Posts Tagged ‘Independent Filmmaking’

Hiya folks!

Remember me? Matthew Saliba here with a little update on what I’ve been up to since I last updated this page, oh… 2 years ago?! Wow, has it really been 2 years? Time flies when you’re having fun and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

For a little over 2 years now, I’ve been working as a manager and film programmer at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I never thought I’d find a “day job” that could make me feel as satisfied as filmmaking did but I’ll be damned if I don’t leave work each and every day with a big smile on my face knowing that the work I do curating The Carlton Midnight Society (Toronto’s one and only monthly midnight film screening series) is appreciated and in some cases, emulated by so many in the city.

But of course, there are those who remember me before I became “Mr. Midnight” and will always ask, when are you going to make another movie?

Since 2003, I’ve made 7 films; 8 if you count my contribution to OUR FOOTLOOSE REMAKE. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with some of the most talented and wonderful artists and human beings I have ever met and will treasure those memories till the day I die and perhaps even beyond the grave. But truth be told, after the incredible success of EROTICIDE which as of today, has screened in over 26 countries, been translated into 4 languages, collected awards for directing and acting (the latter of which I’m very proud of since Stephanie van Rijn may very well have given the best performance EVER in a Sinema Saliba production) and has been viewed over 1.5 million times on YouTube, I guess you can say for a while I was afraid to embark upon another cinematic endeavour. I suppose you can say that my anxiety stemmed from a fear of having to follow this up. What if I make another flick that bombs? What if any goodwill I was so lucky to gain from older and newer fans after EROTICIDE was tossed aside after making something that in their eyes would be deemed subpar? And here’s the biggest fear I had… whenever I’d do a Q&A or print or internet interview, I would constantly bring up the fact that EROTICIDE was the kind of film I was trying to make for over 10 years. If, in fact, that was really the case, wouldn’t EROTICIDE technically be my swan song and cue to bow out gracefully and let a new generation of DIY filmmakers take the helm and make sado-erotic dramas of their own?

But then I realised 8 is kind of an awkward number of films to “retire” on. 10, on the other hand is a nice round number and has a good ring to it. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a couple of really strong ideas that have been kicking around in this old chunk of coal’s noggin’ that I think would make for two of the most wicked awesome films that I personally would die to see on the big screen. One of which came to me during my vacation last September in Berlin and Prague and the other, believe it or not, is a film I’ve been wanting to make since 2005, which according to my math, is 12 years now. And then, I got to thinking, well if EROTICIDE is a film I’ve been wanting to make for 10 years and *this* idea is something I’ve been wanting to make for 12 years, well by that logic, wouldn’t *that* be the picture for me to go out on?

You’re damn right, it would be!

So I’m very happy to announce that I am officially coming out of “retirement” to make not one, but TWO brand new films! And I even have working titles for them. The Berlin / Prague inspired idea will be called SUCCUBUS and my “swan song” film, the one that I have truly been wanting to make for 12 years now will be called I’M YOUR FLESH.

In the meantime, feel free to check out EROTICIDE as it’s the best film I’ve ever made and certainly the one I’m the proudest of.

Stay tuned folks, as Sinema Saliba is back and will be better than ever!

This is pretty incredible. My film EROTICIDE has been viewed over 10,000 times on YouTube. That number may not seem much in comparison to other viral videos, but to me it’s a major accomplishment. It’s huge when you consider that my film received no attention whatsoever from North American film festivals or mainstream media outlets (Twitch, Diabolique, Rue Morgue, etc). Or for that matter, any indie film outlets as I don’t recall any of these indie-friendly sites ever sharing my film on their wall. It was done through good old fashioned “word of mouth.” Things like this only serve to validate my decision to remain true to my vision and to not compromise the integrity of the film so that it could get some play at so-called “trendy” film outlets. Moral of the story: make the kind of film you truly want to make and the audience will eventually find it.

EROTICIDE will be premiering in Sao Paolo, Brazil at the 2014 Festival Mix Brasil, taking place from November 13-23. It will be presented for the first time with Portuguese subtitles and under the Portuguese title of “Eroticídio!”

For more info:
http://www.mixbrasil.org.br/2014/filmes/index.asp?lng=&mostra=Fetisch+Film+Festival

#EroticideWorldTour2014

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.

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Been sitting on this bit of news for a while but now I can finally announce it – EROTICIDE is set to premiere in Australia at the 2014 Sydney Underground Film Festival!

This is very big news for the film as the Sydney Underground Film Festival is apparently quite a prestigious event down under and it is a rare opportunity for the film to screen in front of a “vanilla” audience as opposed to all the kinky/fetish festivals EROTICIDE usually seems to screen at. I find that vanilla audiences are the ones who seem to appreciate and “get” the film more whereas fetish audiences seem to take the film a little too literally and deem it to be an “anti-kink” or “un-kink friendly” film.

At any rate, I am absolutely thrilled by the news as Australia marks the 20th(!) country to host a premiere for the film and the 5th continent to screen EROTICIDE to boot. It’s amazing to think that we’re almost approaching the 1-year anniversary of the World Premiere on September 28th and the film continues to show no signs of slowing down.

The screening takes place on Saturday, September 6th at 10:30 PM. For more information on the screening, check out: http://suff.com.au/2014/07/the-best-of-the-fetisch-film-festival-germany/


Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the completion of the EROTICIDE screenplay. 
I remember showing this to my wife Andrée-Anne Forgues and asking her to be the first person to read it. When she finished, she was crying and I felt a mix of emotions. The husband part of me felt ashamed for making her cry, but the writer part of me was undeniably giddy over the sudden realization that I had something very special on my hands.

Fast forward one year later and EROTICIDE has gone on to premiere in 12 countries, including: Canada, Germany, Sweden, India, the UK, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Japan, Portugal and Spain, snagging awards and the best reviews of my career.

Making this film with the likes of Jocelin HaasStephanie van RijnLisa Di Capa and the whole crew was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life and I can’t thank them enough for the experience.

Given our move to Toronto in the Spring, it’s unlikely that I’ll get around to writing a new script, much less shoot a new film this year. But one of the many reasons why I’m excited to move to TO is the prospect of working with a whole new set of creative folk, some of whom I’ve been wanting to collaborate with for years now but never could due to long-distance issues. So who knows, once I settle in, I may find myself compelled to put “pen to paper” even quicker than I intended to.

Thanks for all your support for the film!

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words…

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