+81FILM Explores Love in the Time of COVID

Premiering today and available to watch on official 81FILM website and YouTube, new 81FILM is an international cinema piece exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s population. Reflecting the zeitgeist of the time, 81FILM delves into three very different family scenarios, all united the virus and its role in changing the course of their destiny.

The film sets a new standard for covering social issues within cinema. The fictional films have very real themes which emphasise real-life, real-time events. The UK segment includes recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement, which the directors saw as crucial to incorporate into the script as coverage of the movement gained momentum in international news during filming.

While the virus has dominated the media with statistical reports, we rarely glimpse the true impact the disease has had, and still has, on the lives of individual people. This is what drove the creators of 81FILM to craft something that represents the shared experience of an entire population, allowing us to empathetically consider this worldwide connection.

This piece of work is one of the very few to be born at a time when the filming industry is paralysed COVID-19. While most shoots across the world have been postponed or even cancelled, 81FILM defied these constraints, with professionals across three different continents coming together to find creative solutions to continue their art.

This initiative saw Hosono Haruomi, writer of the soundtrack to Palme d’Or-winning ‘Shoplifters’, composing much of the beautiful soundtrack. Haruomi, member of legendary music group Yellow Magic Orchestra alongside Ryuichi Sakamoto (composer of the film score for the Academy Award winning ‘The Last Emperor’), was keen to be a part of the 81FILM project – despite tending not to accept offers to compose at this established stage in his career.

Award-winning Japanese director Kensaku Kakimoto drew inspiration from the experiences felt all in Japan when the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred, the devastating results of which illuminated the absurdities of life. When unprecedented events take place, whether a natural disaster or a pandemic, there is no fairness in the distribution of tragedy for some and opportunities for others, and this theme is explored within the storylines.

Kakimoto said; “ 81FILM visually explores what cannot be put into words, communicating the sense of what it’s like to see behind the curtain of reality: to see the invisible threads that connect all things together. It was incredible to collaborate with creators from all over the world, in this new normal, to produce something truly reflective of the times we are all experiencing.”

In ‘Snowdrop Flower’, we see a Mongolian family contract the disease, unaware of the pandemic due to their remote location. Tragedy strikes a family in Chile’s ‘Gravity’, while on their way to the hospital seeking treatment. In London-based ‘Silence’, we see a new, close relationship form, despite living under social distancing measures.

The film stars contemporary talent from around the globe such as Patricia Cuyul, Gastón Salgado, Daniel Antivilo, Unubold Uudus, Khaliun Sukhe, Borkhu Tangad, Kai Keenan-Felix, Lauren Bryan and Kai Owen.

81FILM is released today and available to view on http://plus81film.com/ and YouTube.  

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Kwame Anane

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