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About The Event
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Alder is a guardian spirit that protects the forest and nature. It takes the shape of a female-tree form embodying the Alder tree’s inner qualities of protection against malevolent beings and humans. When a handsome young forager strays into Alder’s glade, it opens the possibility of changing its destiny. It longs for being loved and for the intimacy of a touch, like humans do. Very aware of the high price to pay for falling in love with a human its dilemma and vulnerability are exposed. Every time the forager clips a branch or steals berries, it manifests in Alder’s pain and it bleeding orange sap. Alder encounters him in the woods and seduces him, but will her heart overcome her loyalty to the forest?
Director Biography - Vanda Ladeira
Vanda is a filmmaker and was born in Mozambique and is now based in London. She works full time at the UK Parliament filming various aspects of the restoration of the historic building and artworks in the Palace of Westminster. She also runs an internal film school to share her skills and passion for filmmaking with her colleagues. She is currently a part-time student at Raindance film school in London and is set to complete her Masters in Film Directing in 2020. As an independent filmmaker, she has previously produced short form experimental films using animation and multimedia. She is currently looking to build a body of work as a director within the eerie dark folk-stories and fantasy film genres.
'Alder' is a magical realist short drama set in an imaginary eerie forest. The guardian spirit of the forest faces a dilemma between following it’s heart and mind. The film looks at the power struggle we all face when duty and love, pulls us in opposite directions. The story has an ecological message conveyed through visual metaphors and inspired on folk and fairy tales. It is a story of love story that crosses boundaries of relationships between man and woman, humanity and nature and the dilemmas that a love relationship poses. On a subtext level it aims to make the audience experience the ‘Other side’. What if nature did to you what you do to it? What if nature filmed you and collected your children arms in a vase for their aesthetic pleasure? What if it stuffed you with plastic and let you die suffocated at the entrance of your house? How much do we hurt the ones we most love? Underlying the story is a romance exploring the dilemmas that keep people apart and pull them together; the fear to live the current status quo and perceived duties and the pain of being alone and the need for human contact on the other. It subverts the typical vampire trope of the tortured or predatory male vampire and unsuspecting female victim to create a feminist interpretation of classic vampire mythology. It also offers a refreshing female perspective on the typical power dynamic of romantic relationships in traditional narratives, and comments more broadly on the potency of female desire. The relationship between a centuries old guardian of the forest and a young forager explores the notion that despite differences in age, gender, background or experience, we long for love and intimacy.
It’s a story about free will against destiny and opposites male/female, man/nature, and ancient/new with a twist of magic realism. What if nature did to me what I do to it? We all love nature yet we cannot help but destroy it by our being.
This film is a challenge to me as it goes back to the pure essence of cinema and communication between humans beyond the learned codes of language. To make the audience empathize with the protagonist, who has no lines, communicates using body language and the universal language of emotions such as loneliness, desire to be loved. It relies purely on movement, visual aesthetics and symbols to render the psychological implications of the message. It is an attempt to create an exemplar of Pure Cinema, to say the most with the least, to bring personal reflection and change through emotion rather than words. The eerie and weird tale element has nothing to do with the external life of the person but with the internal one. The unrealistic nature of this kind of tale is very important because it does not give information about the real world but about the processes that guide us as human beings from the inside. In a world that dialogue is lost after just a few tweets online, the ‘once upon a time’ frame of mind seems to be a perfect way to challenge and invite the audience to go beyond the artificial classifications and social norms that go beyond relations between humans and embracing nature as part of this relationship
- Vanda Ladeira DirectorMom 2.0; Hands Off; Alder
- Rick Harvey WriterRick is a Cambridge-based screenwriter, story design consultant, lecturer and mentor. Since attaining an MA Screenwriting & Research qualification from the London College of Communication in 2001, he has storylined for ‘Family Affairs’ (Talkback Thames/Channel 5); developed projects for Hewland International and Frenzy Films; written a slate of short films and spec features; mentored on First Light, Media Box and BFI projects and written and developed feature screenplays for EON Productions. He has been trained by the UK Film Council to devise, develop and deliver industry-standard courses on screenwriting and cross-platform story design, and he lectures regularly on various aspects of the writing process. Rick is currently developing a feature-length ghost story, ‘Siren’, and a feature-length folk horror narrative, ‘Xenotopia’.
- Vanda Ladeira Producer
- Humphrey Lau Producer
- LIBBY WELSH Key Cast“Alder”
- ODNE STENSETH Key Cast“Forager”
- NEIL OSEMAN CinematographyNeil is cinematographer with 20 years' industry experience, Neil has worked around the world and shot features in multiple genres. Recent credits include The Little Mermaid with Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine, supernatural thriller Heretiks with Michael Ironside, and award-winning indie road movie Above the Clouds. He has photographed another half-a-dozen independent feature films, innumerable shorts, several music promos and two multi-award-winning short-form action/adventure series: The First Musketeer and Ren: The Girl with the Mark. In the past few years he has been nominated for ten Best Cinematography awards, taking home gongs at Festigious International Film Festival in 2016 and 2017 for his work on the short dramas Night Owls and Finding Hope. He has also won both Best Cinematography (Short, 2017) and Best Lighting (Short, Third Quarter 2017) at the Enginious Film Awards for Mark McGann’s Perplexed Music.
- BEIBEI WANG Sound and MusicGenre-defying percussionist Beibei Wang is an acclaimed international virtuoso multi-percussionist, composer with both Chinese and British musical education background. She received a double Master Degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music (China) and the Royal Academy of Music (UK). In 2014, she was listed in the top 50 Chinese musicians in the “Sound of East” project by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In 2017, Beibei worked with Korean traditional music legendary master drummer Kim Deok Soo and Korean Ensemble Sinawi to give a concert for Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. In 2018, she was invited by world renowned conductor Maestro Muhai Tang to join the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, touring the most iconic concert halls across Europe, including the Barbican Centre (London), Berliner Philharmonie (Berlin), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg), and BOZAR (Brussels). Beibei is a passionate composer and performs her own original composition in recitals and concerts across Europe. Her multi-percussion set up solo NOISY WORLD was premiered in Nantes, France in 2016. Her multi-percussion solo DRUM DANCE was premiered in Chemnitz, Germany in 2016. Her musical installation KILLING PIANO a collaboration with renowned pianist Belle Chen, premiered in 2016 in London. Her multimedia music theater WU XING toured across UK, China and Korea in 2017. Her original composition DOUBLE HAPPINESS for percussion duo was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Late Junction in 2018. Most recently, she was commissioned to compose music for the Shanghai Fashion Week, wrote the film score for THE CITY film installation.
- DENISA DUMITRESCU Production DesignMad Lord (Short), Tabbouleh & Pie (Short), The Real Target, Hushed