Mission StatementEarthshine & Night Glow are made by a female filmmaker who strives to find the balance of two strong currents in our lives - the outer & the inner world. Exploring where social injustice gets in our way due to nationality, ethnicity or gender or where we face our own personal judgement.
About The Project
In this unique situation I have two movies in the final stages of post production.
T W O.
Find out more what they're about:
An uprooted refugee family reaches their assigned new home - an isolated cabin in the Austrian alps. Finally a place for themselves, a place to start anew. Mentally exhausted to the brink, every minor issue in the old house is yet like another drop in hot oil. But Ali and Nura try to keep going - especially for the children. However there is another challenge around the corner.
Night Glow is a heartfelt romance about the sleepless night of an ever companionless man, Conrad, with French émigré, Olivia. It’s an intimate, microscopic look on relationships, packaged as a modern slice-of-life fairytale.
The big question.
When I suddenly decided I was going to study filmmaking, I quite honestly had little clue about WHY I am doing it. I was intrigued by it, it sounded fun, challenging and like something I could NEVER do. So I did it.
Never have I stopped and asked myself why I really wanted to do all of this. But I dived into the deep end, cold water and all - and I really don't like swimming too much... And yet - I have miraculously found myself in the answers of WHY.
I can state a million reasons why I shouldn't make movies or why it's an insane endevaour and above all impossible to be a part of this industry.
But my answer to why that mesmerizes me the most is -
u n d e r s t a n d i n g
Don't get me wrong, I'm so far from understanding anything in this world, but I have started to try. Trying to understand other people, people that are different than me. Trying to understand my own family, friends, people who are close to me (I know we all have that one person we don't quite understand why they act or are a certain way). And finally, trying to... understand myself.
Trying to understand anything starts with being attentive, observant, listening. And in this crazy, ever-changing, ultra-fast world where it feels like sharp arrows are pointed at us from all sides all the time (2020 got us locked in for sure) we hardly ever stop and look - and listen. Me included. Notice the small details of life, the seemingly insignificant that should matter the most.
We need to look for understanding, ask for understanding and provide understanding.
Filmmaking opened that door for me - to look for the why. Here's how:
Earthshine, the story about a refugee family, is an attempt of putting together a fictional story about a topic that has triggered some hurtful conversations in my life. I tried to get a better understanding of both sides. Just to try to put myself in the shoes of a family that has to leave everything behind in order to find safety. I also tried to understand the worried citizens of the country they were entering, who themselves turned out to be mostly just concerned about their safety.
While Earthshine is about a Syrian refugee family, what happens to them could happen to any family, from any background. I wrote this story to remind ourselves that in cases of emergency, I truly believe that people will reach out a helping hand.
Nationality is secondary. Humanity first.
In contrast, Night Glow was an attempt to look deeper inside myself.
Conrad’s pursuit of vocalizing his love to someone else is also journey into accepting his own quirks and insecurities before he’s able to extend that love to someone else.
Besides, it was a quest to go back to the basics - to put two people in one room and see if even with minimal dialogue one can tell a compelling and also visually interesting story.
It's probably the worst of times to ask for money. The current narrative that's on repeat sounds like this: "Yes, after all of this is over, I'll do this... As soon as it's back to normal we'll do that."
But you can't really postpone life. Life still goes on. Especially now, when most of the film production is shut down and people are stuck at home. But what better time than now to explore and share stories that are not accessible through mainstream TV?
With your pledge you'll receive links to both short films, something new for you to enjoy from the comforts of your home.
OULA AL KHATIB
Oula lived in Damascus before she came to Austria in 2014 with her family via Turkey by boat and on foot. Back in Syria, she studied Psychology and then drama studies at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts. Afterwards she has made a very diverse career. For most of her life she was a scriptwriter for TV series. She has also filmed documentaries on political topics, directed the plays “Syrian Room” and “Lovers”. Since she is in Austria, she acted in several films, has written plays and held readings. She also directed an absurdist play called “Flüchtling im Wunderland” (refugee in wonderland).
Khalid Moubaid was born in Damascus, Syria, where he studied acting at the acting school "Theatro" between 2009 and 2012. During his studies, he has already played diverse roles in a number of theater plays. Since 2014, he has been living in Austria. He took part in several film and theater productions, among them "Traiskirchen. Das Musical“ (with performances in the Viennese Volkstheater) and the short films "Haram“ (director: Mahir Yildiz). Khalid has also been involved as an acting instructor in projects with youths and children related to theater and media education.
SHAM & AHMED SHAAR
Sham & Ahmed are originally from Idlib, Syria and joined their father in Werfen, Austria, after having to live alone with their mother in Jordan for 8 months until they received asylum approval to move to Austria. They are both respectively going to primary and middle school.
Jeff Brody is an American actor best known for the role as Tom in the Amazon Prime series Public Displays of Insanity (2019). After earning a Master of Arts from Emerson College, a performing arts school in Boston, he worked for 20 years in the corporate world. Knowing that something was still missing in his life, he eventually made the shift and fully focused on acting in 2013.
TINA VAN BERCKELAER
Tina Van Berckelaer is a Belgian born in New York, and raised in Paris, Singapore, and Pittsburgh. She speaks English like an American, French like a Parisian, and Dutch like a Fleming. Educated at Stanford University and based in Los Angeles, she has performed with The Porters of Hellsgate, as well as at The Theatre @ Boston Court, Sacred Fools Theatre, Zoo District, Rubicon Theatre, Sierra Repertory Theatre, The New York International Fringe Festival, Folger Shakespeare Library, and the cult favorite Grand Guignolers de Paris as The Absinthe Fairy. You may have seen her on TV shushing “Chuck”, as a dying patient on “House”, or as a French fashion designer on “Days of Our Lives”. “Bunker 731” is available on iTunes, and remains one of her most fulfilling film experiences.
Find more about the crew HERE.
Seeing a movie through from beginning to end is an endeavor in and of itself and even when the film is finished you are still not done.
Honoring the tremendously talented cast and crew and their tireless effort & contribution is incredibly important to me.
The big chunks have been accounted for already - both films are in the can and have reached final cut stage. Night Glow is entirely finished and ready to be screened, whereas Earthshine needs some more funds to conclude the sound design & music part.
A film needs to be seen and as in every filmmaker’s dream - on the biggest screen possible. But submitting to festivals costs time and money. With COVID-19 time might have been added, but money on the other hand is rather limited. We are therefore asking for your gracious help.
With your support the following items can be covered:
- Finishing sound design / music
- Film festivals & marketing
- DCPs & shipping costs
We are really on the final yards / meters (whatever you prefer) of these films’ adventures. We are pushing through the last polishing touches and can’t wait to sit back and witness how everything unfolds. We are already filled up to the brim with gratitude for anyone who is checking out the campaign itself. If you can take add any part of contribution (pledge money or share the project) we’ll be forever thankful.
Please follow us also on social media!
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
COVID-19 has confronted each and everyone of us with a new set of challenges. Luckily we are in the post production phase - therefore remote working from home is possible. Nevertheless we'll make sure the needed precautions are in place for every final step.
Questions about the project? Please reach out to us! email@example.com
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
As the saying goes: It takes a village to make a movie.
For Earthshine that was literally what it meant. It felt like the whole town where I'm from (Flachau) was in some form or another involved in the movie. My kindergarten friends helped out, my mother was the absolute MVP and we stole a table from my father's cousin (sorry about that again...). It was a rewarding feeling to film at home, but at times also daunting. It comes with a certain pressure.
Besides the incredible help from all sides, basically the support from an entire village, I was especially lucky to have been backed by both the place where I'm from, but also by the people from places I've lived in throughout my life. We had support from LA and Germany and of course our talented Syrian cast.
COMPLETE CAST & CREW LIST
WRITER & DIRECTOR
I am a filmmaker currently residing in Los Angeles, California. Earthshine and Night Glow were written, directed and produced during my time at the New York Film Academy, from where I’ve graduated this year. Originally from Austria, I have previously worked in marketing, media and events for over 5 years. I have lived and worked in several cities around the world including Berlin, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. I was able to not only expand my professional knowledge but also meet people with many different backgrounds and gain a deeper understanding of various cultures. In order to tell the stories that I have witnessed over the last years and the deep longing to understand human nature a little more, I chose to study filmmaking to express what I have discovered.
Johanna Dülfer studied Media Sciences and went on to be a senior project manager for large scale automotive car shows and press conferences at the Berlin agency Blue Scope. She worked for brands such as BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, facilitating seamless operation at the intersection of design, consulting and implementation of communication and brand strategies.
Heidi Zimmermann & Paulo de Biasi
Heidi & Paulo joined forces to create CINECLOUD, a cinematographer collective, with the objective of unifying their skills to mold quality cinematography work.
The two directors of photography earned their master’s degree in Cinematography in Los Angeles, and since then garnered extensive experience in shaping stories with an impressive body of work in shorts, commercials, music videos and feature films.
They are based in Salzburg and continue to paint with light and visuals a unique world for every story they set out to tell.
Melanie Schröder in her day-to-day has little to do with filmmaking. But she is an outstanding designer, recently opened her own design studio "Beyond The Scope" where she creates visual brand & event identities - analog, digital and in spaces. She went to high school with me and did a phenomenal job navigating through the demands of a chaotic set, ensuring the creative vision is being held together in every location.
Shayan is an Iranian-American filmmaker who grew up in Tehran until the age of 15. While attending UCLA, Shayan filmed and edited a documentary called The Drop Box, which went on to win the grand jury prize at SAICFF and was later released theatrically, becoming one of the highest grossing movies in Fathom Events history. Since then, he has edited another theatrical feature film called The Dating Project, as well as nationally-broadcast commercials for companies such as Google, iHeart Radio, and Volkswagen. In 2019, Shayan wrote and directed several award-winning short films and viral Persian sketch videos, and is currently preparing to direct his first feature film about an Iranian family. Most recently, he was hired to adapt a New York Times bestselling novel into an animated film.
Night Glow felt like another home game. I lived in LA for the past 3 years and was fortunate enough to encounter some amazingly talented people who I can now call friends.
Earthshine cinematographer Heidi flew in to film it, since after that short film I can barely think of working with anyone else, since her skills, talents and attitude is unparalleled. What an honor it was for me to do both films with her.
80% of the Night Glow crew were women. I just naturally gravitate towards working with women and the ones I've collaborated with are particularly dedicated to their department and artform.
Vitória Mitsuyo Wada
Born in Brazil, Vitória moved to the United States to pursue her dream of becoming a filmmaker. For the past three years, she worked as a Production Designer and Wardrobe Stylist on various independent film sets. Her interests within filmmaking also include writing and directing. She loves the thrill of being on set. She wants to make movies that touch and that hold a powerful message.
Jessica Coro, born and raised in Guatemala, found her passion of filmmaking in 2013 on a vacaction course in Casa Comal Escuela in Guatemala City, where she also found her love for editing. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and got Avid certified in 2018 and is currently working as a freelance editor.
Jay Swuen (孫偉傑) is a Los Angeles & Beijing based Director, Cinematographer and Digital Colorist. As an international filmmaker, he has worked in many different environments and cities both in US and China, with over seven years of experience in Multimedia Industry and three years in film industry. Utilizing his binary culture background, Jay Swuen has worked with a lot of award-winning crews and has been actively involved in various US/CHINESE films and TV shows, with distinct styles including drama, comedy, sci-fi, VR 360, thriller, reality show, commercials, etc. Swuen’s films have screened in competition at many prestigious international festivals.
COMPLETE CAST & CREW LIST
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