Logline: No Free Lunch is about a young woman whose combined conviction and intelligence leads her to change her fate in a not so conventional manner.
Current Status: Festival-circuit
Length: 20 minutes
Writer: Shahar Fux & Leeron Revah
Director: Leeron Revah
Producer: Leeron Revah and Itamar Luria
About Leeron Revah: Leeron was born in NY to Israeli parents and moved to Israel alone after college. She began assisting low-budget productions and moved on to producing independent films. No Free Lunch marks her directorial debut.
Looking for Buyer
Funders or made in association with: Independently financed
Awards: 2015 BeFilm NY Underground Film Festival, USA: 2nd Place For Best Narative, 2015 Cinema City IFF Serbia, Outstanding Achievement For Best Actress.
Where can I watch it? WOW Film Festival, Sunday 1st May 10-11:45 @ Cinema Paris.
For a password-protected link on vimeo, please contact me directly.
1. Congratulations! Why did you decide to make this film?
This is the first movie I ever co-wrote and directed. After years of line-producing short independent films I was eager to explore all the other artistic aspects of filmmaking (screenwriting, directing and editing). I was tired of making films for other people and ready to embark on the creative telling of my own personal story - one I was passionate about, intimately familiar with and ready to share.
2. Why is it called No Free Lunch?
No Free Lunch is a term that describes the concept that one needs to work hard to get what they want - that nothing in this world is served to you on a silver platter. This short drama depicts a young woman (Sarai) going on a job interview for a position that is way out of her league.
Living a life of poverty she is struggling to find a way out. Sarai tries using her skill as a proficient liar to her benefit but that only helps her to get her foot in the door. Her other inherent skills such as 'negotiating', 'eloquent articulation' and auto-didacticism are what ends up getting her what she wants.
Sarai is an intelligent, ambitious young woman that is not afraid of working hard and is willing to embellish the truth in order to reach her true self. She is smart enough to know what she is worth and her social status and other people’s morals are not going to stop her from jumping a few steps to get to where she needs to go.
This is not a film that encourages deception as a means of getting to the end goal but shows that it can be a useful tool to get people to see what they want to see. Coupled with hard work, conviction and the 'desperate need to survive', presenting yourself as someone else can ultimately help you become who you want to be.
3. Is the film autobiographical?
It is not autobiographical but it is analogous to my life and where I was when I moved to Israel alone 17 years ago from NYC – it expresses the belief that you hold your own fate in your hands, even if it means stepping on someone else's toes while doing it.
It took me over a year to decide how I wanted to tell my story. I knew who the main character was before I knew what the story would be because I wanted to make a film about someone similar to myself, a dreamer who uses her unique skills to open opportunities for herself.
It was important for me to tell this story so that I could create closure for myself in such a way that was relateable to viewers. I finally decided to tell the story of a young woman who goes on a job interview - a situation that many viewers may be able to relate to regardless of what country they are from.
4. What type of feedback have you received so far?
My film was accepted to the world renowned Clermont Ferrand Film Festival at the start of 2015 and since then has been screened at 14 festivals around the world. It has won two awards and was recently sold to Japan theaters and VOD. This surpassed my expectations as a debut film director and has encouraged me to continue on my quest to share more stories and offer different perspectives on personal issues.
5. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Initially, I did not expect to receive such accolade from No Free Lunch mostly because it was my first film and I had no idea how it would be received. The film seems to challenge viewers point of view on how far one is ‘allowed’ to go in our society to attain their dream. I was surprised that the answer lay in people’s personal experience with deception and lies. Some root for the anti-heroine while others stay on higher moral ground and are unforgiving of the protagonists’ tactics. Either way, I am pleased that the film sparks a debate on morality, audacity and authenticity of character.
6. What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
My goal is to get as many people to watch my film as possible and have them be affected, regardless of the end result. The international festival circuit is an excellent channel for short films because of its ability to reach people in different cultures and various socio-economic status’s. So far my film has screened in the Far East, Middle East, Europe and North America and I have received wonderful feedback from places like China, Japan, Serbia and France. It’s exciting to think about how far my creation has gone to affecting people from around the world.
7. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify the message of this film?
My film was made in 2014 and most festivals are now accepting films that were more recently made. At this stage, I believe journalists can help share the film and spread the message attached to it.
8. What type of impact would you like this film to have and what’s a key question that will help spark a debate about this film?
This is not a film that encourages deception as a means of getting to the end goal but shows that it can be a useful tool to create opportunity for those less fortunate. I want viewers to ask themselves how flexible they are to permit the use of ‘immoral’ tactics.
Coupled with hard work, conviction and the 'desperate need to survive', deception can ultimately help one open doors that are otherwise shut tight. Is it ever legitimate to present yourself as someone else only to get the chance to show that you can become that someone else?
10. What other projects are you currently developing or directing?
My experience creating No Free Lunch was so thrilling and satisfying that I have decided that from now on I want to direct and produce my own films. The project I am working on now is a road tale that contemplates the claustrophobia of relationships and reflects the typical phases they go through in a lifetime. Again, I will be using metaphors to relay the message and ambience but the challenges in this film will be very different than the ones in No Free Lunch. I am excited to embark on a whole new adventure . . .
11. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
One of the biggest challenges I had making this film was that I had an extremely demanding deadline. I was 7 months pregnant with my second child while shooting the film so I had no choice but to maintain my timeline and complete the film before giving birth. I was thrilled to have been able to invite my entire cast and crew to a special screening 9 days before the birth of my baby daughter.