benefit Alzheimer’s research which plays an important role in the documentary.

THE RINGMASTER starts as Capp tries to showcase the life of Larry Lang and push Lang’s onion rings to the world stage. However, Larry could never adapt to having a film crew in his presence and the challenges of doing interviews while he worked in his restaurant’s kitchen. The second half of the documentary starts when Capp’s film crew turns the camera on him. They want to document Capp’s goodintentioned spiral as he tries more and more outlandish methods to push Larry’s onion rings into the national spotlight. However, Capp’s efforts crumble due to interpersonal conflicts and Lang’s evergrowing reluctance to be filmed.

Come and see the film that has critics hailing it as “one of the most compelling [films] of the year,” Unseen Films and “a human tale...of mistakes, love, respect, and the desire to succeed,” Ain’t it Cool News.


THE RINGMASTER has won awards at festivals all over the United States including Best Documentary at the Festival of Cinema NYC in New York; the Best Screenwriting Award at DOC LA: Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival; the Audience Award at the Silver State Film Festival in Las Vegas; and was an official selection at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in Ohio and the Twin Cities Film Festival in Minnesota. The film recently had its International Premiere at the Jaipur International Film Festival in Jaipur, India.

Chef Larry Lang is loved by everyone in his hometown of Worthington, MN where he is known for making the best onion rings in America (as verified by food critic Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post). Lang operated Michael’s Restaurant in Worthington where the secret recipe for the delicious onion rings can be traced back as far as 1949, first created by Larry’s father, Michael. Zachary Capp, a Las Vegasbased producer with roots in Minnesota, remembered going to Michael’s Restaurant as a child and loved the famed onion rings. Capp then set off to make a documentary about the onion rings and spread the word to a larger audience.







What do world-famous onion rings, legendary band KISS, a beloved chef from Minnesota, and a former gambling addict have in common? They are all featured in an unexpected and entertaining documentary that is a loving tribute to a special family in Minnesota.



Thanks North Europe IFF for the nominations!

Best Feature Documentary Best Story Best Feature Documentary Director




Million Loves in Me is a film about power, love, delusion, confinement delivered through the not-so-ordinary relationship between a mother and daughter. Inspired by a true story and a headline case in Hong Kong, MILLION LOVES IN ME begins when Katy, the 45-year old daughter, is charged with animal cruelty after the police discover 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 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 NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


criticism, he begins to doubt the morality of his own actions... Million Loves in Me is a multi-award winning film and official selection in a few major international film festivals worldwide and across five major continents. Winnings include Best Producers (Kenny Chan & John Y), Best Picture and Grand Prix award, Best Actress (Koon Lan LO), Best Actor (John Y), Supporting Actress (Ruby Yap) and many more including, Best Ensemble Cast, Music, Sound and Best Original Screenplay. The two original producers, John Y and Kenny Chan met Hollywood producer, Frank Mayor in a major film festival in Hollywood and invited him to the screening of the original version of Million Loves in Me for his comments on the

original version. Having reviewed the film, Frank was of the opinion that Million Loves in Me was a film with great substance and positive messages but he preferred to have the original version edited into an American edited version to appeal more to a North American audience. He also wanted to change most of the score of the original version to again suit the North American audience. Prior to the actual editing of the original version, Frank introduced another Hollywood producer, Ms Conroy Kanter to both John and Kenny as he suggested that he would like her to be the consulting producer of the film. Conroy first reviewed the film and provided comments on the original version with a different angle from Frank.Â

The two producers have different focuses on the editing and John and Kenny have tried to ensure that the new version would encapsulate all of the comments from Conroy and Frank but also had to ensure that nothing was lost in the new edited copy. The making of the American edited version was a time consuming process but an invaluable experience. John and Kenny went back to the original version and together with the comments from the editor and the two US producers edited it down to a new American cut of the film. For the music, Kenny and John also considered the new score selected by the US editor and they both also had much additional input by introducing some

original music created by their friend, Ms Diana Ringo, into the American edited version. As an example of the collaboration, Frank and Conroy would like to have edited more from a major scene in the original version and although Kenny and John understood the intentions of the two US producers they wanted to keep more of that particular scene to maintain the original flavor. The process of discussing the editing of this scene was quite long but to Kenny and John, it was a great experience working with these two Hollywood producers. The hard work paid off in the end and the film obtained US distribution in October 2018 and we are delighted that to follow is a brief bio of both of Frank and Conroy. CONTINUED




BIOGRAPHY Conroy Kanter is the Owner and President of KK Ranch Productions, Inc., CEO of Trafficked, LLC, Co-Founder Malibu Film Group, an Executive Member of LA Women in Film, SAG and ALSC. In addition to cherishing her role as a mother, she is an award winning producer, actress, speaker, and now—activist. Ms. Kanter’s latest independent dramas and social impact films are TRAFFICKED, starring Ashley Judd, which through the medium of film, has brought awareness to the $150 billion sex trafficking industry and to today’s 30 million slaves in captivity around the world. Malaysian film, A MILLION LOVES IN ME, is based on true events and is a look into the bond between Mother and Child, family dysfunction and mental illness. Conroy was honored to be an invited guest speaker on The Power Of Film at the 2019 GSN/Vatican Conference in Vatican City, Italy to end human trafficking. Conroy received the 2018 ISTAND Award by FREE-THEM, Organization in Toronto/Ontario Canada, as a Freedom Fighter who continues to take extraordinary measures to fight human trafficking on a global scale. Conroy also received the State of California Ambassador Certificate of Recognition for outstanding service and commitment for 2018 and 2019.

Role of the Producer My role as a producer has been two fold, one as a lead producer in charge of the entire production from A-Z. The beginning concept, script advisor, branding, preproduction, financing, locations, on-set production, post-production, editing, sound, music supervisor, marketing campaign, print and advertising, theatrical, domestic and foreign distribution. Another as a consulting producer to help filmmakers bring their film through the post-production process in the editing room and on to distribution deals. I love every part of the filmmaking experience and to help young filmmakers in this process. My true love is in the editing room where the magic happens. I find that filmmaking is a collaborative business and while respecting the creative side, it is important to have a product/movie that not only speaks to audiences, but will sell and make a return on investment for the films investors. After all we are in a business, a business called show business.


BIOGRAPHY Frank Mayor is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cinevision Global Inc, a holding company that operates number of businesses in the music, television, and film industries. Mr. Mayor has over thirty years of experience in the entertainment, legal, real estate, and financial transactions industries. Active in global commerce, he was one of the first individuals to open up China for entertainment-related business and has close relationships with a number of highlevel government contacts, representing both the Music Copyright Society of China and China Record Corporation outside of China. He is active both in marketing Chinese content internationally and creating content specifically for the Chinese market and has an output deal with China Central Television. Mr. Mayor originally comes from the music industry major recording studios and worked with a wide variety of acts that included Guns N’ Roses, Faith No More, Cheap Trick, Heart, Vanessa Williams, Kenny G, Roy Orbison, the Ventures, and Brian Wilson. In 2002, he acquired ownership of over one thousand film titles that are distributed worldwide through Cinevision, which also operates a NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


full post-production and international distribution entity. Mr. Mayor has produced a number of films and has also partnered with internationally recognized casting agent Bonnie Timmermann (Silk Road Productions), as well as Producer Conroy Kanter and Entertainment Attorney Bianca Goodloe (Malibu Film Group).


Mr Mayor has certainly found it highly convenient to have his own post-production facility, which allows him to control the “means of production” as well as costs, which can easily balloon out of proportion when dealing with third party providers. At the end of the day, a film producer can count himself a success if the result is a well-crafted film that is brought in at or below budget and everyone involved with the project walks away satisfied that the production was not the disaster everyone anticipated. Mr. Mayor holds BA Degrees in Economics and Political Science and a JD Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.




老 奶 奶 與 無 名 子

The Unknown Mother Best Actress & Best Actor winners , Best International Short Film & Best Original Screenplay PRODUCER








虞日新 JOHN Y






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 YorkKings 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.

Teresa Mular’s body of work produces some incredible films that range from comedy and farce to serious documentaries. Her all new documentary film “ Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining“ is screening in competition at Fusion London for 2020 and here Teresa explains her reasoning behind the making of this extraordinary film.

“Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining“ This film shows extraordinary elderly women, engaged in their activities - past, present and future, and to honor all these individuals whose sense of purpose, unrelenting creativity and life-challenged in myriad of ways - have not precluded them to move on with zest and optimism. Their unending curiosity and exciting lives will hopefully inspire younger generations and incite them to delete from their lives the words “dread, denial, discomfort and fear” as they also may approach the very old biological age.

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 became President of the New York Gynecology Society in 2014 a post she held until 2015 and her last documentary prior to the current one was a four-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”.

Through interviews, clips and archival footage, this film explores the lives of four strikingly strong, focused and determined centenarian women (94 to 105 years old) revealing to us how in spite of all their struggles and adversities they have arrived to the winter of their lives with dignity and grace.




Guthrie Roy Hartford didn’t grow up wanting to become a filmmaker. In fact, production and the whole ‘behind the scenes’ thing didn’t even register as a potential career until he was in college. His ambition was to become a writer. He read his first screenplay at age twenty and fell in love with the format and structure and saw it as a blueprint for his goals. After studying screenwriting extensively at Fitchburg State University and conducting script coverage as an intern at Walden Media (The Chronicles of Narnia, The Giver), he ultimately decided that movies were going to become the vehicle to tell his stories. Guthrie has worked in warehousing/distribution jobs since he was eighteen. It was in these environments that he began to pick up on distinct voices and unique personalities. He immediately recognized that the reallife characters of the world inhabited these places. It was there that seeds were planted for his debut feature film, The Graveyard Gang. After years of taking in the sights and sounds of his time at a newspaper plant, Guthrie began penning his third feature screenplay, which would be based heavily on his experiences as a blue-collar worker. The Graveyard Gang was filmed locally in Guthrie’s home state of Massachusetts, at the same newspaper plant he worked at, for only 5,000 USD. Guthrie kept costs extremely low by casting friends and friends of friends while utilizing locations he had tight connections to. The Graveyard Gang went on to become an award winning film NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


only one month after its world premiere screening in 2018. Guthrie continues to write feature scripts, some of which he has taken to festivals around the United States and have either won awards or received recognition as a finalist.




Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining by Dr Teresa Mular MD




From the writer/director of cult classics Getting Lucky, Body Parts and Oversexed Rugsuckers from Mars, this off-beat indie rom-com takes place in Los Angeles, New York and Moscow. Starring Roger Wan, Dani Savka, Ellie Patrikios, Monique Parent, Heidi Luo,Nika Khitrova and a dynamic supporting cast.

got my daughter Jaya to do the costume design. When it came time to do the compositing and color grading in post, I had to learn those skills by watching YouTube videos. Step by step I eventually finished post-production and began entering Gam Cam Grrl in film festivals around the world. And here we are.

When a rogue website streams banned content that no government can shut down, the U.S. enlists a notorious hacker to help them track down the elusive perpetrator. While in the midst of a whirlwind romance with a Los Angeles stand-up comedienne, the hacker makes contact with an irresistible femme fatale who lures him to Moscow to help her commit the crime of the century.

Nominated by the North Europe International Film Festival for Best Feature Comedy, Best Original Screenplay of a Feature Film, and Best Lead Actress – Dani Savka.



I shot and completed post-production on my first feature Oversexed Rugsuckers from Mars for under $5000. I thought why can’t I make a film the same way using the technology that exists today? So I shot Gam Cam Grrl with just me and the actors and




A young boy kills his family. Years later, a screenwriter, Paul, struggles to finish a script about the true life murders. He is soon joined by women from his past. When a storm hits, trapping them together, tensions rise and unresolved issues float to the surface. Paul soon sees visions of a Dark Figure while strange events haunt them. As the storm outside intensifies and threats inside ratchet up, they are faced with a choice: escape the house and risk getting caught in the deadly storm or hunker down and hide from a growing darkness just long enough to survive. Block Island is a slow burn psychological thriller with increasing twists and turns culminating in a shocking conclusion. Dealing with themes of childhood trauma, guilt, and mental health, Block Island was Written & Directed by Jeffrey Douglas. Starring David Warren Grunner. Produced by Leila Borazjani & Maura Monahan Grunner. Leila, Jeffrey, David, and Maura teamed up to create Reels on the Bus for their first production, Block Island. After completing a successful crowdfunding campaign, the NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


Reels on the Bus team hired local cast and crew with an eye for inclusion. Over 50% of the Block Island team was female - both in minor and major roles. Filmed in 15 days in Arlington, Virginia, with a crew of less than 10, everyone’s drive and enthusiasm brought the team together to create this high-quality film on a “nano budget” of less than $60,000. As first time director, lead actor, and producers, Jeff, David, Leila, and Maura couldn’t be more excited to make their debut of Block Island at the Fusion North Europe International Film Festival. Block Island is nominated for 7 awards: Best Film, Original Screenplay, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, and Editing.







THE GUITAR / JESUS RIDES A HARLEY WRITTEN, DIRECTED, ACTED IN AND PRODUCED BY MICHAEL BOSTON With two very different films in competition, at Fusion we are thrilled that Michael Boston has showcased some of his portfolio of work at our London Festival. The first, “The Guitar” is a serious short film about the very real problem of homelessness in Los Angeles and with “Jesus Rides A Harley”, Michael turns to his lighter side with a brilliant short romcom.

THE GUITAR Los Angeles county currently has the largest homeless population in America and look closely at all the faces and one might be a former rocker, maybe one that had a hit you remember hearing on the radio. In Michael Boston’s gritty, richesto-rags tale of rocker Leo Winston, THE GUITAR, one thing is obvious, the cold, bare or scorching hot concrete welcomes anybody from all walks of life. Financial hardship, hopelessness and mental illness lead most to the bleak elements and then there are the ones that seemingly threw it all away for their next fix. And, that’s not to say the drug addicts didn’t already go through all the aforementioned hell already. They usually did, or in the case of Winston, they never knew how to perform without being juiced. “I always heard of Leif Garrett’s struggle down on skid row... all his arrests, but it was really sad when the young actor Brad Renfro died with his heroin addiction. He was down on skid row for a spell as well,” Boston said when asked what was part of his inspiration in also writing, directing and producing what was his second film. “I wanted to go in the direction of a rock star and make the guitar he had played as a little boy as a very integral part of the story.”

“This film is easily my most personal,” says Boston, who plays the lead. “I remember this was the only way I could go in and audition, just to take the anxiety off, but remarkably I never did drugs. It was booze, just a shot or two and I could safely drive to and from, and not be so stiff with the person at the front desk. Amazes me, how I usually...not always... did my best work under those circumstances.” Now, a decade plus of sobriety, Boston always wanted to go back to this, explore and share the painful truth of addiction. “I was totally shocked to learn that someone I was close to died of a heroin addiction and I was stunned they hid it so well.” Boston added, “I thought I was smooth hiding my need to drink every single f’n night. It really hit me hard, I cried a lot. I thought someday if I have the chance, I’m going to make this.” “Though my character didn’t hide his addiction in the end, I saw him as once a very proud musician. He was just enabled as a little boy on up into adulthood.” Boston explained. “When the option to sell the guitar presented itself from a little boy,” played admirably by Thaddaeus Ek, “he had come full circle and we would see just how powerful and compromising addiction can become.” Boston underwent pretty much a lot of starvation in the two months prior to shooting. “My goal was to get to 138 pounds but when I finally weighed the second day of shooting, though dehydrated, I only weighed 132. Coffee and 5 hour energy only... you become very anxious, depressed and hard to be around, which is pretty much like a lot of drug addicts who struggle to get what they need. I had developed the mindset that I was going to die, all the while trying to organize this production... which is absurd when I look back at it... but I thought, well, if I did, I died trying to pull it off. My kidneys hurt for six weeks. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Umm, you have to be a little off to be actor anyways,” Boston grinned. SHORT DRAMA



JESUS RIDES A HARLEY A case of mistaken identity bestows a lonely biker, only known as JC, when he treks down south to a tougher area of Los Angeles one night in search of a muffler for his prized Harley Davidson. This is the premise of filmmaker Michael Boston’s very original short comedy JESUS RIDES A HARLEY. JC, who happens to be a failed magician as well, meets widow Zalina, an attractive working girl with her own quirks and sudden thirst for sex and/or romance after a threeyear dry spell that followed her grieving period. His knocks on her door interrupt her margarita-fueled search on a dating site and she opens to find Jesus staring her straight in the eyes. At least she thinks he’s the real deal... and for some reason she finds herself very attracted to him. He’s game, too, even though he’s clueless of this. Sparks fly all the way to the bedroom until he hears someone trying to steal his bike from her front lawn. When he runs out in a sheet, looking all Jesus-like, the wouldbe thief snaps his photo and instagram, the internet and the neighborhood is convinced that yep, Jesus has returned and he’s into motorcycles.

What follows is Zalina sobering up, JC heading back to his area of town but still feeling there was something special that night and needing a prayer or two... and maybe for his magic to finally work to get back in Zalina’s lonely arms. But it won’t be easy when the bad boys around the corner challenge all this crazy talk of a Jesus return. CAST: Michael Boston, Kay Wilson, Shannan Leigh Yancsurak, Alex Borbon, Julia Pels, Piankhi Iknaton, Calvin Benuto, Malachi Ryan, Micah Mobley, Kofi Baffour, Jasmine Reid, Timo Gates, Samuel Whitehill, Keith Mills, Julian R. Booth, Ronald Allen and Maria Quezada. FILMMAKERS: Michael Boston (Writer/ Director/Producer), Joanna Easton (Producer/ Makeup), Roger Williamson (Producer), Diane Eaton (Producer), Felipe Borges (Cinematographer), Pedro Gonzales Kuhn (Editor/Colorist), Sequoia Thompson (First Assistant Director), Denise Ambroggio (First Assistant Director), Jocelyn Chang (Production Assistant), Kevin Santiago (Sound), Ralph Laurence Mariano (Gaffer), Neil Basconcillo, Artist) and Sage Wells (Studio Teacher).







The history of the last century has been the low point of humanity, creating some of the worst monstrosities humans can conceive. But men have endured that too, sometimes becoming even stronger in their beliefs in the process. A hybrid between a drama film and an historical piece, BETWEEN PAIN AND AMEN (original title ÎNTRE CHIN ȘI AMIN) and directed by Toma Enache sees a bass virtuoso returning to Romania and being arrested by the Communist regime and taken to a prison where a brainwashing experiment is conducted on the inmates. The screenplay puts the character through a Via Crucis that fortifies his Christian faith instead of demolishing it. The film is based on the Pitesti Experiment, also known as the Pitesti Phenomenon, which Nobel Laureate and gulag survivor Alexander Solzhenitsyn defined as “the most terrible act of barbarism in the contemporary world.” This aggressive brainwashing experiment was conducted by Romanian

communist authorities between 1949–1952 with the purpose of re-educating the elites by erasing their identity and replacing it with a Bolshevik ideal. During this period, from 1000 to 5000 students aged 18 to 27, were systematically and brutally tortured in Pitesti Prison, forced to torture each other and to become aggressors of their own colleagues, friends and brothers. Hundreds of them died. Those responsible for these atrocities were never brought to justice. The deaths were never investigated. The first film ever made on this topic, BETWEEN PAIN AND AMEN is the second feature of director Toma Enache, with Alexander Sachs as DOP. Constantin Cotimanis, Vali V. Popescu, Ana Pârvu and Kira Hagi play the lead roles. It premiered on October 1st 2019 in Bucharest. A tribute to all political prisoners in communist Romania, the film also had the honour of the presence in the audience of the last three survivors of the Pitesti experiment.




THE DEAD, THE DAY AFTER Shot somewhere at the beginning of this century, this outdated and reincarnated low definition DV documented scenes in a slaughterhouse. Under the market system operated for hundreds of years, pork, human flesh, and different kinds, are connected and interrelated, which becomes the politicaleconomic theme of this issue that gets weak and obscure. Inspired by “Panopticon,” suggested by Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, to discuss the principle of utilitarianism, this film further extends the idea into a metaphor -“circular pigpen,” shown in the beginning of this work. By highlighting the imagery of water referring to the circulation of life, death and the hereafter, the presented human and animal bodies in the film therefore illustrate the scenery of “human-animal (reincarnating) community.” Director Biography - Asio LIU Chihsiung Asio LIU Chihsiung was born beside Tamsui River in Taiwan and now works as a director/DP/screenwriter. He majored in philosophy in NCCU (National Cheng Chi University) and was a copywriter at the NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


Ogilvy & Mather advertising company. He is best known for directing a biographical documentary on HUANG HAI-DAI, the legendary godfather of Taiwanese Puppetry born in 1901, for the Discovery Networks Asia’s PORTRAITS TAIWAN (2007) series. His directorial debut experimental film AND SHE WASN’T (2001, co-dir w/ Awei LIU) was shown at the 2001 Sundance Film Fest, and documentary work EXOTIC EXOTICISM (2007) officially screened at the 2009 Documentary Fortnight at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York, US). His DP work QUIET SUMMER (Shuhei FUJITA 2005) was selected at the Philadelphia Int’l Film Fest, and his latest work JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED ISLAND (2015) was included in an archive of the exhibition histories of nine Asian countries in ACC’s Library Park Program (Asia Culture Center, Korea, 2017). He won the Grand Award in Excellence Screenplay Awards held by TFI (Taiwan Film Institute) in 2016 and is now working on “PLACE OF EXCEPTION: Unknown Penghu Vietnamese Refugee Camps in the Taiwan Strait”, which is one of the documentary trilogy (“Place of Exception”, “Chin-LiuTao”, “Refugee Boats to Penghu”) initiated by an unknown Cambodian girl in his dreams.

Director Statement “Being a spectator of other’s calamities is a quintessential modern experience.” -derived and adapted from Susan Sontag (2003) DOCUMENTARY FILM






SYNOPSIS Henry is a man for hire, living his life in the margins while quietly changing the course of other people’s lives. His sought-after skills in surveillance and intelligence gathering have taken him all around the world. On this, his final assignment traveling from Australasia to the American southwest, Henry’s handler, Blaire, receives intel that assets have gone missing and that Henry is on the run. Refusing any offer to come in and explain, Henry’s personal and professional worlds are now on an unstoppable collision course leaving Blaire no other option than to send another agent to remedy the situation. But as the two men converge on a safe house south of the border, it is not quite clear if Henry has been the only one with a different fate in mind. DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT I believe that at some point you have to trust your instincts. That, the intent to act and the subsequent act itself become the same. Though this is inevitably limited to our specific

perceptual frame, I wanted to avoid the usual tropes and expectations surrounding the structure of a filmed mystery; consequently, it was important to experiment with a layering of time frames, shuffled timelines, shifting continuity, and metaphor play to get at the heart of Henry’s moral and existential odyssey. A slower, hidden kind of cinema. A puzzle that, in as much I hope it will be enjoyed, will leave the viewer wondering.





Mike Hay is a musician and filmmaker, his first short film, ‘Thursday Night Basic’, a love letter to the films of John Carpenter, was released in 2018. The success of the music video has been beyond his wildest expectations. The video went on to be selected and awarded at several International film festivals.Winning Best Music Video at the 2019 Fusion North European Film Festival as well as being shortlisted to the 2018 International Sound and Film Music Festival, alongside such giants as Nick Cave, Jonny Greenwood, Hans Zimmer and John Williams and screening as a finalist at the 2019 Philip K Dick film festival in New York. Buoyed by the success of my first project, this has spurred me on to take swings at bigger ideas. For this latest project, I decided to leverage my DIY work ethic and push it as far as I could. The result is this animated short film / narrative music video: ‘Even The Rats…’. Described as a “full blown cyberpunk, progmetal psychedelic Sci-Fi space opera”, inspired by the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Kubrick, Syd Mead, and seminal films such as Alien and Bladerunner. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


The driving force behind my creative output is a desire to start a conversation with the audience, fellow filmmakers and creatives. I am in the early stages of my journey as a filmmaker and whilst the recognition from film festivals has been amazing, it’s the opportunities to meet, learn and receive encouragement from fellow filmmakers, producers and festival teams that has been the most rewarding aspect of this journey so far. Right now, my biggest ambition is to meet fellow filmmakers and creatives, who see something in my work that they feel excited by. Hopefully that can be the catalyst to spark conversations and ideas for collaborations on future projects.







Sumathy lives in Houston and her ranch home is in Central Texas, USA. She is developing her artistic concepts of LAJJAWATI into a collection of masterpiece Oil paintings executed by a team of highly accomplished artists from India.

SUMATHY RAM’s directorial debut “VISHWA THULASI” was preceded by her studies of English Literature, poetry-writing, musicallyrics, album-production, and short film production. An Indian feature film, starring Mammootty and Nandita Das, VISHWA THULASI, won the Tamil Nadu State award for Second-Best Film of 2004, and for Best Choreography. Also, the film won the Gold Remi Award for Best MusicalComposition, and the Gold Special Jury Award for First Feature at the 38th WorldFest-Houston Film Festival. Currently in pre-production at SUNMOONSTARS FILM STUDIO, Sumathy’s second feature, titled “LAJJAWATI”, is a classic tale of tragedy and ecstasy, set in pre-independence 1940’s India. It combines the exotic beauty of “Memoirs of a Geisha” with the historical scope of “Gandhi”, and a forbidden romantic love in the mode of “The Bridges of Madison County”. LAJJAWATI is an authentic Asian story replete with Indian colors, customs, and characteristically complex emotions; yet written in English with a view to the international film entertainment market. LAJJAWATI is larger than life, so Sumathy is also in the process of adapting her original screenplay for LAJJAWATI into “LAJJAWATI: PREQUEL” and “LAJJAWATI: SEQUEL,” which she is co-writing with her creative partner, American writer, and artist, Charles Leopardo.



LAJJAWATI, an Indian epic-styled historical drama of love and glory, is a collaboration of East and West. Its central theme is transcendence, revealing the new possibilities of unity in diversity of India, and the world at large. FEATURE FILM SCREENPLAY TITLE; “LAJJAWATI” - A Classic Story of Desire and Destiny from the Land of Unity in Diversity.

Charles Leopardo has extensive experience in the fields of publishing, advertising, film production, and screenwriting. A holder of Bachelor and Master degrees, he was originally trained as a fine artist but became increasingly drawn to dramatic writing. For the production of SunMoonStars Film Studio’s English film project, LAJJAWATI, Charles co-wrote the awardwinning screenplay with the author of LAJJAWATI, Writer-Director Sumathy Ram. He also has contributed to the project with storyboard creation and promotional design. Charles lives in California, USA.

The title “LAJJAWATI” refers to the touchme-not Mimosa plant, so-called because its leaves fold up when touched. The lead character, LALITHA, an orthodox Brahmin lady, tends to react with mutism in response to trauma, and this tendency to close after securing a shock is what earns her the nickname “LAJJAWATI.”

“It’s such a unique, magical, and compelling story.”

*Fresh Voices Screenplay Analysis – USA*




HANNI BERGESCH “Almost all women have gone through the following: cleaning the house, especially the bathroom; and letting the husband bathe first. As proof of love. To make him feel good. It keeps everything clean and perfumed. When it was our turn to go to the toilet - total shock - hair on all sides, shaving cream, toothpaste, even in the mirror, and the razor in the sink. And the floor is wet and stained! Oh my God! Be patient for this kind of proof! The first thing you think: I’m in the wrong movie! Or does he believe (will it be that men in general) that it is our obligation to deliver cleanly and receive it back dirty? This is exactly what happens with the “Out of Order” sketch figure. And she avenges women in a very original way. Maybe as inspiration for many in their place. “Out of Order” is a story based on everyday facts and written and directed by Hanni Bergesch to laugh at will and pass it on to friends. And it only takes a minute….. quickly! Have fun!” Hanni Bergesch NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


Hanni Bergesch was aware from very early on that she wanted to devote her life to journalism and the media. After graduating from high school in Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil, she studied at the University “Unisinos” in Sao Leopoldo and at Anhembi Morumbi in Sao Paulo. Hanni began a long career in Brazil as a presenter at TV Globo and Mercedes Benz. After that she moved to Germany and for eight years produced her one TV magazine “TV Ipanema”, which has been shown in northern Germany, amongst others and “Tide Tv” , which has also aired. Since 2010 she has been learning the craft of acting with Dominique de Fazio in Los Angeles and Rome . In 2015 Hanni begun to turn to her own projects, including the 3x1 Sketch Series.






Filmdoo Services This year’s Fusion International Film Festival’s North Europe edition based in London will see the official launch of FilmDoo Services, an exciting new all-in-one integrated platform for film distribution and marketing. As an international film platform that’s helped filmmakers from all reaches of the planet to showcase their content, FilmDoo has extensive experience across a wealth of different areas within the film and TV industry. Co-founders Weerada Sucharitkul and William Page have often been approached by film companies and makers to present at festivals and with the launch of this latest project, FilmDoo is now offering the opportunity for filmmakers, distributors, brands and film commissions to benefit from the team’s experience through intensive consultation and coaching sessions. The FilmDoo team has a long track record of speaking and providing training on international and digital distribution at major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, IDFA, Raindance, Edinburgh, Thessaloniki, Odessa, Netherlands Film Festival and Medici, as well as at filmmaker workshops and film schools internationally and locally. The streaming platform has also found success with their FilmDoo Exclusive Compilations series, which compiles various shorts from rising international film talent spanning an eclectic range of genres and regions. The company is excited to now be able to offer clients tailor-made training and workshops on film distribution, international release, marketing, financing, technology and branding, both on a one-toone basis and in group sessions. As part of FilmDoo Services, clients are also offered presentation and panel speaking opportunities at film festivals, film schools and universities. Having developed a fast-growing VOD platform, FilmDoo’s experience further extends to hands-on work in distribution and new media. Over the years, the team has worked with a range of international sales agents, distributors and producers to ensure that their content receives as wide a distribution as possible, and they are willing to provide independent film producers with bespoke advisory services, including festival strategy, preproduction marketing and helping to identify suitable sales agents, local distributors and online platforms. For those interested in film marketing and promotion, FilmDoo Services provides varying levels of support for press releases, editorial content, online marketing, social media and video content. Their packages also offer translation and internationalisation services for marketing assets and promotional art, along with lowcost subtitling solutions for small to medium-sized production companies and independent filmmakers.

For brands hoping to connect with the right talent, and reach diverse and relevant audiences around the world through global topics and online content, FilmDoo offers a variety of promotional opportunities. Among other services, the company specialises in providing innovative and refreshing social responsibility and diversity campaigns for brands looking to make an impact, and can help identify fresh film talent for branded content. These services also extend to international film commissions and tourism boards, helping clients to raise awareness of their country or region through films. Since FilmDoo’s launch in 2015, the company has been successful in numerous accelerator programmes, major government funding programmes and a crowdfunding campaign. The FilmDoo co-founders are available to share their experiences on their start-up journey and to speak and provide training on any of these areas. They can also advise clients who are keen to embrace A.I. and machine learning, pivot their business, or run their own workshops on marketing strategy and sales. If you’re keen to learn more, you can find the FilmDoo team at the North Europe International Film Festival in London, where there will be a company introduction presentation and one-to-one clinic sessions with filmmakers. Whatever your needs, FilmDoo Services has a package that can help get your film seen and valued, serving as your one-stop solution for marketing and distribution. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020






NO NEWS Filmmaker Miguel Berzal de Miguel is truly gifted and his artistic work stretches across both film and music with his debut feature “No News” as a stunning example of his abilities.

Director. Writer & Opera Singer (Tenor), Miguel Berzal de Miguel was born in Madrid, Spain. After taking his degree in Audiovisual Communication, he then divided his time between a Master’s degree in Film Directing and another in Theatre Directing. In 2012, his first book, titled “The Refuge” a collection of psychological shorts stories, was published. Between 2014 and 2016, Miguel wrote and directed three shorts films: “Taking care of Ruth”, “An Encounter” and “Forget-menots”. He has received a huge amount of nominations and awards at different national and international Film Festivals. His novel “Between Relatives” (2016) was one of the twenty works selected at the “Gregorio Samsa Award for Brief Novel 2016”. “The dead hours” has also been an outstanding work at the “Tenth Edition of Ediciones Oblicuas Literary Awards” (2016). In 2015 and 2016 he worked as “Assistant Director” on the TV Series “Amar es para siempre” and in 2017, he wrote, directed and produced the feature film “No News”.



“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. The film, starring Silvia Espigado, was premiered at the 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 many 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... Since January of 2019, “Sin novedad” has been awared with 52 awards at international Film Festivals in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, United Kingdom and the USA.

“No News” received 19 candidatures for the 2019 Premios Goya and 7 selections (including “Best Film”) at the 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, Austria, Malta, Netherlands, Sweden, Chile, USA and Mexico: “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), “A gripping story about the hardships of family” (Austria) or “Pain, bitterness and despair, interpreted and visualized in an exquisitely aesthetic way. Real Cinema” (Author’s International Film Festival, Mexico).

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 the London Independent Film Awards 2019, at the Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival 2019 and 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”. Part of the cast, Silvia Espigado, Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Ignacio Jiménez and Silvia Marsó have also been awarded at International Film Festivals. And, all the cast were candidates for “Best Performances” at Premios Goya 2019 and their performances have been praised by critics.






Magus Marketing Magus is a creative content development consultancy that helps independent filmmakers bring their stories to audiences in the best possible shape. From initial concept and pitch development through to developing outstanding creative materials, we will ensure that your content stands out among a sea of other films and series. From there we can help with raising awareness of your work, both within the trade and with your audience. Magus is also a well-connected agent in the wider world of film & TV sales and distribution and for certain projects we can also represent your content and secure deals. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


Magus Magus







As filmmakers from day one we wanted to be different right out of the box. It was not just about getting that great script (which was of extreme importance), however, this being a people business, it has been and will always be at our very core to promote and create a positive collaborative atmosphere for artist to thrive. Produced by Ray Robinson; Co-Produced by Cathy Maley; Directed beautifully by Rocky Capella; Shot by our amazing Director of Photography Clay From The Bay; Edited by visionary extraordinaire David Tanaka. An amazing ensemble cast lead by; John Parsons, Juliana Long Tyson, legendary rhythm and blues artist Charlie Musselwhite, London’s own Mark Rhino Smith, Bailey Coppola, and Christopher Coppola. Winner of 13 film festival Awards, Guitar Man is based on the book Don’t Shoot I’m The Guitar Man by author Buzzy Martin. Tells a story about a lifelong Musician that began teaching at-risk kids about music to help them through the

trial of their daily lives. Through this experience he was given the opportunity to teach a music class inside San Quentin State Prison. Intimidated at first by the brutal surroundings, he soon found a common language between him and the inmates: music. He returned to his younger students with stories about the reality of prison life, desperate to teach them that prison was not a streetwise “badge of honor.” The dangerous paths down which they were headed could be replaced by real dreams, hope and the redemptive muscle of liberating jailhouse rock. Along the way they discover the

true gift of music…and the deeper meaning of freedom. Guitar Man is our modern day To Sir with Love Story.

young people how to kill - changed her. She is now an educational psychologist and a member of Veterans for Peace. Another Englishman talks about how being in the army, facing enemy action - even being wounded - helped to support his exploration of what it is to be a man.

Pankaja Brooke’s tender, piercing, neutral lens watches as the stories pour from men and women, young and old; people who have fought. Rashid Maxwell





Most of us say we hate war. Seeing endless news images of maimed and starving children, towns and cities reduced to rubble, swarms of desperate refugees, communities utterly devastated - it would be a pretty heartless person who didn’t agree that war is BAD! So why do we keep doing it? In this documentary I interview people from different fighting services - men and women, young and old - about how they found themselves in this situation, what they felt about it at the time, and the effects it had on them afterwards. An Indian Colonel talks about his love for his army and his regret at not being involved in front line fighting. An upper class Englishman describes his excitement at going into a naval battle as a young Midshipman during the Suez crisis, and how he found himself responsible for the safety of the entire convoy. A young Israeli woman, with immense honesty, describes how serving as an officer - teaching other NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


American veterans of the Vietnam War speak about the shame and guilt at what they have been part of - and the psychological scars that dictate the rest of their lives. People find it very hard to speak about these things - the interviews were mostly snatched, with permission, rather than being properly set up. And I have the very deepest respect for the people who were willing to talk to me.

“There’s Adventure and Bonding, the Rush of Adrenalin, there’s National Pride and National Power and there’s the Cultural Glory. But there’s also Shame and Guilt, the Traumatised children and Adults, Lies and the Infatuation with Power, the Tears of the Mother. In between there’s Absurdity, Ignorance and the Play of Chance”. DOCUMENTARY



Sixteenth century. Venediger, a cunning German entrepreneur who posed as a Venetian, with the tacit blessing of the Serenissima, so as to manage his business more easily, controls a blooming mining activity in the heart of the Dolomites. But there is ancient history here that goes beyond this one man. A story shrouded in mystery and eldritch

forces, occult knowledge, technical abilities, talent, strain and the struggle for power. The Agiordino’s metallurgical and mining industry becomes a metaphor for the eternal and unsolved rivalry between man and nature, food for thought on society and progress. A fascinating journey into the depths of the earth and the human soul.




Extradition, is a pilot written by Kristin Samuelson. The story opens with Ms. Katarina Zalenko (Anna Just) from the Ukrainian embassy coming to visit with the cunning, Senator Susan Stromberg, Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee (Kristin Samuelson). During their conversation, Ms Zalenko says she’s looking for a lead on a hacker that will help Ukraine follow Russia’s plans for their next attack. After taking Crimea in 2014, they are certain Russia will come back for more. The senator suggests a Russian hacker named Mikhail Vasilyev TV(Anthony Robert Grasso), but Ms. Zalenko will have to figure out how to contact him. The FBI report only suggests he is now living in NYC. If Ms. Zalenko can find him, Sen Stromberg would like to meet him as well. Katarina goes home and discovers a connection through a friend and contacts the hacker for a meeting. Then she travels to NYC to meet Mikhail at his penthouse where she is welcomed by his beautiful girlfriend (Stefaniya Makarova) Katarina charms Mikhail into helping her cause. There is good chemistry between them, but Katarina



tells him to wait. Sen. Stromberg sets up a meeting for all three of them at a hotel in New York. After a glass of champagne, Katarina passes out and the senator reveals her plan for Mikhail to help with her reelection. If he does not cooperate, then she will report him to the FBI and make sure he is extradited back to Russia. “I intended to highlight the Russian intervention in our last presidential election,” said Kristin. “I believe I have written a role that brings out my best qualities and that has great potential for expansion. I am working on creating a mini-series based on this short pilot. The incredible timeliness of our plot—I wrote this long before we knew our President was trying to get re-election help from Ukraine—makes Extradition even more compelling. Here reality DOES imitate art!!” Samuelson has won 7 Best Actress awards for her role as Sen. Stromberg, Anthony Robert Grasso has a Best Director and the show has 2 Best TV Pilot Awards.







For the last two years, 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, Best Supporting Actress In A Foreign Language Film and Best Director Of A Foreign Language Feature Film at the East Europe International Film Festival in Warsaw, 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 first glance it may seem that the Israeli-Ukrainian 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 the 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 on 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 and a 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 NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


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.





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




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 artist-entrepreneur – a woman “pioneering” from a world-ranked 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

“ 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 “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!






Every building has a story with its own characters, struggle, disappointments and achievements. Documentary films are traditionally focused on human stories and tragedies, with very little attention towards our engineering and architecture achievements. “Aspire to the Sky” is a film about Engineers, Architects, and Dreamers to build an “impossible structure” in an area of the world that is highly prone to earthquakes: Los Angeles, California, and one of the highest seismically active zones in the world. The struggle is dealing with the property dimensions [less than one acre] and sitting directly over an earthquake fault. High rise buildings have always commanded attention because they bring civic pride and unite a population around their presence. New York City, Dubai, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo are a few examples of how civilizations showcase their buildings as emblems of wealth and power. The technical challenges for reaching these high altitudes involve many factors dealing with wind, earthquake, soil settlement, erosion, water, storm effects, rain, and local wind vortex pressures created by the surrounding buildings. The Wilshire Grand Building is a $1.3 Billion project that involved over 10,000 people NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


in multiple countries, with the developer being Korean Airllines, Seoul, South Korea, and the Architecture and Structural Design done by U.S. Firms: AC Martin Partners, Los Angeles; Thornton Tommasetti, New York; and Brandow & Johnston, Los Angeles. The collaboration and technical insight to deal with the seismic force issues, wind loads, and dynamic effects present unique problems for this challenging project that created 22,000,000 sq. ft. [73 floors] of space on a 1-acre lot. Dr. Khatri is a Professional Structural Engineer, PhD, former professor, and consultant, whose ambition to create quality documentaries that address unique topics has led him to make this film for the public, architects, engineers, and people curious about how to build a high-rise building. Dr. Khatri’s documentary is made with artistic, creative, and technical knowledge in mind to keep the audience engaged while explaining a complicated mix of earthquake technology, structural engineering and architectural design in one documentary piece.







It’s 2020 and sudden death is happening by the microgram all day, every day. A few millionths of a gram of fentanyl or carfentanyl laced into heroin or counterfeit oxycodone is all it takes to kill us and our children. And so many hundreds of thousands of us have already died. A little pill on the tongue, a needle in the arm, or a line up the nose and you’re a cadaver in the morgue. It’s that fast and easy. Dr. Randy Ayres’ thriller No Maximal Dose personalizes the origins and consequences of the global opioid epidemic. The film stars gritty Las Vegas, NV based actor Lawrence Bucher as the grieving father and anti-hero Marco Justus who sets out for retribution with a gun, a bomb, and a dead-man’s switch after his teen daughter dies from an overdose. Bucher’s character literally puts his daughter’s drug dealer and her prescribing doctors on trial for murder. That sets the mechanisms of justice into motion. With a pistol in her face and a bomb ready to detonate, Carrie Bradstreet turns in a compelling performance as Dr. Beatrix Von Kessler. Marco wants answers for his daughter’s death, but he gets more than he bargained for as she takes him on a tour of the sinister realities of our world that created a perfect storm for his daughter and so many hundreds of thousands more to die.

The message is all too real for the cast and crew. West Virginia actor Gant Montgomery plays chronic pain patient Wayne Borkowski. His character is taken hostage with Bradstreet. Montgomery is a former narcotics detective who in real life spent his law enforcement career at ground zero of this epidemic and lost his partner in a police shootout with drug traffickers. Montgomery’s multi-award nominated performance is based on Detroit Fire-Rescue paramedic James Borkowski who took a bullet to the head to save a young woman while responding to a domestic disturbance call and now suffers excruciating pain along with the stigma and discrimination that legitimate pain patients endure. The realities of this film are happening to all of us. They are literally putting us into coffins and urns. Phoenix, AZ and Kalamazoo, MI based actress and former nurse Diana Blaney plays pharmaceutical company representative Diana Cross who is also taken hostage. Blaney digs deep by drawing on her experience as a methadone nurse treating addicts and training first responders to use the rescue medication Narcan. Tragically, again in real life, Blaney’s brilliant and beautiful son Cole died from an overdose on Jan 6, 2020. Cole was a Valentine’s day baby born February 14th, 1990. Young, strapping, smart, funny, kind, and loving--and he’s gone.

That imminent danger is why Ayres made this film. He’s been a physician and filmmaker for the past 15 years in Detroit, Michigan treating patients addicted to opioids and other patients suffering chronic pain. THIS TOPIC IS URGENT. On screen and IN REAL LIFE. We are all impacted. But we are not powerless. We can make a difference for ourselves and future generations. It’s not enough to shake our collective heads and wait for others to take action while death is knocking at our door. You can learn more and help immediately by liking and following: You can see No Maximal Dose at the upcoming North Europe Fusion International Filmmaker Festival in London running from February 15-22, 2020 where it’s nominated for nearly every award in the feature category: north-europe Our hearts are broken, again. Please join us and pray for our friend and film family member Diana Blaney.










Greetings from India. It is an honour to be selected for the North Europe International film festival 2020. The nominated short film ‘Akkad Bakkad’ is a total entertainer which has a bit of everything … beautiful locales, foot tapping music, great acting, dollops of suspense and a terrific ending which is literally a twist in the tale. The name Akkad Bakkad has been taken from a popular Indian children’s song and is just rhyming words which have no meaning … something like eenie meenie mynah mo. The film is beautifully shot in the picturesque gardens of Mehrauli archaeological Park in New Delhi which is a world heritage site. It consists of over 100 historically significant monuments and ruins dated1060 CE. We had a great time shooting it and the locale contributed greatly to creating an aura of suspense in the film which keeps the audience guessing right up to the end.

It has extremely melodious music with a folk song from Rajasthan which was given to us by Dr Amal Lad from the UK who is a gynecologist by profession as well as an avid musician. Great acting by our two male leads all added up to make a wonderful film which won the best short film award at the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival in India and I hope it wins laurels at this wonderful festival. It is one of my favourite short films produced by my company THE CREATIVE GYPSY and has even been telecast on NDTV channel on national TV in India as part of a series of short films called ‘Through the Lens’. I hope this festival’s audience enjoys seeing this film as much as I enjoyed producing it.




THE 600: A SOLDIERS STORY A FEATURE DOCUMENTARY BY RICHARD HALL & LAURENT BASSET The little known story of a surrounded battalion that started the counterattack to end the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Before the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi started in April 1994, the 600 strong 3rd Battalion of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) was guarding opposition leaders in the capital city of Kigali, as part of peace talks to install a new coalition government after a civil war.

This battalion was an isolated force far from the RPA headquarters by the Ugandan border, 83 kilometers away, and they were surrounded by as many as 10,000 soldiers of the Hutu Power Government, who were well supplied by the French. The RPA was made up of Tutsi exiles and followers from all over Africa, as well as opposition Hutus, and their mission was to reverse the policies of the increasingly violent Hutu Power government that after pogroms, drove hundreds of thousands of Tutsi into exile, and were actively threatening the well being of the more than 1.3 million Tutsi left in Rwanda.

For years, the Hutu power leaders trained local militias and their army to prepare for the full scale massacre of every Tutsi in Rwanda. The night the Genocide began, as thousands of civilians were being murdered across the country, the army also launched an all out attack on this surrounded RPA Battalion. “The 600” is the story of how this battalion held out, counter attacked, and rescued thousands of civilians marked for death. In the course of doing so, this force was able to be part of the military campaign that drove the Hutu Power government from Rwanda, and brought the Genocide to a close. It tells the most desperate moments when hope was all but extinguished if not for the courage of these soldiers.







EVOLUTIONARY FILMS SECURES A DEAL WITH US DISTRIBUTOR TO RELEASE DOCUMENTARY FEATURE “MINIATURE WARGAMING: THE MOVIE” IN NORTH AMERICA Award-winning sales agent Evolutionary Films has secured a deal with US Distributor Virgil Entertainment to release documentary feature “Miniature Wargaming: The Movie” in North America later this year, having acquired the film at the Fusion Festival London in February 2019. Following a presentation held at the festival by 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, 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 (an award the company is nominated for again in 2020), 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. The film subsequently debuted at Cannes, during which Virgil Entertainment expressed their interest in the title and negotiations surrounding a distribution agreement started. 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’ve really enjoyed working with Joe on Miniature Wargaming and are looking forward to its release in both the UK and the US.” Evolutionary Films has strong working relationships for international sales and in the UK with theatrical, DVD, broadcast and digital platforms, having released several titles in recent months including “Feast of the Seven Fishes”, a Christmas romantic comedy starring Skyler Gisondo and Madison Iseman, and “The Mercenary”,a thrilling action film from renowned action director Jesse V Johnson. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020




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. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


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 London. It’s truly amazing to see all the heavy lifting that it took to make this movie pay off. Working with Project Spark Studio has taught me a lot about writing, filmmaking, teaching, networking, and more.

Project Spark Studio was founded in 2017 as a film studio that connects students across the globe. Our mission is to develop skilled leaders with character and confidence through collaborative film production. Approximately 100 students work on each film production over a two-year period.

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






In spite of much discussion of the problem for over a quarter of a century, observed temperatures and levels of carbon dioxide have only continued to increase. In this documentary, a wide variety of voices speak on the topic of what needs to be done about climate change, including those of congressmen and women speaking at town halls, of speakers at public events, of environmentalists being interviewed, and of experts appearing in other videos. The film explores avenues available for making progress, while capturing the passion of protesters and activists who understand the perils of maintaining business as usual. This documentary strives to get beyond the usual commentary on the topic, where the story is told of the danger to the planet from our changing climate, making action to mitigate climate change urgent, but specifics as to what kind of actions are needed remain largely neglected. This film is intended to serve as a catalyst for a more focused and constructive discussion of steps to be taken to face this global challenge. While the film is not a tool used by the filmmaker to impose his own views, its creation took the filmmaker on a journey that led him to see this complex issue from various points of view--points of view that are heard throughout the film. The story being told is not just one of seeking the right solutions, but also of overcoming powerful interests with a stake in maintaining the status quo. Human frailties such as arrogance, greed, selfishness, insensitivity, alienation from nature and unwillingness to change need to be overcome. And in the end, who can deny that a world in which we are rewarded for decisions that harm the planet (i.e. using fossil fuels), while being penalized for actions that are beneficial, is not sustainable? FEATURE DOCUMENTARY




ANACRONTE Here we were lucky enough to chat with Emiliano Sette & Raúl Koler, the filmmakers behind this multiple award winning animated short *

FF: The look of your animated film is amazing, how did you decide how “Anacronte” would look, is that something that you and Raul would collaborate on and are there visions of how you wanted it to look that were rejected? Raúl: It was a decision and a necessity to represent Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil with a simple aesthetic but at the same time is unpublished enough to accompany the mysteries that would unveil during the short. Emiliano: When Raul told me this story he told me that in the first instance he thought in to be like a painting, we wanted to try to conserve that idea and do a Universe of acrylic textures. We had the opportunity to work with Nelson Luty, one of the most important Latino american Art Director in animation projects and together we landed in this fantastic Universe for telling the Anacronte story.

FF: Some of the animation reminded me of the artist H.R.Giger - kind of like a twisted bio-mechanical look - bizarre and fascinating at the same time... Raul: The central image required certain characteristics that only a deep analysis could complete. For example, how would the arrows be provided? Once used or for re-use? They should be loaded in a quiver hanging from the back. Should aim adjustments be made? Of course not, Anacronte IS the bow and arrow, and you can even tell by the dissatisfaction with which he releases the arrows, almost without aiming.

Emiliano: Fundamentally for Anacronte the way we worked was with the idea of the acrylic textures because all of the environment of him was a big painting and the character was part of this Universe, both were as one. Globally, “Anacronte” has won at 85 festivals and has been selected at 240 festivals. SHORT ANIMATED FILM

RUN TIME 15 MINUTES home-page/the-green-room/




Max Gracz, a relentless private detective, who’s also a bit of a drunk, gets hired by his former acquaintance for a routine job – find her step kid, the daughter of an influential businessman, as she hasn’t been seen for some time. Gracz is a contemporary incarnation of oldfashioned detectives like Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade. He is a bit too fond of the bottle and always seems to be in trouble. This is hardly different this time – right after starting the investigation, he gets into a fight with someone he worked with while he was with the police. As if that wasn’t enough, the girl’s father doesn’t like the fact that Gracz is sniffing around his family. Max makes a lot of fans along the way and runs into just as many problems during his investigation.

“When writing the script for Gracz, I drew inspiration from the character of Philip Marlowe, the protagonist of Raymond Chandler’s noir crime stories, as well as films, such as Roman Polański’s Chinatown and Tony Scott’s The Last Boy Scout. I wanted to adapt a noir crime story to the contemporary reality of a small Polish town, where people know and gossip about each other. My protagonist, Max Gracz, is a cynical, drunk private investigator, who despite his vices has a strong moral backbone. Of course, the story would not be complete without a beautiful femme fatale, as well as a ruthless and seemingly omnipotent businessman, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The story presented in my film could happen anywhere – why not in a small town in south-eastern Poland? After all, I myself come from such a city and I wanted to reflect its particular atmosphere. I can only hope I was successful.

The film is a completely independent production, made with no support from state institutions. The budget was tiny, and both crew members, as well as the actors worked for minimum rates. In spite of that, the film features leading Polish actors, including Olga Bołądź, Mariusz Jakus and of course Mariusz Ostrowski as the eponymous protagonist. Mariusz was the good spirit of the film. He liked the role of Max very much and took the fictional private investigator from the pages of my script and turned him into a real, full-fledged character of flesh and blood. We shot the entire film in just 11 days, in many cases shooting for ten or more hours a day. The production was big – and it was the first film I directed with such a big scope. Before this production, I shot two short films, several music videos and lowbudget commercials.” SHORT THRILLER













Best Environmental Film at the World’s Independent Film Festival Best Cinematography in a Documentary at the World Cinema Milan Festival Nominated for Best Director of a Feature Documentary, Best Editing of a Documentary and Best Story at the North Europe Film Festival



The True Media Company There are thousands of schools, colleges, and associations that teach the process of making film and TV content, but very few, if any, teach what we teach at the True Media Company: the business of film! The True Media Company educates, empowers, and enhances filmmakers’ overall knowledge and understanding of financing and distribution of feature films and episodic content.Through consulting and educational events, the True Media Company assists filmmakers in creating professional packages that can be taken to investors, distributors, and studios. We get in the trenches, develop projects, put together investor decks, find money and tax credits, and help find distribution. The True Media Company does it all. “Filmmakers slave for years over their ‘baby’, fight to protect it from the wolves, scrape together the money, and make their film, only, in a moment at a festival or film market, to ‘give their baby away’ without another thought,” says Jean-Francois Cavelier, Producer at the True Media Company. “We want to protect that ‘baby’ and make sure it shines with you in control of its destiny.”

The Importance of Strategy Many filmmakers tend to focus on the creative process and jump straight into production, but true success comes to those that, from as early as the screenplay stage, keep distribution in mind. “The reality is that we are in the most competitive filmmakers’ market we have ever seen, so how does one guarantee that their project will be valuable to investors, agents, and distributors? You need your project to stand out among the crowd,” insists Jason Kanjiro Howard, Producer at the True Media Company. “You can stay true to your creative vision while also staying business smart and focused on the financial viability of your project.”

A Partnership Focused on Creating Opportunities for Filmmakers

2020: An Epic Year for Content The True Media Company is actively involved in a number of fantastic film and TV projects. With the addition of Filmmaker, Director, and Social Media Marketing Specialist Nicolas Simonin to the team, the True Media Company is more equipped than ever to expand our clients’ reach to not only the traditional channels, but also to the significant market of streaming.

The True Media Company is thrilled to be working with Fusion International Film Festivals. Filmmaking, now more than ever, is a global business.Film continues to be one of the best ways to share stories across cultures, to call for social change, and to provide insight into others’ life experiences.

“2020 is going to be an epic year for content with new streaming platforms launching like Quibi or HBO Max,” says Simonin.“In my work, I constantly explore insights across digital media to better understand where the audiences are and how they are engaging with the content they love. That’s the type of expertise the True Media Company provides in this constantly evolving content landscape.”

Strategic partnerships, like that between Fusion International Film Festivals and the True Media Company, put the focus back on the most important part of filmmaking – empowering filmmakers to ensure their stories are told. In a film festival setting, filmmakers can test their skills, get their work out into the world, and ensure they are seen by audiences.

Great opportunities are ahead for you and for all the other filmmakers and producers who will attend the upcoming Fusion International Film Festivals. There is no better time to take your film or TV project to the next level, and we look forward to collaborating, supporting, and creating amazing content with the next big creator of tomorrow…YOU. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020






The Frontier: Ukraine is a fascinating personal insight of two eager British filmmakers documenting one of the most significant conflicts of the 21st century. A depiction of what the Ukrainian conflict was and the dire implications for geopolitics and international relations that stemmed from it. “We’d both met in Colombia, where we had been travelling and working for a number of years. We quickly discovered our shared passion for documentary filmmaking, and decided we wanted to try and make something ourselves independently.” Fast-forward 3 months; in June 2014 they were both in Maidan Square, Kiev. The city was littered with detritus from the recent revolution and looked like a warzone, something they never imagined witnessing in the centre of Europe. “Ukraine was a country neither of us had visited or knew much about, it was a shock seeing the capital in such a state but it was nothing compared to the life changing events that were soon to unfold in front of our eyes.” As the conflict had evolved to heavy fighting between the Ukrainian government and Pro-Russian Separatist forces in the East, they decided to take to a train so that they could get closer to the conflict. Despite being heavily advised by many not to do so. There they setup in the city of Mariupol which had only recently been liberated by Ukrainian forces and spent their time filming other towns and cities that had been liberated, shocked at the devastation which had already occurred. “We were then by complete chance, dragged into a shocking international incident, only a few miles from our location the Malaysian airlines flight MH17 had been shot down, killing over 300 innocent civilians.” The prospect of going deep into Separatist territory in order to access the crash site was a daunting one as they had gone there independently and had little resources to fall back on if something went wrong. “We decided to risk it all, despite only having press passes we had issued ourselves, eventually we managed to find a taxi driver NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020




willing to take us. To say that the journey was nerve racking would be an understatement, we had little experience in conflict zones and had no idea what to expect.” They drove through countless Ukrainian and Separatist checkpoints, past battlefields with the thud of artillery constantly in the background. To their surprise they eventually made it to the site after being intimidated, searched and questioned at every checkpoint they passed through. “The next few hours documenting the atrocity were a complete nightmare, hundreds of disfigured corpses with faces contorted in fear lay all around. Bits of wreckage and body parts strewn all around as far as the eye could see. There were bodies still strapped into their seats, completely disfigured. It was a scene that will stay with us for the rest of ourlives.” After securing a short interview from one of the Separatist commanders who had arrived at the scene they decided not to push their luck any further and attempted to make it back. Their journey back was plagued by intimidation and interrogation, both sides detaining them for hours, after previously having footage deleted by soldiers at gunpoint they had decided to keep their memory cards hidden.

This made the questioning more intense as many soldiers demanded to go through their footage and luckily, after a torturously long and tense journey, they finally made it back. “MH17 was an incredible shock to the system, after witnessing such an important event we were spurred on to investigate the conflict further. After much debate we headed directly into the heart of the conflict, the Separatist capital of Donetsk.” Initially they stayed in Donetsk for six weeks; artillery and rocket strikes were a daily occurrence. There was a strict 10pm curfew and people were being pulled off the street and bundled into vans. Threats and abuse were continuous and they were in constant fear of being arrested. Although many people had fled Donetsk due to the fighting, they also met some amazingly kind and wonderful people there who really helped them understand another perspective on the conflict, one not shown in western news. Over the next few years they returned to Ukraine, broadening the project to try and capture the complexity of the situation.


During their visits they patrolled alongside Ukrainian volunteers, met mercenary fighters on the outskirts of Donetsk, were shelled, bombed and buzzed by jets, they saw the rampant corruption and crime that had engulfed the east and spent time with the Neo Nazi battalions that have developed from the haphazard recruiting of nameless volunteers. The conflict had initially erupted when the pro-Russian Ukrainian president Yanukovych had fled the country,

driven out by protestors angry at his rejection of a deal with the EU. During the protests violence had erupted throughout the capital with many unarmed protesters shot and killed by police and mercenaries trying desperately to regain control of the situation. Russia had reacted to the revolution by annexing Crimea and supporting ProRussian Separatists in the East of the country, hoping to maintain Russian influence in Ukraine.

“We hope The Frontier: Ukraine helps people to understand the events that follow and gives a voice to the people that were caught in the middle.�




directed by elliott crawford & john taylor



Nostalgia, Originality And Everything Between By Steven Allison

Old or new. That’s the limited range welcomed by most time-served cineastes today. And often at their far-flung extremes too. Well-preserved, age-defying classics revered from one cinema-going generation to the next. Spanking, boundary-pushing originals, absolute classics in the making. One or t’other, I’m afraid. Never some sorry fiasco stuck in the sordid quagmire between these two distant kindred spirits. This fixation with films of yore and those that dare, it rules a lot of folks. It’s a fixation largely hung on an unquenchable thirst for nostalgia and an even more insatiable hunger to be entertained in increasingly offbeat ways. But to what avail? Is there anything to gain by spurning the middling fare betwixt the two? Oh yes, as sure as tropes is tropes. At one end, warm and fuzzies grow from ethereal moseys down memory lane — or, at least, a lane in somebody else’s memory. At the other, minds are blown, and expectations upended, as audiences are bombarded with fresh, quirky ideas. I could go on… The reality is, so much of the ordinary awaits around each corner in the ever-crowded realm of film — be it trash or blockbuster — it’s difficult not to give it the time of day, however appealing not giving it the time of day may be. It’s on the gogglebox, in movie theatres, on streaming services. Especially on streaming services, accessible round the clock, at the click of a button, on most devices. The ceaselessly restocked shelves of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime have all but turned the need to make choices into a lifelong career. Let’s say if the role came with an hourly rate, I’d be pocketing a pretty penny. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


We sift through the burgeoning catalogues of the streaming behemoths, recoiling at low-grade artwork, decoding vague synopses, sampling spoiler-ridden trailers. And it’s almost past endurance to give the first five minutes of flicks a shot — normally, the viewer chucks in the towel, returning, downcast and weary, to square chuffing one. The real question, ergo, is: should we huff and puff in our conceited disdain for this stuff, pressing on as resolute as a dogged hunting party while we stalk our true quarry? Our quarry being the Fellinis and the Finchers, the Hawks and the Hitchocks, the Truffauts and the Tarantinos. Hell, as they so eloquently say, to the no. It’s a bit excessive, isn’t it? These eager cracks at relevance, these attempts at battling the humdrum and the formulaic. All they do is help cultivate a resentment towards the average, towards the ordinary. There’s nothing wrong with average or ordinary. Those identifiers apply to so many people, and that’s dandy. So why can’t they apply to films without issue too? More to the point, in the wise words of Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins, ain’t nobody got time for that. Naturally, now and then, lady luck sings on cue, dropping the right title in the right place at the right time — zero slog required, job’s a good’un. If truth be told, such a gift really has nowt to do with good fortune. At play are nifty algorithms, designed to make personalised recommendations based on movie info, viewing history and ratings, and the selections of other users with similar tastes and preferences. And lest we forget behind-the-scenes efforts of UX heroes, gently keeping us on track.

On rare occasions, when manic schedules permit, investing the guts of an evening into decision-making pays off. Usually, though, the finite number of hours in a day dictates we abandon lofty dreams of picture paradise, conceding to the ordinariness of loveable fluff or showy big-budget productions. My advice: allow yourself to be engulfed in idle amusement for the sheer hell of it, just for a spell. In such moments, feel free to briefly suspend any adoration for charming oldies and audacious newbies. They’re the sturdy, dependable ones, the ones all depth and substance, the ones you settle down with. Instead, yield to the Razzie Award-winners, the rotten tomatoes, and everything else. They’re the ones seeking no commitment, the ones you bed when the old ball and chain is out of town. The floozies can’t give the same as your beau, but they can plug a hot minute or ten. These flicks deserve our attention because they exist — born from enthusiasm and hard graft. If your own movie baby failed to dazzle cinephiles, would you want them to pelt it with putrid eggs? Or would you hope this bunch might show it a dab of respect? Unless they’re caught up in a cloud of hubristic delusion, the teams who assembled these half-pie products know they have Swept Away on their hands and not Spirited Away. Come on guys, they’re trying — that has to count for something.

So, what say you? Will you join me in mounting a small rebellion against this pervasive obsession? Will you defer — defer, not reject — your love of old and new in film and give humbler screenwriters and directors a fighting chance? Or are you the staunch type, so drunk on the potent allure of timeless, definitive classics and edgy, auteur-driven masterpieces you’re forever destined to seesaw between the two, indifferent to what lies elsewhere? Oh, how I fear you’re the latter. I get ya, just the same. I’ve been there, done that and spilled the Kool-Aid down my t-shirt. But I went home and cleaned myself up. If I may, I’ll leave you with one last thought — a last-ditch attempt to sway your opinion. Is the push for brilliance worth the cost — the cost in time to you as you search for perfection and the cost in mettle to filmmakers whose work critics like me so casually disparage? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to looking back or looking forward. I’m simply sick of the snobbery around looking towards the middle. @writerfox2 @writerfoxreviews 61


Too Many Steps to Selling Your Screenplay? We Can Help. NORTH EUROPE EDITION LONDON 2020


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.






11:00 The Substitute 17 mins

11:00 The Enemies 66 mins

11:00 Bullied 79 mins

11:20 Sancho 13 mins

12:30 Guča: Serbian Detox 62 mins

12:20 A Most Savage Beast 15 mins

11:35 A Night With Juan Diego Botto 11 mins

13:25 Cor Values 110 mins

12:35 The Dead, The Day After 50 mins

11:50 Marras 23 mins

15:20 The Duckpond 90 mins

15:05 A Happiness Long Awaited 91 mins

12:55 Say Grace 17 mins

16:50 Location Scouts 5 mins

18:15 Life’s A Pitch 15 mins

13:15 From The Thunder 10 mins

16:55 Little Achilles 29 mins

19:40 Marcello 25 mins

13:25 Jeronimo 100 mins

17:50 The Turner Exhibit 25 mins

15:05 How To Bend Concrete In 108 Easy Steps 18 mins

18:15 After The Murder Of Albert Lima 95 mins

20:05 The Man Who Looked Beyond The Horizon 29 mins

15:25 The Other Half 90 mins

20:10 Baby 12 mins

16:55 Osirika - Black Champagne 6 mins 17:05 Backbeat 4 mins 17:10 Beyond Dreams 75 mins 19:50 Acting 6 mins 20:00 Synchronicity 4 mins 20:05 Italy & (This Is) Water 6 mins 20:15 September 15 mins




10:30 Big In Sweden 60 mins

10:40 The Plunge 10 mins

10:30 He Ran 28Mins

11:30 Chasing The Jet Stream 74 mins

10:50 Shadowland 14 mins

11:00 Death Will Greet Me 4Mins

12:45 Darshan - Blessings Of Saints 40 mins

11:05 Breathing Above The Treeline 17 mins

11:05 Decade Of Dominance, The Warriors 70Mins

13:25 A Mother’s Love(English Subtitled) 101 mins

11:35 Tabitha, Witch Of The Order 53 mins

12:15 Amanda 30Mins

15:10 Follow The Arrow 13 mins

12:45 Air Iomall /On The Edge 28 mins

13:00 Anacronte 15Mins

15:25 Burkinabè Bounty: Agroecology In Burkina Faso 37 mins

13:15 No Maximal Dose 108 mins

13:15 Dream Speaker 106Mins

15:05 Eight 10 mins

15:05 Crowbar 28Mins

15:15 The Safe House 27 mins

16:40 New Beginning 51Mins

15:45 Gifts From Babylon 24 mins

17:50 Return To Hardwick 72Mins

16:10 Benigni Exaggerated 28 mins

19:05 Run Through Rainbow Bridges 55Mins

16:05 Tin Holiday 91 mins 17:40 The Priest 21 mins 18:05 The Underground Empire 20 mins 18:25 No News 70 mins 19:35 Soft Hands 30 mins

16:40 My Father My King 15 mins 16:55 Reuven Does The Neighborhood One Last Time 16 mins 17:15 Vietnam Aftermath 30 mins 17:45 The Frontier: Ukraine 56 mins 19:50 Endless Torture 14 mins

20:00 | Networking Event

A formal networking opportunity for attendees to meet and chat.





10:30 The Ringmaster 88 mins

10:30 Dino Dana: The Movie 76 mins

10:30 #Stealth 90 mins

12:00 Thinking Pink: Resetting The Ngo Model 63 mins

12:05 Spacetime Is My Playground 7 mins

12:00 Origin Bound 80 mins

13:20 No Apology 105 mins

12:15 L’eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life): From Standing Rock To The Swamp 24 mins

13:20 Time Kills The Pain 98 mins

15:05 Britain’s Ultra Nationalists 57 mins

12:40 Holding On 25 mins

17:05 The Age Of Innocence 85 mins

13:05 Love Is Never A Simple Question 11 mins

18:30 The Floral Nightingales 11 mins

13:20 Extraordinary Youth 129 mins

18:45 The Jam 109 mins

15:30 Escort Veh.icle 36 84 mins 16:55 Cuerpos De Sal 13 mins 17:10 Bound By Precedent 10 mins 17:20 Tokyo Offerings Flower 83 mins 18:45 Hidden 20 mins 19:05 White Pebble 20 mins 19:35 Honor Among Thieves 10 mins 19:45 7th Generation 45 mins

15:10 Mad About The Boy 9 mins 15:20 Jesusa 120 mins 17:20 What to Do about Climate Disruption? 70 mins 19:10 A Mountain And Road 18 mins 19:30 Coldhearted Relatives 35 mins 20:05 Zweite Haut- Second Skin 10 mins




11:00 Ratsasan (The Demon) 151 mins

11:00 Miracle Of Christmas 115 mins

11:00 The 600: The Soldiers’ Story 117 mins

13:35 House Of Children 60 mins

12:55 Spirit Of Redemption 61 mins

13:00 Puppet Killer 84 mins

13:55 Quanta 84 mins

S C R I P T N O M I N AT I O N S Lajjawati Sumathy Ramakrishnan

The Pharmacist Alexander Chernega

Death Of A Revolution, Episode 1 Marshall Ferrin

The Hammer Falls Travis Heermann

Honor Janet Anthony Osarfo Death Of A Revolutionary Marshall Ferrin The Hanged Man Charles William Lane Chilocco Phil Lombardi

Nearfall Ronny Jay Love Me, Do GIULIA ROSANIA Mr Ted Kevin Phillips Outcast Sarah Bellwood

John Leggo Mark Lesser

Ursula And Our Conversations, The Nazi Era Chaitania Hein

In Love With Einstein Linda Shayne

Visions Ahead Olivia A. Kershaw

The Fourteen Days Alexander Chernega

Love Is A Battlefield Tysha Williams / Minaya Wright

20:00 | Magus Marketing - Industry Talk

Raymond Carver And Derrida’s Zombie Army James Fitzmaurice The Way Back (Back To The Light) Andres Zorrilla Maria Isabella Silvalessa Hunter Ridgway Rogue’s Coward Robert J.Rogers Catch As You Can Montgomery Floyd Little Things Mean a Lot Michael Monteith





10:30 Vladivostok Terminus 93 mins

10:30 Gravedigger 41 mins

10:30 Jesus Rides A Harley 30 mins

12:05 Even The Rats - Work In Progress 6 mins

11:15 Everything Nice 16 mins

11:00 The Ribbon 5 mins

12:15 Kingdom Anthem: The Kingdom Descends Upon The World 17 mins

11:35 Ricochet 12 mins

11:05 Nursery Rhyme Of A Madman 90 mins

11:50 Why We Love War 59 mins

12:35 Artes Liberales 49 mins

12:50 Life In A Tiny Town 3 mins

13:25 Guitar Man 100 mins

12:55 Across The River And Into The Trees 4 mins

15:25 Kneeling Sheep 15 mins

15:00 Sex, Drugs & Bicycles 86 mins

13:00 It Comes From The Heavens / Sucedio En El Cielo 20 mins

15:40 Lycanthropy (2019) 16 mins

16:30 The Kidnapping Of A Fish 25 mins

13:20 The Graveyard Gang 104 mins

16:55 Akkad Bakkad 15 mins

15:05 Sailors Of The Forest 17 mins

17:10 Insurance Can Be Sometime A Dangerous Game! 17 mins

15:25 Grace Fury 60 mins

12:35 Awesome! 13 mins 12:50 A Wild World 20 mins 13:10 Gam Cam Grrl 111 mins

17:30 Crack In The Wall 14 mins 17:45 Ask The Cheat 100 mins

16:25 Into Invisible Light 100 mins 18:05 Temptation Of Saint Francis 6 mins 18:15 Brunch Before Baptism 19 mins 18:35 The Gourmet High- Highly Satisfying Tasty Television 20 mins 18:50 In Orbit 17 mins

15:55 New York Rhapsody 14 mins 16:25 Mom? 5 mins 16:30 Blurred 20 mins 16:50 The Living Thames 60 mins 17:50 Wee King Of Nowhere 22 mins 18:15 A Life In A Week 45 mins 19:00 Scepter 18 mins 19:20 The Perfect Murder 19 mins

19:10 Bound By Precedent 10 mins

20:00 | Evolutionary Films - Industry Talk 21:00 | An Introduction to FilmDoo FilmDoo one-on-one consultations on Friday 21st February during the day

FRIDAY | FEBRUARY 21 ROOM 1 10:30 After Anyuta 10 mins 10:40 Out Of Service 1 mins 10:55 Missy 7 mins 11:05 Gracz 40 mins 11:45 Tuning In 5 mins 11:50 The Guitar 36 mins 12:30 Endless Love-Microfilm 10 mins 13:25 Dreams Washed Out 106 mins 15:15 My Dear Banquet 13 mins 15:30 The Unknown Mother 9 mins 15:40 Million Loves In Me (American Edited Version) 83 mins

ROOM 2 10:30 Aspire To The Sky: The Wilshire Grand Story 50 mins 11:20 The Emperor 5 mins

10:30 Lysistrata 2.0 4 mins 10:35 The Moon Smells Like Gunpowder 28 mins

11:25 The Epidemic 10 mins

11:05 The Last Day On Duty / La Última Guardia 73 mins

11:35 A Day In The Park 3 mins

13:20 Scent Of My Daughter 105 mins

11:40 Monsters Walking 1 mins

15:05 Untitled Music Video by Irsel çivit & epic cinematic anatolian music 2 mins

12:25 Night Shoot 16 mins 12:40 One 12 mins 13:20 Extradition 13 mins 13:25 Between Pain And Amen 126 mins 15:35 Anodyne 17 mins 15:55 Humanitarian 30 mins

17:05 Assem 21 mins

16:55 My Blood Is Red 87 mins

17:30 What Remains of Me 21 mins

18:30 This Happened To You...?/ Esto Le Paso A Usted...? 15 mins

17:55 No-One 118 mins


18:50 Manifesting Greatness. A True Story By Raz Degan 5 mins 18:55 The Condor & Eagle 80 mins

20:30 | Final Networking and Festival Hosted Party

15:15 Block Island 73 mins 16:30 Tokyo Tales 12 mins 16:45 The Skids: Revolution 80 mins 18:10 Life Of A Plastic Cup 5 mins 18:15 Stationary Bike 45 mins 19:00 Can’t Stop The Sun From Shining 48 mins

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