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Silentium Dei is a meticulously choreographed single and continuous long take film about ritual, chauvinism and human brutality. Inspired by true events, the film sets forth after a country wedding where a group of men take part in a strange celebration.

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THE MAKING OF SILENTIUM DEI

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The Shepherds of Cat Island is a single and continuous shot film without cuts throughout the whole length of the story. Attila’s strong commitment to the single take comes from two substantial directions. One is the heavy influence of Hungarian cinema on Attila’s directorial approach. The recently revived long take technique goes back to the traditions of Hungarian cinema in the 50’s and 60’s. Director Miklós Jancsó (The Round-Up, 1965, The Red and the White, 1967) elaborated on the long takes that were further explored in a different way in the films of Béla Tarr (Damnation, 1988, Werckmeister Harmonies 2000). Selected images from the films mentioned above.

The second fundamental reason for choosing the long take comes from the personal view on drama and the content Attila wishes to dissect. According to Attila’s philosophy, by dedicating a heavily moral, observant role to the camera, it inevitably gets us closer to the texture of the plot. The continuous flow does not give us the room to look away, forcing us to hold our breath while digging deeper in the inner layers of the images. The camera therefore carries multiple responsibilities when it unveils and hides, and as it discovers and traces the plot and the characters. The “internal cuts” take place within the camerawork, which moves with great sensibility in order to frame the information. This kind of filmmaking approach inevitably elevates tension and sharpens the dramatic statements of the director.

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Attila Rostas is a multiple Award winning Hungarian born American Filmmaker, Photographer, Educator with strong emphases on social injustice, human biases and prejudice in his filmmaking body. Attila holds a Master's Degree in Economics and Diplomatic Services from Hungary, and a Master's Degree in International Business from Pace University in New York City. He started his filmmaking endeavor at New York Film Academy and finished his studies at San Francisco Film School in California. In 2020 he started to teach courses in Film Production at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. Currently he is Adjunct Faculty at San Francisco Film School.
His films 'Gloomy Sunday', 'The Audition', 'Silentium Dei', screened at film festivals in London, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, Tehran, Budapest, Eindhoven, Thessaloniki, and Tirana among many other places. His latest short film 'The Shepherds of Cat Island' is Attila's conscious step toward his debut feature film in development.

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Anne Michelle Gregory produced Attila's first three films, Gloomy Sunday, The Audition and Silentium Dei. She also took an important role on The Shepherds of Cat Island. 

 

 

Executive Producer Matt Szymanowski wrote, directed, edited, and produced the Sundance Lab finalist dark comedy The Purple Onion (2014). He is the author of the self published novel "Cupertino."He holds a BA in Humanities from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, studied film and theater directing at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland, and holds an MFA in Writing for Film and TV from Emerson College in Boston.

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The film was developed in close conversation between Attila Rostas Film and the San Francisco based production company, Berke Creative. Director of Photography, Stephen Berke. Attila and Stephen fine-tuned their working method on long takes while making Silentium Dei, a continuous, single shot drama, filmed entirely on a 100 foot long S-curved dolly track. Stephen is also DP for an award-winning short film, “Snaggletooth,” that had its New York premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and for “The Interview”, that is having its Los Angeles premier at the 2019 LA SHORTS. Their second collaboration 'The Shepherds of Cat Island' was released in 2019.

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