Here at In Their Own League, we like to support Indie Filmmakers and we were so impressed by Gavin Michael Booth's latest film "Last Call" (you can read Caz's 5 Star review here), so we jumped at the chance to talk to Gavin about how he managed to pull off such a marvellous film. Bee Garner spoke to Gavin about the inception of the film, what single-take films that inspired him and which female filmmakers he admire. Please make sure to check out the links below, especially the making of feature which helps gives a unique insight into the process of the production of this wonderfully moving and impactful film which we hope more people seek out.
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.
Moving drama "Lost Transmissions" (2020) is Katharine O'Brien's debut feature about one man's struggle with schizophrenia in a healthcare system ill-equipped to help. Theo (Simon Pegg) is a music producer who stops taking his medication and begins a rapid downward spiral, losing grip on reality and getting into increasingly dangerous situations. His friend Hannah (Juno Temple) chases him through LA and psychiatric institutions to try to get him the support he needs but is thwarted by an inadequate healthcare system. Based on writer-director Katharine O'Brien's experiences of trying to support her own friend who went off his medication, the film is deeply affecting. It highlights the difficulties that people suffering from mental health conditions, and their loved ones face. I spoke with Katharine at the Glasgow Film Festival 2020.
During LFF 2019 I encountered many short films, there were many that I enjoyed but there was one that stayed with me long after the festival had ended. This film was "Rehearsal" written and directed by Courtney Hope Thérond, who very kindly agreed to talk to ITOL regarding her film and the it's production. During our interview we discussed what inspired her to make the film, the issues concerning consent and what filmmakers inspired her. We would like to extend our thanks to Courtney and wish all the best of her luck with her future projects!
Written, directed, and edited by Amy Taylor, this mockumentary takes aim at hubris, toxic masculinity, and violence. “Hunter’s Weekend” (2018) follows two park rangers as they prepare for their annual hunter’s weekend. Lyle (Benjamin Geunther) and Victor (Christopher J. Young) are prepared for what they hope is another great experience when one of the selected hunters is found dead. “We have really strict rules about hunting other competitors.” Why would they have such strict rules? Oh, because everyone who is there to hunt hunts, actual people, like Richard Connell’s short story, The Most Dangerous Games, or the grounded Universal film, “The Hunt.” On top of that, the hunters are not just normal hunters but actual serial killers. With the death of the participant, Lyle and Victor go on the hunt (pun intended) for the killer.
Writer and director Joanna Hogg has always been known for her mysterious, creative and thoughtful films, but “The Souvenir” (2019) is her best yet. A tender tale of young love, it is Hogg’s most personal film to date, based on her own experiences at film school and dating an older, secretive and troubled man. You can feel this personal touch throughout, in the gentle yet unflinching way Hogg’s camera follows Honor Swinton Byrne’s Julie, the young woman at the centre of this story.
When talking about “The Very Last Day”, first-time writer-director Cédric Jouarie has been vocal about having had to live with a harrowing experience which was inflicted on him when he was a teenager. His film has presented an opportunity to explore his trauma, and perhaps even offer Jouarie some catharsis for what has happened. The end result is captivating if a somewhat messy mix of high melodrama and revenge thriller. The film introduces novelist Raymond Ho (Lawrence Ong) accompanied by his wife Viola (Heng-Yin Chou) on the eve of the successful release of his latest novel: a story of a romance which culminates in a sexual assault. It’s not a success enjoyed by all: Viola can only look on whilst addressed as “Mrs Raymond Ho”, her own credibility as a writer belittled both by fans of her husband’s work, and by Raymond himself - it’s revealed that he’s been lifting from her stories of childhood abuse and hardship to use them as plot points for his books.
"Unholy 'Mole" is a dementedly creepy and thoroughly hilarious body-horror gross-out comedy, which plays like a parody of toxic masculinity. It is quite the treat. Directed by David Bornstein; this is a short film is about a selfish man who sells his unborn son’s soul to Satan and in exchange for having his pregnant wife make guacamole for him; and oh boy does she.
Marriage and wedding days carry with them a great deal of expectation to abide by traditions set by families and/or society, and nowhere is that more symbolic than in the wedding dress, the decorative centrepiece of the big day. If you ask me, the whole thing feels a bit old-fashioned, and it looks like writer-director Stefanie Davis is inclined to agree, judging by her first film.