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Wreckage – Redline International Festival

On the set of Wreckage with Bruno Marconato (Production Designer nominated at Redline International Festival)

It was a thrill to have our movie Wreckage (that I’ve directed and edited), nominated at the category of Best Production Design at Redline Film Festival. This post is an interview with Matthew Toffolo, one of the festival creators that states what this festival is about. The interview below was made by www.festivalcreators.org


Founded as a passion project by indie filmmakers, Redline’s goal is to shine a light on the films and filmmakers that the mainstream media frequently overlook. As filmmakers ourselves, we have far too often seen quality films being turned away from festivals because they didn’t meet the proper mainstream “criteria”. We strongly believe that film-making is one of the most profound mediums through which art can be created, and should not have to adhere to conventional ideas in order to be celebrated. Which is why, through our monthly festival, we aim to promote those who create art through the medium of film and continue to push the envelope in artistic creation.


Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Redline: One of the things that we take the most pride in is giving as much value to filmmakers who submit as we possibly can. One of the things that we have seldom seen offered by other festivals & competitions, which we offer and believe is very helpful to filmmakers, is promotional reviews written by film critics for some of the winning films we select. As filmmakers ourselves, one of the most valued things we could ever get for one of our new short films is in-depth feedback. There is no greater feeling than hearing directly from someone who’s watched and dissected your film and came to the end having understood what you we’re trying to accomplish with it, and enjoying it in the process.

We also pride ourselves in leaving politics at the door. No film is off-limits when it comes to our selection process. A good film is a good film, whether it’s a tough-to-watch dramatic subject matter, or a fun crude comedy flick, all films are given a fair shot. Many times this leads to us selecting and showcasing films that sometimes get overlooked throughout the festival circuit purely based on subject matter alone. We offer a platform for ALL filmmakers who make quality films to be showcased and promoted without judgement.

What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2018)?

Our in person screenings are monthly and are exclusively for those who have signed up and registered as jury members. For those members, they should expect a curated selection of some amazing short films from all around the globe! Our main focus is to continue improving on quality as well as increasing value to filmmakers.

What are the qualifications for the selected films?

In general, we accept films up to 25 minutes in length made within 18 months of the submission period. We accept live-action, documentary and animated shorts from all genres.

Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

Absolutely. As we stated before, festivals and competitions are sometimes very political. Whether they are trying to appease to a certain audience, or they have sponsors they need to keep happy – many implications can cause a skew in the selection process. This causes films that may have more offensive or hard-to-watch subject matters to be passed over, regardless of the quality of film. We have always had the mantra that we select the best films, period. We don’t take into consideration what the mainstream media’s opinions would be, and we will never adjust selections to appease sponsors. We simply choose the best films, always.

What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

After years of us being on the submitting end of the process, we grew tired of festivals and competitions who either 1. Select nearly every submissions to fill their quota’s and keep filmmakers happy, rendering a selection worthless 2. Offer no value to the filmmakers submitting and 3. Selecting mostly mainstream type films to appease sponsors and a wide audience. We’re not trying to repeat ourselves too much here, but I think you can probably see a trend when it comes to our gripes with the traditional festival circuit. Essentially, we wanted a festival that represented our taste in films, that would choose obscure films that some may not enjoy, but clearly bring value to an audience who is willing to give them a chance. Bringing value to filmmakers that are like us, that have been in our situation, that’s what really keeps us going.

How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Fantastic. The service is simple to use, extremely responsive when you have an issue, and wonderfully designed. The only issue now is how popular it’s becoming – it’s getting more and more difficult to get promotional spots as more and more festivals flow in to use the platform – which makes sense as they are by far the best submission site we’ve seen, both on the submission and festival end.

Where do you see the festival by 2023?

We hope to see it be a widely accepted stamp of quality. We want our laurel to represent filmmaking at its finest. Whether that means having massive screenings and events, or simply being a highly coveted award competition – that is yet to be decided. However, we do know that we want filmmakers to be proud of being selected by our team, and we hope to continue offering them as much value as we possibly can.

In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A great film is one that moves it’s audience – one that strikes a personal chord and makes them feel deep emotion. I’m never happier than when I’m sitting and watching a film – a work of art created by the coming-together of so many talented hands – that makes me completely forget I’m watching a screen and completely transports me and captivates me into this crafted world. A great film takes you on a journey and makes you forget about all your troubles, even for a brief moment.

How is the film scene in your city?

For the most part, fantastic. Toronto has a great film scene with so many talented filmmakers, although it’s quite small. It’s common practice that when you make it “big” you leave for either New York or Los Angeles to pursue “bigger” and “better” things. Hopefully this mentality changes in the near future, as there are fantastically talented productions and people working in Toronto all the time whom could benefit greatly if the industry grew. Things like the Toronto International Film Festival are starting to put Toronto on the map more and more within the industry though, which is fantastic! We hope Redline IFF can contribute to growing the industry here as well.

The Passenger

Excerpt from Michelangelo Antonioni about his movie ‘The Passenger’ (1974)

The story of ‘The Passenger’, perhaps, looks like my story as an artist, as a director. I do not know if I will succumb: I am not talking about the temptation to change identity, because everyone has that. I’m talking about destiny, because each one of us carries his own destiny within him. I do not know if I will succumb to all those actions that, at the end of a life, come together to form one’s destiny. Some succumb, others does not.

Perhaps it’s a mistake to change one’s identity: you succumb to life and die. It depends on what you do once you have taken another identity. It is a presumption that will most likely bring a person into conflict with life itself. A journalist sees reality with a certain consistency, the ambiguous consistency of his point of view, which seems objective to him and to him alone. (…) After all, everything I do is absorbed in a sort of collision between reality and me. Neither lucidity or clarity can be counted among my qualities. I will never find the exact equivalent of my imagination.

The whole film is ambiguous, but I think this ambiguity is what gives it a sense of the concrete. Being, says Heidegger, is being-in-the-world (dasein). When David feels that this is the end (but even he is probably not so sure), he is no longer in the world. The world is outside the window. It is reportage on his own death.

Few people understood that behind the character of Jack Nicholson there was myself. Like him I have often wished I could change my identity, life, and encounters, forgetting my love and my duties, presences and absences to take on the identity of a stranger, to begin another adventure.

Lines to a Girl 5 Days After Her 21st Birthday

Back to the Palace

And Home to a stone

She travels the fastest

Who travels alone

Back to the pasture

And home to a bone

She travels the fastest

Who travels alone –

Back to all nothing

And back to alone

She travels the fastest

Who travels alone

But never worry, gentlemen

Because there’s Harry’s Bar

Afderas on the Lido

In a low slung yellow car

Europeo’s publishing

Mondadori doesn’t pay

Hate your friends

Love all false things

Some colts are fed on hay

Wake up in the mornings

Venice still is there

Pigeons meet and beg and breed

Where no sun lights the square

The things that we have loved are in the gray lagoon

All the stones we walked on

Walk on them alone

Live alone and like it

Like it for a day

But I will not be alone, angrily she said

Only in your heart, he said. Only in your head.

But I love to be alone, angrily she said.

Yes, I know, he answered

Yes, I know, he said.

But I will be the best one. I will lead the pack.

Sure, of course, I know you will. You have a right to be.

Come back some time and tell me. Come back so I can see.

You and all your troubles. How hard you work each day.

Yes I know he answered.

Please do it your own way.

Do it in the mornings when your mind is cold.

Do it in the evenings when everything is sold.

Do it in the springtime when springtime isn’t there

Do it in the winter

We know winter well

Do it on very hot days

Try doing it in hell.

Trade bed for pencil

Trade sorrow for a page

No work it out your own way

Have good luck at your age.

  • 1951 ‘Ernest Hemingway – Complete Poems’

O Cirquinho do Teteu

Ele tinha, pelo que me lembro, talvez dez ou onze anos. Era o mais novo dos irmãos e havia montado, no quintal da sua própria casa, uma tenda improvisada com algumas cortinas sustentadas por cabos de vassouras velhas. No centro, um balde de lavar roupas virado ao contrário. Ao redor, algumas banquetas para o respeitável público assistir ao espetáculo. Pregada com um alfinete, uma folha de papel anunciava a atração principal: o palhaço Teteu.

Aquele era seu palco. Era o maior circo do mundo; igual aquele no qual seu pai (que ele nunca conheceu) tentou fugir com a malabarista alguns anos antes. Igual aquele que ele – nas noites de verão em São José do Rio Preto – vendia pipoca na pracinha da frente, tentando espiar por entre as frestas para ver alguma coisa.

Ele saiu de casa para chamar os amigos. Quando voltou, tudo estava destruído. Na parede, letras grandes escreveram com giz: “O Cirquinho do Teteu abriu falência”. Alguém tinha acabado com tudo. Eu ouvi essa historia de meu avô muitas vezes. Em uma delas, ele me confessou que chorou.

Onze, cavalo. Doze, elefante. Treze, galo. Quinze, jacaré. Os números do jogo do bicho eram uma daquelas coisas que ele nunca esqueceu, mesmo no fim da vida. Quando tinha quinze anos, ganhava alguns trocados vendendo cartelas em uma banca de jornal e por isso precisava saber os animais de cor. Um dia, ele arriscou e acertou “na cabeça” de uma dezena. Eu lembro dele sorrindo contando essa historia, enquanto a gente subia a ladeira para seu antigo escritório no alto da Lapa. Ele me contou que pegou todo o dinheiro – sua pequena ‘fortuna’ – sentou em uma pastelaria e comeu três pasteis e um guaraná de dois litros. Ele sempre havia sonhado em fazer isso. “Rafinha, foi o dia mais feliz da minha vida”.

Eu cresci ouvindo as historias do meu avô. Ri muitas vezes das mesmas piadas. Cresci sabendo que ele tinha uma ironia inteligente (e sarcástica) por trás de todos seus atos. Entendi meu avô, minha família e minhas raízes através dos antigos filmes italianos, caminhando por pequenas vilas, comendo pasta e assoviando; enxergava ele em todas as esquinas da Itália. Aprendi a ter prazer em cada pedaço de pudim de leite.

Dizem que, quando um homem morre, um universo inteiro se apaga. Eu tenho lágrimas nos olhos pensando nisso, sentado em um banco de um pub vazio a dez mil quilômetros de distância de casa.

Sei que, no fundo, não é verdade. Teteu, onde quer que você esteja, seu universo se expandiu; a escalação do América –  Seu irmão Ernanes jogando bola – O terrível bandido Lino Catarino – As mulheres turcas da vendinha no centro de Rio Preto – O velho Francesco dançando e tocando gaita com sua longa barba branca.

As cortinas do seu palco estão fechadas, mas suas historias caminham comigo na neblina dessa noite. Vou guardar elas com minha própria vida. Obrigado por tudo, vovô. Eu sempre vou te amar.

retirado do livro ‘Dylan on Dylan’. traduzido por ceriblog.

Existe uma historia de um monge que diz o seguinte:

De uma criança você deve aprender (1) Seja sempre Feliz (2) Chore por tudo o que você quer.

De um ladrão você deve aprender: (1) Trabalhe de Noite (2) Se você não Conseguir o que Quer, tente Novamente na Próxima Noite (3) Ame seus Companheiros de Trabalho (4) Arrisque sua Vida por Pequenas Coisas (5) Não dê muito valor a Nada, mesmo que Tenha Arriscado sua Vida por isso – Faça como um Ladrão, revenda o objeto por uma Fração do seu Valor Real (6) Suporte todo o tipo de Misérias e Torturas, mas Permaneça quem Você é (7) Acredite que seu Trabalho vale a pena e não Mude de Opinião.

Eu achei isso ótimo, e tive que escrever para me lembrar.

Quando escrevo uma música penso naquela luz efêmera.

Você sabe,  é o som da rua com os raios de sol, o sol brilhando em uma hora particular, em um prédio específico. Um certo tipo de pessoas andando por um certo tipo de rua. É um som lá de fora que vem pelas janelas e que você consegue ouvir. É o som de sinos e de trilhos de trem distantes e discussões em apartamentos e o barulho dos talheres e facas e garfos e tiras de couro.

Isso é tudo – tudo que preciso está ali.

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