We sat down with Australian director Lara Köse and choreographer Zoee Marsh to chat about their short film, Red Passion.
Earlier this year, the esteemed Melbourne International Film Festival was forced to cancel its in-cinema component before it even began, but thankfully its streaming service MIFF Play kept bringing the premieres into homes during Melbourne’s extended lockdown.
Boasting a curated global program of innovative screen experiences and the largest showcase of exceptional Australian filmmaking each year, the festival aims to bring global stories to Australian audiences at home, while supporting the arts in the cultural capital of Australia. And in a year where the arts are still scrambling to their feet, that’s never been more important.
This year MIFF saw the arrival of a special short film, Red Passion, which steamed exclusively before selected MIFF films.
Created in partnership with Italian liquer-maker Campari as part of its dedication to supporting local artists,Red Passion embodies Campari’s “red passion” – an inner flame and urge that challenges you to leave your comfort zone and inspire outstanding creations.
Exploring the evolution of three dancers, the short film gives shape to their “red passion” in solo, duet and ensemble form and is the creative project from emerging Australian director Lara Köse and choreographer Zoee Marsh.
Two extremely talented individuals, we sat down with Lara and Zoee to chat about their short film Red Passion, how two artists came together to create a short-film and how they were able to get their work onto MIFF screens. Aiming to inspire other creatives in Victoria, Lara has also shared her top tips for cracking it in the film industry.
How were you able to premier your short-film at MIFF?
Lara: Campari was looking for creatives who embodied their ‘Red Passion’ ethos, an inner flame that challenges you to leave your comfort zone, to come together and create a short-film exploring this. Being a MIFF Accelerator Lab alumni, I was approached by the Shorts Programmer with this opportunity to collaborate with Campari and the other emerging creatives to create a short-film that would premiere at the 2021 festival.
Zoee: I was fortunate enough to be asked by Campari to team up with the amazing director Lara Kose and producer Will Duan to create a short-film which would be premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival as part of its partnership. Campari wanted to work with local creatives to make a short film which embodies its new ethos ‘Red Passion’ – an inner flame that challenges you to leave your comfort zone.
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Why did you decide to collaborate to create a short-film?
Lara: Filmmaking is inherently a collaborative art form. This film gave me the opportunity to collaborate with creatives who I admire and have wanted to work with for so long, as well as connect with new creatives. These kinds of collaborative projects are always the most rewarding for me. When I can see the collective efforts of everyone on screen, I feel an immense sense of pride.
Zoee: When Campari reached out and explained that they wanted to bring together emerging artists from different disciplines to create a movement piece to evoke the meaning of ‘Red Passion’, I was very intrigued. I’ve also been a fan of Lara’s filmmaking for a little while now and really respect her as an artist so I couldn’t say no!
What is the short-film you created?
Lara: We created Red Passion, a short dance film exploring passion and self-expression through movement. As the name suggests, our film was inspired by Campari’s ‘Red Passion’ ethos and is the result of a collaborative effort between myself, Zoee and our incredibly talented team.
Zoee: Myself, Lara, and Will, alongside our extremely talented dancers and crew, came together to create Red Passion, a movement piece that reflects self inquiry, connection, community and union.
Our film explores the evolution of three dancers, giving shape to our ‘Red Passion’ in solo, duet and ensemble form. When building the choreography, we paced it out over 3 chapters with each dancer/s representing different perspectives of self-inquiry.
Is the film still available to stream?
Lara: You can view Red Passion anytime on my Instagram profile here.
Zoe: You can view Red Passion anytime on my Instagram profile here.
How did it feel to have your film premiere at MIFF?
Lara: It was so special for us to have our film premiere at MIFF and screen in the pre-roll for select feature films. MIFF is an event that I deeply admire and respect so it was an absolute honour and dream come true to share our work at the 2021 festival.
Zoee: I feel incredibly honoured to be involved in such a special collaboration between Campari and Melbourne International Film Festival and have our work showcased at such a prestigious forum.
I’m so proud of our short-film and feel incredibly lucky to work alongside such a talented team to create it together!
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Lara, can you share some top tips for cracking it in the film industry?
- Find your community and stay connected: Filmmaking is incredibly difficult, so having a supportive community is really important. If you can find even a few like-minded creatives who you really connect with, the journey will be so much easier and enjoyable. For my latest Red Passion project with Campari, I was able to connect with new creatives and expand my community once again. It was incredible working with choreographer Zoee Marsh for the first time! I loved seeing her unique creative process and the film gave us the opportunity to combine our passions.
- Collaborate with those who inspire you: Don’t isolate yourself. Find other creatives you respect and make an effort to engage in their work. My biggest inspirations are always other filmmakers and offering your time and skills to their projects expands your community and inspires you to improve and refine your own creative practice. Campari’s ‘Red Passion’ ethos says that when you explore other creative realms, it inspires creativity in others and I couldn’t agree more.
- Honour your unique voice: There are so many films and filmmakers out there, but if your work comes from a place of authenticity, it will always be engaging. For my latest project with Campari, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a film exploring dance. There are more experienced dance filmmakers than me, but I knew that if I worked closely with Zoee and the dancers and showcased their unique talents, we would be able to create something to be proud of.
The film is now streaming on their respective Instagram profiles following its premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.