[Konvas] Frosbite (Adam Frey)

Anders Banke anders at solidentertainment.se
Fri Oct 6 14:43:16 CDT 2006

>Hey Anders,
>I read an article (on http://www.hdforindies.com/) about the  
>FantasticFest and it said the film "Frostbite" played there. Was this  
>your film?

Well, unless FantasticFest decided to run the Snowboard sex comedy
"Frostbite" starring Tracy Lords it must have been my film... :-)

We have 3 x 35mm festival prints fully booked on festival throughout the
autumn, so it sees a lot of festival exposure, and I travel a lot...

The reason I couldn't go to FantasticFest was I just got back from the
Pyongyang International Film Festival, where Frostbite was the first horror
film ever to screen in a North Korean cinema! An incredible experience. 

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a country like no other,
and the same goes for their film festival. Frostbite is a horror comedy,
more funny than scary, but as the comedy elements are often related to
popular culture references not present in North Korea, most of the comedy
was sort of lost on them, whereas - due to the majority of the audience
never having seen a horror film before - the horror elements certainly got a
reaction, with 40 year old party officials screaming like little children...

The Korean dubbing was quite something, they put a lot of effort into that,
and the dubbing actors were quite emotional, so that many of the straight
dialogue scenes sounded like something out of a Kurosawa samurai film...
The original Swedish soundtrack was lowered til it almost wasn't heard, and
as a horror film is at least 50% music and effects it felt pretty strange to
watch; however, this did not seem to make it less scary to most of the

The 400-seat screening room was packed, and as our film was very unusual
compared to the rest of the festival films, and probably considered more
than a bit subversive, most of the audience were very serious looking male
40 year old party cadre people in black uniforms sporting Great Leader Kim
Il Sung badges, and uniformed army personnel by the door keeping unwanted
people from coming in. Despite this, mid-screening the doors burst open and
a hoard of youngsters burst in (the word had seemingly spread that our film
was something special, and maybe the army guards had gone for a smoke or
something, I don't know), spreading along the walls of the sauna-hot
screening room, gazing in awe at the Swedish teenagers on screen and their
curious antics...

On a Konvas note, during our 10-day visit to the DPRK (10 days and never a
boring moment!) we were also able to visit the Korean State Film Studio,
which, besides a very interesting outdoor studio set / backlot of Chinese,
Japanese and South Korean streets, has a HUGE film museum, consisting mostly
of items related in some way to the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il (who as some of
you may know has a keen interest in filmmaking, and tends to give "personal
on the spot guidance" on almost all feature films produced in the DPRK).
Thus, the museum has a number of familiar cameras that at some point in time
had been used by the Dear Leader, among them a KS50-B Eyemo copy (with Cooke
lenses, curiously enough), a Konvas 1 automat (early, rheostat model), and a
few Mitchell copies. 

The current fleet of DPRK cine cameras consists of a very large number of
Arri IIc cameras (some of which were used to film us foreign festival guests
from time to time!) and a few Arri BLs. 

The next U.S. festival to screen Frostbite is Screamfest LA (Screening
Sunday, October 15 at 7.30), where, AFAIK, it will screen in Mann's Chinese
Theatre in Hollywood. Given that cinema's awesome sound system and our very
nice DTS surround mix, I'd say that's a good place to catch it if you happen
to be in the area! :-)


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