Film Focus #06

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jOHN y: the man behind the actor Producer, Writer, Actor|Page 4







Dear Filmmakers & Creatives, Welcome to our South Europe International Film Festival: Online Edition 2020. Back in February just after we rolled up the red carpet at our North Europe festival we had little idea of the weeks and months that were to follow. The lives of everyone has been hugely impacted around the world. The story of a Hollywood script has become a terrifying reality.

Our small team here at Fusion have worked hard to keep positive and keep focused. The main source of that focus and energy is working as hard as we can for each and every one of you. You might not know it but you truly have been and continue to be our saviours. Without you we wouldn’t have the dreams and aspirations we have. The real world still needs some time to heal and whilst that happens as with many organisations we are having to adapt. But it isn’t all doom and gloom because we have loved putting together all the fun aspects for our first online event and we are delighted that you are part of it. We are delighted to be hosting online networking events along with a wonderful selection of industry panels. Thank you to Jean-Francois Cavelier, Rebekah Louisa Smith, Michel Zgarka and the team at FilmDoo. We are also delighted and proud to be

joined by two-time Oscar Winner Paul Haggis with an online master class. This panel runs to support Artists For Peace & Justice and is a huge step forward for us here at Fusion showing our intent and ambitions. We have a vision and passion to support, encourage and to 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. 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.

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



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 distributors, marketing consultants, production houses, VOD platforms and Film Commissions who are keen to support our network of filmmakers 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.

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Our Fusion Team is small but our hearts and passion for what we do is immeasurable - we would like to thank Stephen Mina who has taken on such a huge role in adapting our Fusion brand for an online event. We have been producing podcasts, Fusion + profiles, Green Room interviews and all our online visuals. Stephen is the cog that gets it all in place, we thank you greatly. 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 virtual time with us and hope soon that we can finally meet again in person and share some wonderful festival memories. *virtual fist-bump* Dan & Steve




With three films in competition for our Valencia 2020 Festival John Y has already produced, written and acted in some remarkable films and here we were lucky enough to have an in-depth interview. FF: For “Million Loves In Me” we know of the different cuts - for the Asian, US and Cinematic market - perhaps you can explain how and why you decided on the these different versions? JY: Actually when we were planning the movie, we didn’t even consider different versions of the film. We just put everything into the original version. However, after the film was completed and the film festival version of the film was being produced, we realised that we may need an alternative version for particular regions say China & Malaysia. In these places, the film censorship may find certain scenes in the film very sensitive, so we made a Malaysian and Chinese version. During the editing process, we went through the film very carefully and edited all of those scenes that may find troubling in those



markets. For the Hollywood producers- when it came to it and although they really liked the version of the film that they viewed – it was explained to us that they werelooking at it from a different point of view. For example, they did not like the original score which was a little too “Eastern” so we had to have a complete change of the music score for the US version. And for the States there won’t be any sensitive issues and so all of the scenes should be accessible for the US version however, it was still thought that some of the scenes could be heavily edited and so that’s how the Hollywood version came into play. Then when we came to the distribution in Hong Kong, it was suggested that wehave a “cinematic” version for them because they said that the Hong Kong audience won’t have the patience to watch the film festival version which is 109 mins in length. Hong Kong residents all live in this hustle and bustle! So it was suggested that they might lose interest in the first fifteen minutes and in fact most of the film festivals preferred to have this cinematic version – to help keep the audiences engaged. FF: It just shows how remarkable it is that the same film can be so different for several overseas territories! JY: Of course Kenny (Chan - the producer behind “Million Loves In Me”) and I knew it would be a lot of work and it was quite tedious having to create all these different versions but you have to remember that if you want your film to be shown in Hong Kong, you really have to do a cinematic version.

FF: Perhaps you could explain the situation that you have now found yourselves in relation to another film that has been released that may have caused a copyright infringement against “Million Loves In Me” as this may offer some valuable advice to other filmmakers. JY: Its very unfortunate, we came across this from friends on Facebook that had seen this other film and all of sudden there were some images that I viewed which were very, very similar to the images in “Million Loves In Me” and then of course I researched further online and then this film also talked about OCD (which is a central part of our film). And, in most of the publications and press releases and synopsis about our film we have talked or mentioned extensively about OCD and then we realised that someone had made this film behind our back. Then we began to dig deeper into what had happened and in particular into the roots about what had been going on and of course we were able to find out more because what I would like to say is that the images in our film are an original creation. “Million Loves In Me” is based on a true story which I was actually personally involved in as a lawyer on the case, but the images are the actual costumes / clothes worn by my real life client when she was handling the pets on a daily basis! As it happens, the costume has nothing to do with OCD but however, the lawyers acting for the other side stated that the similar costume in the other film is an OCD type of costume which is common to the public! We were very surprised because there is never an OCD costume and it is very funny how they would use OCD costume as a defence.



FF: Even as qualified lawyer, were you still surprised about the legal hoops that you had to jump through in terms of addressing this whole situation? JY: It is very complex because to begin with film is an art, in lots of films there may be elements of visuals or dialogue etc that look very similar to other films. But filmmakers might easily fall into the trap of copying ideas or expressions that have been used in other movies. And you know for these types of movies, sometimes it is not clear cut as to where there is copyright infringement or not and of course everything has to go to court for them to decide and then the other side can also appeal against the judgement so then it can go to the appeal court or the privy council and so on and as you can imagine, this sadly can all take a long time. Therefore, it could be a very long process and in the eyes of the public, they may see nothing wrong as undoubtedly they do not have legal knowledge and it is very time consuming. Going through a court proceeding is very stressful and ultimately it can cost a lot of money as well. So for the smaller, independent filmmakers, it could be even more difficult as they may not have the resources in place to launch a legal challenge but for a powerhouse film company they will have the financial backing in place so it’s very skewed against smaller filmmakers and SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


as always the result can be very uncertain. I think that with all of the exchanges and correspondence in regards to copyright and cease and desist letters to individuals connected to this film that they are very aware of the whole situation. I mean it is a very technical field of law and luckily I have studied intellectual property laws during my university days and during my practice as a lawyer in Hong Kong, I spent a period of time practising intellectual property laws in a niche and busy intellectual property law firm so it is quite fortunate that way that my experience can be utilised in my own legal matters. In order to support my opinion of the copyright infringement, my company has instructed seasoned IP lawyers, one in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan to assist my company to pursue legal actions against the infringing parties and now I feel I am going back to my days of practice! FF: For “My Dear Banquet” the whole premise of the story and fascination is to highlight the very high cost of living in Hong Kong, can you please tell us just how tough it is to live there financially? JY: Yes, I can tell you it is very expensive – I moved to Canada around six years ago and in fact although the income has changed for me actually the life I now have is so much more relaxing and much less stressful even

though in Hong Kong I had a much higher income. But frankly the living standard in Hong Kong is the highest in the world, so as an example an ordinary meal could easily cost £100. Let us imagine we have to spend such costs seven days a week. I really want to show people how tough life can be in Hong Kong. A friend of mine told me that he easily spends £3000 per month just for daily expenses and the same friend told me if it wasn’t his parents supporting his residence, he would have to spend another substantial amount of money for renting a place. FF: Although we have a wonderful piece of editorial from Susan Yam-Yam Shaw who is the lead actress from “The Unknown Mother”, perhaps you can give us an idea of working with her or a glimpse of her life? JY: Oh my goodness she has a lot of interesting stories to tell! She was just so accommodating because you know she faced a lot of difficulties and a lot of challenges at all different times during her career and, she has faced so many ups and downs and the film industry in Hong Kong and beyond and so she has faced all of these obstacles. So she could definitely write the most amazing story about her life...which could probably run to two volumes!

FF: In light of the Covid-19 situation do you have any projects that are literally waiting to go? JY: We have two projects ready to go, one is an English speaking film where we have a larger budget and would like to produce in the US – which it means it will cost more to make – and the other is a film that we would like to produce in Hong Kong so it will be a Cantonese speaking film which we would like to release internationally and it would be a much lower budget. But of course because of Covid-19 we have had to stop everything. We have prepared much already and the script is done but at least it gives us more time to perfect everything! So right now we have more time to plan for the shooting and have more control. For instance, it’s given us the opportunity to plan for certain scenes and helped us look at the costs and so we have more chances to refine what we have planned for so far. Believe it or not, a lot of people have told us that this delay is a good thing and in fact this prolonged planning can hopefully push the forthcoming new production to another level. MILLION LOVES IN ME FEATURE FILM RUN TIME: 82 MINUTES WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MILLIONLOVESINME THE UNKNOWN MOTHER SHORT FILM RUN TIME: 9 MINUTES MY DEAR BANQUET SHORT FILM RUN TIME: 13 MINUTES



SUSAN SHAW Susan Yam-Yam Shaw is the lead actress in John Y’s short film “The Unknown Mother” and has once again been kind enough to agree to an interview for “Film Focus”. With the most extraordinary career – with over 140 credits to her name so far and a multi-award winner – here she shares some of her experience that spans an astounding body of cinema and a life in film. FF: Thanks for taking the time out to join us for another interview! Needless to say it’s been a very odd 6-months with the spread of Covid-19, I just wondered how things are with you and the effect that you have seen in Hong Kong and in particular with the film industry? SS : Because this pandemic has no vaccine, if someone gets it, then you’re very close to death. So people in Hong Kong are very scared, everyone’s scared. And because right now the government’s policy only allows gatherings of 4 people maximum (which as even limited to 2 people before), we just can’t work. Cinemas were only allowed to fill half of its capacity due to social distancing. So no one watches movies. There was a time when cinemas were closed too. Large production films don’t dare to go on screen. Even for smaller productions as well, it’s the bosses that invest their own money. They are afraid that no one goes out, worried about the spread of virus, and many people are now out of work. Therefore the movie industry is directly impacted, as no one goes to the cinemas. Most importantly it’s because everyone’s scared. FF: What was the biggest challenge about taking on the role for “The Unknown Mother”? SS : We need to let the audience fully understand what this lifetime story is about within a very short time. Every actor needs to grasp every single moment whether there are lines or not, they need to use their body language to let the audience know the whole story’s process, person’s character and relationships. Like Deon Cheung from Hong Kong, he’s a top class actor, a very good actor, so through the relationship of the characters, in a simple dinner he can feel the mother and son’s relationship- how they care about each other, and how the son is unsatisfied about the mom. All of the actors are very good, they have chemistry and they’re very focused, so they can express the characters. I also want to thank all of the actors for their support and good acting, because of that they have made my character shine and stand out. SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


FF: Even with the current restrictions, are you planning to work on any new projects? SS : I just finished shooting a film, the story is about extreme rent problems in Hong Kong, and where the lower, middle, and upper classes have different family issues, housing issues, siblings and husbands and wives fighting for money and properties. My part is related to ghosts. I love it very much. I will recommend it to you later!

currently has over 140 roles credited to her on IMDB), would you ever be interested in someone telling your life story and if so, who would you choose to play you? SS : I don’t think there’s anyone that can act as me. Because this generation, the young people have too easy lives. There are many things that they just never experienced and would never get it. If they don’t get it, they would not be able to act my character out accurately.

Another film is Louis Koo’s film. During Chinese New Year, we always have lighthearted and happy films to showcase to the audience. Although these days are so boring, I had the chance to take part in this film. I hope this Chinese New Year film can bring happiness to the bored Hong Kong people.

FF: Who do you look up to as an actor/ director/etc...?

I have 7 films that have stopped at the moment and not sure when they can resume. But not starting now is a good thing. I want to rest too. Also I am afraid of Covid and there is no vaccine yet. So I want to to be very careful, and also take this opportunity to be with my family.

FF: Do you have a routine that you follow before you film a scène?

FF: What makes a good scene partner? SS : The most important thing is good work ethics. You need to know clearly what your character is about, and what the whole film is about. Like this film, John Yiu is very clear about the script. He knows what this character should feel and what is behind the story, so he portrays it very well. He also helps me on acting well as his mom. Having a good partner makes the whole shooting process much more comfortable, and it would be more touching to the audience. FF: You really have had the most extraordinary career (as revealed in an earlier interview, Susan’s career began after she was spotted by Bruce Lee and

SS : I respect John Y, because he’s a very good actor and he takes his role very seriously. For director, I like Derek Kwok. Because he always comes up with surprises that no one can expect.

SS : In Hong Kong, before we start filming, all actors & crew need to light the incense and pray in every corner which serves as a blessing that the film shoot will go on smoothly. We are not praying to the Gods, we are praying to all the ghosts and spirits in the four corners of the shooting venue, in the hope that they will not give us any trouble and prevent any accidents from happening. This is a tradition of film shooting. FF: Can you remember the best review that you ever had? SS : Good acting! FF: Which has been your favourite character that you have performed? SS : “The Unknown Mother” is loved by many film professionals across the world, and gave me a lot of awards. I definitely love this film the most.

FF: What kind of roles do you prefer? SS : Every role in a film, no matter how big or small the role is, it definitely has an important drive and influence to the film. So as long as the director has chosen me for any role in the film, I will like it and be willing to try. FF: What is some advice that you would give to someone aspiring to become an actor? SS : In order to be an actor, you need to know how to analyze others and understand why they do certain things. You need to think why they are doing things differently from me. You need to practice more, become natural and express from your heart in front of the camera, then you’re a good actor. Of course, how you portray the character needs to be close to what the scriptwriter and director want. It is not just what you think. For many people, the moment they hear “action”, they are not able to express their emotions. That’s why being smart is very important. Dreaming to be an actor is one thing, hoping you can be rich and famous is another thing. Actually there are so many things to learn. That’s why we need to absorb everything in the society to enrich ourselves. This is the foundation of an actor. FF: It’s often said that breaking into acting is a terribly hard thing to do but do you believe in the saying “if you set your mind to it you can do it”? SS : I don’t believe it. There is fate, but there’s always people involved. With people involved, there would always be difficulty.







Photography By “GUZMAN”.


It is our pleasure to announce that we will be joined by two-time Oscar winning Writer, Producer and Director Paul Haggis. Paul will be hosting a 60 minute masterclass via Zoom on Thursday 29th October 7pm GMT



We will have a few minutes at the end for written questions of which we will pick a few to ask. Please visit for more information and to secure your attendance.




Notorious Jeff Boyd goes on a spiritual quest after escaping a mental institution to start over and find meaning. He travels to Australia where his friend Morton helps him to get a hold of his life, but after being robbed and tricked by suspicious characters in the Outback, he’s had it and tries to find his luck with a monk in the Balkan mountains who gives workshops to become enlightened. Jeff’s is followed by Prisha, a guru’s daughter from India he had a short encounter with at the bakery, who joins the workshop at Jeff’s surprise. The two fall in love and discover that they need each other and leave the workshop to go to India where Prisha’s father is expecting them, but Jeff and Prisha find themselves fighting against intrigues and mistrust in the community where they want to start a new life - and Jeff’s past demons. The ambitious screenplay is setup in beautiful locations in the Australian Outback, Balkan Mountains, and Indian temples while adding ethnic music from the respected countries. The Spiritualization of

Jeff Boyd is about taking risks, setbacks, and starting over to find new ways to conquer a life with meaning - and love. Uwe Schwarzwalder aims to play out the story as a dark comedy, with weird situations, awkward moments, and many twists. Jeff Boyd is always on the run, driven by overwhelming events, but always moving forward to find the light.


I... OVERCAME HOUTHI MINES A Yemeni documentary film produced in 2020, with all rights to the director, Mrs. Nisreen Alsbeihi Noman.

A film showing the story of a young woman named “Dalila” who challenged the disability caused by one of the land mines that the Houthi planted at the threshold of the water well next to her house, and amputated her legs three days before her wedding, to deprive her of the joy of her life and make her incapacitated. She cried on her knees and hands for three years with physical pain, and in Taiz - the city where she lives - she received nothing but empty promises to treat her, as she explained. And without succumbing to the obstruction and terror that Al-Houthi intended against everyone who still rejects his terror and tyranny. Until MSF adopted her treatment in Jordan and began a long journey of treatment of suffering that culminated in success and returning to the city of Taiz on her feet, as she had wished from the moment she arrived at the hospital. SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


Dalilah was not able to return to her village, “Al Shaqeb,” as she explained in the film, due to the continued stationing of Houthi snipers in the heights overlooking her village, and the continued laying of mines that were her victim a month before Dalila returned to Yemen, one of her relatives who lost her leg completely to the basin. Through the film, Dalilah sent messages to Al-Houthi and to the legitimacy and to those who provide weapons and mines to the Houthis.

She also sent a message to people of conscience around the world, to cooperate in stopping this tragedy. She thanked all those who wished her healing and sympathized with her story. The film is a candidate for South European International Film Festival held in Valencia, Spain, for the best short documentary film director and best story category. SHORT DOCUMENTARY RUN TIME 28 MINUTES WWW.NISREENALSBEIHI.COM


Linda Broocks made documentaries about social issues in college, but then pursued a career in civil trial law while maintaining her interest in criminal justice issues and the power of film in promoting social change. In doing pro bono work involving the death penalty, Linda found her heart being saddened by the stories of the family members of death row inmates, particularly the mothers, whom society was often quick to blame for the troubles of their children. While continuing to practice law full time, Linda researched and recruited five mothers whose stories she wanted to feature, interviewed them, and created a compelling presentation of the problems and sorrows facing them as a result of their children’s incarceration and death sentences.



As controversy rages about the efficacy of the ultimate punishment, as the Supreme Court of the United States is called upon to issue eleventh hour stays of death sentences, public awareness of the issues surrounding the death penalty has never been greater and public debate never more heated.

This timely film addresses an important but missing component in the public discourse on a major moral issue of our time.

The filmmaker’s approach was to include mothers whose children reflect the general demographics of death row in the United States: four men, and one woman-two African American, two white, and one Hispanic. She also interviewed a leading social scientist, Elizabeth Beck, the author of “In the Shadow of Death: Restorative Justice and Death Row Families,” who explains the social and psychological phenomena that result from society’s treatment of these mothers.




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




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.





Winner of Best Director at the London International Filmmakers festival and Best Screenplay at Milan International Filmmakers Festival and with multiple nominations Full Circle has traveled the world. Taking in countries such as the USA, Australia, India, Italy, France the UK and Ireland. And with 2 distribution deals Full Circle has enjoyed a very successful tour on the circuit. And we look forward to our screening and nominations here at the Fusion International Film Festivals in Valencia. Synopsis. The lives of two men, an Irish war journalist and an American living in Ireland intertwine in an unusual tale of enlightenment and redemption. Documentary Film-Maker, Malcolm Walker (Michael Bates) returns to Ireland after his last production in Gaza went horribly wrong, causing the death of his wife Linda (Susan Bracken). Now back home, Malcolm finds it hard to cope, and falls deeper into his own private hell. SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


Just at its darkest the smallest speck of light appears in the shape of Travis Sear (Mark Schrier), an American who’s wife, Rose (Annette Kelly) is stuck in a catatonic state following a car accident. This car accident happened two years earlier just minutes after Malcolm Walker had interviewed them

at the ancient site of Newgrange co.Meath. A chance meeting of these two leads Travis to believe that Malcolm can help bring Rose back from this catatonic state. For Travis believes that Rose’s catatonic state is caused by a curse, the curse of the ‘Órach Stone’ When Travis and Rose were at Newgrange, Rose had found an ancient stone called ‘The Órach’. She kept this stone and took it from the sacred ground, thus evoking the curse. However, Travis believes that Rose can return to him. And this can be only accomplished by returning the ‘Órach’ stone to ‘Newgrange’ and performing the ancient sacred ritual of ‘The Órach’ with the chosen one. And the ‘Chosen One’ is Malcolm! FEATURE FILM RUN TIME 94 MINUTES HTTPS://FULLCIRCLETHEMOVIE.COM/

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




Dandenong North Primary School and Brave Archer Films® present ‘Talk For Life: English as an Additional Language’ This inspiring documentary film takes us on a journey into the world of language and the crucial role it plays in the lives of newly arrived refugees in Australia. This heartwarming film tells of their experiences, from trauma endured as they fled their war-torn countries, to their search for safety and a better life in Australia. Dandenong North Primary School, a multi-cultural school situated in a Melbourne suburb, welcomes children of refugee backgrounds and their families with open arms. The school’s goal is to give children the best start on a path of lifelong learning. The film features the school’s highly successful English as an Additional Language Support Program and highlights the life changing role it plays for children of non-English speaking backgrounds. Dandenong North Primary School demonstrates the vital responsibility an educational institution plays in supporting refugee students as they overcome language

barriers and develop the ability to express themselves. The importance of learning to ‘talk for life’ is the heart of this unique and uplifting educational film, made by multiaward-winning documentary filmmaker, Amel Tresnjic



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, riches-to-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’s 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. “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 SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


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.” SHORT DRAMA









Henry is a 20-year-old boy American boy studying Georgian folk music. He will be abducted and forced into becoming, a fiancé, and a hero in one evening in a strange exotic family tradition. Henry’s humanity character is to save this girl’s life as she attempts to commit suicide after the pressures of her family’s strange and bizarre traditions. There’s only one surprise announcement Henry will share with this unusual family.


Multi award winning film composer Eddie Torres met director of Romance Giorgi Tkemaladze in 2018 for the Milan IFF film nomination and they then came across each other in London at the Fusion IFF a year later after winning for Best Original Score on a feature film (Nawal The Jewel) Directed By Renjilal Damodaran. Since then the director Giorgi has been in touch with Eddie about scoring his new short film Romance. Learning the music styles and instrumentation in the country of Georgia was a success for Eddie as Romance led

him to a nomination in Valencia at the Fusion IFF. The film has also received other awards.Eddie’s vote counts for the Grammys in four categories. Music began on the streets of Chicago’s Cubs Wrigleyville neighborhood in Chicago, IL.Eddie has composed music for shows on major TV networks including, Oxygen, Life Time, TLC and others.


When I first heard Eddie’s score in Italy (Nawal The Jewel) I was moved by his approach to allow the music to invoke feelings to the viewer. Along with other directors I wanted to meet Eddie. In our short conversation I new I wanted to know more of Eddie’s work and talk to him about my new Film (Romance). His spirit of excellence and professionalism was immediately noticed. Living in the country of Georgia I thought would present some logistical challenges for Eddie and working together but with Eddie it didn’t. Eddie was able to capture what I was looking for in music/score by phone, messaging and emails.


A full feature film Life Ain’t Like The Movies with an amazing Director Robert Butler whom Eddie also met in London during his win. This is also a great story… WWW.EDDIETORRESMUSIC.COM


Henry is a 20 year-old American studying Georgian folk music. He is gay and has a strange habit. At night he likes to sing in the park for his amusement. One night, this strange habit gets him into an adventure where he will be a hostage, victim, fiancé, sweetheart, knight and participant in a strange exotic tradition and finally the gay boy’s humanities character saved one girl’s life.





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FLESH IS HEIR TO / LADY GODIVA Lady Godiva A woman is stoned to death by baring all parts of her self and soul.


Cinema eVerité LLC is an award-winning film studio. Welcoming talented collaborators, CeV’s Mission is to advance the career opportunities of talented minorities, shine a light on controversial issues with an uncompromising approach, and merge the best intentions of independent filmmaking. Flesh is Heir To This erotic neo noir mystery centers around Cece Blair, a young theoretical physicist who starts having paranormal visions upon returning from her universe bending Collider Work in Switzerland. Benign at first, her visions take a dark twist when she witnesses a male patron in a restaurant suddenly become a violent imaginary murderer.




hanni bergesch Filmmaker & Scriptwriter



CAN’T STOP THE SUN FROM SHINING A wonderfully crafted documentary by Teresa Mular exploring the lives of four centenarian and almost centenarian women living in New York who unravel their courage, strength and zest for life in unique and inspiring ways. An homage to aging without regrets.

“Can’t Stop the Sun from Shining“ This film shows extraordinary elderly women engaged in their activities - past and present - and wishes to honor all of them for their sense of purpose , unrelenting creativity, zest and optimism in spite of their own significant challenges in life. Defying ageism this documentary sends a concrete message that a meaningful and productive life is possible even in an advanced age. 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.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY - TERESA MULAR Dr. Teresa Mular was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was raised and educated there, completing her University studies and graduating as a Medical Doctor at age 23. Parallel to that she studied piano and voice at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires. As a young person she developed a lifelong passion for classical music and the arts. She moved to New York, to further her training at Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York-Kings County Hospital, in Brooklyn. She became an Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology years later at the same institution and had a long career as a physician and teacher.

She is fluent in Italian (which she studied in Florence starting in 2006) and it is in Italy, where she found the germinating seed for making her first documentary about the land that witnessed her birth. She 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”.

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.

Between 2010 and 2016 she studied with Dominique di Fazio in Los Angeles and Rome.



That doesn’t mean this will be easy. Sometimes we are “comfortable” as we have lived life up to now. Changes can be painful. Corona has postponed our current film project “Amal Hamburg”. People are unavailable everything goes very slowly. Somehow it goes on, very slowly. That means, now more than ever, do what you love. One should experience your passion. “It is not what we take with us when we are away from her?” The genesis of the project is ready, the search for sponsors and donors begins. “As a director, friend of mine says - the journey to the hell begins!” We hope to see you again soon, with a new Moroccan heroine with Brazilian roots on the loan wall. And that we can say the same thing as Amal at the end of the Film “Everything was worth it!”. Yours Hanni” SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


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.

In 2015 Hanni began to turn to her own projects, including the 3x1 Sketch Series.And also from 2015 Hanni began to produce her own films. The short “The gray woman” won 7 international awards, including 4 with Fusion Film Festivals and best actress at the “Northeastmountain Film Festival 2019 in Georgia USA



“New beginning. New challenges. This is how I see the time of Corona.




Where is the “eastern border” of Europe in Russia? What about “the Russian soul”, today, 100 years after what Dostoyevsky wrote about Europe? Filmed on the train from Moscow to Vladivostok : 9282 km with the mythical TransSiberian railway, with 12 cities and villages, we stop many times during our journey. Film-investigation during this trip (for 40 days and 40 nights) in Russia, where I am confronted by more than one hundred people. What are the feelings of Russians, in 2018, regarding Europe,

their borders and the European feelings? With many events and many encounters, I am also the protagonist of this movie with my three partners, one French camerawoman and two Russian women for translation and sound recording. Director Biography - Laurent Canches I was born in a books store close to Paris, France. After reading many novels & newspapers I also studied sociology “on the field” of cinema, because it was my first passion. I decided to enter this industry, first as internship then as an assistant on fiction feature length films. In the 90s, I began to shoot documentary movies, with different partners (producers, television, and institutions). Recently, I directed two short-films (fiction) and in 2019, I finished the editing of my first feature length documentary, “Terminus Vladivostok”. A long journey in the trans-Siberian train to the end of the European continent. Looking for the feelings of Russians about Europe and borders… In this adventure, as a paradoxical “flash back”, I presented some parts of this movie at the Paris Book Fair (March 2019), without having to write any books.





Best friends Samuel and Jesse travel to London after a life-changing event in Samuel’s life. They find themselves in trouble with the Punjabi mafia, Interpol and in inappropriate couplings. Director Statement As a filmmaker of Native American (Tohono O’odham) and Latino mixed background, and also identifying as gay, I was inspired to tell the story in ‘Tin’ because of the lack of roles for Latino and gay actors/characters in traditional Hollywood fare. This story, while not specifically written for two ethnic lead actors, ‘Tin’ was written to showcase Latino’s in a positive light, just as “regular” people in a film. The gay characters are also shown in this manner. They are not stereotypes or amalgamations of what someone might think a gay person is in the broad sense but shown as complex people living their day-to-day lives. The character of Jesse is best friends with a straight man, Samuel, whom he met at university. Both men forged a friendship based on loyalty, despite societal norms on friendships and what we tend to see on the big screen. SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020


The characters of Jesse and Simon, are also not stereotypical representations of gay people on the big screen. They are slightly older and not part of the young party world we typically see in gay cinema or exploitive television. While we don’t see what Jesse does for a living, we do come to find that Simon is (SPOILER ALERT) a spy on a deepcover assignment. Shot mostly in London, England, this film, while on the surface is a light rom-com, shows depictions of gay and Latino characters as regular people. If there is a message to glean from this film, its to show how people of color and gay people aspire to be seen on the big screen, as normal everyday people just as Caucasians and straight characters are seen in traditional studio films.

The story in ‘Tin’ is presented in a very matter-of-fact way, whether romantic or platonic, the characters are just a viable part of the fabric of the lives in the story. The gay romance is not the whole story, but part of the major storyline, something that mainstream films tend to miss the boat on. I’ve never considered myself to be an activist filmmaker, but I do go against the grain when showing people of color, women, or gay characters on the screen.


South Europe International Film Festival: Online Edition 2020

t h g i N s d r Awa



EMPIRE An Arresting New Feature By Paul L. Carr

EMPIRE is a feature film following the misadventures of two men shipwrecked in the vast Pacific Trash Vortex. As the men struggle to survive, the power play between them devolves from the darkly comedic and absurd into crashing fear and existential terror. Often hallucinogenic with stunning visuals, this parable mixes apocalyptic and kaleidoscopic imagery as humankind’s perverse relationship with plastic is exposed. Literally surrounded by a world of trash that these men helped create, their very survival hangs in the balance. This grotesque dystopia presents a most epic challenge: man vs. garbage.

descent into madness while the green screen so artfully embellished by Editor Nick Schultz serves as something like a Greek chorus for the film, vitally engaged with the action and the subtext beneath the narrative. The script, by Paul L. Carr, asks not only, “How did we get here?” It also asks the audience, “How the hell do we get out?” Empire was produced by Busted City Productions, following their award-winning feature films Busted City and American Barbarian. Casual Criminals, a feature-length comedy, is the latest effort by Busted City Productions. The film is currently in postproduction and should be completed by 2021. Any inquiries regarding films by Busted City Productions should be sent to Paul L. Carr. Trailers, production photos and additional info can be found on the Facebook production page and Instagram.

Observers of this film can perhaps see many tangents from a diverse array of influences— Charlie Chaplin, the Old Testament, Mel Brooks, Spaghetti Westerns, Lord of The Flies, Kurt Vonnegut, Edgar Allen Poe, Hunter S. Thompson--and it all seems reminiscent of a 50’s sci-fi flick. Somehow it all spilled into the script for this B-movie fever dream of a film, as trippy as anything you’ve seen at the midnight matinee. Actors Nick Leininger and Don Schroeder are superb in depicting their



In spite of much discussion of the problem for more than three decades, 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 members of Congress 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 SOUTH EUROPE ONLINE EDITION VALENCIA 2020

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 by paying more for actions that are relatively beneficial, such as purchasing electric vehicles, is not sustainable?






Our work

For over 10 years, Artists for Peace and Justice has been dedicated to changing the lives of those most in need. We understand the game-changing effects of secondary and higher education in breaking the cycle of endemic poverty. On January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7 earthquake devastated Haiti. Hundreds of thousands were killed and much of the capital city was leveled. The destruction was unimaginable, but urgency of that moment required action. We pledged our support to do more than just provide immediate humanitarian relief. We pledged to build lasting academic institutions that would serve a greater purpose.

Our mission

We believe youth, especially those living in abject poverty, deserve liberty and equality to build a better life for themselves and for their families. By developing partnerships with local leaders in communities that need us most, Artists for Peace and Justice works to create real opportunity with Valuable Education, Meaningful Employment, Inspiring Voices and Ethical Leadership. APJ is comprised of artists, advocates, and creatives across all disciplines who believe in the power of artists to change the world. We believe that everyone has the creative capacity and voice to make a difference and that it is our duty to leverage our collective talent to help create a more just and peaceful world.




We believe youth, especially those living in abject poverty, deserve liberty and equality to build a better life for themselves and for their families.


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




I have had the honor to work on hundreds of projects with some of the most inspiring people in the film business from George Lucas to The Wachowski’s. Since I was best known as an award winning stunt coordinator and action director, I had been offered several “action” projects to direct over the years, but I never wanted to be known as someone who can only helm a “Stunt Action Film”. I was looking for that special “passion project” and my friend, Producer Ray Robinson, introduced me to Guitar Man! Based on the book, ‘Don’t Shoot, I’m The Guitar Man’ by author Buzzy Martin, Guitar Man tells the true story of a lifelong musician who began teaching at risk kids about music to help them through their daily life struggles. Through this experience, Buzzy was given the opportunity to teach a Guitar class inside San Quentin State Prison. Intimidated by the brutal surroundings, Buzzy soon found a common language between himself and the inmates: MUSIC! Buzzy returns to his younger students with stories about the reality of prison life, desperate to teach them that prison was not the answer and their lives could have real hopes and dreams. Along this journey, they all discover the true gift of music and the deeper meaning of freedom. Guitar Man was not only the passion project we were all looking for, it was a collaborative effort for the entire cast and crew to make sure we got it right. As our script grew from several rewrites, we adjusted to the challenges of using professional actors while incorporating real officers and ex-inmates in the film. Our performers were often encouraged to embrace last minute changes to their environment, especially when filming in these detention centers. This created some of the most memorable and heart wrenching moments in the film. We stressed keeping the look of the film gritty real while filming at San Quentin, but more importantly, staying true to the core narrative theme… Education, Not Incarceration! Currently the winner of 14 film festival awards, Guitar Man is by far the most rewarding and humbling adventure we have ever experienced. Guitar Man is Produced by Ray Robinson, Co- Produced by Cathy Maley, Directed & Co-written by Rocky Capella, DP is Clay From the Bay and Edited by David Tanaka. Our cast includes John Parsons, Juliana Long Tyson, Legendary R & B artist Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Rhino Smith, Bailey Coppola and Christopher Coppola plus an ensemble of amazing talented upcoming young performers who steal the film. Guitar Man is our modern day story in the realm of the classic film, To Sir With Love. Article written by Rocky Capella.






ANACRONTE A Stunning Animated Short Film By Raúl Koler & Emiliano Sette Here Film Focus were lucky enough to pose some questions to the two filmmakers behind this remarkable movie.

FF : The look, feel and subject matter of “Anacronte” is so surreal and engaging, where and how did they idea come from to make this film? ES : This film is an original idea of Raúl Koler, he thought for the first time to make big painting for his living room and after talking with a common friend, he called to me to turn that idea into a short film. Raúl had a very clear the idea of humanity walking in an infinity plane and behind them Anacronte and the sorcerers of evil shooting to humanity their evil. That was a constant in our dramatic arc and a great visual reference for all the concept art. FF : How do you keep up with animation trends? RK : We are big consumers of different contents, not only animation, but we are also waiting and necessitating always stories that move us. But I don´t know if we follow the trends, I would say that we are expectant to what are they doing some artists that inspire us. Alberto Mielgo is a guy that I want to see what is new in his work always. FF : What inspires you both when you are making animations? ES : The life, the stories around us. We are living in a weird moment where all the world has fallen down on their knees in front of an invisible antagonist, that event crashes with us and is inevitable and we don´t hear it like creators. But I think that inspiration is a way to see the world and hear the stories in it.

FF : Tell me about a time you both found it difficult to make others accept your ideas. What did you do?

FF : If you disagreed with each other about some aspects of a project, how would you resolve the situation?

RK : Well, I think that projects like this call for a big collaboration of each department in order to find the best solution for each picture of the storyboard. We work with fantastic professionals like Nelson Luty as art director and Ezequiel Greck as Animator Director, guys with a lot of experience to find the best way for our challenges. I believe in collaborative creative processes and the meeting of the correct spirits to do it. We don´t work with scripts or ideas.

ES : I think that is impossible to agree on all points in a project like this, the way is long and there are many challenges to resolve. We had a co-direction with great synergy and complement. We think that the ideas always need a double-check, and for that we are two and also we count on a professional team to fix the route always.

FF : How do you turn a concept into visual elements? Describe your process. ES : We ask ourselves who is the guy that has this conflict, and when the character appears we find the environment for it. In Anacronte particularly we had another challenge, all humanity walked in a certain plane and a character that represents the evils of our life shooting for all. We found it interesting to take the original idea of Raul to make big painting for his living room with this concept and figure it out the aesthetic of the film working it like a canvas and began to blend acrylics in the scene. We work it in making a shoot blending real acrylics in a little fishbowl.

FF : Please can you tell us about the next project you are working on – or have recently completed? ES :We are working on an Anacronte´s spinoff, the short film became a TV series and now we are working on the pilot script. We hope can produce it next year.





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We believe youth, especially those living in abject poverty, deserve liberty and equality to build a better life for themselves and for their families.

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