“An exceptional drama-comedy that will leave no one unaffected”. Heart-touching comments about my dramedy "The Locationist" coming from a jury member of the Cleveland Film Festival, rating my 37-minute debut movie with 8 stars out of 10.
This jury member’s entire comment regarding my 2021 Romanian drama comedy in English language felt incredibly good not because it means the world for any film author at their debut, but mainly because I felt that another someone (besides the people I know, my friends and the friends of friends) understood perfectly what I tried to do with this concept and hybrid format and what I wanted to say.
Cleveland Film Festival is a big-league festival, being in Top 100 Best Reviewed, Oscar Academy, and Canadian Screen Award Qualifying, so every word counts for a debutant, especially if she is a woman director and producer and she's one becoming a filmmaker at 40 via Romania route.
For a fair piece of news, the other two jury members were not so impressed, rating “The Locationist” drama comedy with 4 stars overall, higher at some chapters and lower at others.
For the time being “The Locationist” 2021 dramedy is making the world festivals tour, getting by know the laurels as an official selection from IPIFF 15th Edition-2021 in the category “Best Producer for a Short Film” (the Film Festival of Independent Producers in Romania organized by UPFAR-ARGOA (Union of Romanian Film and Audiovisual Producers and the Romanian Association of Audiovisual Works Management).
Having the film’s premiere at home, in Romania, to start recovering its production costs (meaning all my savings plus some funny debts!) I decided to open my first drama comedy to the public on vimeo VoD with geoblocking - Romania territory, unlocking more territories on the go.
Thanks to the Cleveland Film Festival model that makes the effort to give the filmmakers a piece of feedback from its jury members, here it is our ratings matrix, very polarizing as you’ll see (a thing that I find to be very good news as no one, indeed, left the movie unaffected).
I'll start with the bad news - the lowest ratings:
Film festival jury member 1: Overall rating 4/10 (I cut out the spoilers parts of the comments, descriptive fragments of the film)
”I think the purpose of this drama comedy was to show you never know what someone’s going through. Appearances can be deceiving, and most people can relate to having a hard-to-meet deadline hanging over their heads professionally. My favorite scene was the algae-covered pond, and the reverence shown there. The cinematography was intense. I disliked the lack of dialogue, there weren’t any words for the first 11,5 minutes of the film. The ending was surprising and felt like a nod to ”Thelma and Louise”.
Originality and Creativity: 6/10
Film directing: 5/10
Actors Performances: 4/10
Production Value: 4/10
Sound and Music: 5/10
My take: For me, this feedback has significant discrepancies between comments and ratings. Even though that might not be true, it left me with the feeling that the viewer only knows life through movies. Disliking so much the nature moment of the opening scene that’s setting the lead female character and her world and lifestyle, it makes me feel that this is someone who can’t stay alone with herself/himself or s/he doesn't like nature's sounds and silence or that s/he is open to watch only the movies that follow a certain formula/structure. I feel too much bias. Following the line of thought and logic of this viewer, I would have rated the film with at least 7 points. The differ