Tag Archives: International Filmmakers

Badr Farha Awarded at IndieFEST 2016 for “The Last Conversation” and Will Now Direct the Upcoming Film “Margaret”

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Poster for Badr Farha’s film “The Last Conversation”

 

International filmmaker Badr Farha earned the Award of Recognition at the 2016 IndieFEST Film Awards earlier this year for the film “The Last Conversation,” which he wrote and directed.

“The Last Conversation” starring Christopher Callen from the film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and the series “One Life to Live” and “Young and the Restless,” Eddie Eisele from “Die Hard Dracula” and “Sweet and Lowdown,” and Don Lucas from the film “Party Like the Rich and Famous,” brings to the screen a dramatic tale of secrets exposed and the loss of a loved one. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, you can get a taste of Farha’s brilliant approach to this intensely emotional story through the trailer below.

After Lucas’s character Luci, a middle-aged man who’s kept a life-long secret from those around him, discovers that his mother’s advanced stage of cancer is terminal, the need to reveal these unspoken truths arises. However, whether he’s ready to tell her or not, Luci’s mother Yvonne could very well find out the truth as Luci’s ability to keep his secrets in the dark falters in the midst of the pain he feels over her imminent passing.

The heart-wrenching and layered drama, which was accepted into the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage, reveals Farha’s acute vision as both a director and an art director. The powerful emotions within the story are intensified further by the film’s score, which was composed by Julian De La Chica and performed by the Scorchio Quartet in New York City. The founder of Irreverence Group Music (IGM), De La Chica is a Colombian born pianist and composer who currently resides in New York.

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Farha’s Indie Fest Award for “The Last Conversation”

“The Last Conversation” is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Farha’s accolades in the industry to date; but, what is even more impressive is the fact that his creative talents encompass multiple fields of work in film. Considering the heavy competition and large pool of talented individuals who want to work in film, Farha’s accomplishments as an art director, director, screenwriter and to top it off, a production designer, have proven him to be someone with a remarkably rare gift for bringing stories to life on film.

“Writing and directing have always been my end goal. Over the years I’ve purposefully taken on a wide spectrum of leadership roles on film productions from the creative design aspects of production design and art direction, which create the environment for the stories we are creating, to working as a producer where I’ve tested and perfected my ability to execute and ensure that a project is flawlessly created as envisioned,” explains Farha.

“Aside from simply enjoying the process, these experiences have laid the foundation for me to become the director I am today. As the head of the entire film production, a director needs to manage the leads of every department in order to make sure the vision is clear, attainable and that everyone is on the same page… I don’t know if that would be possible if I hadn’t spent the time devoting myself to actual performing the roles myself.”

Over the last few years Farha has been working closely with producers Regina Bang and Javier Del Olmo, who produced “The Last Conversation” through their production company, Bang Bang Pictures.

After linking up a little over two years ago on the film “Deliver Us,” which Bang production designed, Del Olmo produced and Farha art directed, an unstoppable team was formed. “Deliver Us” earned a $10,000 grand prize, and Bang and Del Olmo going on to form Bang Bang Pictures soon after.

Some of Bang’s other work as a producer include feature films such as “Sophie Gold, the Diary of a Gold Digger,” and “Finding Her,” which was line produced by Del Olmo and starred Johnny Whitworth from “Limitless,” “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” and ABC’s newest hit TV series “Blindspot,” and Larry Pine from “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “House of Cards”.

In addition to “The Last Conversation,” Farha production designed the film “More Than Words,” as well as art directed “When Negatives Collide,” both of which were produced by Bang Bang Pictures. While the films portray two totally different narratives, with “More than Words” focusing on a young couple as they struggle to cope with terminal illness and the painfully real possibility of losing one another if a cure is not found, and “When Negatives Collides” centering on a lower class teenager’s struggle to move forward from her tarnished past and form a stronger bond with her mother, both films were well received internationally in their own right.

““When Negatives Collide,” which was written and directed by Michelle Castro, a well-known cinematographer and international filmmaker who has collaborated with Farha and the team at Bang Bang Pictures on multiple occasions over the last few years, also earned the Award of Merit at the IndieFest Film Awards in 2015. That makes Farha’s recent award win at the 2016 IndieFest Film Awards for “The Last Conversation” the second time his work has gained praise at the popular LA-based awards festival in the past year!

Additionally the film, “When Negatives Collide,” was also chosen as an Official Selection of the 2015 International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts IFFCA, Studio City Film Festival and the Sun and Sand Film Festival, and it was also included in the Cannes Film Festival Court Metrage along with Farha and Bang Bang Picture’s other films “More Than Words” and “The Last Conversation.”

The fact that these filmmakers had three films in the prestigious internationally renowned festival in Nice, France last year speaks leagues to the power of their collaborative efforts; and, with the creative juices in full swing, the team has joined forces once again to bring audiences the upcoming film “Margaret,” which Farha is slated to direct. The upcoming film will begin shooting in April and stars Lucia Moerk as Margaret, as well as Christopher Callen who will take on the role of Mother Superior.

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Poster for Badr Farha’s upcoming film “Margaret”
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Producer Wows Audiences Across Cultures

Producer Min Dai shot by  Jan Cain
                                                                  Producer Min Dai shot by Jan Cain

In today’s global economy, cultural exchange is a valuable tool to possess. So has been the experience of producer Min Dai, who will attest that running productions in both China and the United States has greatly developed her ability to work in varying cultural conditions.

Throughout the last 10 years, Min has been in charge of the production process for countless film, television, and musical projects in both China and the US.

In addition to her work in editing and production, Min has extensive experience in writing, directing, visual effects, sound and cinematography. With such rich, far-reaching expertise in these areas, one can safely say that Min fully knows the ins and outs of the filmmaking process.

Her knowledge about the production process began long before she was able to contribute. As a child, Min learned what it took to run a successful production company from her mother. As a teenager, Min began writing, producing, and directing her own films, as well as those for independent filmmakers.

As a young adult, she began her professional career with the China International Television Corporation. During her time there, Min was put in charge of the production for several television series, including Mission for Peace and King of Silk, which starred major Chinese actors such as Ma Yili and Zhang Guangbei.

While in China, Min also served as executive producer for the King’s Film Company as well as the WIN China Group, where she spearheaded the production and editing processes for many films and commercials.

Min began to collaborate on projects in the United States upon partnering with Jackie Subeck of Footprint Worldwide, a company that works closely with Chinese productions. While working with Footprint, Min led live production for Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars for the Chinese portion of their international tours.

It was not long after these experiences that Min brought her talent to the United States. During her time in the US, Min has focused on film, which she describes as her favorite type of production.

While Min has produced many dramatic films, including Eat a Hot Dumpling Slowly, Device, Icebox, Meeting Gary and 4 Latas, she has also thrived as a producer of documentary films.

“At times,” Min said, “I find documentaries have a much stronger social impact, [and are] sometimes more intense than a thriller.”

Two of these documentaries that were of particular social impact were A Trip to Tibet and You and Me.

A Trip to Tibet followed a group of teachers from Beijing who volunteered to help in a Tibetan school. During their time there, they found that the conditions were far worse than they had imagined, calling attention to the current struggle in Tibet and the country’s need for support.

You and Me offered a somber glimpse into “the dark side of elderly care taking” in the Washington region. The film showed how many senior citizens are abandoned and treated poorly, and highlighted the Washington County Home, which takes in many elderly lacking resources and access to care.

Min recently worked with InterMix Productions on another documentary, entitled Wake Up With Me, which is currently in post-production. The film features a group of people living in New York, and attempted to answer the question: does social media help people connect, or does it prevent them from doing so?

As she has continued to demonstrate her abilities in the US, Min has developed relationships with high-ranking figures in the entertainment industry. One such example is Carl Gilliard, whom Min met during the filming of Meeting Gary.

Gilliard is not only known for his role as an actor in more than 70 films, including Inception, Coach Carter, and the television series 24, but he is also the founder of the Gilliard Media Group. Min is currently working with the Gilliard Media Group on several upcoming projects.

Min’s dedication to making the best decisions in the production process is evident, as she has had a tremendous role as producer of countless critically acclaimed films, television series’, commercials, and events to which she has lent her talent; and she shows no signs of stopping.