Tim Marshall is an award-winning Australian writer/director with an asymmetrical curiosity and a passion for exploring our misbalanced lives, from the joy to the pain. His short films have screened at numerous notable film festivals the world over, including Palm Springs, Frameline and Outfest Los Angeles. In 2013, his short film ‘Gorilla’ won the Iris Prize in the UK, awarding him £25,000 to make his next short film. The outcome of this, ‘Followers’, was a short version of his feature screenplay of the same name. The feature screenplay earned him a place in the 2014 Outfest Screenwriting Lab and made it to the semi-finals round of the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowship. ‘Followers’, the short film, had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Tim is also the co-curator of a unique filmmaker residency program, ‘The Weight of Mountains’ and has a online series, TORSO, with a strong following, that was recently featured in the Huffington Post.
I was raised in a Catholic household, and whilst I no longer identify as religious, religious faith and belief have been a big part of my life. I have been witness to unwavering faith carrying people through very difficult times and have seen how faith can transform people, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
With ‘Followers’, I wanted to explore this need for faith that is so inherent in humanity, and the solace that a belief in God can provide for people. I also wanted to delve into what it means to be a follower, and the difference between following an external faith/idea versus following your own ideals.
Another really exciting aspect of making this short film was the opportunity to shoot in a country different to my own. Being from the other side of the globe (Australia), I wanted to really explore and research Cardiff prior to beginning the script for the short, so I could ensure that the voice of the film felt genuinely rooted in the place it was set. I have discovered many facets of Cardiff, a beautiful, character-filled city of rich colours and textures, and I am excited to now have these represented in the short film.
When directing ‘Followers’ I was heavily influenced by the style of filmmakers such as Ulrich Seidl, Todd Solondz, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Miranda July. I wanted to create a very symmetrical world, rich in colour that juxtaposed the emotions and emptiness felt by the characters in this world.
The short film was born from my feature screenplay of the same name. The screenplay has been in development for the past year and delves deeper into the themes that the short film explores. With the short film, it was important to me that the story was
entirely its own, that it needed no ‘support material’. These two characters, Lynn and Rutendo, have existed in my screenplay for a long time now and it is so wonderful to bring them and their unique story to life on screen, but also to know there is so much more of a journey that these characters are yet to go on.
I hope the audience will be as excited as I am to bring them to life again soon with ‘Followers’ the feature film.
– Tim Marshall
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