Thursday, 23 May 2019

Interview with Nassau-born filmmaker Kareem Mortimer

From Nassau-born filmmaker Kareem Mortimer, Cargo adds more fuel to the conversation about immigration reform currently happening in the United States.  We spoke to Mortimer from his native Bahamas ahead of the May 30 release.

Where did you hail from, sir? Always been based there? 

Hi, I was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas but I have lived in Miami, Florida and spent time in New York and Western Massachusetts. I currently live between Nassau, Bahamas and Eleuthera, Bahamas.

How’s the industry there?

 The population is quite small in the Bahamas so the industry is nascent, there are a great deal of commercials and short films that are shot here but not a great deal of local features on a regular basis.

What was your first project? Did it shoot there? 

This is not my first project; it is my third feature and second feature as Writer/Director. My first feature was Children of God. We shot this film entirely in The Bahamas.

How better a project is this latest one to the first? In your opinion, of course?   

That’s a difficult question, I love both for many different reasons so it is hard to say which one is better but I can describe how they are different.  With Cargo, we had a larger budget so it allowed me to take more time to complete a take than I had with my first feature.

How do you think you’ve grown as a filmmaker? 

I am more confident about the stories I want to tell and feel incredibly at home with that.

What’s the film about?

 The film is about a down on his luck fisherman who becomes a human smuggler and the lives his choices affect. It’s personal on many levels, the first time I had seen a dead body was at 9 years old when I saw a group of Haitian refugees on the news that had washed on the shore.
And I can relate to Warren Brown’s character, not in the way that I have made the choices that he makes but I relate in the way of feeling trapped by financial pressures and as a father wanting to do whatever it takes for the well being of my child.

What is the strength of the film? 

The strength of the film in my opinion is the point of view and it’s authenticity.  I think the film takes a nuanced and unique view of human smuggling and also a rare look of life for some people trying to get to the United States.

It’s a tense ride – is tension hard to write in a script, or does it come together via visuals and sound?
Thank you! I try to capture it as much as I can in the writing but it definitely all comes together in post with my editor and sound designer.

How do you think the film will resonate in the US? 

I think with all the conversations about migration that is currently happening in the United States about immigration reform, our film provides a human face to this issue that will hopefully lead people to be far more compassionate.

Where can we find the movie?  

The movie hits theatres in the U.S this summer and will be released on major platforms shortly after through Artists Rights Distribution in the US.

The Bastards' Fig Tree - Poster and Trailer

Dark Star Pictures has announced a June 4, 2019 digital release for the Spanish Civil War whimsical comedy The Bastards' Fig Tree.

Ana Murugarren’s genre-meshing masterpiece provides a fresh, magical exploration of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, showing both the brutality of war and its ability to inspire hope and change in a broken society. Karra Elejalde stars.

Near the end of the Spanish War, a "trigger happy" fascist soldier turns into a hermit and gets caught up in the care of a fig tree after the look in a ten year old child's eyes, son of one of his victims, awakes in him the certainty that the kid will kill him as soon as he reaches sixteen years of age.

The Bastards' Fig Tree available on digital June 4.

Interview with Filmmaker Mark Schwab

Filmmaker Mark Schwab wants people to “know what you are getting into in regards to online dating apps” via his new thriller Crisis Hotline.

The film is being marketed as a horror. Is it fair to say it’s much more than that though?

I think so, yes. The events are horrifying for sure but it’s also a revenge thriller and a psychosexual drama. “Crisis Hotline” isn’t that easy to categorize and I think that’s a great thing.

How long ago did you start work on it?

I began writing the script in June of 2017 and we finished the movie in January of 2018. I should say we finished our cut of the movie. Once we had our distributor (High Octane Pictures) on board, then we went headfirst into the world of deliverables and the quality control process which takes a lot of time to get right.

And what was the appeal of this story?

It’s a subject matter that hasn’t really been tackled yet. Especially in the little seen LGBT/Thriller genre. It allowed us to create that unique atmosphere. I knew we had a great script as soon as we attracted a top notch cinematographer (Dante Yore) and crew. That gave us the confidence to really up our game as filmmakers.

Is there a personal element to all this- maybe an experience you had on an app?

Thankfully no! I wouldn’t wish the events of Crisis Hotline on anyone. I have heard some strange stories from friends of mine about their dating app experiences but this tale is made up purely from the demented recesses of my creative mind.

What do you hope audiences take away from the film, sir?

First and foremost, I want them to be absorbed into a great thriller. To see a movie that is truly different and unpredictable in both story and execution. Also to know what you are getting into in regards to online dating apps. Don’t be cowering in fear but be diligent and trust your instincts when something feels off about someone you meet.

Crisis Hotline arrives on digital and DVD June 11.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Director Mark Wilson’s Wade in the Water - New Trailer

Director Mark Wilson’s Wade in the Water, a semi-finalist for the prestigious Nicholl Fellowships in 2018, will premiere at the prestigious Dances with Films Film Festival Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at 7:15 PM. 

Sure, our man never gives his name. He works from home. His neighbours are all idiots. He doesn’t really "do" friends. But all that changes when a mis-delivered package arrives in his post office box bearing a horrifying secret –one that will set him on a collision course with a predator, the man's disillusioned daughter, and his own dark past.

Real Rob’s Tom E.Nicholson and Danika Golombek (I Am The Night) star.

Wilson, whose film was awarded "Best Drama" at the 2019 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, directs from a script by Chris Retts.

Welsh-based drama Last Summer, released in cinemas on 7 June

Set in Welsh countryside during the 1970s, with the prospect of a long, hot summer ahead  of play and friendships, four boys find their own adventure until unexpected tragedy strikes with devastating consequences. Catapulted into the adult world, they strive to take matters into their own hands. Will the boys learn the value of their childhood friendship in the face of their impending fate?

Last Summer is a powerfully emotional coming of age drama exploring the nature of growing up in a small rural community.Shot in the stunning countryside of South Wales in the summer of 2017, it marks the feature film debut of renowned TV director Jonathan Jones (Cold Feet, Northanger Abbey). It is produced by Flickerbook Features and developed with support from Ffilm Cymru Wales.

The cast includes Richard Harrington (Hinterland), Steffan Rhodri (Gavin and Stacey) Robert Wilfort (Peterloo, Wolf Hall) and Nia Roberts (Keeping Faith, Rillington Place, Hidden). It also introduces an outstanding cast of young Welsh actors includingGruffydd Weston, Rowan Jones and Christopher Benning with an astonishing performance from Noa Thomas as Davy.

Last Summer premiered at Vancouver International Film Festival to wide acclaim from critics and audience alike. With echoes of Stand By Me, Kes and The Selfish Giant, this is an atmospheric debut for emerging new Welsh talent.

Last Summer is released in selected cinemas nationwide on 7th June

Directed by Jonathan Jones
Running time: 96 minutes

Last Summer Full Trailer from John Richards on Vimeo.