October 18 - 31, 2014
Local ﬁlmmaker starts crowdfunding campaign for movie BY LYNETTE CARRINGTON
The art of ﬁlm encompasses many artists working together to tell a compelling story. At the helm of any movie is a storyteller who sets the mood on set, conveys the tone of the story and shoots the ﬁlm. Chandler writer, producer and director Gita Farid is one such ﬁlmmaker who is shooting her latest short ﬁlm “Ilyushin-A Gentle Mensch Caught in Soviet System.” Farid, who grew up in England, focuses on writing ﬁlms based in bygone eras. “I make historical ﬁlms,” she says. “I don’t really do contemporary ﬁlms, and so I’m always fascinated with the past.” “Ilyushin” transports ﬁlmgoers to the 1970s, and Farid’s ﬁlm reﬂects the décor, ambiance and grittiness of that time, plus the struggles of the main character, Ilyushin, and his Soviet family. “This is a story about a ﬁctitious Soviet country where there is a game show, and they randomly pick people. And it brings Ilyushin on to the game show.” He’s a very simple man who has a sick daughter and, through a game show appearance, he is hoping to save her. “You have to see the ﬁlm to see what happens,” teases Farid. “It’s a short ﬁlm intended to be a pilot for a TV series. But we’re making it into a short so we can submit it around and maybe get some support.” To help fund the ﬁlm, Farid has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, with a goal of $15,000. Money raised for the ﬁlm will go toward costs associated
HISTORIC FILMMAKER: Filmmaker Gita Farid is working toward raising $15,000 for her short ﬁlm “Ilyushin-A Gentle Mensch Caught in Soviet System,” which is set in the 1970s. She is ﬁlming it in Arizona. Photo courtesy of Earnest Robinson
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Actress Kristina Sabbagh looks on contemplatively as the cast and crew of “Ilyushin-A Gentle Mensch Caught in Soviet System” prepares to shoot a scene. Photo courtesy of Rachael Smith of Raysquared Photography
with casting, production, wardrobe, props and preproduction. The campaign ends at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. To support the ﬁlm, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/ projects/ilyushin-a-gentle-mensch-caughtin-soviet-system. Farid recently shot a scene from “Ilyushin” that will be used to help market the ﬁlm in its IndieGoGo campaign. “We shot one scene from the ﬁlm just to show people a little bit about the storyline, and it’s when character Ilyushin meets his love,” Farid explains.
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— David Goldstein
Owner, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry
“BILTMORE BUYS OR LOANS ON ANYTHING YOU OWN”
Phoenix-based actress and law student Kristina Sabbagh has the role of Ilyushin’s wife, Lena. The Lithuanian-born actress truly understood her character. “It’s a sad story,” Sabbagh explains. “My character is a strong woman in the beginning.” Lena gives up her dream of going to school after she falls in love with miner Ilyushin and has a baby who falls ill. Lena also feels that she doesn’t get that much attention because life is hard. Portraying Lena is a thrill for Sabbagh.
“The ﬁrst day of shooting was just absolutely amazing,” gushes Sabbagh. “I thought it was going to be fun, but the amount of details that Gita put into the set was incredible. I walked in and said, ‘This is Soviet time.’ I’m Lithuanian. I was born into the Soviet Union so I know the communist system a little bit.” Farid won acclaim at Phoenix’s Filmstock Film Festival with her World War II era short ﬁlm “It’s Over!” in 2010. The short ﬁlm took home six awards, including Most Ambitious Film and Best Set Design. “It’s Over!” was also nominated as Best Short Film and was screened at the 2011 Marbella International Film Festival in Spain. For more information on Farid and her ﬁlms, visit www.gitafaridﬁlms.com. Lynette Carrington is a freelancer for the SanTan Sun News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org