German-born Serb Branko Tomović delivers his directorial debut to the Berlin Independent Film Festival, next month.
Red, the multi award-winning short film he wrote and directed in 2016, is a short dark thriller set in London’s underground world of illegal organ smuggling: the so-called red market.
Now living in London, this actor-director knows the pressure of screening his first film to a critical audience.
When the British-German co-production screens at the prestigious independent filmmakers’ event in Berlin, it will follow successful appearances at many international film festivals.
The 20-minute film, produced by Kaissar Film in Munich and London’s House Kino, tells of Niklas (Branko Tomović), a guilt-ridden surgeon tormented by self-hatred, who harvests organs for the red market.
Niklas works together with Mia (Francesca Fowler), a young prostitute who lures and drugs clients for the illegal surgeries. He is looking for a way out of this dak world, but owes his life to their violent crime boss Ed (Dervla Kirwan), who would kill him rather than let him go.
The film highlights the dark and brutal world of the illegal organ trade and the people involved in such operations. The crux of the story is the climax point, where he is faced with a lethal decision that burns his soul.
The film’s UK premiere was in competition for Best British Short at the Winchester Short Film Festival, last Autumn, and it won awards and nominations at Kraljevski Filmski Festival (Serbia), Naperville Independent Film Festival (US), Maverick Movie Awards (US).
Red also screened in competition at San Diego International Film Festival (US), Tangier International Film Festival (Morocco), International Short Film Festival in Drama (Greece), International Izmir Short Film Festival (Turkey) and Vault FilmFestival (UK).
Based in London, Branko has worked with internationally respected film directors as Ken Loach, Paul Greengrass, Soenke Wortmann, David Ayer and Pete Travis to name a few. Recent screen credits include ’24: Live Another Day’, ‘Fury’, ‘City of Tiny Lights’, ‘Entity’ and ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’.
Branko was honoured by The British Filmmakers Alliance as Best International Actor and won numerous awards and nominations on the international film festival circuit, including London Independent Film Festival, British Horror Film Festival, San Francisco Short Film Festival and Philadelphia Film Festival.
The Berlin Independent Film Festival (BIFF: 9-15 February) takes place at the Babylon Cinema. As well as offering plenty of screening opportunities for indie films, BIFF offers a crucial business hub for the low-budget film industry.