“Calling Home” is a short film written and directed by the talented Megan K. Fox, produced by Paul Romero Méndez. The brilliant cast includes Natalia Kostrzewa, Aaron Taylor. The film is an official selection competing at the International Filmmaker Festival of New York, and it will screen on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 6:00PM, at Producers Club Theater, (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036).
Megan K. Fox is the Irish Writer/Director of short films Battle (2015), Slow Down (2015),GIRL (2016) and Calling Home (2017). She graduated with a Directing MA from the Met Film School in 2015 and has collected over a dozen awards for her work since.
Slow Down won the Colchester Film Festival’s ’60 Hour Film Challenge’ from over 1.5K entries worldwide and saw Megan nominated for Best New Irish Director at the Kinsale Shark Awards in 2016. Other screenings for Slow Down included London Short Film Festival and BFI Future Film Festival where it was awarded Best Producer.
GIRL has enjoyed a successful festival run with over 20 screenings, 7 awards and 3 nominations. Highlights included being screened alongside the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican, winning the WFTV Lifetime Shorts Competition and Best Director Under 25 at BAFTA qualifying Underwire Festival 2016.
Calling Home was funded through the Reel Homes Competition by Inside Housing last year. It premieres at the 18th Belfast Film Festival in April 2018 and recently saw Megan nominated for the Young Directors Award Ireland.
Megan is an alumna of Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Talent Lab 2017, an active member of Cinesisters, Directors UK and Women in Film & TV.
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Writer and Director Megan K. Fox
NY Elite: Congratulations on being an official selection at the prestigious International Filmmaker Festival of New York. What are your thoughts about being accepted at IFFNY 2018 film festival and having your film screen in New York City?
Megan K. Fox: I’m very excited to have our New York premiere of ‘Calling Home’ at IFFNY. New York is my favorite city in the world, so buzzing with creativity and possibilities. I hope the audience will enjoy our film and that it may lead to future collaborations in the U.S.
NY Elite: Out of the 500 submissions world-wide, your film was selected as the top 40 for IFFNY. What does this mean for you in terms of representing your country/city at this international film competition?
Megan K. Fox: I’m proud to be representing the UK with our film, and also Ireland as an Irish filmmaker. It’s always humbling to hear that your film has been selected from such a large number of submissions, and the standard of films chosen looks particularly high so it’s an honor to be included in the program.
NY Elite: With what project are you partaking at IFFNY 2018? What is it about?
Megan K. Fox: My film is called ‘Calling Home’ and it’s a 20 min long drama, following the story of a Polish woman who moves to London with dreams of becoming a fashion designer, but whose path is altered by an abusive relationship. It’s a story about domestic violence, displacement, and the lengths that we go to to protect our loved ones from the difficult truths of our lives.
NY Elite: Who else is involved in the making of this project? Tell us a little bit more about the story and who is in it.
Megan K. Fox: The film was funded by a collective of really inspiring homeless and housing organizations in the UK including Shelter, Crisis and Women’s Aid, through the Reel Homes Competition by Inside Housing. We had a fantastic team on board; My good friend Natalia Kostrzewa (Perfect Skin, The Cured) plays the leading role of Dorota, Ben Calloway was our DoP on the project and responsible for it’s beautiful imagery, Bankey Ojo (composer for Annie Award nominated Twiddly Things) crafted our moving score, and my producers Paul Romero Mendéz and Jessica Ostler made sure our intensive shoot came together without issue. We were delighted to achieve gender parity on set across the crew and on screen cast, and I worked with some incredibly talented HOD’s on this project who helped us shape the synergy between performance and visual aesthetic – Filipa Fabrica, our costume designer; Beatrice Caltabiano, production design; and Hannah Hubbard, make-up and hair. There are many more talented collaborators I could mention here but I’ll spare your readers an extensive list (just check out the credits!).
NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?
Megan K. Fox: I want the audience to enjoy the craft of the film and come away interested in my work and the work of my team. I wanted to tell the story of a person who initially had a lot of options and potential that wound up in a situation where she could be sleeping rough in ‘Calling Home’. I hope the story will make audiences think about that person they pass by every day who is living without a home and second guess their prejudices, because anyone can wind up in that position through a simple series of unfortunate events. You see a lot of homeless stories told from a very detached perspective, looking in from the outside, but with ‘Calling Home’ I wanted to bring the audience in to a very personal journey so that they can see and feel the descent in to homelessness, how easy it is to slip through the cracks.
NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Megan K. Fox: Truthful performances are key for me, and exploring a perspective that I haven’t seen before. I like to be surprised by a world I didn’t know existed, not in the sense that it’s some fantastic fiction (although I am a sucker for a good Marvel movie), but more in the sense that something which has always been present just under the surface is being revealed. That’s why I adored The Florida Project last year, and American Honey, and any given David Lynch film. They tell stories that expose the audience to worlds they haven’t seen before, but can relate to on a fundamental human level. It’s all about the delicate emotional balance of darkness and light in drama, and for this reason I love coming-of-age stories because all at once they can be heart-warming and heart-breaking. They take a short cut to our emotional nerves, because everyone remembers that most tentative experience of walking the line between childhood and adult life.
NY Elite: What are your career highlights and achievements thus far?
Megan K. Fox: I’ve been really humbled by the response to my short films thus far, across the board. Some of the highlights of my career include winning the Best Director Under 25 Award at BAFTA qualifying Underwire Festival, being nominated for the Young Directors Award in Ireland, seeing one of my shorts screen at the Barbican alongside Basquiat’s work, and taking part in the Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Talent Lab where I met some truly inspirational filmmakers from all over the world.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Megan K. Fox: Be supportive of other filmmakers and your collaborators. The best opportunities have come my way through the fantastic network of creatives I’ve engaged with both in London and at home in Ireland. Keep in touch with that great person you met at a festival, get feedback on your work from other filmmakers you respect. And learn to accept rejection and process feedback without letting it damage your self-esteem (this is hard at first, but your skin thickens!).
NY Elite: What’s next for you?
Megan K. Fox: I have some really exciting projects in the pipeline at the moment, including my first feature film which I have a super team attached to. It’s a very personal coming of age story that has been close to my heart for many years. I’m also developing a couple of new shorts, including a bilingual (English and Irish language) film that will be set on the beautiful West Coast of Ireland and an experimental short about toxic masculinity.