The Violin Teacher is Barbara Diril's the London Film School thesis film for her MA in Filmmaking, which she wrote to tell a story about identity, self-discovery and redemption, set in San Francisco.
Our short film project was featured in the German newspaper "Südkurier"
The Violin Teacher tells the story of Clara, a rigorous middle-aged violin teacher living in San Francisco. She is an overprotective mother, who keeps a secret from her Asian daughter. Suddenly, 20 years later the encounter with her former student from Hong Kong - now a rising violin star who is in town for a concert - shakes up Clara's and her daughter's world. The fact that she kept the secret for so long becomes more harmful to their mother-daughter relationship than the secret itself. Yet, it turns into a journey of self-discovery and redemption.
I’ve always been taught that family and the support for each other is very important, no matter what. But, with the story of The Violin Teacher I explore that even family can cross the limits. Although Clara is a loving mother, we discover that she isn’t as perfect as she seems. I wanted to point out that grown-ups too, specifically parents, sometimes make mistakes, and what a mother thinks is the best for her child, may not be.
Originating from Assyria, a country that doesn’t exist on the map and being German citizen, although clearly not looking German, I’ve sometimes wondered and questioned where I belong. Therefore I wanted to make a film not just about identity, but also self-discovery. We discover and explore that what defines where we belong doesn’t have to do anything with our race, origins, the languages we speak, but can be simply the love, from a mother. Moreover, that it’s never too late finding oneself, even as a middle-aged mother.
My hope is that The Violin Teacher will create an emotional experience for the viewers and educate them in their believes about where they belong and finding to oneself.
Barbara Diril | Writer/Director/Editor
Jonathan Brostoff | Producer
Darren Joe | Director of Photography
Enrica Sciandrone | Music Supervisor
Andrea Boccadoro | Music Composer
Alyssa Stratton | Production Designer
Barbara was willing to take on the long journey from London, travelling all the way to the US, and paying for an expensive flight ticket and taking on the extra effort, to being able to shoot her film in San Francisco, as it was this city in particular that inspired her to write the story. We have found some very passionate and talented filmmakers, which are willing to donate their time, talents and efforts to make this film happen. Yet, films are very costly, and this is why we need your help!
We are already working on a very low budget, yet, there are still some costs to cover, which we cannot cut down. We ask you to help us, as we really want to bring this film to life, to inspire people with what we love the most, to tell stories. Therefore we are asking you to help, and to become part of this film.
Where will the money exactly go?
- 50% Camera, Lighting & Sound Equipment
- 15% Insurance, Permits and Locations
- 10% Post-production (Sound Mix, Color Grade & Music)
- 7% Production Design, Costumes and Make-up
- 10% Catering and Travel Expenses
- 8% Fees (Kickstarter and Amazon Payment)
Our locations in San Francisco
We'll be having a 7 day shoot across 7 different locations in San Francisco. We've found most of our locations, but some of them as the venue for our big violin concert scene and a few others, will cost money to rent and for the filming permits.
Our story is very much influenced by Asian art. We were lucky to find a wonderful house for our main location, with lovely art - mainly Japanese and Chinese art - and a gorgeous Japanese Tea Garden, which will be part of the story. Yet, we still have to invest in some props, decoration and costumes.
Since music plays a huge part in the story of "The Violin Teacher" some of our funding will be invested for the music. We'll be having music not just for the big violin concert scene, but theme music throughout the film. We are very lucky to have award-winning Enrica Sciandrone as our Music Supervisor and the very talented Andrea Boccadoro as our Music Composer. Andrea will write a score for the concert scene and the theme music throughout the film under Enrica's supervision, which then will be recorded with musicians in London. Andrea about the music: "The score for The Violin Teacher will feature westernized elements from Chinese traditional music, in order to reflect the two sides of the story and the characters, present and past, East and West. The present time in which the story is told takes place in San Francisco, but the causes originating it back in time in Honk Kong, where Clara lived for a long time and taught Peng the violin. As this past comes back to play the inner strings of the characters, a Chinese-influenced melody will be heard, and later on developed and incorporated with the classical 'western' orchestra and its music language. The music will constantly be playing in between these two worlds expressing the search for identity and the emergence of a globalized, universal humanity made of different traditions that influence each other."
What happens if we don't raise the money in time?
Kickstarter campaigns are all-or-nothing. In order for us to receive funds for this campaign we MUST reach the total fundraising goal of $9,900 by Tuesday, October 28 2014 12:43 PM PDT. If we do not reach that goal, every pledge made by our backers will be voided. No one will be charged and we might be in big trouble to make this film and show you a touching film done by passionate filmmakers. Therefore we would really appreciate your support! Every $ counts.
If you can't contribute, you can still support us by spreading the word about our campaign and sharing this page with your network, as Facebook, Twitter, email, etc... we really appreciate your support!
DANKE!!! BASIMA RABA!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who supported us and helped us to make The Violin Teacher the way it's meant to be!
Risks and challenges
Some of our challenges will be to find a cast for Peng, someone who will fit the role and being able to play the violin, as his character requires to play a violin piece, which will be composed by Andrea. But we will do everything possible to use, to find the fitting cast.
Another challenge is that Clara's cast requires to speak a view sentences in Cantonese. However, we will set up some classes with a native speaker speaker to teach our cast to speak the required dialogue in Cantonese.
Working on a film always calls for unexpected things to happen. However, all of us have already many experiences working on films and therefore we are used to having to deal with issues and solving them as best as possible. We are a team of very passionate filmmakers and therefore, we will do our best in making this film possible, even if challenges occur!!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)