It's highly contagious. Anyone could have it. It starts with a high fever. There isn't a known cure. It threatens mankind as we know it. You may be inclined to believe that what I am describing relates to the COVID-19 outbreak, but I am actually describing the condition that takes place in Neasa Hardiman's debut feature film, "Sea Fever". The film follows the crew of a fishing trawler who succumb to a strange infection, their only hope is the apathetic and analytical-minded marine-biology student Siobhán, played by the memorizing Hermione Corfield. This timely well-crafted science-fiction thriller is definitely one to seek out for Corfield's powerhouse performance alone. It's also a riveting story which builds on tension and suspense, proving that genre storytelling is very much alive and kicking.
Laurentia Genske is a German Documentary Filmmaker and Cinematographer. She attended the Academy of Media Arts Cologne from 2010 to 2016, with an exchange year studying documentary film at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión, Cuba between 2012 and 2013. She received several awards for her documentary "AM KÖLNBERG", co-directed with Robin Humboldt, amongst others the German Documentary Film Award 2015. Her most recent project “Im StÄdtle” is currently in post-production. This feature documentary follows two Syrian brothers who are caught in a constant struggle between their own transsexual identity and different cultures. Finally, they can live freely in Germany, but at the same time, they face struggling with feelings of sin in the face of their Muslim environment. Bianca Garner caught up with Laurentia to discuss her career, the challenges of being a documentary filmmaker and the project that saw her living in a Cuban jungle without electricity for three months.
“Buffaloed” (2020) is a tricky beast to categorize. It’s a dark comedy with some truly stark social commentary about debt in America and socioeconomics. Peg Dahl (Zoey Deutch) is a hustler. She always has some form of income stream to try to get her way out of poverty in Buffalo, NY. After her father’s death, her family are plagued by debt-collection calls. Her mother (Judy Greer) is resigned to this way of life, but Peg is not. Peg is crass, determined, smart, cunning. She will rope her brother (Noah Reid) into her endeavours. But it is her hustle that gets her time behind bars. Once out of the clinker, Peg runs into the same issues as most re-entering: employment. Peg finds herself in debt thanks to legal fees and the scam she ran. She finds herself being called by a collector and smooth talks her way into becoming a debt collector herself for a local professional hustler, Wizz (Jai Courtney).
"The Other Lamb" is the English language debut from filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska. You may not be familiar with Szymowska's work, but she is an auteur with a distinct voice and style, her previous films have been divisive "Elles" (2011) a sexually explicit drama which followed Anne (Juliette Binoche), a journalist in Paris for French Elle who is writing an article about female student prostitution, the 2013 film "In the Name Of" which told the story of a closeted gay Catholic priest living in rural Poland and the 2018 film "Mug", a strange comedy that told the story of fun-loving Jacek (Mateusz Kościukiewicz) who is disfigured in an accident at work, and becomes the first person in Poland to receive a face transplant, which leads to his status as a national hero and martyr. As a filmmaker, Szumowska isn't afraid to take on unusual and challenging narratives which push boundaries and are designed to make the viewer think.
The prospect of forging one’s path at the cost of leaving others behind is certainly far from an original narrative for the coming-of-age drama. For first-time writer & director Annabelle Attanasio however, what she achieves with ‘Mickey & The Bear’ is a heart-wrenching, visceral piece on the pursuit of personal gratification, while attempting to balance perceived family obligation, as fiercely headstrong Michaela (Mickey) is the sole provider and carer for her addict, veteran father Hank. A gifted young woman, Mickey is wholly a likeable, well-rounded character, without stripping an ounce of her humanity. She has flaws, she has emotions and her limits. Almost as if this coming-of-age narrative was written by a woman, for a woman. Camila Morrone’s method of characterisation is subdued, though sharing her on-screen father’s temper on occasion.
Ah, the joys of a sleepover party with your BFF! "Waffle" is a fun take on the sleepover/slumber party chick-flick film, it's deliciously dark and a wonderfully amusing short film that leaves you aching for more. With "Waffle" director Carlyn Hudson and writers, Kerry Barker and Katie Marovitch examine how fractured we have become as a society and how we crave affection from others, the film looks at the lengths some people will go in order to gain friendship and the how a seemingly ordinary girls night can quickly escalate into a full-blown nightmare. The film opens with what appears to be a very normal situation, two young women dressed in pyjamas, sat on the sofa drinking wine. The two women are Kerry (Barker) and the socially awkward, mysteriously orphaned heiress Katie (Marovitch). Already things appear off when Katie gets angry with Kerry for retelling a story incorrectly, and when a timer suddenly goes off it becomes clear that Katie and Kerry are not really friends. Katie is using an 'Uber-like' service where she has hired Kerry to be her friend.
"The GoGo's" is a documentary following the all-female rock band from the 1980s who wrote and played their own songs. They were also the first all-woman band to be managed by a woman. Told from the GoGo's themselves (the original members and the current ones too), this documentary dives into the beginnings, hits, highs, lows, their disintegration, and their comeback.
“Hava, Maryam, Ayesha” is a film about the everyday struggles of three Afghan women – specifically in relation to patriarchy, marriage and pregnancy – directed and co-written by fellow Afghan woman Sahraa Karimi. In its opening section, focusing on Hava (played by Arezoo Ariapoor), the film makes its focus on the everyday very clear with a documentary-like realism. A frequently handheld camera that shows the routines and chores Hava spends her days performing in full, unbroken takes. Her laboured, exhausted breathing makes up a large part of the film’s soundscape in this segment as she is belittled by the men around her and treated like a disrespected employee rather than a family member.
For the last thirty or so years, stand-up comedy has been a massive part of popular culture in the West. On both sides of the Atlantic, comedians transcended their circuits’ clubs and stages and moved into screens both big and small, become household names on a par with the most successful movie stars and television personalities. In all that time though, the biggest names and faces in comedy were rarely women, and even fewer were women of colour; the latter being very much the case to this day, even when female comedians are beginning to get a bigger share of the stage. Enter “All Joking Aside”, the directorial feature debut of Shannon Kohli, which tells the story of Charlene “Charlie” Murray (Raylene Harewood), a young woman with the ambition to become a professional stand-up comedian, a dream she shares with her late father.