Apostasy: The Movie - Directed by Daniel Kokotajlo
Interesting that following today's screening of Apostasy for 'press and industry' (Sunday, September 10, 2017), the UK's Daily Mail's Entertainment Columnist, Baz Bamigboye, tweeted to say: "Dan Kokotajlo's super directorial debut Apostasy film makes us confront pertinent moral questions on religious doctrines."
Baz Bamigboye writes a double-page column for the Daily Mail newspaper each Friday - will have to wait and see if he gives the film a mention in the print newspaper next Friday......
will have to wait and see if he gives the film a mention in the print newspaper next Friday
nope, no mention in today's (Friday, September 15, 2017) edition of the Daily Mail - BUT The Children's Act did get a mention..... https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/5640312363941888/_post/5932694728867840
Tickets for the UK screenings went on sale yesterday (September 14, 2017) - still some tickets available!
Tickets for the Spanish screenings go on sale this coming Sunday (September 17, 2017)
More screenings announced!!......
ASIA PREMIERE of Apostasy
Mumbai Film Festival (12 to 18 October 2017)
Screening dates and times for Apostasy to be announced!
MORE DETAILS: http://www.mumbaifilmfestival.com/programmeDetail/203
FYI - winner to be announced in two weeks time....
BFI announce three finalists for £50k emerging filmmaker bursary
Screen Daily, Tuesday, September 19, 2017
The BFI has announced the three finalists for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award, which comes with a £50,000 grant.
The contenders are: Daniel Kokotajlo, writer, director of Apostasy; Rungano Nyoni, writer, director of I Am Not A Witch and Michael Pearce, writer, director of Beast.
The bursary is for an emerging UK-based writer and/or director premiering their first or second feature at the London Film Festival (LFF).
Pearce’s debut feature Beast and Kokotajilo’s debut feature Apostasy both premiered at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. Nyoni’s debut I Am Not A Witch premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in Directors’ Fortnight.
A jury of director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), Amanda Nevill (CEO, BFI) and Christoph Grainger-Herr (CEO of IWC Schaffhausen) will select the winner.
A panel of industry figures including Rose Garnett, director of BBC Films, Sam Lavender, deputy of creative at Film4, Ben Roberts, director of the BFI Film Fund, Clare Stewart, director of the BFI London Film Festival, and Gaylene Gould, BFI Southbank’s head of cinemas and events, selected the shortlist of filmmakers.
The winner will be announced at the BFI’s 2017 Luminous fundraising gala on 3 October 2017.
Manchester-born Apostasy director Kokotajilo said he was “over the moon” to be shortlisted for the prize.
Apostasy, which was loosely based on his own experiences of growing up as a Jehovah’s witness, was backed by Creative England’s iFeatures initiative. He said that were he to win the £50,000 prize, he would use the money to get the ball rolling on working towards his next feature.
Apostasy has just had it's European Premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival (22 to 30 September 2017, see earlier posts in this thread) - and two more reviews have been published online - from The Playlist and Screen Daily (their second review of the film).
PLEASE NOTE: They are both fairly long, and are more 'indepth' than previous reviews, and go more into the actual story. Therefore, depending on how you wish to approach the film, they may contain what you consider to be spoilers that you would prefer not to know about before seeing the film for yourself. The extracts below are 'spoiler-free'.
REMINDER: As previously posted in this thread (see above), the UK PREMIERE of Apostasy takes place next week as part of the London International Film Festival (4 to 15 October 2017). There are just three public screenings, and the first one - on Sunday, October 8, 2017 - is already completely SOLD OUT.
Faith Divides Family In Deeply Moving ‘Apostasy’ [San Sebastian Review]
The Playlist, Friday, September 29, 2017
A piercingly humane and deeply moving glimpse into a community that for all its preaching and evangelizing remains largely a mystery to outsiders, Daniel Kokotajlo‘s debut film “Apostasy” insinuates us with sorrowful grace into the lives of a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses as they experience a series of challenges that amount to a familial Armageddon. A story told without condescension but astutely comprehending the cruelty of a faith that demands Abrahamic levels of sacrifice from its adherents, the picture is a remarkably assured and understated piece of filmmaking, showcasing not only a first-time director who has arrived fully-formed, but three exceptionally authentic performances from the women at its slow-breaking heart.
It seems as though “Apostasy” is mostly going to be concerned with Alex’s coming-of-age within the confines of her faith... Dramatic (though never melodramatic) events conspire to reshape the narrative of Kokotajlo’s film in unexpected directions, shifting the emphasis from Alex to Luisa and finally to Ivanna, with not a single false note struck between any of the actors. One particularly shocking development almost serves to subtly remind us that our own faith in cinematic narrative is as fundamental as that of a Jehovah’s Witness in the stories of the Bible, and just as much cold comfort when life fails to abide by those rules.
Kokotajlo keeps formal fireworks to a minimum, using the restrained palette, eloquently off-center framing and shallow-focus close-ups to root us in a tightly controlled naturalism. As a result a simple device, such as having Alex speak her prayers aloud while scenes play on around her, has a heightened effect: this is a world in which prayer is as tangible and real as conversation, just as articles of faith are taken as articles of fact.
The director is himself a former Jehovah’s Witness, and the film feels informed by both sadness and anger at an institution that can force such impossible choices on its believers.
READ FULL REVIEW: https://theplaylist.net/apostasy-review-jehovahs-witness-20170929/
'Apostasy': San Sebastian Review
Screen Daily, Friday, September 29, 2017
An audacious debut from first-time British director Daniel Kokotajlo is set in the Jehovahs Witness faith of his own childhood
Little understood and often mocked, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have the spotlight turned on them in intimate British drama Apostasy – and what's revealed is deeply troubled. Written and directed by Daniel Kokotajlo, himself a former Witness, this powerful feature debut occupies territory little charted in contemporary UK cinema, on the cusp between traditional social realism and a more European type of austere formal stylisation. Built around three intense, controlled female performances this story of family in conflict with faith delivers an emotional payoff all the more telling for being so rigorously calibrated.
The film, though shot in the kind of locales familiar from so much school-of-Loach drama, derives a fresh visual feel from Adam Scarth’s rigorously composed Academy ratio lensing, intensifying street scenes, claustrophobic interiors and intimate close-ups alike.
With a palette that emphasises browns and beiges to suggest a constrained, airless world, the film feels strikingly European in flavour: it’s close to two German dramas about young women and religious extremity, 2006’s Requiem (stylistically) and 2014’s Stations of the Cross (thematically). In domestic terms, its affinities are with that handful of directors that push UK realism towards its artistically challenging edges – e.g. Lawlor and Molloy (Helen) and Duane Hopkins (Better Things).
FYI Curzon Artificial Eye announced as UK distributors for Apostasy
'Apostasy', 'Foxtrot',’ 'The Guardians' head to the UK with Curzon
Screen Daily, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Curzon Artificial Eye has added to its burgeoning UK distribution slate with the acquisition of three premium festival titles.
Curzon has also moved for Daniel Kokotajlo’s feature debut Apostasy, which premiered at Toronto in the Discovery programme. Based on Kokotajlo’s own experiences growing up in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the film was produced through Creative England’s iFeatures programme.
All three titles will play at this month’s BFI London Film Festival.
Louisa Dent, MD of Curzon Artificial Eye, commented: "We already had a number of excellent films amongst the programmes of TIFF and Venice but it is a pleasure to add these three exceptional titles to our slate. Apostasy deftly handles a complex issue with assurance and this is a remarkable debut. Xavier (Xavier Beauvois - The Guardians) and Samuel (Samuel Moaz - Foxtrot) will be familiar to UK audiences and these two films cement their position as world class auteurs. We look forward to premiering these exciting films at the forthcoming BFI London Film Festival."
FYI Daniel Kokotajlo won the £50k Bursary Award for his film Apostasy - see previous post above
Daniel Kokotajlo, writer-director Apostasy, wins £50k IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary
British Film Institue, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Stars from the UK’s film and television industries gathered tonight in support of BFI LUMINOUS, the biennial fundraising gala presented in partnership with IWC Schaffhausen. LUMINOUS’ special guest speaker Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton was among a host of luminaries who came together to celebrate UK film, raise money to ensure young people from all backgrounds can engage with the medium, and champion new talent and emerging filmmaking voices.
The evening culminated in the award of the coveted IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI to Daniel Kokotajlo, writer/director of Apostasy, one of the UK’s most exciting new filmmaking talents. At £50,000, it is unique and one of the largest prizes for the arts in the UK, offering talent at the beginning of their career the gift of time, allowing them to grow and develop.
The Jury for the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI commented:
“We were unanimously moved by Daniel’s compelling and extraordinarily powerful debut Apostasy. We were very impressed with his delicate approach and skill at drawing in the audience and creating a subtle but incredibly affecting piece of work. We were also struck by his process – his commitment to research, lengthy workshopping and collaboration with his performers – something we felt that he would be able to develop with the benefit of this Bursary. We are excited to see where Daniel goes next and how this extremely distinctive and exciting new British filmmaking voice evolves.”
Daniel Kokotajlo, writer/director of Apostasy comments:
“Thank you for selecting the film; I come from a place where it would be a dream to win such an award and stand here. I know what it feels like to have very little, I know what it feels like when people are not listening, it’s been a difficult journey for me on Apostasy but once I worked out what I wanted to say then people did start to listen. A big thanks to the BFI and IWC for believing in me and for seeing that I have some talent.”
where did you get the review Dark spilver?
The one posted on jwsurvey was very stilted; poorly written and frankly kinda odd. I wondered if it the reviewer was a practicing witness at one point.
I look forward to seeing it. I wonder how the director financed the project.Did I read he was only 21 or am I imagining things?
Apologies I just saw it was backed by the ifeatures initiative.
Diogenesister: where did you get the review darkspilver?
Everything I've posted on this thread should be labelled and hyperlinked to the original source.
Generally I've only posted/linked to 'professional' reviews rather than 'personal' ones.
There are also a couple of 'interviews' and other articles posted in this thread that provide some background to the film.
I've posted everything into just the one thread here to keep it all together so it is easier for people to all about it in just one place.
This is a pretty detailed review in variety: