Available are roles for men ages 18 to 50 and women age 50-plus. Lofti is also seeking an actor with Down Syndrome and actors who speak German. Read the following artist bio and statement, and the reasons will be clear:
Sarah R. Lotfi is an award-winning student filmmaker. Her WWII short THE LAST BOGATYR (2009) was a national finalist in the 37th Student Academy Awards. Through the EMMY Foundation's National College TV Internship Program, Lotfi interned on HBO Films' production of CINEMA VERITAE: THE SAGA OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY (2011), featured in American Cinematographer. In her local filmmaking community she has worked extensively with Pete Schuermann on CONDITIONAL and his upcoming feature CREEP. In 2009, Sarah helped launch the biennial Intersections Film Festival showcasing female Middle Eastern filmmakers and participated in the event’s second installment in 2011. Lotfi’s latest short WAKING EYES (2011) is scheduled to screen in LA in March at Los Angeles Womens International Film Festival. MENSCHEN (2012) is an innovative short dealing with disability in the last days of WWII.
I have always been drawn to the WWII period. I think it is something about that generation that really impresses me. The men and women, civilian and soldier, child and adult had to deal with overwhelming hardship and yet they never gave up. I see the commitment to integrity in the Veterans I have met. It is my hope that my generation and generations to come will learn something from what is perhaps our Greatest Generation.
“Menschen” is German for to humans. War is never black and white. There may be different armies fighting one another, but we must never forget that there were still human beings with the same hopes and fears. Menschen’s core idea is the common humanity between people. It is a piece about overcoming prejudice against humanity whether that individual is an “enemy” or “disabled”.
Menschen is set in Spring 1945, the last days of the war. A single Austrian captain attempts to guide what is left of his platoon out of Czechoslovakia and back home to Austria behind the Russian lines in order to surrender to the Americans. On the way they take under their wing a young man with a severe developmental disability, as the captain’s penance for a ghost from his past.
What makes Menschen really unique is the disabled angle. Films about individuals with special needs are rare and more often then not when they are produced they are often glamorized. My brother and sister have severe disabilities, they both have Down Syndrome but my sister also exemplifies many of the characteristics of Autism and OCD disorders. I wanted to do a film about someone like them in a dire time such as WWII.
Auditions can be scheduled via firstname.lastname@example.org; other info is available on the movie website that is linked to above.