Member State short film cast - Screen Acting students at Catalyst Berlin

Support Our Screen Acting Students’ Short Film ‘Member State’

Posted by Dee Cunning on 1/13/2021 in Student work

Member State, a feature film exploring the interpersonal effects of a return to fascism in Europe, is currently in its crowdfunding stages. Learn more about the project and the Screen Acting and Film Production students behind it.

The political climate of a continent doesn’t change overnight. Going about daily life in a cosmopolitan urban bubble, you could easily sweep niggling political concerns under the rug – until that rug is pulled from beneath your feet. Member State explores how a crumbling European Union begins to wreak havoc on the interpersonal relationships of a group of young expats in Berlin.

The feature film, directed by Screen Acting programme lead Adam Donald, stars a group of third-year Screen Acting students – some of whom you might recognise from the NothingMan cast – Milena Rendón, Paolo Schoene, Siebe Schoneveld, Sabine Schröder and Edan Rowett. Impressively, the actors have also had a hand in shaping the plot. Since April, they have been working on developing their characters. To bring them to life authentically, they’ve spent time inhabiting those characters in real life – not only walking and talking like them, but building believable relationships by improvising scenes together. From those improvisations, a compelling story emerged.

The Characters

Carlos and Layla are siblings by birth, raised in very different situations. In Berlin, they fight to find common ground as Carlos confronts demons of the past through drug addiction, and Layla faces employment challenges in her firm. Jeff and Jaime work in a small vegan restaurant and need to put personalities aside to support each other as visa issues arise and customers stop coming in. Rose, also struggling to maintain her financial affairs, has a plan to diversify her flower shop business to imports of illicit substances. She chooses to put her body on the line to save her relationship with Carlos. Maddie and Ezra are colleagues in a psychiatric facility and are pushed to the limit of their working relationship as government regulations start to affect their ability to provide care to their patients. 

Make it Happen

The Member State crew are a talented bunch of third-year Film Production students and alumni: producer Agostina Cerdan Niell; director of cinematography Alan Dresti; assistant director Guðrún Björg Sigurðardóttir; art designer Isabelle Schmitz; sound operator Lawrence Bolton; and gaffer Jayden Bailey.

The project is run on an entirely voluntary basis; the actors and filmmakers are all committing their own time, energy and resources. In order to bring the film to life, they've launched a Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds they need to feed the cast and crew, transport equipment and pay for distribution fees.

Perks for supporters include exclusive access to the film, the film script, behind-the-scenes content and the wrap party! Head over to their Indiegogo page to learn more about the individual characters and contribute to the team’s 2,500 euro goal.