Director Biography – Asis Sethi (A BLOODY MESS)

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Asis Sethi is an award-winning Canadian director, producer, scriptwriter and TV personality who is known for her docu-series “Darshan Dekh Jeeva” and her documentary “A Colourful Crown” which premiered on Canadian National Television and ran for 5 years.

Asis has worked with renowned entertainers like Mike Myers (Austin Powers, Shrek), Nelly Furtado (Singer-Songwriter) and Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes, Corner Gas). She has also worked with Eva Birthistle (The Last Kingdom), Tim Dutton (Genius, The Infiltrator), David Alpay (Suits, Proven Innocent), Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four, Sin City) and Romany Malco (A Million Little Things).

Director Statement

Every month when I get my period, I am never able to freely speak about it whether at the workplace or at a party with extended family and friends. I slowly began to notice that my friends who came from both conservative and liberal families while living outside of India, have always been restricted in what they cannot say or do while on their periods. Most of my female friends to this day are not allowed to enter the kitchen when they’re menstruating because they are considered “filthy”. There were many incidents happening around me and that made me realize how important it was to bring this story to life.

‘A Bloody Mess’ is a call to the South Asian community and society that we must engage in open dialogue with males and females alike when it comes to the reproductive process, and specifically, menstruation. The need to ensure that myths and stereotypes are not attached to menstruation is important as the day-to-day functioning of a family can be inexplicably disturbed when one resorts to the negative connotations that surrounds the coming and going of a period.

‘A Bloody Mess’ is our attempt to “normalize” the process of menstruation in order to ensure that shame is no longer attached to a biological function that female bodies have no control over. It is our attempt to push the community to celebrate or at least accept that menstruation is an important part of life, and one that should not hinder any functioning on any one person’s part.

Young women often find out about their periods when they first get their periods, or from school. Parents often do not have a meaningful conversation with their children about menstruation, the importance of the cycle, and the side effects. Young South Asians often feel uncomfortable talking about their periods in a social setting or a familial setting. They are often shut down by other female figures in the family, who find it embarrassing to talk about periods. Some regard the period as an impurity that the body is cleansing itself of, so much so that restrictions are placed on participation in religious and cultural settings. They cannot enter temples. They cannot indulge in “prasad”.

One of the intentional aspects of the film are the longer one take shots of conflict scenes, in order to capture a natural flow and reactions between my actors. For example, the scene before the climax shows three characters in a conflict in a fluid setting which has 12 extras who are constantly moving and so is the camera; this entire uncut shot in the film is one minute and twenty seconds long. The colours for the film I chose were red and blue. When we delve into Varsha’s world, we see the colour red in dominance. When we enter Aarti’s (mother) world, we see more blues.

During the shooting process, it was interesting how important this conversation became even amongst my co-actors. While some completely understood the barriers South Asian women face, others found that being unable to speak about your period unnatural and bizarre. However, while on set, interestingly, four of our key crew members including myself got our periods on the first day of shooting, and for the first time, we said it out loud and then laughed. It was liberating even for the crew of the film.

I hope that “A Bloody Mess” will start a conversation and will bring a change in the way in which periods are perceived within families

Short Film: A BLOODY MESS, 10min., Canada, Drama/Family

Aff321b965 posterVarsha is a young South Asian girl who battles against her family’s traditional beliefs surrounding menstruation, which comes with rules prohibiting her from having an open dialogue with her father about periods. Since she was a child, Varsha has been told that while periods are normal, there are certain things she cannot do while menstruating, which manifests in Varsha’s mental suffocation. This film depicts Varsha’s internal struggle as she tries to strike a balance between respecting her family and her own individual autonomy.

News & Reviews
  • “A Bloody Mess: Short Film On An Important Topic”

    Bollywood Film Fame Canada Magazine

Short Film: GLAD YOU’RE HERE, 10min., Canada, Documentary

B14666e885 posterEngaging themes of love and betrayal, hope, belonging and place, Glad You’re Here documents my nineteen–year journey through building a family life, seeing it suffer the damage of mental illness, grief and separation, and then rebuilding with empathy. A story about an extreme moment of crisis has turned into a documentary that deals not just with the subjective but with the important issue of spousal abuse.

  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Student, Short
  • Genres:
    documentary, essayistic, narrative, first time director, self portrait, memory, family archive
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Canada
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Director Biography – Xinwen Zhang (NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER)

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Bachelor of Arts, graduated from the Bachelor of Film Department of Beijing Film Academy.
Director’s work: “Just Meet You”, “Men and Men”, “New Year’s Eve”, “Vientiane Spring”, “Unmarried Mother”, “Singer”, “Planting Love”, “Making Dish for Love”, “Unconsciously Love You” . Filmed the first domestic 260-episode networked drama “Goddess’ Office”. Cantonese and Mandarin were broadcast on Guangxi TV, Hong Kong TV and PPTV.
The venture capital project of the 9th Beijing International Film Festival in “First Love Begins at 40”. The short film “New Year’s Eve” was screened at the 21st Barcelona International Short Film Festival Science Fiction Film, the first banana project, and the second Silk Road Light and Shadow International Micro Video Film Exhibition Excellence Award. “Men Men” Global 48 Hour Film Festival Project.
Member of the 4th Young Master Screenwriter of China Film Foundation Wu Tianming Youth Film Special Fund.
Novel: “Potential”

Ratings

Short Film: NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER, 22min., China, Thriller/Fantasy

 

2a635f5560 poster未来世界里,人畜地位颠倒,人为其食,绝望与希望交替,看看颠倒过来的世界我们的处境与命运。

Human treatment of livestock is only food to be eaten. No matter what animals feel, they will have emotions, emotions, and desires for the world, from birth to death without any freedom. Nowadays, the appetite of the society is greater than the demand for nutrition. Every time the human race passes the festival, it is the end of the livestock. The earth is still evolving. It is full of possibilities. In the future, it is possible that animals become masters, and humans eat for them. Now we will do this to livestock and future animals, and all animal instincts will survive. Despair and hope alternate, look upside down in the world our situation and destiny.

Female Festival Testimonial – June 4 2020

Anna Patterson
Anna Patterson

I was surprised and then delighted at all the good and positive things I received out of this film festival. I really think it is so worthwhile in every way. I am thankful I entered, was considered, and given help and feedback (so important to a fledgling woman film writer. Thanks so much FilmFreeway for the chance also.

5 Star Review

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

The FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF) was created for women filmmakers and screenwriters. The goal is to showcased the best of female talent in film & TV from around the world.

Film Festival takes place six times a year!

Screenplay Festival takes place every single month.

Festival takes place at the Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles, and the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.

*****

Female Festival Testimonial – June 2 2020

Nesli Erten
Nesli Erten

I have never screened my short animated film in the country I live, Turkey. I have never seen how an audience reacts, nor was I privy to feedback apart from my friends and family. The Los Angeles FEEDBACK Female Film Festival gave me my first glimpse into a theatre where my work was shown. Not because I was physically present at the festival, although I intensely wish I could have partaken, but because the festival organizers went through the effort to film and open the floor up for audience reflection after screening my film. I am moved deeply. Listening to their feedback was most helpful. Their insights I will treasure forever. What this festival does is unmatched and profound. Thank you.

5 Star Review

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

The FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF) was created for women filmmakers and screenwriters. The goal is to showcased the best of female talent in film & TV from around the world.

Film Festival takes place six times a year!

Screenplay Festival takes place every single month.

Festival takes place at the Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles, and the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.

Female Festival Testimonial – June 1 2020

Oakhill Productions
Oakhill Productions

Great festival, sadly we couldn’t attend but the feedback received is so beneficial to us.

5 Star Review

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

The FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF) was created for women filmmakers and screenwriters. The goal is to showcased the best of female talent in film & TV from around the world.

Film Festival takes place six times a year!

Screenplay Festival takes place every single month.

Festival takes place at the Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles, and the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.

Female Festival Testimonial – May 29 2020

Hannah de Groot
Hannah de Groot

This festival went above and beyond to deliver even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the LA Live screening was changed to private screenings, I still received a long feedback video that included thoughtful and detailed critiques from a diverse array of people. My cast and crew is super excited as well, as every department got a mention in the video! If you want to know what real film enthusiasts think of your film beyond your inner circle, submit here! Thank you to everyone who participated in the video.

5 Star Review

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

The FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF) was created for women filmmakers and screenwriters. The goal is to showcased the best of female talent in film & TV from around the world.

Film Festival takes place six times a year!

Screenplay Festival takes place every single month.

Festival takes place at the Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles, and the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.

*****

Female Film Festival Testimonial – May 26 2020

Annabelle Frost
Annabelle Frost

LAFFF did a great job screening my film at a top notch theater and then getting thoughtful comments from the audience after. I’m very glad I applied and went to the screening so I could hear honest feedback about my film.

5 Star Review

A Film Freeway Preferred Festival:

The FEEDBACK Female Film Festival (FFFF) was created for women filmmakers and screenwriters. The goal is to showcased the best of female talent in film & TV from around the world.

Film Festival takes place six times a year!

Screenplay Festival takes place every single month.

Festival takes place at the Regal L.A. LIVE Cinemas in downtown Los Angeles, and the Carlton Cinemas in downtown Toronto.