Friday, May 11, 2018

Do small film festivals and under represented filmmakers can catch film critics attentions?

The Bay

Last year I found a unique film festival for slow cinema lovers. It called "Slow Short Film Festival".  I missed the submission deadline but this year I was luckier. A few weeks ago I saw Nadin Mai's (Art of slow cinema, Tao Films Vod) tweet about the festival and decided to submit one of my experimental contemplative short. It wasn't easy to choose among approx the 40 contemplative films (two of them are related to the Holocaust) I shot in the last two years. I chose "The Bay" especially the first episode of the series of 3. I've been filming this episode on Koh Rong Samloem island in Cambodia, deep in the Gulf of Thailand at the beginning of this year. The notification date is July 24. and the event date is September 1. Not sure that my film can arose the jury's interest, but fingers crossed. Good luck for all the participants!

Another films of mine "Sunday of Zen" was screening on the prestigious Cefalu Film Festival in Sicily, Italy just a few days ago. The film was a homage to the Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami who passed last year. The film is very minimalist, a kind of zen film with philosophical meaning. I didn't think about that Sunday of Zen must win any award. I was happy that someone in the jury understand or maybe just liked it and officially selected for screening. Not sure the audience had understood the meaning, but hope at least they enjoyed the play of the dove. Unfortunately there's no any publication on the internet with the names of selected candidates. It's only known the jury selected among 1531 films and chose 100 finalist to award.

As an avantgarde filmmaker I started my "career" in my late forties a few years ago. I started developing my own style based on minimalism and observation. I haven't learnt such things in film school. I had no idea that I'm created the perfect 22 catch for myself. I became addicted by slow cinema slowly but surely. Last year I began shooting a zero budget a feature but lack of time and financials the project has halted. Of course filmmakers especially Chantal Akerman and Jonas Mekas  influenced me. Akerman's Hotel Monterey, Jeanne Dielman or when J Mekas crossing the Brooklyn bridge with his camera was a hit on me. Not to mention Bela Tarr's Damnation and Turin Horse went totally under my skin. Tsai Ming-Liang's Journey to the West and Stray dog's or Wong Kar-Wai in the Mood for Love or Chungking Express, Theo Angelopulos Eternity and a day, Tarkovsky Stalker or Mirror all changed and triggered something in me not to mention Yasajiro Ozu and Abbas Kiarostami's masterpieces.

The question is the same. How to reach the audience and also critics and how to get financial support. Which film festival and what category should I submit my film to be selected and which of my film should I choose? Basically non of my films fit perfectly to film festivals. There are categories for short and experimental films and even for slow cinema, but the genre of my films are somewhere beneath or just really don't know. I call Experimental Contemplative Slow Cinema or Experimental Contemporary Contemplative Slow Cinema my films. Basically I am making experimental contemplative short films. In many cases the whole or the part of the films are based on unexpected occasions but not exclusively. Therefore I used to say "I have the privilege to choose the location (but am I really who choose?), or "Someone Else", "Who is much Greater than me" who directing "my" films (basically directing the Real Life). I am just framing moving images on certain locations at certain times as I used to do it when I'm taking stills. I'm  just a messenger. ....and what is the message?

Ask Bela Tarr, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tsai Ming-Liang, Jonas Mekas, Lav Diaz, Wong Kar-Wai, Lisandro Alonso, Pedro Costa, or James Benning....

Sometimes we hear but we don't listen. Sometimes we look but we don't see.

Waiting / non narrative experimental slow cinema

My latest film "Waiting" is available to watch on Vimeo here . The stupa and the thousand year old small ancient temples are located at Prasat Preah Enkosei, Siem Reap, Cambodia. There is an elementary school in the yard of the pagoda, but you only hear the voice of children off screen and the cicadas living on the treetops. In my films not only matter what you see, but also an important part what you hear. ....

I attached two of the behind the scene photos and an extra about the location, where I set my camera. You also can see how the temples looks like from the other side.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018