Robert Frank's The Americans is one of the most impactful pieces of work on my career. He got in a car and criss-crossed the United States in the 1950s with a couple of Leicas and created an absolutely stunning portrait of America. This wasn't the Leave it to Beaver image the country was hoping to portray. It was loose and lyrical, filled with the moments in between the big things. It's a celebration of the mundane, an elevation of the little things, all embued with a spiritual melancholy that only an artist with dreams for a better world can convey. In short, it's everything that I want my films to communicate.
I was commissioned to make a music video for a band and I decided pay homage to Robert Frank. I grabbed a few friends and a camera and we drove from Los Angeles out into Yosemite and then into the Bay Area. We stopped were we felt led. Met strangers and invited ourselves into their lives for an hour or so. Every interaction was unplanned. Every location by happenstance. And yet, it was a profoundly moving experience - much larger than any little music video.
This experiment is really a tone poem about how I feel about our country right now. When I turn on the TV or read the news I hear nothing but snappy descriptors of uniform people groups: "Illegal Immigrants", "White Working Class", "Urban Poor", "Media Elite", etc. It just feels like noise.
But being out in the country itself, moving amongst each of these qualifier people groups a much broader, holistic picture emerges. We really are, One Nation.
This short experiment is also serving as a tonal reference for a doc series pitch for a show that explores some of these themes.
Please reach out for further materials, if interested.
Daily life in the Indian holy cities of Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Devprayag. This region lies in the foothills of the Himalayas where the Ganges River descends from the mountains. I visited not knowing what to expect, and I was both awed and saddened by the experience. The beauty of nature and the Hindu ceremonies contrasted with the poverty and suffering on the streets. The people I met had a high-spirited resilience that seemed to stem from surviving and maintaining their devotion through a challenging life.
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Mischa Rozema and PostPanic Pictures' debut film project SUNDAYS completes a first step towards its Feature Film goal with the release of this ambitious proof-of-concept short. Much-anticipated and widely-supported by the international creative community (over 50K US Dollars was donated on Kickstarter alone for the live action filming part in Mexico City), SUNDAYS is directed by Mischa Rozema.
Set in Mexico City sometime in the future and starring US actor Brian Petsos and Mexican actress Sofia Sisniega, SUNDAYS is an ambitious philosophical science-fiction proof-of-concept short.
The end of the world seems like a nightmare to Ben. A memory of a past life that doesn’t belong to him. When Ben starts to remember Isabelle, the only love he’s ever known, he realises she’s missing in his life. An existential descent into confusion and the desperate need to find out the truth begins. This reality depicts a stunning, surprising and dark world. A world that is clearly not his.
story & directed by MISCHA ROZEMA - cast BRIAN PETSOS - SOFIA SISNIEGA - score composed by BEN LUKAS BOYSEN - director of photography JON GAUTE ESPEVOLD edited by MISCHA ROZEMA - vfx supervisor IVOR GOLDBERG - co-producer mexico STACY PERSKIE KANISS - production designer mexico ROBERTO BONELLI associate producer ANNEJES VAN LIEMPD - screenplay by KEVIN KOEHLER - sound designer JOCHEN MADER - producers ANIA MARKHAM - JULES TERVOORT