Ariel Kleiman

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Ariel Kleiman


Among an impressive lineup of talent, this name stands out in the Flickerfest 2011 program.

Among an impressive lineup of talent, this name stands out in the Flickerfest 2011 program. It might be because of the recent media burst announcing that the 25-year-old VCA graduate is one of only three Australians whose films have been selected for Sundance 2011; or it might be the fact that Kleiman was awarded the Rising Talent Award at the recent IF Awards, and the SOYA 2010 Award for film…

The fuss started when Kleiman’s graduation film Deeper Than Yesterday, an atmospheric portrait of a man battling to retain his humanity in the claustrophobic, testosterone-fuelled atmosphere of a submarine, was invited to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week in May 2010 – where it won two out of a possible three awards for short film. It went on to be selected for pretty much every international film festival worth mentioning, and picked up a swag of ‘Best Film’ awards that would make James Cameron jealous.

Deeper Than Yesterday is just one feather in Kleiman’s cap; his previous short feature Young Love (which screened at Flickerfest 2010) was also accepted into Sundance 2010, where it picked up an Honourable Mention from the jury. Incidentally, Kleiman also shot Edward Housden’s atmospheric short drama Muscles, which is screening in Flickerfest’s Australian programme this year – and also screened at Cannes 2010.

Kleiman wrote and directed Deeper Than Yesterday, but he was working within a three-person Melbourne-based collective called Stool Pigeon, with Sarah Cyngler and Benjamin Gilovitz. While Ari and Sarah are currently filming in London, Ben was kind enough to answer some questions on behalf of the group…

When was Stool Pigeon formed, and why?

"2006. We enjoyed working together and felt that our individual talents complimented each other; combined we had a wide range of multimedia skills (film, graphic design, website design). One of the reasons we formed Stool Pigeon is because we wanted to make a TV pilot, but in between shooting things for it we got more involved with film (especially when Ari was accepted into the VCA), and our work turned more to making quality films (and graphic/web design to help fund our filmmaking). We never did finish that pilot."

What’s in the name?

"Well a stool pigeon is an informer. So apart from sounding cool it sort of loosely meant something relevant."

How do you three divide up the work between you?

"When it comes to non-film related stuff, Ari is generally an ideas man (often with help and/or encouragement of Sarah). Sarah and I then make it happen – more specifically, Sarah does the designs, and I put it all together and make it work. I’m often also the one dealing with clients. In regards to film: Ari and Sarah are the writers. Ari is the director. Sarah is the art director, production designer, costume designer, co-producer and muse. I’m a producer. I also dabble in the camera department – specifically camera assistant/focus puller – when budgets are tight. On Deeper Than Yesterday I was the producer and clapper-loader because space was so limited on the submarine…?"

Deeper Than Yesterday will show in the Flickerfest session Best Of Melbourne Shorts Programme 1 – check out for session times.