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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Newport Film Festival to Screen Body of Work

Financing a movie? Well you might want to read this for inspiration. StrangeLand Films and Director Farnaz Samiinia, with producing partner, Isabel Gallardo, did just that for suspense thriller Body of Work. Welcome to Newport, California: where the film will screen at April’s Newport Beach Film Festival. With a vision to boot, the film’s inspiration came from a published play by Brian Alan Lane, also the writer of the film. Samiinia exudes,“When I read the play the very first time, I fell in-love with the relationship between the two characters. That’s when I decided to work around the characters and create a story that has a beginning, middle and end.” These characters took shape in the acting abilities of John McCook, Eric Tiede, and Lorenzo Lamas of The Bold and the Beautiful.

Okay, so we know before financing comes the pitch, and thus far, Samiinia and Isabel were well on their way. It was a gamble of their time, their energy, and their continued motivation to get this film made. As actor Philip Seymour Hoffman notes, “If you don’t take a risk in life, you’ll never get anywhere.” (Life Weekend Magazine, 02/17/06). So with a willful risk in mind, the creative team persists until “no money” in the account becomes filled with green.

Guess it is worthwhile to go to film school. You have Francis Ford Coppola who attended UCLA, Monster’s Patty Jenkins went to AFI’s Directing Program, and Samiinia is an alumna of Cal State Long Beach. She says, “We were able to get forty percent of our financing through our excellent film program. The rest of the budget was provided through producer, Roy Jahangard.” Hollywood’s Clairmont Camera donated a camera package, the actors worked on deferred salaries, and it always pays to maintain connections within the industry. As a film student, Samiinia interned at The Bold and The Beautiful, met camera operator, Ted Morales, who became Associated Producer on Body of Work. I’ll leave you wondering what the actual budget was until the end.

Okay so you have the pitch, the screenplay, and now the money, but where does your production fit into the debate of film versus digital? Gallardo answers that for you. She says, “We knew shooting in film would put us way over budget. We worked close with our DP, Michael Franks, to make sure Farnaz could get what she wanted and the picture would have life on tape.” So they chose to shoot digital, and with a generous Sony 950HD camera donation. Gallardo continues, “The film looks great and we are very pleased.”

With this $10,000 procurement, the filmmaking team isn’t doing so badly in audience appeal. Past screenings include The Pico Playhouse Theater and LA based, Cinewoman, at The Synergy Coffee Lounge. Newport Festival wants them. And Samiinia and Gallardo’s determination on Body of Work lead to a summer 2006 production deal on a thriller with Silver Plane Films. I don’t think Samiinia knows the definition of “down time.” She says, “My current job is to focus on my upcoming feature films and maintain the momentum. I have a mission to accomplish!” (see next page)
As a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, Michelle Paster’s work can be seen in The Phoenix New Times, Film & Video Magazine, The Festival Rag, Beach City Styles Magazine, and The Orange County Metro. michelle@partialreality.com

take a look at the website: http://www.strangelandfilms.com

Starring John McCook, Eric Tiede, Lorenzo Lamas
Produced by: Isabel Gallardo
Written by: Brian Alan Lane
Director of Photography: Michael Franks
Costume Designer: Sarah Novin
Production Designer: Meryl Kanegis
Art Director: Michelle Draper
Production Manager: Angie Piccirillo
Music by: Mark Lanz Weiser
Associate Producer: Ted Morales
Producer: Roy Jahangard
Directed and Edited by: Farnaz Samiinia

By Michelle Paster


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Chatelin Bruno
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