Patrick is a young filmmaker investigating a group of vigilante vegans. At first, they seem harmless, but when their de facto leader Steven faces a leadership challenge from hardliner Julie, the group starts to head down a much darker path.
“People who gaslight tend to use psychological manipulation to make you believe their reality.”
Written by and starring actor Tatjana Anders and directed by Top Tarasin, the short film explores the use of gaslighting within a relationship. The film follows Alicia (played by Tatjana Anders) who meets Mark (played by Kyle James) at a coffee shop after he kindly offers to pay for her coffees. On their first date, we see a glimpse of Mark’s manipulating ways when he insists she was late. His behaviour quickly escalates to controlling her, isolating her from her friends and we begin to see how subtle the control and manipulation can be.
It was writer and actor, Tatjana Anders’ mission to raise awareness on the topic of gaslighting after having read an article, it clicked that a friend of hers had experienced something similar and she did not know what it was until she saw the term existed.
Tatjana explains she read books and talked to therapists about the topic which helped shaped the story. A crowdfunding campaign to raise funding became an awareness campaign when unexpectedly she began receiving messages from people who shared similar experiences.
The short doesn’t allow us to explore the many layers to this topic but does builds the characters and is set up in a way that could very well see it as a full-length feature which is exactly what the plan is for Tatjana.
What’s the main thing she wants people to take away from this? “Sharing the message – provoke people to ask questions – what’s the cause? Do I know someone who has experienced this? Have I experienced something like this?”
When director Top Tarasin first read the script he thought it was great.
“It broke the format in that it doesn’t feel like a short film. All the elements in a short usually lead to one point like a gimmick or punchline, whereas this was atmospheric, it felt like we were in the middle of a feature, it took it’s time.”
-Top Tarasin, Director
Interpreting the topic for the big screen had its challenges, Top had to limit what he wanted to say, “there are so many angles to explore – abuser, the people around the situation. We needed to focus on one thing – the perspective of the victim, everything had to enforce that perspective and this, in turn, informed the visual language. The choices we made were made from one perspective.”
Not a topical director, Top is more into universal themes: humans, love, revenge. The topic of gaslighting was different to his usual work, it’s very specific and the focus was the humanity of it, which was a person suffering.
He adds his own perspective of the topic to the film: “the profound sorrow that comes with the loss of time: how did I get here? This is what I wanted to inject into the film.”
Your Reality will be released online in September.
Layered in hidden messages, the story begins on three friends as they embark on a new venture in podcasting. A humble setting for conversation quickly yields tension-filled exchanges between the friends, opening a sequence of events that reveal secrets in their respective relationships.
Starring: Ashley Bannerman (The Infiltrator, Turn Up Charlie); Gia Ré (Eli); Michael Akinsulire (Killing Eve); Stephanie Levi-John (The Spanish Princess); CJ Beckford (Victoria).
Story: Olan Collardy and Leon Mayne Writer / Director: Leon Mayne Producer: Charlotte Toon
A middle-aged barber dreams of escaping his rough area and becoming a Dancehall star, but an encounter with a local drug runner brings up uncomfortable truths about his past and makes him reconsider his importance in the community.
Sophie and her younger lover, James, are deeply in love. But an ultimatum from Sophie’s sister challenges their relationship and forces Sophie to confront an uncomfortable truth about her relationship with James. Seeing Him is a bittersweet observation of the passion and boundaries of love.
Following its screening at our Conspiracy event earlier this year, psychological thriller, Transmission has officially been released online. Varun Raman & Tom Hancock who serve as writers and directors of the film describe it as “an abstraction of our fears over the future of post-Brexit Britain and many western countries that are now adopting protectionist and isolationist policies through manipulation and contempt.”
Transmission establishes tension between Dr. Sam (James Hyland) & Leonard (Michael Shon) right from the word go. What we are treated to is an intriguing and warped psychological game of one room cat and mouse for Leonard’s freedom – all with a stylistic nod to Stanley Kubrick. A must watch, but not for the faint-hearted.
Verdict: (5 / 5)
WRITTEN & DIRECTED by Varun Raman & Tom Hancock
PRODUCTION COMPANY: PARALLEL MADNESS
CAST: James Hyland, Michael Shon, Kelby Keenan
A collection of short films, from emerging filmmakers, dealing with coercion, manipulation and systems of power.
Films on the night:
The Photographer (Directed by Max Sobol):
A reclusive street photographer spends his days capturing the lives of strangers who are unaware that they are being watched. His seemingly harmless creative exploits take a more sinister turn when he begins to obsessively photograph a young physiotherapist, and an unexpected revelation forces him to come to terms with the true nature of observation, and his part in it.
Another Game (Directed by Riyad Barmania):
A group have signed up to a mysterious lottery with disturbingly high stakes, where their thirst for dominance blinds them to the risk they take.
The Super Recogniser (Directed by Jennifer Sheridan):
Scott has an exceptional skill – 90% facial recognition. He has been recruited to work in a secret government initiative, seeking terrorists and criminals captured on CCTV. However, he begins to question everything after he believes he sees ‘himself’ on the monitors.
Transmission (Directed by Varun Raman & Tom Hancock):
Shot on glorious 35mm film, Transmission is an abstraction of our fears over the future of post-Brexit Britain and many western countries that are now adopting protectionist and isolationist policies through manipulation and contempt.
IN2RUDERS (Directed by Naeem Mahmood):
In2ruders is a glittering nightmare about the dark side of the pop music industry. When Lumi and Narti (played by Bloom Twins), a twin sister pop sensation refuse to sign to a sinister record label, their fortunes suddenly take a turn for the worst. As one twin descends into the dark depths of depression she soon questions whether the demons invading her thoughts are just figments of her imagination or nightmares come to life.
Synopsis: When a woman walks home alone in the dark, after drinking alcohol and dancing in a nightclub, wearing a short skirt and high heels, who’s asking for what, exactly?Writer / Director: Siri RødnesStarring: Anna Martine, Gabriella Schmidt, Mark McKirdy & Sarah Callyn.Big Picture Film Club's Short Snacks series is a collection of interesting, thought-provoking and creative short films from emerging UK-based filmmakers.
Film: Closure Short FilmSynopsis: Two women who were sexually abused by their foster father in the past go and visit him on his deathbed.Director: Koby AdomWriter: Abraham AdeyemiStarring: Adelayo Adedayo, Eliza L. Bennett, Brian Carter.Big Picture Film Club's Short Snacks series is a collection of interesting, thought-provoking and creative short films from emerging UK-based filmmakers.
Film: 1500 WordsSynopsis: Sadly, a lively and happily-married young man is about to die. Not in a year, neither in a month or even a week, but precisely 1500 words from now. Not hours but words.Director: Andrew ChaplinWriter: James MenziesStarring: Marcus Garvey, Eri Jackson, Rachael NaylorBig Picture Film Club's Short Snacks series is a collection of interesting, thought-provoking and creative short films from emerging UK-based filmmakers.