Local Film Director Working On New Feature Film
Leah Hamer || September 20th
Marvellous, Soulboy, Money Kills… What do these films all have in common? They were filmed right here on our doorstep, and soon another title will be added to the list.
Contrite is the latest feature film from Fuwad Abrar, an up and coming film director from Stoke-On-Trent, who wants to pump some pizazz into the local film scene. After enduring the restrictions of university film making and a lack of representation, Fuwad went independent and began work on his first feature film, Isolated, which received an enormous reception. Now, along with his best friend and producer, Atdhe Latifaj, Fuwad has upped his game for this second feature. REBEL met with them both on the set of their first day of filming to get an insight into the world of Contrite.
Following the story of Sarah, played by Megan Shields, Contrite is a suspenseful thriller inspired by the difficulties of living in the extreme day and age of social media. Sarah is the internet obsessed lead character, who is encompassed in guilt after the suicide of her best friend. In a series of sinister events, Sarah starts to suspect that her friend was in fact murdered and she begins to notice the presence of a hooded man stalking her.
Jaws, Psycho, The Exorcist, The Shining, Misery- these are just a number of films that seep their way into the influences of Contrite. ‘They all feature a complicated character that lives in a desolated environment, who is questioning themselves.’ Despite the horror aspects that are involved with this feature (REBEL paid the set a visit on a day that actor Kane Morrell had a face covered in corn syrup), Fuwad is surprisingly not a horror fan. ‘Apart from the old classics, I find it a clichéd genre. The exceptions are films like The Babadook and The Conjuring, which are psychological and don’t rely on jump scares.’
Fuwad is a dreamer, a man who believes in the wonder and magic that films have the ability to conjure. ‘The reason I want to be a film maker is because I’m really not a fan of the direction films are going in. They’re heading towards realism, with films like This Is England etc. Films are about fantasy and escaping the real world, we don’t want to be reminded of reality. Films should make you amazed.’ As a lover of science fiction, the superhero genre and just about anything directed by Christopher Nolan, Fuwad has his heart set on producing even more ambitious projects in the future. ‘I would love to do a Batman or a Green Arrow film, I’m trying to lead up to that.’
Although his eyes are set on big blockbusters, Fuwad’s real aim is to show others out there that money is not necessary in order to produce a great film. ‘We don’t want money to be relevant, anyone can do film making on any budget. You don’t need expensive equipment, all of mine cost less than five hundred pounds.’
We received first hand proof of that, as Fuwad has smartly sourced the amazing backdrops for free and produced an entire feature on a tiny budget. With the primary acting force of Megan, Kane and also Gerald Maliqi, it shows that brilliant talents can be found without the extortionate wages of Hollywood stars. We were lucky enough to watch them perform the climactic scene, a tense show down that had our jaws fixed firmly open.
After finally finishing the filming process, which took place across several locations in Stoke, the time has come to edit. ‘It’s a love and hate relationship with every aspect. My favourite is writing because it’s so relaxed. My least favourite is editing- it is so time consuming, you wish you were watching a Game of Thrones marathon instead.’
Although the hardest bit is to come, there is no doubt that the final product will be worth the toil. With hopes for it to be released in time for Halloween, Contrite is sure to be a hit.