Thursday, June 3, 2021

Wreathless

 


Short film/Greece
2020/8' 26''

Leonard (George Sefer) is in a void with a radio and a worn out photo. He 's been there for such a long time, he now seems to belong there, young and old at the same time.

His monotonοus routine is interrupted by 'visitors' who suddenly appear surprised, ignorant and terrified.

Leonard does not welcome them nor does he confort  them, he taunts and abuses them and as soon as he gets bored, he 'helps' them get through to the darkness. First he removes from them something of their own. What they consider valuable becomes his trophy.

When an old woman appears, Leonard seems to react differently. Her engagement ring reminds him of something. The woman is strangely familiar. Unable to remember, Leonard leads her into the darkness.

Confused, Leonard looks first at the ring and then at his photograph.

It is a picture of a young couple.

In it, Leonard smiles at his beloved, who seems strangely familiar to us.

Alone in the void, Leonard is still waiting for her.

This story is told by the 8-minute short film 'Wreathless, now available for streaming on Belladonna Pictures on Youtube

What makes this strangely funny, crude, poetic and surreal film really admirable, is that it marks the first cinematic attempt of the then high school student (!) and now film student, George Sefer, from Veria Greece, who wrote the script, played the leading role and directed it with the help of a group of young filmmakers, he co-founded, under the name 'Belladonna Pictures'.


In the leading role, Sefer -reminiscent of Jared Leto's Joker in 'Suicide Squad', is intense, evocative, truly fearless showing real acting skills. This is not by chance, since from a very young age he' s been participating in amateur theater groups of the Municipal Theater of Veria under the guidance of the charismatic teacher and mainly responsible for the theatrical revival of Veria, Petros Maliaras.

Sefer in his directorial debut serves the story in an exemplary manner, showing maturity, knowledge of technique -guiding actors, camera movement, lighting, editing- and in collaboration with young cinematographer Philip Priovolos-Tasikas. 

Special mention to the original music of Sammy Copley


George Sefer

Having already won 2 awards (Best High School Film
Award at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and Best Youth Film Award 18-20, Camera Zizanio-Olympia Festival) and with 10 official selections in international film festivals under his belt, the future for the young filmmaker and the team that surrounds him, looks extremely promising.

You can watch Wreathless here:




George Sefer and the Belladonna Pictures team have released the trailer for their second, more ambitious short film entitled ADAM, starring Petros Maliaras and Panos Lekos, which you can watch right here:



You can find the Greek version of my review HERE