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An Interview with Chris Zarb, Director of The Black Pebble

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2023

Films directed by Chris Zarb on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Black Pebble - in a few words, what is it about?

 

On Christmas Eve, at a residence for senior citizens, Vincent learns a lesson in self forgiveness.

 

What were your sources of inspiration when writing The Black Pebble? And is any of it based on personal experiences?

 

Normally visual images inspire me first and then the story itself follows. None of it is based on personal experiences, however I can share my initial image. I had this vision of an elderly man running after a duck in an empty hallway. I am aware that such a scene never happened in the short film, however that was the starting point.

 

To what extent could you actually identify with The Black Pebble's protagonist Victor?

 

Since I am in my mid-thirties, it may be difficult to identify with him. Still, Victor is perhaps how I imagine myself when I reach his age.

 

What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

Over the years I have developed my own individual directing style which I also adopted in the way I told this story. I have always loved mixing surrealism with reality, tenderness with brutality.

 

Do talk about The Black Pebble's key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Simply put, the key cast fit exactly what I was looking for. Stephen Oliver understood the somewhat cynical humour of Vincent whilst Sue Scantlebury managed to bring out a perfect marriage of vulnerability and strength, which was precisely what Gloriaís character needed.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I have been working with my crew for over ten years now and we have developed a family-like atmosphere. The vibe is very positive and humorous, which helps to balance the contrasting dark nature of the stories that I like to write.

 

The $64-question of course, where can The Black Pebble be seen?

 

It is currently being toured round festivals, but once this is over (by the summer), the short film can be seen on my YouTube channel (as can my other short films). The YouTube channel is www.youtube.com/@ChrisZarb

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Black Pebble?

 

So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. To date the short film has won/been nominated in the following festivals:

1 FINALIST - Oniros Film Awards (July Edition), USA 2022

2 WINNER, Best Short Film - Experimental/Avant Garde - Art is Alive Film Festival, USA 2022

3 WINNER, Best Male Actor (Lead) - Art is Alive Film Festival, USA 2022

4 WINNER, Award of Merit - Best Shorts, USA 2022

5 WINNER, Honorable Mention - Global Shorts, USA 2022

6 NOMINATION, Best Director - Art is Alive Film Festival, USA 2022

7 NOMINATION, Best Cinematography - Art is Alive Film Festival, USA 2022

8 OFFICIAL SELECTION - Boden International Film Festival, Sweden 2022

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I should start filming an other short film in the beginning of October. My team and myself are also currently looking for a producer to help us get my second feature length film off the ground.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

My passion for film and filmmaking has been a lifelong affair. I have studied film directing at Met Film School, resulting in B.A. (Hons) from Thames Valley University, London. I also have a Masters in Film Studies from the University of Malta.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Black Pebble?

 

Before The Black Pebble I had done 14 short films and a feature film called Do Re Mi Fa which won a lot of prestigious accolades and is currently on such streaming platforms as AppleTV.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

I love surrealism, psychology and colours. Even though I like to tackle topics that are a bit taboo, I try to do so in a somewhat sensitive manner. I have been working on creating a signature over the years and I believe that my regular audience recognize this in my works.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Chris Zarb
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find Chris Zarb here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Chaplin, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Theodoros Angelopoulos, Park Chan-Wook, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, to name a few. However, there are many others.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

A Clockwork Orange (1971), Oldboy (2003), Life Is Beautiful (1997).

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

I donít really deplore any films as I also enjoy watching films that would be considered awful. I often perceive these films as unintentional comedies.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

I can be found on Facebook, on IMDb and YouTube.

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Not really, but if there is a producer who is reading this, likes my style and would be interested in collaborating with me on my second feature film, please donít hesitate to contact me.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD