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you are viewing the whole film (click here to watch the trailer)
THE INTERNATIONAL SIGN FOR CHOKING, 2012, 80 min.
Director - Zach Weintraub
Camera - Nandan Rao
Producer/Sound - Bradley Smith
Starring Zach Weintraub and Sophia Takal
A would-be expatriate from the US takes his second stab at life in Buenos Aires. Watch as he drifts between halfhearted attempts at work, a feeble romance with his fellow N. American housemate, and the fruitless search for a mysteriously absent ex-girlfriend.
When I was 20 I spent a semester in Buenos Aires. I loved the experience and was sad when it ended. Buenos Aires is home to a massive film festival (BAFICI) and my first movie (BUMMER SUMMER) was screened in competition there, so I got to go back only two years later. At that time I had already been scheming about making a movie there, and the trip back cemented this desire. Nandan was of course down. I cast my new friend the talented filmmaker Sophia Takal, with whom I'd just acted in Nandan's movie THE MEN OF DODGE CITY. I also recruited Brad Smith to produce and record sound. I had only met Brad once before, but his willingness to devote two months to working on an international no-budget film project with relative strangers gave me good vibes and we became fast friends. The four of us flew to Buenos Aires in February of 2011.
The production was a charmed one. After BAFICI, BUMMER SUMMER was purchased by an Argentine arthouse distributor named Manuel Garcia. When I told Manuel I'd be coming to shoot a movie there, he decided to release BUMMER SUMMER theatrically around the same time. The connections provided by Manuel and his friend/publcity guru Martín Crespo pretty much made the movie happen. They coordinated access to shoot in multiple bars, a movie theater, and an office space, and introduced us to Roger Delahaye, a musician who acted in the movie along with his incredible band OLGA. Aside from Manuel and Martín, everyone else I knew went all out in helping us. Barbara, who was my "host mom" when I was studying there, helped us find a place to stay and acted in the movie herself. Ximena Brun, another friend from my student days, invited us to shoot a sequence in her provincial hometown, where we were greeted by the mayor and provided with free lodging and lunches during our stay.
For Nandan and I, this was now our third feature in two years, so we went in with a lot of momentum and lessons learned. Our entire first month in Buenos Aires was spent rehearsing key scenes, revising the outline, meeting collaborators, and scouting locations. The second month was spent shooting at our signature pace, collecting an average of four or five shots a day. The final product is made up of about 100 shots.
Review in Variety
Super generous review by Kevin Rakestraw for Filmpulse.
A video of the super long line outside the world premiere screening in Buenos Aires.
Gracias Tonales - the masterpiece of an album by the now-defunct band Olga. In one of the last scenes of this movie, they rehearse the song Nuestros Colores.
A dope music video for a song from Gracias Tonales directed by producer Bradley Smith.
GREEN - the feature by Sophia (also shot by Nandan) that premiered at SXSW while we were shooting (she went and came back).
LOS TENTADOS - a trailer for the second feature by Mariano Blanco, who plays the skater I meet in this movie.