Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande
An aging pot farmer suddenly finds her world shattered as she races to bring in what could be her final harvest, fighting against the threat of eviction as the impact of the legalization of the cannabis industry rapidly destroys her idyllic way of life. Freeland is the first feature by Mario Furloni and Kate McLean.
“Freeland” is a naturalistic fiction film shot in real locations during the real pot harvest, performed by a mix of trained and non-professional actors. The film utilizes the methods and language of observational cinema – reduced technical footprint, natural light, minimal interference on existing spaces, patient and nimble camera/sound work – to catch remarkable moments in the performance and details that surprise and reveal. We privileged long takes that create a feeling of immediacy and real-time, and a combination of intimate close-ups and super wide shots that contextualize the individual against the awe-inspiring setting. Our goal is to remain alive to the possibilities we find in each moment: listening carefully to our actors and to the people who welcomed us into their homes and farms, searching for the deep emotions and seismic shifts happening around us. Our editing process has been slow-paced and patient, deliberately searching for the most spare, naturalistic and emotionally potent version of the film. The film has been supported three times each by SFFILM (residency, screenwriting and post-production grant) and IFP in New York (IFP Film Week project twice and is currently a 2019 IFP Narrative Lab Film).
Kate McLean, Mario Furloni
Mario Furloni – Director, Writer, DP
Mario Furloni is a Brazilian-born director and cinematographer. Aside from the work he has done with Kate McLean (detailed in McLean’s bio), he is the cinematographer and co-producer of the critically-acclaimed documentary “The Return,” which won the Audience Award at the 2016 Tribeca and the Golden Gate Award at the 2016 SFIFF. It was the series opening film shown on PBS POV last year. Mario has directed a number of short documentary and fiction projects, including “Marty” (SFIFF 2018), “Pot Country,” as well as “Gut Hack” (SXSW 2016), and the Brazilian short fiction film “Tem Alguém Feliz em Algum Lugar /Someone is Happy Somewhere” (which screened domestically at SFIFF and AspenShorts Film Festival). Mario has also received, along with Kate, support from SFFILM and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation.
Kate McLean – Director, Writer
Kate McLean is a critically-acclaimed filmmaker and producer living in San Francisco. She recently made a narrative short, “Marty,” with her directing partner, Mario Furloni, that premiered at SFFIF 2018. Her short documentaries “Gut Hack,” “The Caretaker,” and “Marathon,” have recently been featured in the “New York Times” Op-Docs series, and broadcast on the PBS series POV. With Mario Furloni, Kate co-directed the short documentary “Pot Country,” as well as “Gut Hack (SXSW 2017).” Kate and Mario are adapting that short into a narrative feature, “Freeland.” In 2015, they were awarded highly competitive in-house Residencies and prestigious Kenneth Rainin Foundation Screenwriting Grants at the SFFS. Kate is also a producer. She produced Jamie Meltzer’s PBS documentary “True Conviction,” which was supported by Sundance, Tribeca and the MacArthur Foundation, and “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” which was on POV and premiered at SXSW 2017. She is 2015 Sundance Creative Producing Summit Fellow, and has a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.