Waiting for UNE LIBÉRATION’s premiere
The question I am most frequently asked at the moment is, “When will UNE LIBÉRATION premiere?”
I’m honored people are excited to see the film. Believe me, no one is more frustrated waiting for the final product to be released than I. Thanks to the International Cinematographers Guild recently awarding our DP George Feucht, UNE LIBÉRATION was included in a group of ten films that featured work directed by Janusz Kaminski, executive produced by Edward Norton, and photographed by the amazing camera operator behind CHILDREN OF MEN. Having our film included with such esteemed company was incredible and it makes this waiting game for our eventual premiere even harder for me, because George’s award represents a form of validation, confirming that we have created something special to share with audiences.
The cause of this delayed premiere is, in part, my fault and it goes back to the core reason I wanted to make this film. While my previous short, FAR has had a great deal of success, I felt a need to up my game on every level. That started with the premise of doing an action/drama set in WWII with three different speaking languages at triple FAR‘s budget. It continued into production, shooting with two Alexa Cameras while photographing practical locations, stunts, and effects. Just as my team and I strived to break new ground producing the film, I also want UNE LIBÉRATION‘s release to go beyond what our previous films have accomplished. That means making a run at scoring a premiere at one of the highest tier festivals.
I’m a touch superstitious, so I won’t name those festivals, but I’d wager anyone reading a film blog can guess which ones I’m talking about. Getting into one of these festivals is like winning the lottery because everyone with a film submits to them. FAR played at so many incredible festivals around the globe and I hope UNE LIBÉRATION will provide an opportunity to revisit each of them. However, I am holding off on submitting to the majority of the festivals that screened FAR until after we premiere. While I never take any festival acceptance for granted, if possible, I’d like to give UNE LIBÉRATION a chance to stand on its own.
Playing this waiting game for the right festival acceptance to premiere our film has undoubtedly been the most difficult part of the process for me. I’m a very proactive person; however, once I’ve submitted the film, there’s little more I can do than sit back and wait for notification e-mails. I hate waiting.
This is the one aspect of the film that is out of my control and yet it may very well define the entire project and what it accomplishes. Most frustrating of all is that we may not get into any of the festivals I’ve targeted for a host of reasons beyond the quality of the film. While still in post production, a festival director, who at the time didn’t know anything about UNE LIBÉRATION, told me she was sick of all WWII films with Nazis. If that’s the point of view before someone even presses play, we are at a serious disadvantage.
Other reasons I can imagine for being turned down include the fact that our 16-minute run time might be too long of a short to program, the story’s tone might not be in keeping with a festival’s theme this year, an intern viewing screeners just missed us for some reason, or a festival programmer could straight up dislike the film — not every film is for every person.
My biggest concern is that while the film plays beautifully in the theaters we’ve tested it at with 2k picture and 5.1 sound, that experience might not translate to the online and DVD screeners being reviewed for festival consideration. In my opinion, a film’s picture and sound should immerse a viewer, which is impossible when playing it off a computer.
These are not excuses, just the normal factors a director faces when submitting their work. Festivals never give feedback about why a film was turned down, so we filmmakers are left to guess. Waiting for e-mails and pondering these possibilities have caused me a few sleepless nights.
It’s not just the short that I’m sitting on. Once we have a premiere date, there’s a 10-part web series called, “The Making of UNE LIBÉRATION,” which will also be released. It highlights the tremendous work the cast and crew put into the film. I’m excited for you to learn about the journey we undertook to make this project and meet the rest of my team.
So to answer the question, “When will UNE LIBÉRATION premiere?” I wish I knew.
I believe sometime between January and April of 2015. Time will tell if we achieve the goals I’ve outlined, we may not. As long as we give it our best shot, I’m cool with whatever happens. Beyond, UNE LIBÉRATION, my team and I are working on several new projects that we should be ready to announce during that same window.
Please be patient, I say to myself as much as I do to you, this waiting game will end and we’ve got some amazing things to share with everyone very soon.