Director: Christopher Sferrazza (BEAST)

Director Biography – Christopher Sferrazza

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Originally a photographer, Sferrazza found a passion for cinematography and film during his time at New York Queens College, inspired by Italian Neo Realism films which influence his work to date. As to date he is an award winning TVC director, and has now turned his focus to long form, excited by the prospects of new media development.

Director Statement

Beast, a self-funded production, explores the extreme and haunting lengths people will go to in the name of love and family.

The twenty-minute film follows the relationship between grandmother and grandson and their unwavering commitment to one another in the face of a dark and twisted family history.

“I got thinking about love and family and how there’s so little we wouldn’t do to protect the people closest to us,” said Sferrazza.

“I wondered how far love could go; what extremes would we go to when faced with the unimaginable?” he continues.

True to style, Sferrazza has employed the use of a documentary style with juxtaposed performances in Beast, creating a chilling, edge-of-your-seat aesthetic.

Being a drama/thriller, Beast is a break from his usual commercial work which is mostly comedic. Approaching the project with this different style is a new path for Sferrazza and one that he is hoping to develop further in his films.

“At first, Beast seems like ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, but there’s this dark ominous feel which builds and reaches an unexpected crescendo.”

“I wanted to create something which shocks people and leaves them hanging and I think I’ve done that with Beast.”

Beast has now been selected for entry to the 2018 Academy Awards. Following awards season, Beast will be included as part of Virgin Australia’s in-flight cinema programming.

Director BIO: Andi Osho (AMBER)

Short Film played at the September 2017 Action / Crime / Thriller FEEDBACK Film Festival

Director Biography

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Born in East London, Andi studied acting alongside Rasak Adoti (Armistad, Black Hawk Down) and Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, The Wire). She made her stage debut in 2003, appearing at renowned fringe and off-West End venues, playing the lead in Medea and a No. 1 tour of Pulitzer Prize nominated play, Yellowman. Andi has also appeared in a host of popular British TV comedies and dramas.

In 2007 Andi launched a stand up comedy career, winning the coveted Funny Women award. This led to regular TV appearances on a number of popular panel formats and stand up shows (Mock The Week, Live At The Apollo).

Along side this, Andi developed her writing, selling scripts to Fox US, BBC TV and BBC Radio. She has also written for several national UK newspapers. In 2014 she wrote and produced, a crowd sourced short film about Britishness which went on to win best experimental short at two film festivals, the Audience Award at another and was officially selected for eight more.

In 2013 Andi co-created Breaking Hollywood, a comedic webseries starring David Harewood (Homeland) and Liam Tuohy (Titanic) about naive British actors in LA.

Andi completed a film-making program at The New York Film Academy and in 2015 finished post production on her final project, The Grid, a proof-of-concept piece for a full-length sci fi thriller which has featured in 17 festivals.

Through the intensive NYFA program Andi made six short films and explored further her skills in working with actors to create rounded, three dimensional characters and strong visual storytelling.

Andi’s NYFA training is in addition to a two year production course in London at the prestigious Ravensbourne College of Design.

Director BIO: James Bowsher (WITHHELD)

Short Film played at the September 2017 Action / Crime / Thriller FEEDBACK Film Festival

Director Biography

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James Bowsher (1991) has been a practitioner in both film and theatre for numerous years. From working with the National Youth Theatre on the Olympic opening ceremonies to co-ordinating Catalan social documentaries he has done a wide variety of different projects. At the age on 21, James was accepted as a member of the United Kingdom’s National Youth Film Academy. Most recently he has been working with Blue Cedar Films on productions such as ‘Ladies First’ and ‘Withheld’.

Director Statement
I had for a long time wanted to make a film about performance, however it is a subject that had been examined in a multitude of modes by numerous filmmakers. I wanted to capture the sometimes uneasy boundary between the performer and the audience, how performance can easily be turned on it’s head and make a voyeur of the spectator. After seeing Phillip Toledano’s excellent photo exhibit on phone sex workers it struck me that this was the perfect arena to set this film.

There is a contract in place and the caller cannot possibly believe that the person on the other end of the phone is ‘actually’ doing what they say they are doing. The phone allows for a suspension of disbelief and subsequently a space for performance, from which the caller can project their fantasies, which is true to some degree in all performative art forms.

The next step came after thinking that this interaction is quite unique, not in terms of content, but in that the performer modulates themselves to the whims of the client. This was perfectly expressed by one of the phone-sex workers blurbs in Toldano’s gallery:

“‘To the caller, when I first answer, I am the inanimate Barbie. They do not know what I look like or who I am. They can only imagine. It’s my job to indulge their fantasies, to convince them that I am not a doll – I am their dream turned real. If they ask if I am blonde, I become a blonde. I respond to every sound the caller makes with an affirmation. I encourage them, I breathe life into the fantasy, I carve the doll out of flesh.’”

This led me to think – what if the audience didn’t want to see a performance? What if they wanted the actor to take of their mask? What would happen next?

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Guillaume Fradin – Director’s BIO. Thriller Short film SEEDS

Film playing at the Best of EUROPEAN Cinema FEEDBACK Film Festival. Thursday May 18th. 7pm. Downtown Toronto. Get your FREE Tickets

 Director BIO

Guillaume Fradin has a background in engineering, and has been working in visual effects for 15 years, leading teams on Avatar, Gravity and The Martian.

 Director Statement

Scientists are nowadays explorers. Whether they launch rockets in space, built submarines to explore the deepest oceans and work to understand how our brains and bodies work, they strive to break barriers.

SEEDS is about one type of those scientists, the astronauts, whose curiosity to visit other planets leads them to make enormous sacrifices.

festival posterSEEDS, 12min, UK, Thriller/Sci-FI