Loading...

Follow Cult Critic: The Film Magazine on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Let Your Ideas Move You Forward

By Shahrzad Dadgar 

When artists are frustrated by the ordinary obstacles in their career, they chose a new path, The Art of Doing Nothing. They keep themselves busy by daydreaming and expecting the professional industry to discover their talents.

Do not wait to be discovered, put yourself out in the open to be discovered.

Researching the right resources and finding the best matches for the needs is a part of the process of creating art as well. There are a lot of organizations which could be a great asset for artists to execute their projects.

Here are the 10 best grants for female filmmakers

Do you have a rough cut which has been put on the back burner because you can’t afford the color correction cost? Is there a big light bulb moment about creating a documentary about the difficulties through genders in your community? It’s time to get ready and hit the road. Organize your samples, write your own story, and follow your dreams.

1. Women in Film Finishing Fund

The Women in Film Finishing Fund gives grants to filmmakers working in both short and long formats, in all genres — narrative, documentary, animated and experimental. To apply for the Finishing Fund, the filmmaker must have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of application.

Uploading the rough cut is a requirement at the time of submission. Women in Film Finishing fund are welcome to receive international submissions as well. The student films and television/web pilots are not eligible to receive Finishing Funds for their projects. Film Finishing Fund grants are given out annually.

Total Prize Value Range: $25,000
Format: Short and long, Narrative, documentary, animated and experimental
Deadline: July 14
Website: 
https://womeninfilm.org/wif-film-finishing-fund


2. Filmmakers without Borders

FILMMAKERS WITHOUT BORDERS (FWB) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of digital storytellers. FWB supports independent filmmakers around the world via grants and other funding initiatives. Supported projects include narrative films, documentary films, and new media projects that align with themes of social justice, empowerment, and cultural exchange.

Funds are available for narrative, documentary, experimental, and new media projects in various stages of production. The proposed projects should address at least one of the following themes; Social justice, women’s voices, youth voices, identity, cultural exchange, climate change. There are various types of grants which are found as development, production, post-production, and Film Festival Applications.

Total Prize Value: $5000
Format: Short Film Projects (6-40 minutes), Narrative, Documentary, Animation, Experimental, Feature Film Projects (90+ minutes), New Media Projects (various)
Deadline: January 1
Website: http://filmmakerswithoutborders.org/


3. WIDC Feature Film Award (FFA)

WIF-PDX is now accepting applications for the 2019 Women’s Vision Production Grant. This grant provides financial support ($5,000) to a current production with a project director identifying as female or non-binary, while fostering the applicant’s professional and personal development. Production crew must be comprised of at least 50% women or non-binary.

Total Prize Value Range: $5,000
Format: Feature Film
Deadline: August 15
Website: 
http://www.widc.ca/


4. The Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant

The NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Grant will support a woman second-time feature film director who is over 40 years of age in the production of a dramatic feature film with $7500. Grant funds may be used for pre-production, production or post-production.

Total Prize Value: $7500
Format: Feature Film
Deadline: August 2
Website: https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-ravenal-foundation-feature-film-grant/

5. The Nancy Malone Marketing & Promotion Grant

The New York Women in Film & Television Nancy Malone Marketing and Promotion (MAP) Grant will provide resources to help an emerging woman director get her film recognized and ready for distribution.
This grant will award $5,000 to a recently completed—or currently being completed—dramatic feature film directed by a woman. First-time, US-based dramatic feature filmmakers are eligible.

Films co-directed by a woman and a man are not eligible. The Nancy Malone MAP Grant may be used for festival entry fees, marketing materials, video duplication, publicists, promotion at the film’s opening, or other approved marketing and promotional expenses. The grantee will provide a marketing plan with proposed expenses for approval by NYWIFT. To be eligible, films must be completed or have locked picture.

Total Prize Value: $5000
Format: Feature
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-nancy-malone-marketing-promotion-grant/


6. In-kind Post Production Grants

New York Women in Film & Television is offering grants which will be awarded to help complete a work-in-progress. The grants of in-kind post-production services. Grants for an online session and/or a sound mix will be awarded to documentary films directed and produced by New York area-based women filmmakers. Films may be up to one and a half hours long. Grants for a color grading session will be awarded to dramatic features by women directors.

Prize Value Range: In-kind post-production service
Format: Documentary
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/in-kind-post-production-grants/


7. The Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness Grant

The film completion grants for $7,500 will be awarded to a woman filmmaker for a film on physical or developmental disability issues. Directors and producers are eligible to apply. Films may be of any length or genre. The Grant will be awarded to help complete a work-in-progress. Films must have completed principal photography to be eligible.

Total Prize Value: $7500
Format: Any length or genre
Deadline: August 2
Website: 
https://www.nywift.org/fund-for-women-filmmakers/the-loreen-arbus-disability-awareness-grant/

8. Hubert Bals Fund

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offers a high-quality line-up of carefully selected fiction and documentary feature films, short films and media art. IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through its Hubert Bals Fund.

A Script and Project Development grant can be used for the further development of a script (e.g. research, writing, translation or hiring a coach or script consultant), but can also be used to present a project to financiers or other potential partners at (international) co-production meetings or film festivals.

Total Prize Value: $11,200.
Format: feature
Deadline: August 1
Website: 
https://iffr.com/en/hbf-script-project-development-support


9. Foundation Alter Cine’

Every year, the Foundation awards a grant of 10,000 Canadian dollars and a few 5,000 Canadian dollars grants to some filmmakers to assist in the production of a documentary project. The grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation, as explained above.

Total Prize Value: $7,600
Format: Documentary
Deadline: August 15
Website: 
http://www.altercine.org/


10. National Endowment for the Humanities

Production Grants program supports the production and distribution of documentary film, television, radio, and podcast projects that engage general audiences with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship and demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical.

Total Prize Value: $1 million
Format: Shorts under 30 minutes
Deadline: August 14
Website: 
https://www.neh.gov/grants/public/media-projects-production-grants

Shahrzad Dadgar is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer and was trained as an architect and engineer before pursuing a film career. As an artist, Shahrzad’s work focuses on promoting understanding of women’s empowerment, and women who have suffered from sexual issues. She has received the coveted Golden Gazzale from the Persian International Film Festival in Australia as well as “Best Inspirational Women in Film” award from the online Festigious Film Festival of Los Angeles, and more. Dadgar is now attending Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts in Florida on a Talent Scholarship Grant and continuing to make independent films.

The post The Ten Best Grants For Female Filmmakers appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

FILMS OF THE MONTH, JUNE 2019

CATEGORY: ANIMATED FILMS

WINNER

 THE RIBBON

Directed by Polla-Ilariya Kozino

USA

 

CATEGORY: BEST ACTOR

WINNER

 THE OTHER SIDE

 Acted By Jonathan Flanders

USA

FINALIST

CHAINED

Acted By Vigil Bose

USA

CATEGORY: BEST ACTRESS

 

WINNER

The Avant-Gardener

Acted By Linday Katt

USA

CATEGORY: BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER

Caminhos Longos – Long Paths

Cinematography By António José De Lemos Ferreira

Portugal

FINALIST

CHAINED

Cinematography By Ganesh S Bhat

USA

CATEGORY: BEST DIRECTOR

WINNER

Qassem Haddad .. The Last Door’s Hour

Directed By Khalid Alrowaie

Bahrain

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Avant-Gardener

Directed By Lindsay Katt

USA

_

The Other Side

Directed By Krishna Thirupathy

USA

CATEGORY: BEST EDITING

WINNER

 The Avant-Gardener

Edited By Daniel Mad Off

USA

 –

FINALIST

 CHAINED

Edited By Mimi Gopinath

USA

 

CATEGORY: BEST FILMS SCORE – SOUNDTRACK

WINNER

 The Other Side

Film Score By Dinu Krishnamoorthi

USA

 –

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 The Avant-Gardener

Film Score by Iakov

USA

CATEGORY: BEST PRODUCER

WINNER

 The Avant-Gardener

Produce by Lindsay Katt & Daniel Madoff

USA

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

CHAINED

Produce by Manjusha Gireesh & Mimi Gopinath

USA

CATEGORY: BEST SOUND DESIGN

WINNER

CHAINED

Sound Design by Jayasanker Karakulath

USA

CATEGORY: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WINNER

CHAINED

Acted by Motti Tadmor

USA

CATEGORY: BEST VFX ARTIST

WINNER

CHAINED

VFX by Jayasanker Karakulath

USA

 

CATEGORY: DEBUT FILMMAKER

WINNER

 The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 CHAINED

Directed by Ganesh S Bhat

USA

CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY FILMS

WINNER

Qassem Haddad .. The Last Door’S Hour

Directed by Khalid Alrowaie

Bahrain

CATEGORY: EXPERIMENTAL FILMS

WINNER

CHAINS

Directed by Alberto Martín-Aragón

Spain

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

CATEGORY: FEATURE SCRIPT

WINNER

You Will Never Walk Alone

Written by Amrith Singh Purewal

India

CATEGORY: FILM / VIDEO POSTER

WINNER

 The Avant-Gardener

Poster Designed by Lindsay Katt

USA

CATEGORY: FILM ON WOMEN

WINNER

 The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

CATEGORY: FILMS ON NATURE / ENVIRONMENT / WILDLIFE

WINNER

Gandadakudi(Chandanvan)

Directed by Late. Santhosh Shetty Kateel & Preetha Menezes

India

CATEGORY: LGBT FILM

WINNER

The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

 

CATEGORY: MUSIC VIDEO

WINNER

 LINOLEUM – Alain Chamfort / Cie Niki Noves

Directed by Niki Noves

France

 –

 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

_

Music From Undeterred

Directed by Joseph Villapaz

USA

 

CATEGORY: ONE MINUTE FILM

WINNER

 Pippindustriali

Directed by Matin Akravi

Germany

CATEGORY: SHORT FILM

WINNER

 En Fer

Directed by Olivier Ross-Parent

Canada

 

 

 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Pewter Bros.

Directed by Michael McCallum

USA

_

Time decides

Directed by Satish Sahane, Dinesh Vishe

Poland

_

Nriti

Directed by Keerthi Shekhar, Vyshak Pushpalatha

India

_

The Other Side

Directed by Krishna Thirupathy

USA

FINALIST

CAKEWALK

Directed by Ram Kamal Mukherjee & Abhra Chakraborty

India

_

CHAINED

Directed by Ganesh S Bhat

USA

OFFICIAL SELECTION

The Monologue (original name : Swagatha)

Directed by Bharath Chandra

India

CATEGORY: SILENT FILM

WINNER

GAMBLING

Directed by Tanmay Nag

India

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

The Avant-Gardener

Directed by Lindsay Katt

USA

FINALIST

New Heaven

Directed by Swati Chugh

India

 

CATEGORY: STUDENTS FILM

WINNER

Naan Devru (I Am God)

Directed by Uthkarsha Balaram

India

CATEGORY: TRAILER/TEASER

WINNER

CHAINED

Directed by Ganesh S Bhat

USA

CATEGORY: WOMEN’S FILMS

WINNER

The Other You

Directed by Brandon Wade (Wadebe)

United Kingdom

 

The post MONTHLY RESULT: JUNE 2019 appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Directed by Oleksandr Herasymenko | Review by Prarthana Mitra

Behind every homeless man, you see on the street is a story worth telling. “Just A Coincidence” is student filmmaker Oleksandr Herasymenko’s take on an existential dilemma as old as time, retold through the lens of a beggar whose daily roadside drudgery is upset when he crosses path with a stranger who turns out to be a man from his past.

The circumstances in which they so unexpectedly meet brings him face to face with skeletons from his past — ones he thought were long buried, quite literally.

The five-minute short depicts a day in his life, and for the entire duration of the film, the nameless protagonist (played by Adam Stelmaszak) is rooted to his spot — in one corner of a busy Polish thoroughfare where he ekes out his living by asking passersby for alms.

There is a listlessness, you could almost say a sad hopelessness, as he goes about jangling his cup of coins hoping people would feel sorry and empathize. At the same time, he betrays an utter lack of belief in random acts of kindness, and his mannerisms seemed to be of one who is completely disillusioned with the enterprise.

It is only later that we connect the dots and trace this back to his own past misdeeds. Or just one, to be precise.

Hailing from Poland, Herasymenko had originally titled the film “Karma Doesn’t Exist.” But it’s the very thing that lingers on his characters’ (and the viewer’s) minds after the final twist, even if the director claims it to be purely coincidental.

Stelmaszak’s beggar meets the man from his past (played by Igor Legan), neither really anticipating they would run into the other. The moment is levelled with tension, as wide static long shots morph into quick cuts, close-ups and dramatic musical cues.

There is a hurried flashback scene that seems to suggest that the stranger/passerby recognizes our homeless guy as the man who once ran him over and left him for dead. The film does not fill the gaps in the narrative between then and now, leaving it to the audience to interpret the reversal of fortune — perhaps, he went to prison and came out out a beggar. Or karma eventually got to him. Guess we’ll never know.

Writers Herasymenko and Alona Anikiieva have done a terrific job in capturing the full essence of the metanarrative and the complex shifting dynamic that the film heavily relies on. Their portrayal also tries to be as sensitive and respectful of the vagrant community as possible and the setting almost reminds one of Leos Carax’s Lovers on a Bridge. Only here, we have foes from a past life.

However, the film ends of a hopeful note, with an unspoken apology being offered in exchange for coins in the beggar’s cup. That brief moment of afterthought alone suggests that both of them are willing to understand that life works in mysterious ways — that karma and coincidence are just other names for fate.

Prarthana is presently in between odd jobs and obtaining her master’s degree in literature. She loves modern poetry and meditative cinema. Based out of Calcutta, Prarthana observes people, football, films and enjoys writing about all three. Of late, she relates to Frank Ocean’s music. Her writing experience consists of writing for various sites such as Try Cinema, The Indian Economist, Doing The Rondo, Saintbrush and various academic journals.

The post Just a Coincidence appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By Prarthana Mitra

Polish filmmaker Oleksandr Herasymenko speaks to Cult Critic about his latest project, a short film titled Just A Coincidence that depicts a day in the life of a beggar, who meets unexpectedly with a man from his past and is forced to reconcile with his mistakes.

Here, we talk about random acts of kindness, karma, the risk of voyeurism and zero-budget filmmaking among other things.

Could you tell our readers about what you’ve been up to before “Just A Coincidence”?

I became interested in cinema two years ago and after that, I started watching every movie that I found. I started writing my own stories and then began to shoot short films. “Just A Coincidence” is the first film that was made with the help of the film school.

What inspired you to make this film?

I’m a big fan of Satoshi Kon works and the inspiration for this movie was his anime “Tokyo Godfathers”.

I am a huge fan of both old and contemporary Polish cinema. Are there specific filmmakers or schools of filmmaking that influence your style?

Of course! Hirokazu Koreeda, Wong Kar Wai and Park Chan Wook are my “teachers.” I always watch their movies before writing a story.

Tell us a bit about how you prepared for the shoot, and what determined some of your creative decisions – sound design, static wide shots, close-ups, etc.

Before first shooting day has started, I was thinking about how to tell a readable story, that won’t be too hard to understand, because in the end cinema it’s just a communication tool; for example: that static wide shot – it was determined by the calm, indifferent mood of the main hero.

Despite the working title of the film (Karma Doesn’t Exist), this feels like a story about morality and karma to me. Aren’t acts of randomness predestined on some level? What do you expect the audience to take away?

When I was telling that story to my team, they said something like “Oh, so you want to show how karma works”. But no, I wanted to show just a coincidence.

Let’s move on from philosophy to politics: there is a huge debate about how we portray vulnerable sections of the society like homeless people and beggars in films (and photography). What do you feel about the camera as a voyeur and how did you prepare your lead actor for the role? Did it involve close research with this section of the community?

Actually, no, I didn’t work closely with my “actor” (this is my friend from the film school without acting experience), because we had a lot of problems with time management. I don’t think I had to do a lot of research to see how they live. You can take a look at the streets and see that we have giant problems with this.

There are gaps in the narrative like, for instance, how the hit-and-run guy becomes a beggar. Can we expect a longer version of this story later, perhaps a feature?

Yes, I would like to make a film about the problem of the homeless. I would like to do research and find out how we can solve this.

Do you have a message for young aspiring filmmakers who struggle with a shoestring budget?

I myself am still a young director, so I don’t know if I should give someone advice. But I know for sure if you want to make films and you don’t have the money – try to communicate and find people who are also interested in this

Prarthana is presently in between odd jobs and obtaining her master’s degree in literature. She loves modern poetry and meditative cinema. Based out of Calcutta, Prarthana observes people, football, films and enjoys writing about all three. Of late, she relates to Frank Ocean’s music. Her writing experience consists of writing for various sites such as Try Cinema, The Indian Economist, Doing The Rondo, Saintbrush and various academic journals.

The post Interview with Oleksandr Herasymenko – Director of Just A Coincidence appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Short reviews by Riya Saha

Independent cinema has always been the inspiration for the thousands of aspiring directors, cinematographers, filmmakers and a lot more. The films have some great content, acting, music, graphics and name anything. Moreover, we can easily get to know the variety of concepts the new film making fraternity has and detailing in their work.

In the Winner’s Circle for the month of June, let us bring into the limelight a few award-winning films that not only has won the hearts of audiences but also grabbed the attention of the jury. And certainly, this is why they got awarded with the CULT CRITIC MOVIE AWARD OF 2018.

It’s showtime guys! Let’s have a quickie into the films.

BOZKIR LOOK AT THE BIRDS – Awarded Best Director
COUNTRY: Turkey
GENRE: DRAMA, WESTERN
LENGTH: 01:51:10

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever “BOZKIR LOOK AT THE BIRDS” is a mesmerizing creation. Based on the theme of pure friendship, honesty and integrity, the two friends and also gun dealers, lead a happy and fulfilled life. But an incident changes their lives forever. The story is appealing to the perfect mixture of great picturesque and smart storytelling.

On the course, Abdullah realized his mistake and finally, he repented for all his guilts. The story not only features a strong bonding between friends, a man who stood against him his friend for his abusive deeds, and also a friend who repented for all his life. The end of the film will surely appeal to the audience and director Mehmet Tanrisever deserves praise for setting up stories around gripping characters. The scenic beauty of his location acts to its full potential, making this movie a visual treat to the eyes.

The director gave him the best performance by making the film truly appreciable. Smartly acted by the actors, not a second you will get bored. Surely, this film belongs to the winner’s circle and hoping for more upcoming movies from Mehmet Tanrisever.

A Gift of Love: Sifar (Emptiness) – Won the Best Debut Film Maker Award
COUNTRY: India
Genre: Feature
LENGTH: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed by Dhruv Sachdev

Life is a gift of God but does everyone see it in the same way. A strong past can be haunting and happy moments can be defying. Why we always love happy times and Why is it that we never desire bad stuff that life throws our way? But what is so good about the 21st-century film industry is that everyone is valuing good content and great acting skills.

Directed by Dhruv Sachdev “A Gift of Love: Sifar (Emptiness)” reveals the most interesting narration. This feature film has excelled through its characters – beautifully played by their actresses. Their struggle, as we move along the film helped by the narrative structure seen from the point of view of the protagonist, becomes the struggle of the spectators as we move forward because the mechanism behind writing and acting has totally worked.

Shot with good cinematography and supported by an accurate sound and original score, “A Gift of Love: Sifar (Emptiness)” contains all the key elements for a strong drama story, rendered through the pain, emotions, memories, and stories of Ayesha, beautifully acted by Sudha Chandran. Extremely satisfied with the verdict and surely this is a movie worthy enough to grab the “Best Debut Film Maker Award”.

“re/cycle” – Directed by Rene Smaal Awarded the Best One Minute Film
COUNTRY: Netherlands
Genre: Experimental, Short
LENGTH: 54 seconds

re/cycle – Directed by Rene Smaal is a movie that has a lot to say in just a minute. Forest. “A bicycle. A man. Where did they come from? Where do they go” – is the way the director describes the film. Where there are movies with 54minutes, the director has described his thoughts in just 54 seconds.
The trees in the Forest are born and they die after a certain age. Same happens with humans, they are mortal. On the other hand, though the cycle is man made it resembles the cycle of birth and death. In fact, once a bicycle gets old, it can be sold and recycled for the iron.

Have you ever heard of the Cycle of Decay? It is the fate that awaits all living things: to be broken down, to be recycled,” to become the building blocks for a new life. Death may end a life, but it’s still an obligatory part of the life cycle. The cycle of decay reflects a necessary and hideous relationship—life resists and yet “relies on death.

I believe, the there elements selected by the director – Trees, Man, and a cycle well portrayed the theme. Moreover, shot in black and white the movie brings the warmth of the concept. Surely an award-winning film.

Dikki – Experience fear, paranoia, and suspicion
COUNTRY: India
Genre: Black comedy, mystery
LENGTH: 29 minutes 55 seconds

Directed by Adhvith Nambiar “Dikki” (which means the trunk at the back side of a cab) won the Best Winners film award. With no clichéd plots, not so funny jokes or easy laughs, Dark comedy is surely the most evolved of the entire genre. Switch off your lights, turn your laptop on and start watching this intriguing movie where Two acquaintances, Arjun and Neena, take a drive to attend a mutual friend’s wedding in the countryside. But the car they are driving has a mystery that gets unveils during their journey. The plot is chaotic and hilarious, coming together in the most entertaining way.

Surely the director has tried to create a niche of high quality, meaningful and thought-provoking storyline in “Dikki”. I am completely mesmerized with the sound effects and the way the film is portrayed. And surely this movie is for everyone but especially dedicated to those who’re willing to cross over from boring conventionalism.

Big Lies- winner for best documentary films.
COUNTRY: United States
Genre: Documentary
LENGTH: 38 minutes 58 seconds

“Big Lies” Directed by Igor Runov has a concept coined by Adolf Hitler as a propaganda weapon in his famous “Mein Kampf” but was first used by Joseph Stalin to cover up massive man-made hunger in the Soviet Union in the early 30s. The main character is an American writer who travels to Russia these days. She meets the last survivors of Holodomor.

Will she uncover the controversial facts? To know that you will surely need to watch this movie. As a documentary Big Lies has left no stone unturned. The director has conducted sufficient research on the theme. The director owes the idea of the film to Mr. Alexander Yakovlev, the architect of Mikhail Gorbachev’s PERESTROYKA and one of the world’s most brilliant and unappreciated politicians of the late 20th century.

As a documentary film, Big lies reminds us of the maniac who masterminded the propaganda concept of Big Lie almost one hundred years ago. And about another one who first put it into practice with enormous human sacrifice. Not only that the film also gives us hope that all ‘BIG LIES’ would be impossible if all of us changed our habits and stopped accepting small lies as an unfortunate but necessary evil in our daily lives.

So, that all I have for this month. Cult Critic has more stories of independent movies and the awards they won. I believe every independent filmmaker is a winner on their own. Their creativity and insight to see a story with a unique perspective make them among the most desired personalities in the film industry. Keep following the winner’s circle of cult critic movie awards for the latest updates.

Riya Saha is a Kolkata based writer, editor, journalist, and cinephile. She completed her masters with Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University and currently works as a freelance journalist. Having a great interest in world cinema made Riya join Human Lab Corporation. She is passionate about setting goals and achieving them. Riya enjoys reading, writing, traveling, socializing, and meeting people, and is also very fond of watching International movies.

The post The Winners Circle appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Cult Critic: The Film Magazine by Cult Critic - 2w ago

Directed by Yogeshwara Gopal | Review by Moumita Deb

SIRI belongs to that relatively new genre of psychological thriller stories, built around the notion that someone very close to you can harbor diabolic plans to ruin you completely while feigning to be a perfect friend. There have been instances of crazy stepfathers, nannies, roommates, husbands and adopted children, and now, the dreaded boyfriend.

The director has a fine sense of shading in depicting a slightly psycho-possessive stalker. The most challenging aspect of this movie is the way it has demonized and dehumanized some of its characters in order to produce the desired effect, which brutalizes the spectator’s perspective along with the story and characters. If you can accept this limitation, this is a very efficient piece of machinery to be watched. 

The spectacle of how one-man snaps, once he can’t get what he wants and will go to great lengths in his mind games, indeed leaves us stunned.

The scintillating background score in the opening credits, syncs artfully with the early morning cityscape, suggestive of the usual humdrum of urbane life you’re about to watch, and sets in the rs perfect mood that the movie aims for. 

Crafted as one of the most gripping plots, the movie sincerely avoids a tough inspection of troubling emotional speeds and stunted communication to sneeze out a confused, half-realized story of fatal and destructive obsession.

The film begins as an unyielding look at an emotionally shattered wife, undergoing the agony and trauma of betrayal, and ends as another one of those thrillers where the vengeance seeking victim mercilessly toys with her tormentor, and on the wider sphere with the sentiments of the audience. 

But hold on. Put yourself in Bhavya’s shoes. You’re alone in a house and terrified that you may have been tracked by your dead husband, or constantly in mortal fear of being stalked. What do you do? Live with this terrifying fear or face it unconditionally to release yourself from the self-created hell. And then there’s the obligatory scene at the end where it turns out a dead man isn’t dead after all.

After the countless dreary times since then when the nightmarish hallucinations have appeared disappeared and reappeared along with the sinister mobile call alerts, SIRI is a movie that assuredly seems to have greatness in its grasp and goes straight beyond the mundane.

It’s the sort of movie where all of the characters and plot moves, are tailored to the thriller mechanics and have no existence apart from their crude functionality.

A film competently made, SIRI triumphs on broadly drawn characters and a plot that’s certainly not much too obvious but thrillingly and refreshingly twisted at every crossroad. 

“SIRI” is out and out a spellbinding psychological thriller and can indeed be designated as a great movie, as the filmmakers have not thrown character and plausibility to the winds but have thrived entirely on believable situations in the domain of twisted relationships. 

As far as the performance is concerned, the film’s potential for greatness has never been compromised. The movie explores many avenues of the intricacies of a relationship within the social periphery. Although the filmmakers clearly have the intelligence to harmonically blend the themes, the final scene of the movie collapses into pathetic melodrama. 

The first two-thirds of that film also are psychologically sound and dramatically fascinating, and the movie never degenerates into a canned formula of violence. 

SIRI tries to expose a story too terrifying to resist, a crackling, tension-packed thriller hinged on the triangle of a man, a wife and vengeful “other man.” This scary box-office smash grab holds early-then tops itself with an unforgettably nerve-jolting finale. 

The film brims with atmosphere and menace. The climax is terrifying with a pinch of realism. 

Passion, obsession, mad love, the violent clash of insider and outsider-all these themes, plus the performances, are rich enough to carry us past that nerve-jolting climax.

Regardless of how fearsome or eccentric Bhavya eventually turns out to be, I find her quite fascinating throughout. Her absolutely riveting performance makes SIRI an unforgettable cinema experience. She allows for moments when you actually do feel for her, no matter how manipulative she gets with time, Bhavya indeed, did a great job in the movie. We could touch her weird feelings, and her extreme mental troubles.

SIRI provides a perfect example of how to scare an audience even when the audience knows what’s to be expected. It also offers a well-detailed, credibly drawn romantic triangle that’s sure to spark a lot of cocktail-party chatter. 

Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking

The post SIRI appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Cult Critic: The Film Magazine by Cult Critic - 2w ago

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever | Review by Shahrzad Dadgar

What do artists could do when their living situation does not let them be creative anymore? What’s the purpose of life for people who could not follow their inner desire? “You’ll ruin the network of relationships between people.” That’s what the man of wisdom told Mehmet when he was about to jump into the water and end his life.

If an artist stops being creative, their true self is devastated. The essence of art is cherishing the amazing opportunity of making art as we live. If you go ahead and commit suicide, if you stop being creative, you’ll betray your true mission as an artist. Artists, all over the world are the modern prophets who are supposed to convert the inspirations from the imaginary world to reality.

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever “Free Slave” reveals the portrait of an artist. This feature reflects the struggles of an independent filmmaker who has to go through a new chapter of his life which nothing is like the good old days anymore.

He is an award-winning filmmaker who wasn’t lucky about finding the required financial source to start his new project. He is literally broke. He doesn’t have any family members besides his daughter, he couldn’t find a job, it’s just him against the world. The only power which encourages him to follow his dreams is the dignity and the passion towards art. He is the symbol of an indefatigable survivor in the modern world, who does not want to obey the rules of others’ lifestyle, instead of compromising with the current terms, he pushes harder on changing his life.

The consistency in following the main character helps the structure of the movie to impress the audience with empathy. The invariable point of view of the narration helps the stability of the story. There are many secondary characters in the movie which are the presenters of a wide range of the castes of the society.

Each one of these individuals impacts Mehmet’s life in their own way. Even though the audience might discover many small pieces of the story with each character but will never forget who the hero is and how does this journey is leading the narration.

“Free Slave” is an inspiring movie about “How to handle hard days in life”. Living with the art and getting support to take steps toward creativity is not as easy as it seems in the first look. Mehmet is trying to convince the industry, producers, and colleagues to trust him in his new project. After a while, he has to encourage himself to keep up the attitudes he’s picked about high values, personal beliefs and the worldview about the meaning of life. Sorrow, pain, suffer and joy are the raw materials for an artist to create.

The key to success is to create a piece of art with freedom. Mehmet believes the real freedom is the freedom of the soul. That’s the main reason he could not live like other people and get used to ordinary life.

Director represents a wide range of cultural events and conventions in Turkey. Showing the procedure and the emotional mood of the funerals, weddings, movie opening parties, and backstage of a movie helps the audience to build a cohesive realistic image of Turkish manners, this attribute could be considered as one of the strong aspects of “Free Slave”.

The proper use of Turkish urban life as a living character was a genius idea which makes the experience of watching “Free Slave” an artistic tour beyond Turkey as well. The soul of the city is felt in all of the sequences. The director’s intention is to represent a memorable image of each part of the city including restaurants, mosques, night clubs, hospitals, streets, parks, bazars, and even graffities.

“Free Slave” is shot with brilliant cinematography and enriched by soft lighting. The blurry border of the imagination and the reality is well performed in the dance club scene. The lighting is enormous. The combination of red, blue and yellow rays resembles the dance stage is a gateway to the dreamland.

Mehmet swings involuntarily with the music which leads him to conceive a Sama Dance. The Sama represents a cherishing form of worship. Mehmet needs to meditate on God and seeks his support as well. Sama means “listening” and whenever Mehmet listen to his inner voice, the word of wisdom, he finds the truth. The main concept of the “Free Slave” could be defined in “dance in silence, seek the freedom in patience”.

Shahrzad Dadgar is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer and was trained as an architect and engineer before pursuing a film career. As an artist, Shahrzad’s work focuses on promoting understanding of women’s empowerment, and women who have suffered from sexual issues. She has received the coveted Golden Gazzale from the Persian International Film Festival in Australia as well as “Best Inspirational Women in Film” award from the online Festigious Film Festival of Los Angeles, and more. Dadgar is now attending Jacksonville University’s College of Fine Arts in Florida on a Talent Scholarship Grant and continuing to make independent films.

The post Free Slave appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Written by Malcolm Holt | Review by Prarthana Mitra

Malcolm Holt’s short domestic thriller “My Ride’s Here” takes off on a seemingly harmless note. In fact, labeling it as a thriller does not really do any justice to the film nor the genre because all the violence in Holt’s screenplay is contained in its conversation. A flashback or two might work in heightening the effect, but with good actors, the desired effect can well be achieved by what is known as a “box episode”.

“My Ride’s Here” opens with a run-off-the-mill family scene at the dining table and a situation which is as common as day. There are bowls of soup and a general atmosphere of sickness and malaise in the first few scenes of the film, against which dark family secrets eventually come tumbling out.

A family of three comprising Derek, his wife Emily and daughter Elizabeth are seen at first to be speaking placidly amongst themselves; they discuss the weather, work, Welp reviews and whereabouts. There seems to be an easiness marked by a faint note of uneasiness but you cannot immediately pinpoint the source of it.

As far as the story is concerned, Elizabeth’s parents have come down, quite suddenly as it turns out, with a bad bout of food poisoning; we can gather from Elizabeth’s words and worldly wisdom that she is Emily and Derek’s only daughter and has an unremarkable yet easy-going relationship with them. At times, she appears to be quite the ideal daughter who donates blood, makes them convalescent meals and gently rebukes them for visiting a brand new under-reviewed restaurant.

As the only one fit enough to nurse them, Elizabeth goes about comforting and cajoling them into a conversation that she veers slowly into coaxing a sinister confession out of them.

As she slowly pulls the fabled carpet from underneath their feet, one piece of information at a time, the viewer learns that Elizabeth has recently surmised from her blood group that she was adopted. After doing a little bit of digging around, she has also unearthed that Emily and Derek “accidentally” killed and buried their biological daughter in the backyard, along with their dog Elizabeth.

Quite a stretch but that’s not all; in the end, the alleged culprits are aghast to learn that they have been poisoned, while the film closes with Elizabeth uttering the titular lines and leaving them to die a slow and painful death.

What struck me the most about the script was the seamless shift in the narrative, from banal sickbed hypochondria-laced anxiety to an atypical exchange between a child and their parents, before finally devolving into an earth-shattering revelation.

The story has some quintessential realist elements, especially in the naturalistic bits about the bloodwork, burial, ancestries, adoption and “rebirth”. It is also interesting that Elizabeth chooses to dispose of Emily and Derek because they were never hostile or hurtful towards her. Simply put, “My Ride’s Here” can be construed as a revenge fantasy, centered around a family with unforgivable secrets. It is up to the filmmaker and his actors to portray the intended essence with sincerity and a hint of dark comic absurdism.

Prarthana is presently in between odd jobs and obtaining her master’s degree in literature. She loves modern poetry and meditative cinema. Based out of Calcutta, Prarthana observes people, football, films and enjoys writing about all three. Of late, she relates to Frank Ocean’s music. Her writing experience consists of writing for various sites such as Try Cinema, The Indian Economist, Doing The Rondo, Saintbrush and various academic journals.

The post My Ride’s Here appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Written, Directed, and Produced by Marc Saez’ | Review by Elena Haas

Some Love Affairs are outside the bounds of reason. Marc Saez ‘s “Follow the Arrow” (Suivez la Fleche) is a refreshing take on the unexpected. Being a long-time lover of thrillers and romances; mystery rising from the crossing of these genres raised the ante for me. From the opening credits, the hunt is on and “Follow the Arrow” lures you through corridors of intrigue dripping with passion.

At points, you wonder who is being pursued and who is the pursuer.

Jean-Marie Lamour delivers a notable performance as Bruno, riding the lines of this short film that toys between Romance and Thriller. He’s acted in such films as The Tourist (2010), Swimming Pool (2003), and Sous le Soleil (1996).

In “Follow the Arrow” Bruno is a man of intensity with the physique of collected desire and focused charm.

Moving from the boredom of an evening sitting alone to the coy banter of a meeting, Véronique Picciotto, as Sonya, brings to the screen understated grace and formidable seduction. The flickering of intelligence and desire in her eyes is contrasted by her flight from being pursued.

The two face-off as the cinematography, by Sebastian Naar, plays with darkness and light like the great artists that drew meaning from shadows and illuminated physiques that provoke awe.

What’s more:

The gritty, sensuality of the movie is embodied in the selective art direction of the film.

Thanks to Composer, Sebastian Naar, and Sound Editor, Vincent Villa, the sound design is interwoven skillfully transitioning from fear to the quest for seduction of the soul —

The kind that draws you in breathless with the wonder and danger of it all and layers the voices of an angelic choir underscored with the pulse of an ominous threat.

Claude DuVauchelle rich paintings come onto the screen with contorted figures, muscles flexed in compositions that draw one into a sense of uncommon beauty and danger.

The pacing of the film leaves the story tight and the audience waiting.
writer-Director-Producer Marc Saez weaves a short story as beguiling as it is provoking, leaving you guessing until the end credits roll.

Watch closely or the twists in the tale may leave you hanging. Saez’ takes you for a truly enjoyable ride and may just leave you breathless.

“Follow the Arrow” was first premiered at Max Linde and is Marc Saez’ first short film. It has garnered notable awards internationally, winning nine in the USA and among its many trophies, additionally earned the Prestige Gold Award in Direction and the Prestige Gold Award for a Short Film in 2013.

Within the desire and unknown of this twisted story, I can picture the accomplished Marc Saez’ himself saying the line of his character Bruno, “maybe this is our only chance to exchange beautiful thoughts and redefine the world.”

When the perils of sensual connection await, will you take the risk?

You have 13 minutes to decide.

SUIVEZ LA FLÈCHE - FOLLOW THE ARROW - trailer. directed by Marc SAEZ - YouTube

Elena Haas is the CEO of Elena Corynn, LLC and Illuminate at the Night Pictures, enjoys the Pacific Northwest as her home, and the world as her muse. A lover of languages and different points of view, Haas is a film producer, known most recently for “The Autumn Waltz” and has award-winning films screened in festivals around the U.S. Her experience stretches beyond two decades from music to costuming, theater, acting and producing. She’s published in Enfolio and holds a Digital Film Degree.

The post Suivez la Fleche (Follow the Arrow) appeared first on Cult Critic.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

MOVIE OF THE MONTH, MAY 2019

Best Amateur Film

WINNER

“As We Fall”

Directed by Jim Winton Porter

Australia

Best Animated Films 

WINNER

“We”

Directed by Marcos Almada Rivero, Alejandra Chacón Gallardo

& Monique Zepeda

Mexico

Best Actress 

WINNER

“M LIKE MOBIUS”

Acted by Faranak Moradi

Islamic Republic of Iran

Best Cinematography

WINNER

“TRISKELION”

Cinematography by  Robert Wilton

United Kingdom

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“SIRI”

Cinematography by Yogeshwara Gopal

India

Best Director

WINNER

“BOZKIR LOOK AT THE BIRDS”

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“SIRI”

Directed by Yogeshwara Gopal

India

“FREE SLAVE”

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

Best Films Score – Soundtrack

WINNER

“Global Sign”

Soundtrack by Jakob Eder

Austria

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

The Ribbon

Soundtrack by Jonathan Galland

USA

                                                                       –

FINALIST

“The Letter of Marque (OST)”

Soundtrack by Jakob Eder

Austria

                                                                       –

“Formation – Soundtrack”

Soundtrack by Jakob Eder

Austria

Best Producer

WINNER

“FREE SLAVE”

Produced by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“BOZKIR LOOK AT THE BIRDS”

Produced by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

Best Sound Designing 

WINNER

“Formation – Soundtrack”

Sound Design by Jakob Eder

Austria

Best Debut Filmmaker

WINNER

“A Gift of Love : Sifar (Emptiness)”

Directed by Dhruv Sachdev

India

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“Main Yahudi Hoon”

Directed by Sasha Alahm

India

FINALIST

“SIRI”

Directed by Yogeshwara Gopal

India

 Best Documentary Films 

WINNER

“Big Lies”

Directed by Igor Runov

USA

FINALIST

“We”

Directed by Marcos Almada Rivero. Alejandra Chacón Gallardo

& Monique Zepeda

Mexico

Best Experimental Films

WINNER

“TRISKELION”

Directed by Stuart T Birchall

United Kingdom

FINALIST

“Room 201 Spinoza Hotel”

Directed by Robert David Duncan

Canada

Best Feature Films

WINNER

“BOZKIR LOOK AT THE BIRDS”

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“FREE SLAVE”

Directed by Mehmet Tanrisever

Turkey

Films on Nature / Environment / Wildlife 

WINNER

“Nature”

Directed by Gursharan Singh Syan

India

Best Free Speech 

WINNER

“Riding with Sunshine”

Directed by Kristian Comer & JT Maguire

USA

Best Music Video

WINNER

“Requiem for Individuality”

Directed by Jon M. Ausman

USA

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“Everybody”

Directed by Joseph Villapaz

USA

FINALIST

“Global Love”

Directed by Tejas Gandhi

USA

OFFICIAL SELECTION

“Pianocide”

Directed by Brice Blanloeil

Country Not Specified

Best One Minute Film

WINNER

“re/cycle”

Directed by Rene Smaal

Netherlands

Best Short Film

WINNER

“As We Fall”

Directed by Jim Winton Porter

Australia

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“We”

Directed by Marcos Almada Rivero. Alejandra Chacón Gallardo

& Monique Zepeda

Mexico

“25 Years After the Last Poem”

Directed by Ananjan Majumdar

India

FINALIST

“SIRI”

Directed by Yogeshwara Gopal

India

“Time 2019”

Directed by Mimi Garrard

USA

“M LIKE MOBIUS”

Directed by Faranak Moradi

Islamic Republic of Iran

OFFICIAL SELECTION

“The Wolves”

Directed by Shane Morrisun

USA

“The Sound of Japanese Culture”

Directed by Laura Innocenti & Giacomo Callistri

United Kingdom

Best Short Script

WINNER

“The Last Pirate”

Directed by Christian Pavlik

USA

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“MY RIDE’S HERE”

Directed by Malcolm Holt

United Kingdom

Best Student films 

WINNER

“Dikki”

Directed by Adhvith Nambiar

India

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT WINNER

“1(One)”

Directed by Ketan Pal

India

Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR) and 360 Video

WINNER

Earth Beat Blues

Directed by Justiniano Mickael

France

Best Women’s Films 

WINNER

M LIKE MOBIUS

Directed by Faranak Moradi

Islamic Republic of Iran

 

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview