Film Title: My Brother Is A Zombie
Logline: Abigail's younger brother, Norman, is the most annoying brother in the world - plus, he's a zombie! When Abigail gets fed up with taking care of him, she makes a decision that could change their relationship forever.
Length: 9 minutes
Director: Russell Yaffe
Producer: Talia Alberts, Dena Greenbaum
Writer: Russell Yaffe
About the writer, director and producer:
RUSSELL YAFFE is a New York-based, multi-disciplinary creator who works in international film, writing, music, and athletics. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.
TALIA ALBERTS is a filmmaker from LA who studied in Chicago and currently calls Brooklyn home. She works in film, television, and video art.
DENA GREENBAUM has served as Producer, Director, and Production Manager on award-winning independent films throughout New York. She is a graduate of NYU.
Key cast: Molly Rose Meredith, Jake Schloss
Looking for: Sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists – anyone who can help share this film with the world!
Funders: 78 Indiegogo Contributors
Made in association with: N/A
Release date: October 31, 2015
Where can I watch it?
-Dances With Films - Dances With Kidz Shorts Block 4, Saturday, June 11, at 4:30 PM at the TCL Chinese Theaters, Hollywood, CA
-Columbia Film Festival - Opening Night Shorts Block, Friday, June 24, at 8:00 PM at Howard Community College, Columbia, MD
Future screenings can be found at www.mybrotherisazombie.com
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! I made my film because I wanted to explore sibling relationships through a genre lens. Sometimes the best way to address difficult topics is through unconventional avenues, and the strange beauty of magical realism was the perfect vehicle for this story. I also love working with kids and bringing their stories to the screen.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should watch this film because it’s funny, touching, and thoughtful. It’s a very different type of zombie movie. My Brother Is A Zombie’s unlikely pairings of visual and emotional motifs form what I hope is a unique and gratifying experience.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Our themes of acceptance and familial love reveal themselves slowly throughout the course of the film. What starts as a comedy takes on increasingly deeper meaning and gravity as the story progresses. By the end of the film, our lead character Abigail comes to understand those themes when she comes to terms with her relationship with her brother.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
Similar to how the finished film operates, our film evolved from something that was just fun and silly into a much more well-rounded project. The script began as a comedic sketch, imagining all of the humorous situations a little zombie might find himself in. As I continued to write and go into production and post-production, however, the story took on shifts in tone and style as we decided to give the film a greater sense of visual and thematic darkness.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been really positive and encouraging. Some viewers respond more to the comedic aspects of the film, while others are touched by the themes and relate to the experiences of our characters.
It has been awesome to hear strangers quote a wide variety of jokes from the film - even ones we thought no one would catch - and seeing kids mimicking our zombie after screenings. We’ve also had very personal discussions with audience members who have either taken care of or felt like a little zombie at some point in their lives.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I’ve been surprised at times by how much laughter the film draws out in some of our screenings. While comedy is certainly a part of the film, I always imagined it was more tongue-in-cheek and underplayed, but we’ve had some screenings with raucous laughter at every gag.
On the flip side, I always hoped that our story could be received as a metaphor for any type of exclusion, but I’ve been surprised by the breadth of ways viewers have connected to the film – from those who have read our zombie as a symbol for people who have been ostracized due to their race, to seeing his story as an allegory for depression.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible onwww.wearemovingstories.com?
We are constantly trying to broaden our audience and build awareness for our film, and www.wearemovingstories.com is a great platform to that end. We love that they encourage 50%+ women’s participation on their site, and we’re proud to have had a female lead character, female producers, and a crew that included many women as well.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
At the moment we are seeking a sales agent and distribution for our film, while also being excited for further screening opportunities in the USA and abroad. We feel our film works well as a children’s movie, a family film, and for adults, and it could be used as a teaching tool in an education setting as well. We would love any press that might draw more viewers to our film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
It would be fantastic if this film could reach a wide domestic and international audience and lead to increased discussions about bullying, inclusion, and responsibility. My Brother Is A Zombie is the type of film that many families, parents, and children can enjoy, share, and talk about.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Why does Abigail make her consequential decision at the climax of the film?
Would you like to add anything else?
Please come see our film if we are screening near you, and connect with our film by visiting our website at www.mybrotherisazombie.com
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Russell and Talia are currently finishing a new short film they shot in Spain and are developing multiple projects for film and TV. They are also continuously working on new online exhibitions of one-minute videos with their media collective, ridge&clark (www.ridgeandclark.com).
Dena is currently the director of production at True Entertainment and pursuing her MBA at Columbia University. A short 30 for 30 film she produced called "86-32" is premiering on ESPN at the end of June and can be viewed on TheUndefeated.com
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela