By Gemma Wilson and Dana Ferguson
MARBELLA International Film Festival opened its doors yesterday, set to showcase 65 independently made films from around the world.
Independent filmmakers are gathering to show off their talent at the H10 Andalucia Plaza hotel, competing to win the award for best in their category.
UK film WarHouse, billed as a ‘gripping, brutal, psychological thriller with a supernatural edge’ was one of this year’s first feature films.
The film explores the difficult issues soldiers bring back with them from war.
Lead character A.J. wakes each day trapped in a house by himself, and is forced to fight off the same monster day after day.
The Olive Press caught up with the film’s co-writers and lead actor Matt Ryan outside the Andalucia Plaza last night to discuss the film.
“It’s post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s everything those poor guys bring home with them,” said Benjamin Read, writer and producer of the film.
Director and co-writer Luke Massey added: “That’s what the monster represents, and that’s what the isolation represents in the film. It’s about a soldier who comes home to nothing.”
Having of course seen the movie again and again, none of them attended the film screening Wednesday evening – instead they went across the street to grab a pint!
Read said the WarHouse crew has attended a small number of film festivals so far, including Cannes, and that they hoped to network with investors and other filmmakers during their weekend in Marbella.
“For us we’re from a very small town in the middle of England called Stratford-upon-Avon, there’s not a film industry in Stratford so for us to get out and meet other film makers is a big thing,” Read said.
Festival director Mac Chakaveh said the festival, now in its seventh year, provides a platform for independent filmmakers to promote their films.
“Filmmakers, by their own nature, are artists. That’s why Hollywood studios used to make so much money out of them, because they are artists they don’t think business,” Mac said.
“Our objective is to try and help them along. Not to think business, but to show them the roots,” he added.
The festival provides differing levels of support for filmmakers in various stages of progress. For those who are just starting, they can participate in a 24-hour film challenge with crews competing against one another to make a short film in just one day.
For those at more advanced levels, the festival offers support in finding investors – a crucial element in getting a movie to take off.
Caroline Burns Cooke wrote and starred in her own British short film Myra, about Myra Hindley – one of the 1960s Moors murderers.
Cooke said the film was inexpensive to make because she maintained a small crew and did much of the work herself.
“We did it on no money at all, it cost £30,” Cooke said.
Cooke said Myra is ‘quintessentially English’ and she was surprised it was accepted to an international festival.
“It’s sort of the darkest story possible in a way. It is even more difficult to accept a woman who will kill children, than a man. She’s sort of trying to get the audience to in some way sympathise with her,” Cooke said.
Film screenings will continue all weekend with an award ceremony on Sunday night.
‘VIP’ passes are available for spectators interested in going to watch any of the films or go to any of the parties.
“The idea really is to make Marbella the home of independent film industry, to make it the next Cannes,” added Chakaveh.
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