Genre: Short, Sci-Fi | Country: USA | 2017
Written and Directed by Jason Georgiades
Starring: Anthony Nikolchev, Maya Bowman, Nick Burr, Jaq Galliano
This year the fantastic and geeky Berlin Sci-Fi Filmfest took place for the second time in a row. There were short films, web series, documentaries, features and fan fiction. Common point: science fiction of course.
Over 130 films from 38 countries were showcased. Discussion panels a. o. on A.I. and workshops for creatives and professionals were part of the program. Those two days of pure geekiness took place in the Babylon theatre.
The Best Action Short Award of the festival went to Through Fire She Calls this year, a mystery sci-fi short film about a sniper during World War 1.
Fortunately, the film has been released on the sci-fi YouTube channel Dust, so you can watch it below.
A sniper (Anthony Nikolchev) wander through the wood shooting at Germans in France during World War I. Until he sees a prisoner of war, who he decides to rescue. The mysterious P.O.W. seems to have the secret key to bring the soldier back home.
Director Jason Georgiades was inspired by the story of his great uncle, Private George A. Kontogiannis, who was killed during the Great War in 1918.
Now we’re talking about a strength of Through Fire She Calls: Its cinematography. It’s black and white (for the most part) and highly aesthetic. The mix of sci-fi and black and white make it particularly interesting when the recognizable sci-fi parts are shown on screen. Director Jason Georgiades also used colors to underline the narrative, but just watch it and see for yourself.
Sound engineer Shawn Duffy took a very special care of the sound effects. First, he chose an abstract and rigid out of tune piano and string sound to raise the tension, without ever being over-the-top. Secondly, he chose a non-diegetic sound – a sound added, that has nothing to do with the scene itself – that underlines the mindset of its character and reput the story into a greater context: A war siren. Sounds cheesy, but is remarkably dramatical, because it’s shifted within a reinsuring frame: A cozy home where the lack of food isn’t an issue.
The film has been edited in a non-chronological way whereby it’s never clear if the audience is diving into flashbacks or flashforwards until the end of the story. And even then, there is room for interpretation.
There aren’t any dialogues in Through Fire She Calls, which certainly must be a challenge for the actors.
With a mimic of determination when he shots, a slight desperation in between, a shy expression of astonishment when he encounters the P.O.W., and a glimmer of hope mixed with incredulity toward the end, Anthony Nikolchev manage to stay believable without ever speaking a single word.
All in all, Through Fire She Calls, is a gem which scores especially through its atmosphere.
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