10th Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival
International Competition
Mehrnoosh Fetrat & Jon Appel
War Game
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The United States of America confronted in war the imaginary state of Cubuchilia, ideally located in South America. War Game, with its strongly theatrical approach, calls out the intrusive modern means of communication and those who use the drama of war for their own personal gain, in a crude, cynical way.

Hi Mehrnoosh & Jon thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?

I am trying to be good. Since it is very hard to make a film during the pandemic, I am trying to read, watch films and do photography. 

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?

Since we all feel trapped some ideas came to my mind, but it is impossible to make it in this situation. 

Congratulations on having War Game selected for this year's Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of films? 

I’m very excited that I’m a part of a 2020's Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival. I wish I was there. But I am still so honored that my film is going to screen in this fabulous festival. 

War Game is in the International Competition, does this add any additional pressure on you?

I am happy that judges from all over the world will watch my film. I am also excited that my film will screen in Venice, one of my favourite cities in the world. I am also worried if people will like my film or not. I hope they do. 

"Do not be afraid of any new or hard ideas. Everything can be possible."

Can you tell me a little bit about War Game and how this film came about?

War Game is about an imagined battle between the United States and the fictional Latin American country of Cubuchilia, an American soldier has control over water resources and news media on both sides of the war. This depressed white soldier profits monetarily by the continuation of the war, and therefore ensures the battle endures through his power over the water and news. Inadvertently, he causes all the soldiers on both sides to perish, and thus the war ends. He then, through his media control, presents himself as the hero of the conflict and the saviour of the United States.

This idea shaped in my mind because I wanted to challenge some of the foreign policies of the United States towards the world. Set is all surrounded by black walls to show that wars are endless. They can happen anywhere and everywhere. Both sides of the war have the same General which is sarcastic.  It shows that some people are benefited from wars and they do not care about ordinary people all around the world. 

What inspired you to want to make an experimental short film?

I wanted to explore the verge of cinema and theatre. So, this subject was perfectly fitted. I also wanted to show that countries are too close to have fights. Both sides of the wars are simulated in a small stage to show that ordinary people are so close to each other. They do not want to have war.  

As co-directors what was the experience like making this film together, is this something you would do in the future?

It is hard to make the final decision when there are two directors. It was my first time that I co-direct a project. I hope that it will not be the last time.

Did you face many challenges bringing this film to life?

There were lots of challenges. It was the first film that I made a short film in the United States. Communication with cast and crew was hard because of the language barrier. Fortunately, all cast and crew were supportive and did their best to make this film happen. So, the biggest challenge I had was the language barrier. 

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

Yes. I will spend more time on my script to solve some problems. 

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

I have been passionate about literature and cinema since childhood. My first memories of watching serious films was Italian neorealism. After watching La Strada by Federico Fellini I thought I must be a filmmaker. 

What has been some of the best advice you’ve been given?

Do not be afraid of any new idea.  

Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?

Yes, we should push the boundaries of storytelling even if it does not get any attention. 

Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

Do not be afraid of any new or hard ideas. Everything can be possible. 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from War Game?

I hope people think more about the role of the media in our everyday life after watching this film.

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