THE CURSE EFFECT, 29min., USA
Directed by Gregg Jaden
Dive deep into the heart of Indonesia's Borneo jungle with 'THE CURSE EFFECT.' This riveting mini-documentary delivers never-before-seen footage of one of the most feared tribes on earth, Suku Dayak. Enter a world of the tribe's private way of life known for its voodoo traditions, daily rituals, and historical enemy headhunting. Defying the odds as a foreign outsider, filmmaker Gregg Jaden miraculously earned the tribe's trust, gaining access to film them like never before. At the tribe's land. Uncovering the mystery of a voodoo curse and their fight against a deadly, unseen evil.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film? I was a travel landscape adventure photographer who traveled to Asia a lot. I've heard so many stories about voodoo and voodoo magic. Every time I travel to Indonesia. Whether I was in a taxi cab or a restaurant, talking with staff or talking to the locals, they always told these stories about voodoo magic and voodoo that has been done to people. I've heard so many stories of businesses collapsing overnight, people getting ill doctors who are baffled, and then realizing that is how they deal with conflicts. When I heard Keanu's story, I knew we had a real story that I could tell, and I thought it would be a good idea for the Western world to go on a journey to see how other cultures deal with things.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film? The most difficult part about this film was it took two translators to get this done. Also, my editor was in Indonesia, so it took a while to fix mistakes, translate, and sound design. I was meticulous and didn't want any dead spots. By the time we finished filming and editing, it was another eight months to polish the film so that it was presentable to the Western audience.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!? Unseen Forces
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film? Getting access to the tribe was the biggest obstacle. The only way to tell the story was visually. Also, the other biggest obstacle was translation because my crew was Indonesian. They didn't speak much English, so trying to communicate what I wanted from a Director's standpoint was difficult at times, but I managed to create a good vibe and trust with the tribe so they could perform the way I wanted.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video? It felt great to hear that well-thought-out feedback from different perspectives. It's rewarding that the general consensus understood the film, which is good. That means I did a good job directing filming experience and communicating with understanding. My goal with this film was to help Western audiences understand that a way of life is very common in southern Asia but uncommon in the Western world. And I was happy to hear that it got people thinking about the topic. That purpose is to open up humans to more spirituality.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films? I've always wanted to make films. Luckily, we have the tools to make films on a much smaller budget, even though having a larger budget would be nice because it's a lot of work from concept to completion.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life? Shawshank Redemption
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career? Film screenings are invaluable. We live our lives online, but to see human reactions in real time would be valuable.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site? The film freeway is a solid platform. The experience so far has been very easy to use. Getting the information I need for submissions is very straightforward and easy.
10. What is your favorite meal? Lately, it's been Galbi Tang (Korean Soup)
11. What is next for you? A new film? I have a ton of notes on real live experiences that I have seen or witnessed that deal with the paranormal that people who enjoy that genre will appreciate.