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Local Short Film White Lily Showing at Mayhem Film Festival

12 October 16 words: Ashley Carter
We interview director Tristan Ofield about his sci-fi showing as part of Saturday's Short Film Showcase.
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What is White Lily about?
It takes place onboard a ship bound to investigate a comet in deep space. We pick up the crew three years into their mission, just before they intercept the comet. We joked when we were making it that the film was about love, memory and comets. But that’s all true. The film is about: if you had to leave humanity behind, who is the one person you would take with you and could you live with that decision.

When did you make it?
Production began back in 2014. It's been in post-production for two years having all the CGI modelled and animated. I was working on the film right up until a few weeks before Mayhem. We submitted with a work in progress. 

Who else was involved in the film?
We had an amazing team of people, mostly from Nottingham. Alistair Little was cinematographer and my 1st AD was Donner Bowyer, who used to run Bang! Short Film Festival and is a real Notts film veteran. Max Crow took the responsibility of the film’s effects work, and my Producer was Sophia Ramcharan, who produces an awful lot of films in the area. Adrian Reynolds, who I’ve collaborated with on several projects, wrote the film.

How much is it a traditional sci-fi short?
I don’t think I could really answer that! It depends on the kind of science fiction you’re trying to make. It was a traditional short film in that it was hard to make - we ran a KickStarter crowdfunding campaign, raising just over £4000, and even then had to pull in a lot of favours.

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How did you find the process of running a Kickstarter?
Running a Kickstarter campaign was a lot of fun. It really helps if you have someone with you who can write decent copy. I thought it would feel a bit more freeing than being funded by a film company. It does too. Everyone on Kickstarter gives you money in good faith and wants you to go do your thing. You don’t get shitty studio notes. You get pure support. Which was wonderful. It instills in you the desire to make the best film you possibly can. So you can meet everyone else expectations by meeting your own. We spent two years in postproduction and our backers have been extremely supportive and understanding. They haven’t seen the film yet. That’s going to happen after we premiere at Mayhem.

How excited are you to have the Premiere at Mayhem? 
I'm ecstatic that Mayhem has opened its doors up to science fiction. It's the finest horror festival in the UK, drawing incredible talent from around the world. I'm sure in time it will be a landmark festival for sci-fi as well.

What else have you been working on since you shot White Lily?
I documentary I’d shot earlier called Operation Oman came out and did well, apart from that I’ve been keeping my head down and thinking about what to do next. I’d like to continue working with Adrian Reynolds. Science fiction is my favourite genre. With the explosion of interest in comic book movies in the last ten years and the renewed interest in Star Wars, it’s an exciting time to be working in genre films.

What are you ambitions with it?
We’ve been accepted in to four sci-fi festivals so far. I would like to get White Lily into as many genre festivals as possible, and for those audiences to see the film. Those are our people. 

White Lily will show as part of the Short Film Showcase at Mayhem Film Festival, Broadway Cinema on Saturday 15 October 2016 at 7pm. 

Mayhem Film Festival

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