Cafard is a stylized expression of the relationships between truth and lies, faith and infidelity, and dreams and reality. Skillfully blending metaphor and tone to produce a work of elevated genre, this film dissects the abuser-victim dynamic through the narrative of one couple's disintegration.
Inclusion StatementThis narrative aims to dissect imbalances of power between victims and abusers in unhealthy relationships, and to explore the outcome of toxic masculinity. We would like to acknowledge that the land (Toronto) on which this film is shot is the traditional territory of many nations.
About The Project
Jack is a liar and a cheater. His girlfriend Nancy wants to believe the best in him to preserve their relationship, but she is getting suspicious, and her dreams reveal the truth to her. His deceit begins to catch up to him, and slowly strange things begin to happen to his body. What starts out as a small rash slowly mutates into something terrible, right beneath the surface of Jack’s skin. When Jack is caught by Nancy, his little secret comes to a head, producing a disastrous outcome.
This story of action and consequence through a metaphor that demands to be unfolded. The manifestation of Jack’s lies putrefies his body in conjunction with the lies that erode his relationship, and the punishment is suiting of the crime: as he transgresses his loyalty to Nancy through bodily acts of sex, Jack receives a physical reminder of his infidelity. The shock at the climax makes the film’s conceit clear: in scenarios of unfaithfulness and deceit, the lasting impact is left on the victim rather than the abuser.
This piece straddles drama and the surreal. Nancy’s dream, along with the worsening state of Jack’s hand, press viewers to question what, if anything, in the couple’s life is provoking these strange happenings. In the way that films like David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, David Cronenberg’s Crash, and Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy begin with peculiarities and slowly build a world of absurd behaviour and surreal events, the tone of Cafard itself evolves throughout the narrative; by the end, the action dissolves completely into nightmarish pandemonium.
From the Director:
My vision as a director is to collaborate on projects that express what we perceive as universal truths, the idealism of the world, the contradictions and absurdity of human nature, and the beauty in our everyday lives. Through this perspective, I am drawn toward telling stories that are character-driven, as that is the key to creating an authentic world to which an audience can identify. I firmly believe that a script written by a director is only the blueprint of the story; a story that is set to unfold through collaboration with the cast and crew.
Why this film?
“Cafard” sets out to tell a story about the power dynamics between men and women, and the injustice of relationships that have been controlled by masculine narratives for far too long, in a nightmarish way that bends reality into surrealism. The performances, in conjunction with the tone, are the key to telling this story properly. What begins in the vein of melodrama, devolves into a bad dream, with horror film qualities that will be sure to make an audiences skin crawl.
Why this team?
This is a team of young professionals who have been hard at work in the film industry in Toronto for the past 5 years. The world of filmmaking is unforgiving: long hours, paying your dues, and constant rejection. What fuels this team is their passion and their ambition to tell stories through the language of cinema in order to connect with audiences with a lasting impression. We are a team that has known one another for the good part of a decade, we have learned together, and in many ways have fostered a small community of filmmakers helping one another grow. We love cinema and we want our audience to feel something—and we also want to scare you a bit along the way!
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About This Team
ALFIO FOTI — WRITER/ DIRECTOR
Alfio is a Toronto-based writer and the director of over 10 short films and the feature film, Mouthful. He is currently working as a freelance editor on both commercial and narrative projects. Alfio attended Toronto Film School where he studied film production. His short film, “Mine”, was shot on 16mm and was selected to screen at the Toronto Short Film Festival. Upon graduating, he began to direct and write several no-budget short films, and soon after, finished writing his now completed feature film, Mouthful. Drawing inspiration from Richard Linklater's Slacker, Kevin Smith's Clerks, and the low-budget indie movement of the early 90s, he and a handful of collaborators shot the film over weekends during the summer of 2017. The film was completed in June of 2018 and screened locally at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto. He has also produced a second feature film, Pulk, which completed post-production in May of 2019 and will be entering film festivals in the coming months.
EMILIJA DAVIDOVIC — PRODUCER
Born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia, Emilija had the honor to be involved in the “old-school” European film and theatre scene in high school. She travelled Europe, initially performing in theatre, but soon diverted her focus on the craft and logistics behind the scene and camera. She was mentored and guided by the Serbian (and European) greats, Srdjan Karanovic (director) and Misa Djordjevic (producer). After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics and Literature, Toronto Film School was the next step in Emilija’s education, where she was awarded the President’s Award as the graduate with the highest cumulative GPA. Emilija completed the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) Screen-based Media Production Program, where she was mentored by top Canadian producers, Paul Scherzer of Six Island Productions and Paula Devonshire of the Devonshire Productions. Emilija has produced a number of music videos, short films and webseries, and co-produced several feature films. When she is not producing, Emilija teaches Budgeting and Scheduling at the Toronto Film School.
FRANCESCO BERTOLUCI — CINEMATOGRAPHER
Francesco Bertoluci is a citizen of the world: he was born in Montreal and raised both in Canada and Brazil, making him fluent in four languages. Now based in Toronto, he works as a lighting technician on major television shows in the city, and as a cinematographer on independent projects ranging from short format ad campaign videos to feature films. With technical certifications from AQTIS and IATSE to supplement his 2013 Film Production studies at Toronto Film School, Francesco has been able to marry his creativity and unique perspective to an exceptional understanding of visual language. Such abilities secured him a spot in the school's hall of fame for his short film "Meaningful Things", followed by the start of a successful career in visual storytelling. In 2017, Francesco collaborated with Mulligan Pictures on Mouthful, which was completed that same year and is now making its way through the film festival circuit. Inspired by nature and his experiences, Francesco is often drawn to projects that show the extraordinary in the mundane and those that push the boundaries of cinematic techniques.
Celina Fazio is a writer and editor living in Toronto. She brings to this project her background in literature, paired with her love of storytelling and visual narratives. Celina draws inspiration from all things strange.