The future of low-budget filmmaking is alive and well, and to be frank, it took a dystopian-themed film to make us that optimistic. Pandorica received its world premiere at the recent SciFi Weekender and was enthusiastically received by the packed audience.
The story itself is pretty simple. It is the far future. An unknown event called the great reset has forced people to return to a simpler way of life, and society has devolved to a tribal existence. Among these tribes are the Varosha, and the plot concerns three candidates from the Varosha tribe who are set to undergo a generational trial to determine the new tribal leader. The trial takes place in a thick, dense forest with the current leader, Nos (Luke D’Silva) along to choose his successor.
The candidates are Eiren, Thade and Ades. Broadly speaking, Eiren (Jade Hobday) is a strong, fearless and capable female warrior, Thade (Adam Bond) is a gentler, more noble character reminiscent of Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, and Ades is the irredeemably sly bad guy, the hissable villain that the audience love to hate and is played to perfection in a standout performance by Marc Zammit.
The trials take an unexpected twist when another tribe appear in the forest, including Flinn (Laura Marie Howard) who carries with her a mysterious box, the contents of which really affect the balance of power – hence a Pandora’s box.
Writer/director Tom Paton has woven a twisted tale with some surprising plot twists and unexpected turns, delivering a masterclass in quick and cost efficient filmmaking, delivering a slick end product that defies belief that the whole project was written, financed, filmed entirely on location, edited and is set for release, with the plot elements for a sequel in place – all on a budget that is actually less than that of the location catering for a Hollywood A-lister.
Paton’s confident direction, very much in the style of early John Carpenter, makes him a genre name to watch out for if his debut feature is this good.
The dystopian future looks bright!
PANDORICA / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: TOM PATON / STARRING: TOM PATON, JADE HOBDAY, MARC ZAMMIT, ADAM BOND, LUKE D’SILVA, BENTLEY KALU, AMED HASHIMI, LAURA MARIE HOWARD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (BLU-RAY, DVD, VOD & LIMITED CINEMAS)