1 Out Of 9 – Marcus Carús and Kike Andrés (1m, Spain)
1 out of 9 was filmed with 9 cameras at once and filming took place in just one morning with a tiny team. The actors had to make sure they used exactly the same movements and in exactly the same way for each take to ensure continuity between the cameras.
‘The Norwich Film Festival is the perfect place to show the film. It is one of the most prestigious places 1 out of 9 has been selected to play at’, the directors told us.
A Day In The Life Of A Bathroom Mirror – Phil Hawkins (8m, UK)
Writer and Producer Dominic Rose originally came up with the idea due to the limits of a competition, which supplied him with only Super 8 cartridge and a soundtrack to work with. He wanted a character who couldn’t speak and so a bathroom mirror was the ideal, if somewhat unusual, choice for a main character ‘I realized how much potential there was for comedy if you had our hero not only in love with his owner but incapable of communicating this to her.’
Director Phil Hawkins came on board and figured out that the best way to make the story cinematic was to build the set from scratch, which gave the crew the flexibility to film from many angles.
Best Of Britain – David Anderson (15m, UK)
Inspired by the furore surrounding the Royal Wedding Best of Britain focuses on removals man Dan. After months of unemployment he finally has work; but his van won’t start. Without the money to get it fixed Dan’s fiancée sets out to pawn the only thing they have of any real value ‐ her engagement ring. Dan is determined to stop her, but his pursuit across London is obstructed by huge crowds celebrating a National event.
The route from conception of the idea to the actual shoot on Best of Britain was only three weeks. ‘I was getting exasperated by the huge media attention focusing on the build up to the Royal Wedding, and particularly the huge cost of the day at a time when the coalition’s austerity measures were affecting the lives of millions of people around the country.’
The film was made whilst Anderson was studying for an MA in filmmaking at the London Film School. The entire production cost just £500, which meant the crew had to be creative operating like a documentary unit, shooting extremely quickly amongst the large crowds. ‘Normally film crews draw a lot of attention from crowds, but no one looked at us on the day as there were so many cameras there!’
Earthshine – Manu Prasad Gopinath (4m, Canada)
The central premise of Earthshine , a homesick astronaut who encounters an unusual and mysterious staircase on the Martian landscape, came about thanks to Gopinath’s deep love of Science Fiction ‘I love space. I was obsessed with the idea of setting a dramatic mood piece on Mars because I loved the colour possibilities it allowed, coupled with the sense of isolation and loneliness. What I really wanted to express was the idea of homesickness, a feeling of bitter-sweetness, and the message of ‘getting something that you really want, only to learn that it is not real’.’
The final film took about 17 months to produce, with 10 months dedicated to pre production followed by 7 months of production.
The Gravedigger’s Tale – Min Young Oh (14m, UK)
Min Young Oh is an animation director from South Korea. She studied Graphic Design at Seoul Women’s University, taking a year off to work on a feature project and to learn puppet making skills. Subsequently she came to the UK and graduated from the National Film and Television School as an animation director.
The Gravedigger’s Tale, is about a young gravedigger who lives a sad and lonely existence. She’s ostracised completely by the nearby village she works in service of, so much so that the only meaningful relationship she has is with Death. The film is adapted from a fairy tale Oh wrote and illustrated, about a girl who falls in love with a devil. ‘I drew it in a very traditional Western style environment, all cobbled streets and castles. My dear screen writer, Maurice Caldera, loved it, and it was actually his suggestion to adapt this story to my own cultural background, so we transposed it into a Korean setting. We wanted to make a female driven story and really focused on her situation and her choices.’
The film took approximately a year to complete from the story development to colour grading.
Based on a fragment of Martyn Bedford’s award-winning novel, The Houdini Girl stars Jack Whitehall and Laura Donnelly as a quirky magician and the enigmatic young woman he wakes up with one morning, watched over by his beloved vintage Harry Houdini poster. A complex, sexy, funny and unexpectedly moving tale of reaching out and connecting, with a magical twist.”
The Hummingbird – Rafa Pavón (16m, Spain)
The film started as part of the universe of The Cosmonaut, a crowd funded feature film based on Soviet conspiracy theories about early space shuttle test flight pilots. ‘While I was following the production, I kept asking myself about those legends. What if they were real? Where would that man be? Would he still be alive somewhere? We decided to find the truth behind those rumours and travel to Russia, Latvia and Lithuania in 2011. After that, we built the story by putting together all those pieces and filling the gaps for the missing ones, letting people decide by themselves’ Pavon told us.
Monkey Rag – Joanna Davidovich (4m, USA)
Joanna Davidovich is a freelance animation artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Monkey Rag is a personal project she started between jobs and ﬁnished on nights and weekends. After fours years, she is happy to ﬁnally “give you a little bit of what sheʼs got.”
Monkey Rag is a traditionally animated throwback to the musical cartoons of yore. Inspired by the thumping, riotously fun music of the Asylum Street Spankers, Mitzi pursues a disaster of her own making in this richly coloured world where reason is overrated.
‘With traditional drawing becoming less and less a part of my animation work, it became a real pleasure, and sometimes a solace, to sit at my old-school animation disc and sketch out Mitzi skipping and dancing’ Davidovitch said.
The Painter – Nate Townsend (10m, USA)
Nate Townsend has worked as an intern at Michael Bay’s company The Institute in Los Angeles and studied film at Loyola Marymount University. The Painter took eight months to complete. ‘Growing up in Missouri, I’ve always been conscious of racial tension and unfair treatment of African-Americans. I figured that there wasn’t a better platform than the judicial system of the 1970s to place this story of racism, heartache and loss’ Townsend told us.
Reboot – Liam Johnson (15m UK)
‘Reboot is my attempt to explore the concept of grief’ Director Liam Johnson stated. The science fiction element, taking inspiration from Frankenstein and old B-movies was added to challenge the filmmakers and to make the story more interesting.
Liam has worked in the media for the last four years, honing his talents on commercials and TV shows. Reboot was entirely self funded by the crew and took just five days to shoot.
Silent Treatment – Mark Lobatto (10m, UK)
Silent Treatment is set in a bleak, stagnant waiting area, where time stands still and odd characters sink with gloom, two strangers are compelled to connect. An encounter where actions literally speak louder than words.
Director Mark Lobatto wrote the script for Silent Treatment in a flurry of artistic inspiration and the entire film was made within 5 months ‘it’s extremely close to how I imagined it, and the atmosphere on set and chemistry on screen are a testament to the talent of everybody involved.’
Ultramarine – Matthew Earl (11m, Australia)
Jacob McDermott (Mackenzie Fearnley) would be your average 16 year old, were it not for the undiagnosed depression he’s suffered for the last six months. School’s a drag and his absent parents seem to be missing all the warning signs.
For Jacob, escape is the only option – and when he skips school and runs into the extroverted, street-smart Nathalie (Katarina Viva Scholler), that’s exactly what he finds. The two form an unlikely friendship – but it’s not enough to cure Jacob’s depression. When Nathalie encourages Jacob to seek professional help, it backfires almightily and sends Jacob on a suicidal mission.
Writer and Producer Nicki Murray used her family member’s real life experiences of depression to make Ultramarine. ‘I wanted to let them know that their efforts to overcome these private mental hurdles hadn’t gone unnoticed and that there are so many people who would be there for them when they needed help.’
Director Matthew Earl, brought an outsiders perspective and allowed the film to find a wider audience. Ultramarine took 8 months to bring to life , with an underwater scene proving particularly difficult.
As a British native, Murray is thrilled to be nominated for the Norwich Film Festival ‘Norwich will be our first UK film festival so it feels great to come full circle and bring our work back home!’
‘Revenge could Kill you’ is the tagline for Vengeance. Luis Mieses, a.k.a. Conrad Mess, was born in Zaragoza, Spain and began making films at the age of 37.