NRFF Interviews Javid Rezai

Synopsis

Another Life is a portrait of two young women over a single day, whose lives are interconnected by the story that one of them is writing. Jen lives in a world of abuse and finds solace in the stories that she writes. As her final chapter draws near, her perfect character Emma quickly unravels.

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Writer / Director / Producer: Javid Rezai

Lead Cast: Francesca Bailey (Winner) / Sally Paffet

Cinematographer/DP:  William Hadley

Editor: Raf Curtis

Original Music / Composer: Stella Talpo

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What NRFF had to say:

The New Renaissance Film festival loved “Another Life” for the emotional depth of the two central characters, Emma and Jen. This is a promising debut by first-time writer /director Javid Rezai.

 

About the Director

Javid Rezai is a British-Iranian-Italian director and screenwriter who graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Before making his debut short film, “Another Life”, he worked at British Esquire. His short British drama, Another Life, premiered at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Madrid in July 2016. It has since been selected at a further 7 festivals globally, from London, California, Tokyo to Rome, and been nominated for 15 awards so far. 

 

1.Congratulations to Francesca Bailey and your team on winning an award for Best Actress in the UK category at the New Renaissance Film Festival. How did it feel to have your film “Another Life” be part of the London festival?

Thank you! We are so proud of Francesca for this wonderful award. When I set out to make the film, as a first-time director, I never thought it would receive such a positive response, so it’s been both exciting and overwhelming at the same time!

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2.       Describe the journey of the two female characters in the film, and the challenges they have to overcome.

The film is set over a single day, so we join these two women at the crossroads of their journeys. Jens turbulent life is briefly muted when she escapes into the world of her stories; the death of her mother as a child, the neglect of her father and the abuse she has faced, have made her numb. It’s only when Sarah, a childhood friend, from a time for Jen that felt so ‘normal’, comes back into her life that she finally starts to answer the questions she’s been avoiding with her stories. As for Emma, played by Francesca, her life mirrors that of Jens mother who committed suicide when Jen was just a child. Emma’s perfect veneer cracks as she prepares for one of her dinner parties, and is also forced to question her situation; an unhappy marriage, pregnant, and a cheating husband. Both women, so different, but inextricably  linked in their suffering, have to somehow find the strength to move on. In this case, it has a lot to do with the bond of sisterhood, friendships and maybe a little fate, that help carry them through. 

3.       What was the process that led to you writing “Another Life” and getting it made?

I was at a time of my life where I was in a constant series of changes; I was at my own crossroads. So Another Life was a very organic writing process. I was driven by the characters, and started writing moments and scenes from their lives— not connected at first to each-other, but eventually putting them together to create a narrative. The script was so honest, something I feel could speak to so many people, so it felt like the right film to be my debut, and I started to get a team around me and get it on its feet.
 
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4.       What was the biggest challenge you experienced as the director making this film? 

Doing the characters justice. It is such a heavily character-driven story, so I needed to ensure that their journeys and struggles felt honest. The subject matter is very sensitive. There are so many young people who are victims of abuse and don’t have the means to protect themselves or get out. Both Jen and Emma are suicidal, and the female suicide rate in the UK is at its highest since 2011(Samaritans.org – 2016 Study). So, my biggest challenge was creating an authentic story that was relatable to so many people around the world. 

5.       What lessons did you learn from your experience of making “Another Life”?

I didn’t know exactly what to expect as it was my first film. But I learnt the importance of having an incredible team around me – from Ryan J. Brown who was my script editor, to my DoP Will Hadley, my editor Raf Curtis and the rest of the cast and crew. I was constantly learning through every part of the film, and everyday brought new challenges and excitement. 

6.       Have you always had an interest in film and filmmaking? 

Since I could remember, I have been in love with films and making films, whether it was playing around with my dads video camera, or forcing my best-friends and cousins to be in my own home movies. 

7.       What do you want audiences to take away from watching “Another Life”?

I’ve noticed people relate to different aspects of the film. There are so many threads that intertwine, and I just hope that people are able to relate to the film and leave with a sense of hope. 

8.       Are you working on anything new?

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Javid Rezai
This project has an IMDb Title Page
Website: http://www.anotherlifeshortfilm.com


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