“After a series of disappointing New Year’s we decided we’d rather do what we love instead on the night; make a film.”
The final day of the year is when people are out contemplating their New Year’s resolutions, spending time with loved ones for a quiet night in or meeting friends in social settings to make the most of the end of year celebrations. However, Melbourne filmmakers Ivan Malekin and Sarah Jayne of Nexus Production Group will be doing something quite unique – shooting a feature film in a single night.
This film is Friends, Foes & Fireworks. The story explores an intimate New Year’s Eve reunion of five female friends in the independent acting scene, which becomes a test of relationships when old tensions spark, truths are told, and rivalries are reignited. Will the group make it through the night together or will their friendship fizzle out like an overzealous fireworks display?
Shot in a single night, the craziest and most chaotic night of the year – New Year’s Eve – and relying on improvisation in acting and camera, Friends, Foes & Fireworks is an ambitions Mumblecore/drama film exploring relationships, love, friendship and the truths we try but fail to keep to ourselves.
Ivan and Sarah, the team behind the Made In Melbourne Film Festival, are award-winning filmmakers in their own right, but this is by far their most ambitious project. Still it is a challenge they look forward to.
“For us, New Year’s Eve is always hyped as the party to end all parties – drinking, fireworks, hedonism and adventure – but after a series of disappointing New Year’s we decided we’d rather do what we love instead on the night; make a film,” Ivan said. “Story-wise, setting the film on New Year’s Eve made perfect sense as it is a night to let loose, a night for friends to gather, but also a night to reflect on life. As one year ends and a new one begins we set resolutions and make decisions and discoveries, just as the characters do in this film.”
Filmmaking is a gruelling and drawn out process, but with Friends, Foes & Fireworks Ivan and Sarah, who have co-written the outline and will co-direct the feature, wanted to strip the process back completely, work with a bare minimum crew but most importantly with actors that have a sense of adventure and ability to think on their feet.
“The mumblecore genre is about naturalism more so than any other, and as directors that is what we always strive to capture,” Sarah said. “Conversations will feel real because they are real – though we have an outline nobody will know exactly what is coming next. We have to be on our toe constantly and we have to trust the actors to know their characters and simply react – there is a authenticity to it and it is very exciting.”
You can follow Friends, Foes & Fireworks on Facebook. Website coming soon.