In Fantasia’s 2022 list of animated shorts, not only did José Luis Saturno’s poster for La Melodía Torrencial catch my attention for its artistic design but also the trailer looked fabulous! The art design had a touch of Tim Burton’s design aesthetic which I adored, and I had to know more. I mentioned this film in my top animated picks list, and got a chance to see this short film ahead of its premiere.
This story about a rainmaker going by the name of Fluvio has a lot of layers tucked into its narrative. When a township sought him out to bring them rain to their arid community, what they get–some may say–was their just desserts. But there’s a lot more going on in Saturno’s latest work than meets the eye.
This filmmaker studied Film Animation at Concordia University in Montreal and started producing even before finishing his degree. He didn’t submit for film festivals until his third year in school, and instead of working for the big studios, he decided going independent was the way to go.
Thus, Enjambre Hexagonal was born. A few of their works can be found on YouTube, but to see them as they’re intended, on the big screen, is a must so the detail can be appreciated. He hires freelance artists as part of the staff to do this work, and the people on call include Yann Ben Alluch who does the storyboards and helps animate (“El mimo y la mariposa negra”). Robin Servant handles all the music and is the talent behind the sounds in La Melodía Torrencial.
He said, “I never felt compelled to work in the industry from the bottom in the hopes of one day being hired as a director. I simply wanted to make films as quickly as possible.”
Having some prior knowledge of Shirobako the animated series is best before viewing the movie. While there’s a brief reintroduction to get viewers up to speed on what has happened to the staff of Musashino Animation, life is not always going to be easy to those who busted their chops to get to where they are at. This anime studio is home to five best friends working in different departments.
Aoi Miyamori (Juri Kimura) is the leader of the pack. They are Ema Yasuhara (Haruka Yoshimura), Shizuka Sakaki (Haruka Chisuga), Misa Tōdō (Asami Takano), and Midori Imai (Hitomi Ohwada) and the drama that unfolds is mostly about them dealing with the everyday hustle and bustle of producing a weekly animated show. The strain that shows is when they’re finally off the clock and trying to have a regular life or question why they’re still at it. The series nicely spends the time to show the stress they face. And when they overcome those personal obstacles in their climb to the top, we have to appreciate everything this team accomplished.
Nearly everybody has watched the educational program Sesame Street, and it’s pretty much in everybody’s childhood for some length of time. It was a product of Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Through many meetings with child educators and psychologists of the 70s, they had a solid idea on what to construct. Many talents worked behind the scenes–namely puppeteers Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, and Frank Oz (to name a few) and important to this series success is writer/director Jon Stone. In front of the camera, the list is enormous.
Marilyn Agrelo‘s excellent documentary, Street Gang, is a fascinating look from this series humble beginnings to where it is now. The breadth of information compressed to 107 minutes is very comprehensive. If there’s anything missed, it’s only because it didn’t fit into the narrative about what made this show special to children and adults alike.
No show is without some controversy; maybe the play on a Beatles song was too much. At least it’s humorously addressed.
Coming to DVD, Digital, Video On Demand, and Redbox Kiosks on June 15
Chad Ferrin‘s The Deep Ones will soon get a limited theatrical release in the United States beginning April 23rd and for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, the themes this film dives into are faithful to the ideas this seminal author conceived long ago. I spoke to this filmmaker, and he said he grew up watching the classics–namely The Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Presents and The Outer Limits. He studied theatre in college; the passion to make movies was a natural evolution and he knew the proverbial move to Los Angeles was required.
He was lucky to be connected. Mike Leahy of Phantoms and Pulse fame gave him his break, and when the call came, he was ready! Ferrin worked hard to get to where he is now. He’s been involved in every aspect of the movie making business, and he was everywhere. On the list includes working as a production assistant in Back to Back with Michael Rooker and being a “double” in No Way Back with Russell Crowe. He noted how his hands look similar to his, so he did it all–including becoming a fall guy (stunts).
“I’d have a smile and be wide-eyed every day. Knowing the right people will help you out down the road,” acknowledged Ferrin. His hands on learning showed him how other departments work. By the time he was ready to produce his own material and direct, he knew how to expertly manage everything.
All-in Madonna is a character study, a drama, and de Lara said these locations, including where it was filmed is a significant element in establishing the tone of the film. Lim wanted to show off a diversity of what the city of Victoria represents. Film analysts can interpret this subtle layer of meaning in this movie as however they wish.
All-in Madonna marks Arnold Lim‘s (pictured left) directorial debut in making a feature length work. After its virtual (world) premiere at the Whistler Film Festival and limited online availability last year, its next screening is at the Victoria Film Festival!
This filmmaker’s visual style evolved from how he likes to communicate, which is through the camera. He made a career out of it. In Victoria, BC he’s very well known because of not only his role at Black Press Media as a photo-journalist, but also as a talent whose heart is big. He is the official photographer to various local charities. At the Victoria Film Festival, he’s involved with programming (handling the Asian film content), act as juror and be a member of the board.
Lim revealed, “Different films from different countries look, feel and smell tonally different because of a combination of the different actors and locations and cultures that exist in combination with the perspective of filmmakers whose voices tell the story.”
As part of the CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers team, this photographer soon became a filmmaker after doing a story about them, about the Reel to Reel program. He joined, learned the craft and wanted to make movies. After making the short film version of All-in Madonna–about Maddie going to public school for the first time and hearing rumours that her dad is a thug–he and Susie Winters, the screenwriter, knew it needed to be feature length!