Eggs and Soldiers, written and directed by Imelda O’Reilly

Synopsis: Eggs and Soldiers: A single Irish Dad forgets to buy the tree on Christmas Eve. Ned the older son’s humanity is challenged as he risks everything to have his younger brother Marco experience a real Irish Christmas.

Eggs and Soldiers is about broken people trying to stay alive in a broken system. Nobody is perfect and everyone in one way or another has different sets of issues.

The title comes from a food game from Ireland and England where you cut the bread to look like soldiers and then dip the soldiers in the egg. It was to help get children to eat their food. I have been developing this project and in terms of visual references I used Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth as a starting point. We used a lot of long lenses to create the world of the characters. The tone of the film has a rugged and gritty feel to it. We shot mostly in Washington Heights in New York City. The colors in the world were muted greys and browns.

Christian wants his younger son Marco who is biracial to experience a real Irish Christmas. He buys Selection Boxes, Christmas Crackers and plum pudding which is what a typical Irish Christmas would be like back in Ireland. Christian even manages to mess that up when he forgets to buy the tree and bring it home. Christian drinks himself out of despair to alleviate the constant haunting of this displacement and the struggles of being a single parent.

During the fight sequence we used a hand held camera to show the destabilization of Ned’s world. The series does include evocative visual angles, vibrant use of shadow and light with cinematography that alternates between tranquil and edgy. Christian is living on the edge and I wanted the camera to emulate this edginess.

Director’s Artist Statement
As a writer and filmmaker I play with the borders between my relationships to reality, mystery and tension. The act of seeing and how story unfolds in the narrative. I am chasing subconscious thoughts that inform imagination and behavior and how they intertwine.

My intention is to engage viewers, lure them into a world on the surface that appears joyful but underneath I create a subtext that destabilizes the viewer using words and images as counterpoint in aesthetic and tone. When I work I begin with words but then delve deeper into images. Wallace Stevens says, “the poem is the cry of its occasion.” Poems have always been blue prints for me, in poems time is condensed and moments have more clarity. Later on when I am editing the footage I have another opportunity to reshape my ideas.

As a child growing up in Catholic Ireland I spent a lot of time climbing trees and dreaming myself out of the countryside. I invented stories and characters shaping a fictional universe they could inhabit. It is this transcendental space that drew me into a point of creating my own work process and practice. I believe creating is a form of meditation. Imelda O’Reilly.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Dark Passages, web series

Dark Passages, the Web Series, is an anthology type series similiar to the old Twillight Zone.
Each webisode is approximately 10 minutes long with a different strange and bizarre tale from filmmakers around the world. We are preparing to launch Season 2 but the first Season is avaliable at:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1xaJLni_O34Z5rDFsY_bOA
Website: http://darkpassages0011.wix.com/dark-passages
Facebook Page: Dark Passages the web Series

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Interview with filmmaker Aneek Chaudhuri

1. Charles Abraham: Aneek Chaudhuri, do you truly believe that happiness in life is impossible?
Ans. I might be the most optimistic person on earth while saying this, but indeed my perspective on life is quite different. No, I believe happiness in life is extremely possible and one deserves to be happy. When I see people around me earning humongous bucks and yet they sleep off the day with gloom faces, I feel pity. I mean that’s what they aimed to be, to be successful, to earn huge and lead a happy life. But, to me life is not about money at all; moreover, I believe that more a person would be inclined toward money, the less happy he/she would be in life. My childhood was not a delicious cupcake, but I always sensed a ray of hope.

2. I think it’s safe to say that most people would disagree.
Ans. I think almost everyone today will oppose this, but ones who are reading this will actually think of life to be quite easier.

3. What are your views on love?
Ans. I am quite neutral about love, as for me my creation is my love. Now giving a personified form of the same, if a person actually fits into the character, I would prefer to fall in love with the person. I mean, here I mean the platonic bond between me and the girl. So, for me it’s no inertia that I should be in love with a girl, it’s something more than a compulsion and my films are based on similar themes where the protagonist actually craves for a platonic bond rather than getting sexually attracted to someone.

4. To say, if you need to choose Cinema over your girl, whom would you choose?
Ans. Of course Cinema! See, both have their own places in life, but Cinema is immortal for me or something that corresponds my life-span and my Cinema will die along with me and is set to accompany me even after death; not the same with a girl. However, I can also prove to a good lover.

5. Now, let’s come to the person as a director. Aneek, you have been involved with movies based on sexuality, homosexuality etc. So, what made you choose such subjects?
Ans. Not on homosexuality, but my movies made in the recent past, were based on identifying sexuality and its realization. Well, I am a straight guy, but was put to think by the relative nature of being homosexuals. There are friends, who are homosexuals by nature, and according to them it is quite normal (I think the same); however, there are persons who may have been in bed with the same sex partner and hence, was confused about their sexual orientation. My movie that got screened at an International Fest, Embrace deals with the same and the design is based on Salvador Dali’s The Great Masturbator. Hence, I derived that one can also be bi-sexual and that’s nothing but the overpowering of feminine nature in a person over its masculine part. I choose subjects as a chapter of realization and make others do the same through my films.

6. What inspires you to make films?
Ans. Life is a great inspiration in choosing films. Cinema is not a tiring business for me at all, it’s all about an enjoyment of life to its zenith. I do not go to social clubs, but Cinema provides me with the same intoxication. Isn’t that enough to inspire someone?

7. Aneek, I also came to know that you have made a feature length movie Cinema Bid Adieu. The name itself is quite interesting; please give your take.
Ans. No, actually I am working on a project that would help to nullify the usage of language from Cinema and starting with Bengali Cinema, I want to achieve it at a global platform. Cinema Bid Adieu is the first project and is almost complete now to be screened. It deals with the context of Lumiere Brothers’ Arrival of a train and combining it with the content of ‘Shrinking nature of war’. In this, I have defined how the crisis is slowly getting at a micro-level and in future, it will be applied to sustain you on earth. Quite tough to establish my opinion that quick in India though, but I will not accept quick turn comments.

8.Would you ever act in any film, or your film?
Ans. Not in my film, though! But if I ever get the opportunity to play the role of a lunatic character, or an artist (not the usual kind), or someone who is not me then it would be nice to play such a role, It would be a challenger for me and it had been a dream for me to play such roles. In my film, I would prefer to stay behind the camera.

9. You are quite young to be a filmmaker. Do you face problems in instructing people or any kind of barrier?
Ans. Well, my thoughts are quite matured, so there’s no barrier in making films.

10. Will you take a retirement from films?
Ans. Not until my death! This is the thing which I enjoy, the day I will leave making films, I will live my part of life; hence, that symbolizes death. I have lots to gain and lots to bring to India. I feel energetic, and I can even stand out there holding the film camera, in 45 degrees in summer and capture event, I can lie down the ground in winters, and I can craft a film, even if am just out of OT. It’s out of the question of retiring from films.

11. Aneek, before leaving, some words for aspiring filmmakers.
Ans. Enjoy your work, and don’t always treat Cinema as a commercial venture for revenues. Cheers!

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

2015 Best Film List – Brendan Rose

I am happy to report that 2015 was another vibrant, inspiring year for cinema. While the year’s film landscape may be dominated by the fairly stellar return of the galactic juggernaut better known as the Star Wars franchise, the idiosyncratic, singular visions of a score of filmmakers would better represent the year’s achievements. From Mali to Mexico City to the South Side of Chicago, important films were made outside the Hollywood system and at a remove from genre conventions.

As we approach Oscar night, it should be noted that the nominees for the Academy Awards once again highlight how lacking in true diversity the industry remains. Whether it relates to which artists receive award nominations or, perhaps more important, which artists are supported in creating work, Hollywood remains a (straight) white boys’ club, one desperately in need of a greater variety of voices and perspectives.

As with any year, there were promising films I simply have not gotten to yet. To name a few: Brooklyn, Creed, In Jackson Heights, Son of Saul, and Taxi, are 2015 movies I still look forward to viewing.

Without further ado, here is the 2015 film list:

TOP TEN (in order):

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako): Sissako’s masterpiece looks at this famed multicultural city of learning and trade as it suffers during an occupation by fundamentalist invaders. The movie’s patchwork of incisive stories and its quietly poetic style demand a world of tolerance, humility, and forceful humanism.

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-Hsien): Hou’s plot may at times confound, but this wuxia-inspired martial-arts flick set in medieval China brims with cinematic lyricism via textured, potent visuals and expert, tone-setting sound design. A consistently powerful lead performance by Shu Qi paces this elliptical, mesmerizing, dream of a film.

Carol (Todd Haynes): Haynes’s astounds with this flawless, finely orchestrated love story of two women in a world (1950s New York City) not ready to accept who they are. The grainy, expressive Super 16mm cinematography of DP Edward Lachman reminds us that celluloid is far from dead.

The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu): This is no perfect film — the third act feels too much like a Liam Neeson revenge vehicle — but it is undoubtedly a work of art, an epic-scale canvas detailing early 19th Century fur trappers and foreign armies overtaking the west, thereby destroying the cultures of indigenous America Indians and despoiling the natural environment.

Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven): A well-crafted debut feature that serves up a classic tale of societal and generational conflict in provincial Turkey. Ergüven sustains the sort of originality of perspective and freshness of voice often lacking in such early-career films.

Tangerine (Sean S. Baker): Baker’s exuberant, zany comedy about transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles functions as American independent films more often could — with non-traditional casting, crafty filmmaking, a nitty-gritty sense of its world, and, deep down, a big, generous heart.

Ex Machina (Alex Garland): An expertly performed, dexterously executed sci-fi thriller set in the hermetically sealed, middle-of-nowhere palace/laboratory of a billionaire software CEO/mad scientist. Hitchcock meets Philip K Dick.

Chi-Raq (Spike Lee): Lee’s re-imaging of Lysistrata to violence-plagued Chicago is at times overly campy and caricatured, but the film is likewise bold and humorous, inventive and necessary. Where are the other filmmakers confronting the scourge of gun violence?

The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt): Jason Segel impresses as late writer David Foster Wallace, and Ponsoldt’s movie resurrects the art of conversation, embracing the power of its tête-à-tête, writer-on-writer bull sessions.

Güeros (Alonso Ruiz Palacios): The spirit of Godard is repurposed in Ruiz Palacios’s rollicking, clever coming-of-age picture set during a student protest in Mexico City, 1999. So many scenes stand out and remain with you, months later.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order): The Big Short (Adam McKay); The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller); Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad); Sand Dollars (Laura Amelia Guzmán & Israel Cárdenas); Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)

BEST GENRE FLICKS (not mentioned above):
Creepy Thriller: Goodnight Mommy (Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala)
Horror: It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
Historical Drama: Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)
Sci-Fi: The Martian (Ridley Scott)
Action-Adventure: Everest (Baltasar Kormákur)
Action-Crime: Black Mass (Scott Cooper)
Action-Geo-Political: Sicario (Denis Villeneuve)

Article written by Brendan Rose

Posted in Film Reviews, etc.

The Coin, directed by Fabien Martorell

The Coin, Short film – Directed by Fabien Martorell – Starring Christopher Lloyd, Kathryn Morris
Based on the short story “Soul Murder” by David Mamet
Trailer Edited by Scott Butzer
Watch the trailer for The Coin HERE

The Coin is an absorbing short film based on the (very) short story entitled “Soul Murder” written by David Mamet, published in Granta Magazine. The entire story is about two pages long and observes a boy being berated by his stern mother; a man watching fantasizes about approaching the boy while his mother has stepped away and telling the boy he is his guardian angel and giving him a coin that is symbolic of the boy’s goodness. Mamet, a masterful writer, is able to paint a portrait of a troubled family dynamic in two short pages with deft brush strokes of dialogue and description. Since the man’s thoughts are purely internal, it would be near impossible to depict them as written in film unless one relied on voice-over. Instead, filmmaker Fabien Martorell and co-writer Golan Ramras opt for taking the mother and son inside a grocery store where the man actually interacts with the boy, handing him a coin and impressing upon him the belief that he is, in fact, good not bad. That the man is played by Christopher Lloyd lends an immediate likability to the character who otherwise might be suspect as he is apparently homeless. Mamet’s version conveys a deep sadness for the child who seems to be (rightfully so) depressed and disturbed. In the film, the child appears to have more internal strength and while the mother castigates him, he seems determined to remain his own person. In the end, in the film, we think the child will be ok; not so in the written story. As a result, the film captures a certain magic in the man handing the boy the coin (a magic further suggested by the film’s end suggesting the man may have been an actual angel after all) while presenting a recognizable dynamic in this angry, frustrated mother and her young son who may or may not have done something worthy of her wrath. A remarkable short film inspired by a remarkable very short story. Mike Fishman

6 AWARDS – 5 NOMINATIONS – 24 FESTIVALS (including 4 Academy-qualifying festivals, and 6 festivals voted Top 50 by MovieMaker Magazine)
WINNER 2013 & 2014: “Best Short Film” Sunscreen Film Festival West, “Best Short Film” San Pedro Int’l Film Festival, “Best US Short Film-Audience Award” Champs-Elysees Film Festival, “Best Director” Festival Int’l du Film de Court Metrage d’Avignon, “Best Short Film-Jury Award” Big Bear Lake Int’l Film Festival, “Best Concept” The Brightside Tavern Shorts Fest
NOMINATIONS 2014 & 2015: “Best International/World Cinema” Portobello Film Festival London, “Best Short Film-Drama”, “Best Director-Drama”, “Best Cinematography”, “Best Concept” The Brightside Tavern
OFFICIAL SELECTIONS 2013, 2014 & 2015: Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest, LA Shorts Fest, Newport Beach, Cleveland, HollyShorts, San Antonio, deadCENTER, Big Bear Lake, Avignon (France), Champs-Elysees (France), Scarborough (Canada), Portobello London (UK), SNOB, San Pedro, Sunscreen West, Saint-Cloud, Gold Coast Int’l Film Festival, Enfoque (Puerto Rico), Short. Sweet. Film Fest, Speechless, Philadelphia, Hyart, The Brightside Tavern
WORLD PREMIERE June 2013: Palm Springs Int’l ShortFest

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Strawberry Barbara, written and directed by Lucas Diercouff

Strawberry Barbara is a story about a recently widowed father who struggles to tell his daughter that he is dating again.

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Painter’s Brush, written and directed by and starring Jake Douglas


Painter’s Brush

A short film by Jake Douglas

Synopsis: The exploration of light and colour in the context of a painter’s love for his art.

See the film here (password: cinemagic): http://www.vimeo.com/jakedouglas/paintersbrush

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Cinema Bid Adieu, directed by Aneek Chaudhuri

SYNOPSIS: Cinema Bid Adieu connects three time periods i.e. Past, Present and Future which are actually three short silent tales with the common theme, CONFLICT. Moreover, the scenario of WAR has been equated to the struggle and sequence of combats that led to the invention of Cinema and the inception of ‘Arrival of a Train’ by Lumiere Brothers. This is treated to solve the warship scenario that prevails still today, and it is indeed taking a microscopic route that is the combat for sustenance on earth. This is the revolving sequence of Cinema in its original content, however the context is concentrating on the combat to bring up the birth of first cinematic piece i.e. Arrival of a Train.

Stage of Development: The film is ready to be screened however, no current screenings have been planned yet.

Personal Bio: Aneek Chaudhuri, the director of Cinema Bid Adieu has had his films screened at prestigious festivals at Cannes, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and Warsaw. He is a film theorist and has more than a dozen papers published in reputed international journals. He also holds the authorship of four books, out of which two are on Film Studies. He has pursued his Graduation in Films and English in Delhi, India.

Facebook Page Link: https://www.facebook.com/Cinema-Bid-Adieu-737354259727884/?notif_t=page_user_activity

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

303, directed by Tomasz Magierski

303 from Tomasz Magierski on Vimeo.

Title: 303

Synopsis: The film tells the story of the most successful squadron of the Battle of Britain – the Polish 303 Kosciuszko Squadron – through the eyes of two veteran pilots of the Squadron: Franciszek Kornicki and Stanislaw Socha, as well as through the children of three spectacular aces of 303 Squadron: John Kent, the Canadian Flight commander, Witold Urbanowicz, the legendary Polish commander of 303, Miroslaw Feric, also a chronicler of the squadron.

It is a story of personal courage against great odds when the fate of WW2 was at stake. It shows heroic men and their perseverance in living up to the Kosciuszko motto of fighting “for our freedom and yours”. I believe that this story of men of the greatest generation conveys a universal message which viewers can identify with. The film also explores an American connection, as the Kosciuszko Squadron was established in 1919 in Poland by American volunteer pilots, including Merian Cooper, and it’s insignia was designed by another American pilot, Elliott Chess.

Website: http://tomaszmagierski.com/303/

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

Cerebral, directed by Ashleigh Coffelt

Cerebral (Miss Ash Productions) Directors Cut from Ashleigh Coffelt on Vimeo.

Synopsis: After turning herself in for a string of murders, a young women turns the tables on her interrogators.
Starring Courtney Birk, James Bressi and Esther Jones
Directed, edited, cinematography and concept by Ashleigh Coffelt
Made for the 48 Hour Film Project 2015: http://www.48hourfilm.com/home

Posted in Filmmaker Profiles

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