Do Re Mi Fa is a multi-threaded narrative drama that is set in Malta, following four characters whose lonely and isolated existences unknowingly intersect and reach a climactic tipping point. This feature film, starring Paul Flanagan, Irene Christ, Sean O’Neil and Marc Cabourdin, was awarded funds from the Malta Film Fund in 2013 and was written and directed by Chris Zarb. The film has also won an Award of Merit at the IndieFest in the USA.
We’ve spoken to Mr Zarb for a further insight into the production.
What made you decide to go into film?
From a young age, I was bewitched by stories told on screen. I tried to be an actor, but quickly realised that it wasn’t for me. I then started to understand specifically the various film job designations entailed and understood that what I wanted to do was to write and direct.
Can you recall the first time you were on a film set?
I was a continuity person on a local Maltese series called Il-Kristu tal-Kerrejja and shortly after, I went to the Met Film School in West London.
Who inspires you?
No one in particular, really! Cinema as a whole does, as does life around me. There are many film makers whom I admire but it’s not easy to simply name one. The films by Krzysztof Kieslowski or Theodoros Angelopoulos speak to my soul, but I also appreciate films by Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin or even Stephen Spielberg, to name a few.
If you had to come up with a fantasy cast, who would you pick?
It would probably depend on the film’s script, but I’m sure it would be an interesting experience to work with Meryl Streep, Tom Hardy or Cate Blanchett.
What can you tell us about Do Re Mi Fa?
Do Re Mi Fa is an ensemble set in Malta that focuses on four characters: Bozo (Paul Flanagan), a children’s party clown who is a closet paedophile; Claudia (Irene Christ), a stage actress who is paralysed with feelings of insignificance and is driven to do the extreme; Kyle (Marc Cabourdin), a family man with a deaf son who finds it increasingly difficult to cope with challenges at home and at work; and DJ Trim (Sean O’Neil), a radio talk show presenter suffering from an anxiety disorder who advocates for the rights of illegal immigrants and becomes the target of unwanted attention from a threatening caller.
Paul Preca Trapani, who is the co-producer and cinematographer of the film, and myself spent some time trying to come up with various appropriate titles for the film until finally we thought ‘Do Re Mi Fa’ worked best. As you can see, this film is dark in tone and paradoxically, the joyous, musical title helps to enhance the feel of the film. The title also serves as a metaphor as the world could be seen as a piano and everyone is a different note on the keyboard. In this case, the four characters represent a different musical note.
What can audiences expect from Do Re Mi Fa?
Well, it’s a hard film that’s designed to make you think. I’m sure the reactions will be mixed, so I’m not entirely sure how they will feel, but the important thing is that something, whatever it may be, is felt by the audience.
Do Re Mi Fa is now showing at the Eden Cinemas: Tickets can be purchased here.