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Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #47: Ariel Kleiman Examines an Extreme World for ‘Partisan’

Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #47: Ariel Kleiman Examines an Extreme World for 'Partisan'

Partisan” follows the charismatic Gregori (Vincent Cassel), who saunters into a hospital maternity ward and charms new mother Susanna. 11 years later, she and her son Alexander live in Gregori’s closed community, sheltering vulnerable women and their brood in a haven isolated from the outside world. Alexander is Gregori’s prize pupil, eldest son, and star employee in the cottage industry—in which the kids are trained to run dangerous errands to provide for the group—but Gregori feels threatened by the boy’s inquisitive nature, struck by the fear that his child might not love him anymore. Meanwhile, Alexander begins to think for himself. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Institute.]

What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?

A scorned and angry man convinces single mothers and their kids to hate the world as much as he does, while a boy grows up to see his parents in a new light.

Now what’s it REALLY about?

Raising a kid is hard and being a kid is hard. We wrote this at a point in time where we felt exactly in the middle of the two camps – no longer children, not yet really adults. It allowed us to see things from both perspectives… The film is also mostly about my longstanding issue with my dominant and cruel father. No just kidding my father is the best guy I know.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I’m 29. I’m Australian. Partisan is my first feature film.

Biggest challenge in completing this film?

Managing my inflated ego and getting enough sleep.

What do you want Sundance audience to take away from your film?

I like films that take me into an extreme world that might be nothing like my day to day life but is still infinitely human and relatable. It would be nice if audiences go on a similar journey with “Partisan.”

Any films inspire you?

Lots, I’m endlessly inspired by all sorts of films from all sorts of places around the world. For some reason the most memorable ones were made in the 60’s & 70’s.

What’s next?

More movies and a profitable side business that requires little to no effort on my behalf.

What cameras did you shoot on?

Alexa Studio.

Did you crowdfund? If not, why?

No crowdfunding. My friends and family made it very clear they were not going to give me any more money.

Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. For profiles go

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