A man and a woman meet on a rooftop; they’re both contemplating suicide, for different reasons. Will they be able to work out their conflicts, or is it curtains for both?
That’s the basic premise of The Devil Between Us, a short film being produced in Chicago by two young Brazilians.
“The concept came from me,” said Flávia Borges, an actress who’s been seen onstage in the Windy City, on the Fox series The Mob Doctor, and the indie film The Life and Death of an Unhappily Married Man. “Nowadays it’s practically impossible to do something completely original, something that hasn’t been done by somewhere around the world. My goal was to craft a story that would, above all, communicate basic truth through an uncomfortable, no-way-out situation.”
Borges soon found a collaborator in Lívia Margon, a Rio de Janeiro native double-majoring in Film and Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). “What drew me to this project was that the premise was very solid and original,” Margon said. “It’s a hopeless situation where the characters need to find a way out at any cost, causing certain feelings and motivations to surface.”
The production team also includes Morgan Cranston (another SAIC student) as cinematographer, and Oklahoman Mindy Fay Parks as assistant director. But while the idea of an all-female team may seem perfectly normal, it’s an anomaly in the film business; a recent study (pdf) found there is a major gender disparity is the U.S. film industry, with only 1.9 percent of the 100 top-grossing feature films released in the U.S. between 2007 and 2014 being directed by women.
“The all-female team came about very naturally; we already wanted to work with some professionals we admired, and by happenstance all of them were women,” Margon said. “Then we noticed that women in film get so little attention and opportunity that we felt compelled to draw attention to this problem.”
Sound good? Then lend them a hand! The team is wrapping up a Kickstarter in a few days, and although the campaign is already funded, Borges notes that they set a low goal in order to guarantee some funding. “Now that we’re past the nervousness of getting anything at all, we can focus on actually completely, fully covering all the costs, and that’s why any amount will make a difference,” she writes on her blog.
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Cover photo by Jason Knade and Kenna Hynes