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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin - Check some of his interviews. Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

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Nobody needs to know

At this year’s AFI International Film Festival, the so-called
“somebodies” like Charlize Theron, Jon Favreau and Sir Ben Kingsley
walked the red carpet while the "nobodies" flanked them famelessly on
both sides. A good image to keep in mind when talking about film
director Azazel Jacobs and his recent feature, Nobody Needs to
Know, which screened at the festival as the only US entry in its
International Feature Competition. The low-budget film illustrates how
our culture can make ordinary people into stars through constant
photographic surveillance.
When I spoke with Jacobs during the festival, he explained the
unconventional vision he had for this film. He and his
cinematographer, Daniel Andrade examine the lives of the so-called
“nobodies” by using common black-and-white surveillance cameras.
That footage makes up 75% of the film, which they both edited.
Jacobs is a graduate of the AFI Film School, and names among his
influences Jim Jarmusch, the Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, and his
own filmmaker father, Ken Jacobs.
The surveillance footage used throughout the film pushes Nobody
Needs to Know into the realm of social commentary. It creates an
intentional unease, blurring the lines between pretension and
authenticity, between fame and ordinary life. While co-writing the
screenplay with Curtis Winter, Jacobs tried "to make it so the stars
become extras and the random people become the real stars of the
film without being on film.”
The film's actual cast is led by Tricia Vessey (Ghost Dog: The Way of
the Samurai) as Iris, an actress who comes to the abrupt realization
that she is not willing to die for fame. Alvin Seme stars as Lamont, a
character inspired by Lamont Cranston from Orson Welles’ The
Shadow. Jacobs describes Lamont as a man “pushed by the constant
surveillance of his everyday life to discover the real power is off-screen."
Other featured performers include Liz Stauber (Three Kings, White
Oleander) as an actress desperate for fame, Matt Boren (Pranksters),
as a weary schlock-film director and Norman Reedus (Blade II, 8MM)
as a famous actor willing to trade his stardom for the public's notice of
his absence.
"[The actors] didn’t get paid nearly what they should have been paid,”
Jacobs confesses. His budget for the three-year project was $65,000.
This did not include the blow-up to 35mm for the festival.
Jacobs financed Nobody Needs to Know primarily by asking friends for
cash, though Peggy Weix, one of the producers, also came up with
money. Jacobs was candid: “I had this crazy idea, that they [should]
all know they weren’t going to make their money back," But he
"promised them the best film [he] could possibly do." This approach
was only partially successful. "Obviously I lost friends by asking them
for money, as well.” The film will be travelling the festival circuit this
year, seeking a distributor.
Jacobs' next project is Greased, a feature about a young couple’s road
trip from New York City to Los Angeles.

Michelle Paster


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