Award of Merit – “Petrichor” (USA)

Title: Petrichor
Runtime: 10 min
Country: USA 
Director: Ava Ismaiylova
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: December, 2018

Synopsis: Faith and Nathan are a couple living a pleasant life together. At first glance, their relationship is charming and ordinary, but beneath the surface lies a much more sinister facet to their bond. When Nathan reveals details about his disturbing childhood, and Faith is visited by an unpleasant guest who puts her in a life-changing dilemma, the two of them will have their loyalty tested. Their affection towards one another takes a perverse spin as they both make drastic decisions to deal with issues that threaten their happy lives.


OR: What was the inspiration for your film?

AI: My Mother used to read a lot for me when I was little. One of the stories I loved and still keep in my heart till nowadays is the “The Gift of the Magy” by O. Henry. 

I didn’t realize that “Petrichor” was inspired by it until I showed the script to my mentor, Jennifer Penton. 

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

AI: It all happened very naturally and quick. I could not wait, script was done in 3 weeks, another 3 weeks I spent on pre-production, the shoot itself was 2,5 days…However the post took me a while as I was looking for the team that would understand me and the story.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

AI: The most challenging aspect was to tell the story in under 15 mins.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

AI: It was the first time I worked with SAG but they were very helpful, so the experience was challenging, as it was new for me, but pleasant. 

Casting was the other challenging part, we had 6 full days to find the actress for the role of “Faith”, and when I already lost the faith…I saw Allie Leonard.

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

AI: Don’t think about trends, be honest with yourself and with the viewer, tell the story that matters to you.