UPDATE: We (YOU!) Have Done It! We have reached our goal. Thank you for your unbelievable support over the past 30 days!
Now with a few days left... we have added an additional stretch goal:
STRETCH GOAL: €55k will allow us to cover the Kickstarter fees (about 8%) so that all 50K of the original goal will be able to be spent on production.
. . . After the sudden death of her husband, a reclusive artist invites lifelong friends to her farm in Spain and reveals a shocking plan. Before the weekend ends, the friends must sacrifice secrets from the past and force her to make a devastating choice....
Before El Finâ
Before El Finâ is an independent drama set in the hills of Andalusia, Spain. The feature debut of writer/director Nathan Buck, and produced by an award-winning filmmaking team, the film boasts an exciting ensemble cast of veteran and young, upcoming talent.
Haunted by a childhood spent in war-ravaged Beirut, Leah, a shy artist craved a place and a companion that made her feel secure… she found both when a high school romance bloomed into a marriage for life, and Neil, her husband, built an isolated farm for her in the remotest hills of Andalusia. And then… he was gone.
Now, in a crisis like nothing she has ever faced before, Leah calls her closest friends, Beth and Gregory to join her for a weekend at the farm. When they arrive, Leah reveals to them that she has made a shocking choice that will affect all of their lives forever.
Confronted with her dramatic and shocking decision, Gregory and Beth each are faced with a heartbreaking dilemma: whether to reveal the secrets that they know about Neil and shatter their decades-old bond with Leah, or to allow her to hold on to her cherished memories with potentially fatal consequences.
In the midst of all this, Alix a young, rebellious woman arrives on the farm, escaping from her oppressive family, to spend the hot, Andalusian summer with her environmentalist uncle, Andres, who oversees the farm for Leah.
As the weekend progresses, and Leah, Beth and Gregory wrestle with their deep, intertwined history they each find that they have valuable hard-earned life lessons to impart to the young, troubled Alix…
Meanwhile, as Leah discovers the long held, buried secrets that torment her best friends - she must reassess the foundations of her life, and make the hardest, most important decision that she will ever have…
Designed to be produced at a low budget the film will leverage its powerful dramatic premise to deliver a festival worthy, independent cinema gem. The film’s marketing and sales strategy will be built around its target market, the Generation X crowd, while maximizing both traditional and new distribution platforms and revenue models to crossover to audiences young and old.
In Before El Finâ a group of 40-something friends approach a midlife reckoning. For many of us the dazzling internet revolution and acceleration of communication and technology has brought with it a paradoxical sense of loss. We paired up in the old way, captured our past on celluloid and rely on faulty memories to preserve our stories. We are the generation that came of age in the analog world but have spent most of our adulthood in an emerging digital world.
I chose Andalusia as the setting for this film because of all the places I have lived and visited, this part of the world seems to defy the razor of modernity in the most unique of ways. Stubbornly traditional, the people of this region nurture a deep appreciation for what they have, and a preternatural awareness of the fragility of its rugged, fertile natural environment.
When I set out to create the world of this film, I made for myself a set of parameters that were both practical and thematic: A short time span, a single location, and characters who have known each other a long time. Films that have left a big impression on me: La Règle du Jeu, Persona, Knife in the Water, The Big Chill, and Festen . . . are all movies that rely on great performances, the excavation of memory and a claustrophobic world that heightens sexual and dramatic tension.
The story that this film is based on is true, told to me by a close friend several years ago. While all of the details of Leah’s story and character are different, the core mystery of her decision is the same paradox that fascinated me when I first heard about it. As the film has evolved, every step of the way I have had to remind myself to stay faithful to the true north of this story: a tragic choice engendered out of friendship, loyalty, and love.
Nathan Buck Screenwriter & Director
After early careers as a professional actor, musician and mime artist Nathan Buck began working in film and video production in the UK in the early 2000’s. He started learning the business of film assisting producers Nick O'Hagan and Paul Raphael on feature films and worked his way up to the role of line producer before moving into writing and directing.
After arriving in NYC in 2005 his feature length documentary Real Gone! Dance competed successfully at the American Dance Film Festival in 2009. He specialized in arts documentaries while living with his wife, Megumi Eda, a professional dancer and filmmaker, and their 2 children in Harlem. Nathan began directing narrative shorts in the 90’s and has worked extensively as a video editor and shooter for 20 years. Nathan was invited to be filmmaker-in-residence at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts in 2015, where he also directed the short film “Solitude” by Mia McCullough.
In 2018 he and his family moved to Berlin where he shifted his focus back to writing and narrative drama. Before El Finâ is Nathan’s first full length narrative film. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he majored in Performance Studies.
Christina Mallet Producer
A film producer and photographer with a background in teaching underachieving students in inner city schools, Christina’s gifts are abundant, and vividly apparent to everyone who meets her.
While wildly creative herself, she tunes in right away to the potential in others. And when Christina hears about a great idea for a project, she is relentless in her support of making that idea become a reality. But Christina never does things by the book. In fact, it’s her unconventional approach that attracts collaborators and gives her projects unexpected energy that keeps it flowing all the way to completion.
Christina made her own dream come true in 2006 when she launched her photography studio in Seattle; and after living in South Africa and Luxembourg, before finally moving to Berlin, Germany in 2018, she bridged her love for the still image to the moving image, finding a most rewarding home in the world of film.
With her husband and two children, she has lived in a variety of places around the world, stepping easily into new cultures while celebrating the positivity of the other people she encounters in her daily life — from the streets of Cape Town to the subway cars of Berlin.
Megumi Eda - Associate Producer
Megumi Eda was born in Nagano, Japan. Leaving Japan at 16, she was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet School. For the next 15 years, as a member of the Hamburg Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the Rambert Dance Company, she worked with choreographers including John Neumeier, Christopher Bruce, Jiri Kylian, Lindsey Kemp, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen and David Dawson.
In 2004, she moved to New York as a founding member of Armitage Gone! Dance and has continued a close collaboration with Karole Armitage to this day. In addition to her work with Armitage she has begun to incorporate other art forms including sculpture and video into her own installations and performances. She has been collaborating with Yoshiko Chuma since 2014 as a performer/filmmaker. She won a Bessie Award in 2004.
The First Assistant Director
Oliver Pollak - First Assistant Director
Oliver is a mime artist trained in the 3 great branches of mime: with the great Master Marcel Marceau, within the famous Lecoq-method and mainly the legendary Etienne Decroux-mime. Over the years, having specialised in Decroux mime, Oliver gained an European-wide reputation of being a leading expert in this artform. Oliver performed, directed and taught physical theatre world-wide since the past 20+ years. In 2013 Oliver founded 'Atelier des Mimes', a Berlin-based conglomerate of fine physical performers, and has been it's artistic director ever since. Besides several-months long workshops twice a year, Atelier des Mimes has produced one to two theatrical productions a year under his direction.
Over the span of 20 years, Oliver also worked as videographer and editor, mainly in the domain of documentation art projects. He also appeared in various short movies on camera.
Philippe Brenninkmeyer - playing Gregory
Philippe has extensive experience in both American and European theater, television and film. He starred in the German series Liebe-Lügen-Leidenschaften and the hit series Freundschaft mit Herz. Philippe has worked with the US Comedy Troupe Broken Lizard in their “cult” films Super Troopers, Beerfest and Slammin’ Salmon, I Heart Shakey, The Babymakers, and Dark Circles.
Philippe has also appeared in Zazy, Choking Man (Ghost Robot) with Aaron Paul and Mandy Patinkin and in A Reasonable Doubt with Samuel L. Jackson and Dominic Cooper.
Notable American television performances include: Sex and the City, Law & Order, Undercovers, Jimmy Kimmel live!, NCIS, NCIS LA and CSI Miami. Philippe also played a lead opposite Jon Hamm in the Mad Men episode “The Jet Set”.
Tara Lynn Orr - playing Leah
Tara studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts at The Atlantic Theatre Company and in London at the Lee Strasberg School. Tara has spent most of her life in the theatre. She was a founding member of World3 Theatre Company in NYC and a member of both Theatre Tribe, and NoHo Arts Center in Los Angeles. Her numerous credits include: Recent Tragic Events, The Intern, The Good Life, No Exit, The Cover of Live, The Sacrificial King, and many more.
She’s also appeared in films and web-series such as PowerHouse and Those Damn Canadians.
Tara’s extensive background as a theater actress and her consequent insight into character, became the natural foundation of her screenwriting. She and husband Philippe Brenninkmeyer founded the production company, avenueROAD films and Tara’s first foray into screenwriting was the award winning short film, BIS GLEICH, which was awarded over 35 international film festival awards. In 2016, it earned a spot on the Academy Awards short list.
Nahéma Ricci - playing Alix
Aged 21, Nahéma Ricci was born in Montreal (Canada) to immigrant parents of Franco-Tunisian descent. She recently completed the 2018-2019 Dance as a Profession program at Danceworks School in Berlin (Germany). Previously, Nahéma obtained the lead role in Sophie Deraspe's feature film Antigone (scheduled for release in September 2019, ACPAV). She also played a lead character in the feature film Ailleurs directed by Samuel Matteau (2017, Vélocité productions).
As an actor, she has participated in several short and medium-length films by emerging filmmakers. She contributed to the various stages of creation associated with the production of the performance Cet intervalle (2017) and Atlas (2018) by director Morena Prats.
At the same time, she attended the theater section of the Cegep Saint-Laurent arts program from 2015 to 2017.
Tullan Holmqvist - playing Beth
Tullan Holmqvist is a Swedish-born actor, writer and investigator based in New York. Tullan has performed in theater, film and TV; recent NY theater roles include Lars Norén's The Last Supper, Strindberg’s The Father and Scandinavian American Theater Company's Gorilla; film roles include Chiaroscuri, Baby Mama and This Is Not My Dog. She has studied acting and screenwriting at NYU, Boston University, HB Studio and extensively with Michael Howard. Tullan is the co-author of the psychological thriller novel and screenplay The Woman in the Park (to be published August 26, 2019 - Beaufort Books).
Giovanni Spinelli - Composer
Giovanni Spinelli lives and works in New York where he composes music for film, television, theater and dance. His soundtracks vary from the lyrical minimalism of “Bis Gleich” (winner of more than thirty awards, including at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and included in the “shortlist” for the 2016 Oscar awards), to the heavy metal score for “Tamburlaine”, to his music for the choreographies of Martha Graham Dance Company, to his score for solo electric guitar performed live for the classic silent film "Sunrise" by F.W. Murnau (defined by the San Francisco Examiner as an "astounding mix of Hendrix, Badalamenti, Vaughn and The Edge"), to his multi-genre filmscores for the feature documentaries “American Cheerleader” and “Pop Star On Ice”(produced by the Sundance Channel) and “The Last Pig.”
The Designer & Artist
Miki Kadokura - Art Director / Concept maker / Illustrator
A multicultural design agency in between Berlin and Tokyo founded by Miki Kadokura. Miki collaborates with German Creative agency, Studio Florian Hauer. She works with regional business planners, contemporary artists, fashion designers, architects, academic researchers and publishers. She focuses on the poesy of things: the place where the gravity and graduation of cultural colours exist.
Risks and challenges
Feature films are notoriously difficult to make, especially films like this that are made at an ultra-low budget level. With a limited shooting schedule (17 days) in an isolated corner of Andalusia, in the scorching hot middle of summer- there are plenty of logistical and budgetary obstacles to be overcome. However, when writing the script, the writer/director, Nathan Buck, designed it expressly to deliver a very high production value, with a minimum of expenditure on elements like transportation, consumable, and housing costs that do not translate directly onto the screen. We are confident, that, with your support, we will deliver a beautiful little arthouse gem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)