TAIL OF THE HORIZON
Sam immigrated to a European city and does not feel at home. His adaptation to his new life is entwined with a sort of integration classes that he has to attend. He needs to become a believable character if he wants to be part of this city. Sam is a delivery rider and has no real interest in his job, but he tries to make it work.
Sam feels alienated and lonely in the city filled with purpose and faraway success. Everything has somehow become pointless, bringing him into confusion about his identity.
The film is a drama about adaptation in friction with Neo-colonialism sentiments lined with absurdity and dark humor that represents the life of Sam as a kind of parody; a joke of life full of struggles, failures, repetitions and awkwardness.
Length: 73 min
Language: English (Broken English)
Sam is a guy who seems familiar, but is unfamiliar to you. He is recognizable, yet unrecognizable. He has a face you cannot remember; yet you have seen it many times before. Sam is your Uber Driver, Delivero rider and someone who looks after your luggage
at airports, cleans your office when you finish work. Sam is in this case a guy, but there are girls like Sam. Sam has a friendly face, but is not someone you would like to date. He seems kind, but he is not someone you would consider a friend. Sam is someone who stays
anonymous. He needs to change a lot, before he can be perceived as a great person in this city.
So, who is Sam? What does Sam want? What were his dreams before these got shattered? Maybe he doesn’t know them anymore, or maybe he has forgotten what he really wants, since this city is only interested in knowing what he can do, or will do, and not what he
wants to do, or needs to do.
MOTIVATION, THEME AND STYLE
Around 11 years ago I started a new life at the age of 28 in the Netherlands, until then Colombia was the only country I’ve ever lived in. After arriving in Amsterdam with somewhat poor English, I had a hard time understanding other people and what would be my role or function here. In the process of adaptation in this new country I encountered difficulties with understanding myself and who I was expected to be. Even though I was born and raised in Colombia from my appearance alone nobody could really see where I was from. I’ve been perceived as: Moroccan, Turkish, Syrian, Israeli, Italian, Spanish and Latin American. This made me realize I was someone else here, I did not naturally blend in. After meeting more immigrants over the last few years I found that they all had similar experiences. They coped with similar challenges and personal confusion about themselves while trying to adapt to their new lives. These experiences inspired me to write and make this film.
The main topic of this story is alienation and what it means to feel alienated. In this film we explore the world of our character Sam, who needs to deal with being an immigrant. He is confronted with a series of new cultural and social dynamics, which are difficult for him to handle. This leads him into isolation and confusion. “Who was I before all this?” This new life has faded most of his previous identity and has now left him with emptiness.
This film is a personal idea and with it I aim to represent a state of mind led by a series of feelings. A psychological journey that can only be subjective and is not easy to portray. With some imagination and creativity I found my way to reveal this internal and supernatural space beyond physicality. For that reason I choose a fantastic and surreal tone for this film, where absurdity, irony and humor are present. This film is a serious topic about adaptation in friction with Neo-colonialism sentiments presented in a playful way. In my work I like to play with humor and explore its possibilities and aesthetics. I find that the construction of reality can be a sort of parody, a copy or imitation of other realities. This idea brought me to think how we as artists or filmmakers are also living our own parody trying to make films that can be referred to other films. Knowing this I needed to think what kind of film “Tail of the Horizon” would be.
As an artist I work with what life brings me and therefore I choose to make this film as an experiment. Our project is a guerilla film made with a minimal team of 4 people and limited budget and therefore we decided for a naturalistic and realistic appeal. In the film you can find a combination of cinematography, video art, animation and performances. These different forms help to create the shifting of the emotional and psychological tones. As a director I believe in provoking the audience to think during the film and therefore I’ve left room for free association and personal interpretation of its message.
Our small team
The 4 of the film team and the cast
Tail of the Horizon is an experimental, independent film shot in Amsterdam, without the direct intention of representing the city of Amsterdam. The city was being used as a set, to represent a common city in a first world country somewhere in northern Europe.
The film was made in a small team of 4 people:
-1 General producer
-1 Director/ Art director and producer.
-1 Photo director and camera / Art director.
-1 Sound-boom operator/ technical support / general assistant.
As this is a guerilla film with a limited budget and due to several reasons we decided to work with a small team. Firstly not to call too much attention on the street as we were filming within the normal settings of the city without specific film permits as we preferred the normal movement of the city. And secondary due to budget limitations; with a small team we could have more time and dedication on the actual filming of the necessary scenes that we need. We eventually shot the movie in around 2 and a half months. And the third and most important reason, with a small team we could redesign the shooting plan due to weather situations, specific locations that we could use and with a small team agenda changes are easier arranged.
Even despite the limited budget, with the professional team we tried to keep the focus on the technical and artistic quality for the film during the shoot. Everybody involved from the team members to the actors in main roles are professionals with experience in the audiovisual world.
Producer: Tamara Lichtenberg
She worked as an executive producer for several projects in the Netherlands and in Colombia. Interim freelance Creative producer for O’Neill’s international campaigns for 2 seasons. And as freelance location producer at Basecamp Productions for the TV movie IM, for the movie “Zee van tijd” and the series “Flying Dutchmen”.
Director: Diego Ospina Melo
Check CV click here:
Cinematography / Art director: Arun Kartik
Indian film director. His directorial debut Sivapuranam (2016) a Tamil language Film premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Karthick's second feature film Nasir (2020) received the Hubert Bals Fund enabling it to become a co-production with the Netherlands. Nasir premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2020, was an entry for the Tiger Competition and won the NETPAC Award for the best Asian feature film.
Sound/ Production assistant/ Gimbal operator: David Ospina Melo.
Since 2010 he has been active in the creative sector in Colombia and the Netherlands. Has participated in the production of commercial and non commercial projects for tv, film and art projects. He is a flexible person that works in different roles: as a producer, cameraman, technical coordinator, gaffer, grip and other assistant roles depending on the project. (2017) Colombia, short film, producer and technical coordinator “Penitencia”. (2018) Colombia Feature film “Monserrate” Camera assistant. (2011-2018) Colombia, technical support and coordination of several national TV commercials.
Main Actor: Mustafa Kur
Mustafa graduated from the Higher Institution of Theatricals Arts 2014 in Damascus,Syria. He performed in numerous plays at different theaters around the world, Damascus, Beirut, Egypt,Tokyo, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Essen, Hamburg and Mülheim.
In addition to his theater work he has also acted in several films that participated in international festivals such as Berlinale, Venice, Sundance and Cairo International film festival.
Our gear transportation
Saron and Yazan
The making process of this film was (and still is) a special collaboration between members of the main team. All 5 of us are family, partner or close friends. This film was possible due to this special bond, understanding and respect for each other.
Since the moment I conceived the idea for this film and I started writing the script and defining the narrative and other conceptual elements, it was great to count with the help of a close friend “Marc Nollkaemper” he is very talented and apacioanated a script writer, he helped me a lot with the important elements of the film.
Nothing could really start without counting on Tamara and her experiences as a producer and project manager. Also as she is my partner in live, she understands the main reasons, concepts, ideas behind the film and the challenges of making a film. As a team director and producer couple we talked frequently about this project, from early morning with coffee in bed up to late at night.
For this film it would be the first time that Arun and I collaborated together as filmmakers. We have been good friends for years discussing passionately about film and art until deep into the night but with different backgrounds and views as Arun being a more traditional filmmaker with a lot of knowledge in cinematography and me as a visual artist/filmmaker with a lot of curiosity for experimentation with images and narrative. These two different cinematic views became the interesting base for the creation of this original author-film.
After having my brother working with me for several projects in Colombia I was happy to have him working with us for this project in the Netherlands as well. It is great to work with people that you know very well especially when it’s someone with technical knowledge, endless loyalty to finish even the last unexpected shots right until the end.
Mustafa (the main actor) is our hero of the film. He connected with me, the idea of this film and the main character from the beginning due to his migration background. Before the shoot we had many long nights discussing film, theater, performance, music and art in general. With all this art knowledge, experience and passion it is great to have someone like that play the main character in your film.
Besides the main character we have 2 other important roles in the film played by “Saron van Emden and Yazan AlHakim”. Both are professionals in the actor, performance and theater world.
Saron van Emden: she studied and graduated as theatermaker at the Rotterdam Centrum voor Theater. She wrote, directed and played in several theater plays. At this moment Saron is a poetry performance artist and is exploring the field as a stand up comedian.
Soon more news about the post-production of the project.
Yazan Al Hakim: Studied Acting at “Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten” He is active as an actor in several theater shows in the Netherlands and participated in several Short film - Nothing to Declare (2018), Short film - Trials (2017) and Talent Is Everywhere (2017).
Overall we are very lucky to have an interesting network and a big circle of friends. Thanks to this we could find the rest of the actors, locations and other extras necessary to make the film.
The post production process was as usual challenging and an adventure at the same time. The main edit of the film from sorting the footage, audio sync, etc until the first rough cut was made by me in Amsterdam. But thanks to the collaboration with Arun and his great network we had the opportunity to do the final stage of the post in India.
For this important stage of the post production process I decided to travel to Kolkata to meet with Arun and work on the final cut of the film, the sound design, some animated graphics, the Color grading and DCP.
For me as a 1st time feature director it was such an interesting experience visiting India as one of the biggest film industries, a country with a very solid tradition and culture in the creation and appreciation of cinema.
The month I had to work in Kolkata was not too long but just long enough to meet and get to know Ananda Gupta “the sound designer” and with him we would start the first process of the sound and getting clear the main sound ideas and concepts for the film. It was great to see Ananda taking my project so seriously and working together with the team to getting the best sound possible for the film.
Working with this specialized team was great and I have only great things to say about the whole team I worked with:
-Dialogue editor: Aparajita sen
-Foley artist: Uttam Naskar
-Foley recordist: Sougata Bannerjee
-Re-Recording Mixer: Anindit Roy
CherryPix Movies was responsible for the color grading, VFX and everything else needed to make the final DCP. They are a big production company and to my luck and surprise are very open to work and collaborate with independent filmmakers and artists. I had a great experience with the team and I am very impressed by the honest support that I got from the CherryPix team. They helped me getting the right final touch and the last push of the film.
Colorits: Amit Kumar
Conformist: Niatai Das
Vfx: Rajat Subhra
Post Production Manager: Subrata Patra
Ananda and Anindit
Color Grading at CherryPix
All the music of the film is original work, all the music pieces were created by Juan S. Rojas Pérez. He is a Colombian artist living in Bogota. Juan and I met on a filmfestival in 2021 during a trip to Colombia where I am from. At that time I just started with the post production of the film and connected with Juan over his elaborate knowledge in different music genres and styles. He understood my preference for experimental music for the film and he told me that he was looking for a project that would allow him to explore new paths in music. He worked for several months trying to find and create the right music for my film. During this whole process Juan was very unconditional and dedicated to the project. I am very happy and grateful to have him on the team and have his original music added to the film.
Original Music by Juan S. Rojas Pérez.