Our filmmakers 2024
Here are a few of our filmmakers from this coming festival interviewed at 75 Dean Street by Liz Farahadi our Festival Director & Founder.
Producer, writer and actor – Abe Smyth
Producer, writer and actor Abe Smyth stepped into the studio for our SohoLIFF Spotlights to catch up on a host of horrific things about his latest film Woodshed. Special Effects courtesy of Louise Sheridan and all on a budget, find out how they achieved their blood curdling effects and more, right here… We have its London Premiere too, so make sure you watch this space!
Producer – Sophie Daniel
Such a personal and challenging story of imbalance and truly facing adversity. The lack of access to medical support sees 2 sisters with the same condition highlighting the injustice experienced by living simply oceans apart. The additional challenges faced by director (and friend) Sophie Daniel in telling this story are shared as we met for this amazing SohoLIFF Spotlight. Looking at where to step in or step back was huge, and yet the resulting documentary is emotional and effective… A five-year journey culminating for now in this amazing documentary. Hear their story, walk their journey and support their cause.
My (Refugee) Life
Director Sam Forsdike & Contributor Zarith
An alternative and uplifting look at how refugees’ stereotypes and preconceptions can be realigned by this film of hope, promise and progression. It follows the lives of a group of people reflected by 5 individuals who have turned their (new) lives around and begun to rebuild their own paths having been displaced from their country of birth, and now living in the UK.
It was a truly organic project as the 5 contributors’ lives evolved and shaped the stories that the Breaking Barriers charity set out to capture.
Zarith, one of the contributors whose life is followed in the documentary, is joined by director Sam as they both share their own experiences of the production process and life thereafter with us. A very different experience of this production journey.
The Long Walk
Writer & Producer – Andrew Alton-Read
Writer, Director and Editor – Vignesh Vyas
Such a touching and personal story of writer/producer Andrew Alton-Read as he’s bravely shared about their own experiences of mental health challenges, both as a child and again in later life as an adult.
Staring Michelle Collins, it depicts a family’s struggle to comprehend the lengths they needed to go and the separation along the way to help support their nearest and dearest.
In our interview, Andrew reflects on how they go about sharing such simple and important messages about facing these challenges in just finding ways to reach out.
Occupational Therapist and director Vignesh Vyas’s talks about having collaborated to steer this project in a whole new direction, which was originally been set to be a horror film.
Producer/Writer/Director – Ryan Paige
In this Spotlight interview we talk to writer/director Ryan Paige. We’re delighted he’s bringing his film Making Up to the 2024 SohoLIFF festival. It’s a story of love, family, and the possibility of reconciliation and forms part of our LGBTQ+ strand.
In his interview Ryan talks about the challenges around casting for LGBTQ+ roles, tokenism, his experience as a script editor and how that helped hone his film making skills, and the importance of community in short-film making.
The Other Woman
Director – Cameron Lee Horace
“Frank” – Andy Anson
Director Cameron Lee Horace and Andy Anson who plays Frank came to talk to us about Cameron’s film, The Other Woman. Cameron developed the complex narrative, which is an adaptation of Miles Gibson’s short story, Can You Hear Me.
The film was shot during covid, a poignant time for Cameron, as he witnessed themes within the film come to life outside it; elderly people unable to connect with the outside world. It’s a story of reflection, of hope for a life you could live. And a truly personal and independent project for Cameron, as he brought the story to life with no funding.
Writer/director – Zoe Broad
First time writer and director Zoe Broad joined us to talk about her fantastic short film Parallel, which focuses on themes of mental health, including grief, suicide, and the role of – and access to – therapy. The main two characters meet on a railway bridge; they differ in social circumstance, but are connected by emotional experience.
Zoe pulled from her own experience of the therapeutic environment to achieve authenticity in this film, but also talks about how the script resonated with the actors, who were able to use their own connection with the characters to elevate the material.
Robbi Stevens and Abbie Elliot discuss their “call to action”, The Nightingale
“It was everywhere,” says writer and director Robbi Stevens. While running an acting training company, she found that every other woman she met was dealing with the fallout of sexual assault or rape to the point it had become normalised. When Covid hit, she used the opportunity to create this incredibly powerful and moving film – her call to action. Robbi and Abbie explain how (unusually) they wanted to make the film an uncomfortable watch, to ensure “good men” were included in the narrative, and the importance of education in breaking down the stereotypes of masculinity.
Liz catches up with Stuart Morriss, Producer and Casting Director of horror film Pareidolia
Pareidolia’s lead Dianne Franklin said “no zombies and no shorts, but if the script is good, I’ll do it.” The script was indeed good, as Dianne together, director Aaron Truss, and their production team created a remarkable horror short.
But what exactly is pareidolia? In this interview Producer Stuart explains and talks to how Pareidolia mimics the 80s horror genre, finding its brilliance as a CGI-free fright-fest, using music and its sound scape to produce the chills…
Marvin the Vampire
Adrian Leon and Erwin Janke talk to Liz about their Vampire comedy.
A timeless horror short around Vampire challenges like you’ve never seen before; even they need help with ‘issues’, right? Packed full of double entendre and innuendo, it’s funny and entertaining, while conscious and well written.
The friends and co-producers behind it, Adrian Leon and Erwin Janke talk with us about the challenges of filming in just a few days. 9 years in development – it’s arrived! On an incredible budget…
The Eyes of Marge
We were thrilled to be talking to returning festival stalwart Lily Howkins on ‘Eyes of Marge’.
Get unsettled with this slow build horror; find out about all the things that attracted the director/actor/choreographer to take this on board. Aside from the production challenges – it’s current and present.
They flip the script – literally and draw you in to their fear and horror… Big scripts on small budgets – tick! Limitations create opportunities – find out how Lily think this happens.