by Lou Mancinelli
In her upcoming film, “Consumption,” filmed in Mt. Airy and surrounding communities, Mt. Airy resident and independent filmmaker Brittany Rafalak paints a Huxley-an like futuristic society where food has been outlawed and hunger is appeased with a pill.
What might happen if the part of our lives we spent thinking about, working for, buying and preparing food was transformed into free time for us to pursue other more honorable endeavors?
“I plan my day around eating,” said Rafalak, 25, a graduate student in media studies at The New School in Manhattan. Rafalak wrote and will direct the film. “(When eating disappears) the way that my life changes is pretty drastic,” she said.
Still a student and developing a network of capital, Rafalak also works part-time at High Point Cafe in Mt. Airy. She turned to crowdsourcing via Indiegogo.com to connect her with potential resources and has thus far raised more than $2200 of her $7600 goal. Her campaign concludes Feb. 28.
Less worry and more her own curiosity got her thinking about what life in the future might be like. Perhaps this is an extension of Rafalak’s budding film resume, which shows a focus on documentaries, two about woman’s issues, as well as another about how foreign aid and giving affects communities.
How might humanity progress if the issue of hunger is resolved? “Consumption” explores whether we might actually miss eating, both the act and the taste. The movie will also explore how music serves as a guide to film but more, how individuals might react musically to the film.
When Rafalak celebrates its premiere screening at a still-to-be-determined Philadelphia location in the spring of 2015, a live jazz band, organized by her husband, the musical director and bass player, will improvise a musical score to accompany the film.
Music tends to serve as a guide to help form viewer’s perception. But Rafalak wants to explore how the film might develop differently when the music is unplanned.
“How will the film progress narratively?” she asked. “How will it progress dramatically?”
“No one was happy with tapping into primal nature to be physically satisfied with something that happens in an instant,” says the movie’s main character, Corrine, in the trailer, now online at the Indiegogo “Consumption” site.
But Corrine discovers food and grapples with the feelings she experiences living in a world where it is considered barbaric to satiate oneself with food.
To cast performers, Rafalak put out an open audition call last fall that generated little feedback. When she scheduled auditions, about 20 performers read for the roles. Algerian-born actress Rhym Guissé will play Corrine. Mt. Airy resident Grace Gordan will play Naina.
Rafalak was raised in Colorado and moved to Philadelphia to attend college at the University of the Arts. She graduated in 2010 and has pursued film since, while studying for her masters’ degree in a program that requires her to be in New York City one or two times a week.
By turning to crowdsourcing, Rafalak, like thousands of other young (and old) aspiring independent filmmakers, performers, inventors and entrepreneurs, can reach out to thousands more potential resources she might not otherwise have access to. For materials and shooting costs alone, Rafalak has estimated it will cost $2850.
By offering various perks for supporters, crowdsourcers provide an added bonus to investing in a project, and cut out middle-men. A $25 contribution to Rafalak’s campaign gets a protagonist in “Consumption” named after you. For $300, Rafalak will provide a professional film or photography session for your business, band or however you want to use it.
As she continues developing her film career, it may continue to include performances like Rafalak’s upcoming talk at New York University’s Music & The Moving Image conference in late May about music scores that accompany films.
“With this film and with my filmmaking career,” said Brittany, “I’d like to present women and people of color as something that transcends stereotypes while assuming the audience is more than ticket sales. I plan on creating films that feature women of color and delve into fantasy, science fiction and issues about human nature. ‘Consumption’ is illustrative of this goal.”