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TAIL OF THE HORIZON
Feature Film

SYNOPSIS

Sam immigrated to a European city and does not feel at home. His integration to a 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 adapt to 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 a faraway success. Everything has somehow become pointless, bringing him Into isolation and confusion about his real identity. He doesn’t know himself anymore and has forgotten his dreams.

 

Length: 80 min

Language: Broken English

 

CHARACTER
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.

THEME

With this film I would like to explore a series of themes relating to: migration, adaptation and alienation in modern times.

So what is alienation in this story, and what is it to feel alienated in real-life? Alienation, as I have experienced it, can be created from different circumstances and in any moment in, or aspect of life. In this film we explore the world of our character Sam, who is a person dealing with being an immigrant in a new city. He is being confronted with a series of new cultural and social dynamics, which are difficult for him to deal with - or understand. This naturally creates several problems for his integration to this new city and finally leads him
into isolation and confusion about his real identity. “Who was I before all this?” Sam doesn't even know that for sure anymore. He can’t get in touch with the old him. He might remember some of it, but this new life has faded most of his previous identity and has now left him with emptiness, where once his heart and dreams used to be.


The city that Sam lives in is a modern cosmopolitan city. It reflects the phenomenon of a society running desperate under the pressure of having to be successful and happy. Sam lives here in anonymity as a food delivery rider and he is trying to figure out his future role in
this fast paced society.

STYLE & TONE
The film that I intend to make is a social drama, but it will be in the form of a tragic comedy: one that is told with absurdity and dark humor. It is not intended to be a knee-slapping or hilarious comedy, but needs to represent life as some sort of parody; the tribulations of life suddenly become a crude joke. The film should represent all our struggles, failures, repetitions, improvisation and awkwardness.

Even though I want to experiment with this film, I would love to find a naturalistic and realistic appeal as well. It should be a combination of: cinematography, video installation, performances and documentary.

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The 4 of the film team and the cast

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 Our small team

MOTIVATION
Before I started my new life here in the Netherlands from Colombia, I had never lived in another country before. I arrived in Amsterdam with somewhat poor English and I had a hard time understanding others and expressing myself. Later on I even had some difficulties with
understanding myself and remembering who I used to be. I was born and raised in Colombia, but from my appearance alone nobody here could really guess where I am from. So I have been perceived as: Moroccan, Turkish, Syrian, Israeli, Italian, Spanish and, last but not least, as a Latin American.

When I arrived in Amsterdam in 2011, I took on a job as a Handyman / Housekeeper in a hotel and later other kind of similar jobs meanwhile I improved my language. Around me a few friends "new comers from different countries" as starting job  they were delivery riders, it was also an easy job to get if you were new in the city. In 2018 my brother came to the Netherlands as well and I helped him with his language and integration. He then became a delivery rider too for almost a year. I soon realized that my brother, my friends and I have passed through similar mental stages, struggles and other processes, while dealing with this adaptation to a new country and a “new” life. These were emotions like: loneliness, anger, denial, homesick/nostalgia and confusion.

With this film I want to visualize this process: the arrival of a newcomer who is always perceived as a stranger. How this integration process can make you lose your own identity, and is this for the good or the bad? And how failing in this process can make you feel even more alone. Finding yourself in a country you do not know, is one of the hardest things to do.

Sam arrives in the story as an anonymous person, struggling with who he is in this new world, and in the end we leave him as the same anonymous person, even though he has completely changed.

I truly feel that we are all immigrants ,wherever we are, as everybody has to adapt in life. Everyone has to change at one point with or without exterior pressure. Migration is not only from one country to another, but also from one way of living to another lifestyle. Or even a change in friends and your community. Everybody is dealing with rediscovering him or herself, especially in these fast-changing times. We act and perform according to these innovations. We are constantly (micro) migrating and dealing with a reality that looks both familiar and alienating. Migration, to me, is actually a metaphor for transition and transformation. I personally think it is incredibly difficult to reason with your own feelings concerning change and adaptation.

The impossibility of trying to understand yourself (and what you really want) can leave you feeling terribly alone, but when you talk with your inner demons and understand them better does that really make you any happier?

MAKING PROCESS

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:

Photo Director / 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.

 

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Our gear transportation

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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.

 

Soon will be more info about the post-production of the film (visuals and graphics, music, sound design and color).