Yesterday marked 1 year to the day of the World Premiere of my film EROTICIDE. Since that day, the film went on to have an incredible run on the festival circuit screening in 20 different countries, including: Canada, Germany, Sweden, India, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Japan, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, France, Colombia, Mexico, Austria, Hungary, Singapore and Australia. It was also awarded Best Short Film of 2013 by Mike Snoonian at All Things Horror and named one of the Best Short Films of 2013 by Dave James Parker at Mr. Parka’s Video Reviews.
It was, by far, the most personal film I’ve ever made and for all intents and purposes, a film for me, by me. Yet in spite of that, EROTICIDE was a film that managed to speak to a lot of people, particularly those without a kink bent. I can’t begin to tell you the stories people would tell me in person or write me online about how this film spoke to them in ways they couldn’t even imagine.
Of course, the film isn’t without its critics with many people in the fetish community unable to see the forest for the trees, labelling the film as being “anti-kink.” And while I haven’t been able to attend any of these screenings to defend my work, I will say that the film does present a valid criticism of humiliation play and in many respects concurs with the sentiment held by a lot of dommes in regards to why many shy away from these mind games, therefore their criticism is pretty ironic actually. Nevertheless, the film wasn’t so much a “fetish film” inasmuch as it used fetishism as a springboard to deal with bigger issues vis a vis relationships and how we’ve all been in that one relationship that for better or for worse becomes the “stick” by which future relationships are measured against and how sometimes in spite of the amazing thing we have going for ourselves in the present, we allow ourselves to be consumed by the past and in some cases, devoured completely.
Now, the big question I’m often asked is, when will EROTICIDE be released on DVD. After 1 year of waiting, I can finally answer that question — never!
Hmm, perhaps I should elaborate a little?
See, the thing is, there’s no money to be made releasing indie films on DVD. In the past, I was lucky enough to have a distributor release my films on DVD without having to spend a nickel of my own money. Unfortunately, that distributor is no longer in the DVD business and as such, I’m left with three options. One, I try to find a new distributor. Feature films are having a hard time finding distributors, let alone short films. So scratch that idea out. Two, I release the film myself. Possible. But not financially feasible at the moment. It costs at least $5 to make the DVD with a DVD sleeve artwork. Then to ship the DVD, it can cost anywhere between $5-10. So we’re looking at a $15 investment here. The rule of thumb in business is that if you want to make money, you need to make 3 times what you’ve spent. So by that logic, I’d have to sell EROTICIDE at a hefty price tag of $45 a pop. Now while some people have been very generous in their praise of the film, I doubt anybody thinks EROTICIDE is worthy of being sold at a Criterion-esque cost. So that basically leaves me with one other option – make the film available to view online for free… FOREVER! And that’s just what I’m going to do.
I’m not sure if or when I’ll ever make another film, so in many respects, this may be the last you ever hear of Sinema Saliba. And if that’s the case, I can’t imagine a better way to go out on. I want to thank Jocelin Haas, Stephanie Van Rijn and Lisa Di Capa for being the greatest group of actors I’ve ever worked with. You guys brought my script to life and turned in performances that have been immortalized on celluloid, er, on HD. I want to thank Rick Creedy for financially backing this film without ever demanding anything in return and being the best kind of producer an “auteur” filmmaker could ever ask for. I also want to thank Kamel Khalifa for enticing me to get off my butt and finally make a film via the promise of access to free camera, lighting and editing equipment. I’d like to thank my beautiful and amazing wife Andrea Saliba for translating the original English script into French. In many ways, she deserves a co-writer credit as without her, there’d be no EROTICIDE as we know it today. I’d like to thank King-Wei Chu, for documenting the entire process with his impeccably photographed BTS stills and hilarious documentary-style interviewing skills. And finally, I’d especially like to thank my incredibly hard-working crew who excelled magnificently behind the scenes in the camera, sound and makeup department. This was the first I worked with a real film crew and while it sometimes took me a while to get used to delegating duties on set, I eventually got used to the idea of having other people help me carry out my vision without burning out in the process.
Last but not least, thank you to all the festivals who hosted premieres of my film, all the critics who took the time to write thoughtful pieces on the pictuture, and especially to all the fans out there (particularly those who took the time to write me personally with your thoughts on the film).
Ladies and gentlemen, Matthew Saliba has left the building.