When local playwright, screenwriter and director Lenny Schwartz was faced with lockdown, he turned to art to help him cope. “I posted on Facebook, ‘Hey! Who wants to do a project?’ and people responded,” he said.
Schwartz wrote more than 100 short pieces that he sent to more than 100 actors across the country who were tasked with filming their own performances on whatever camera they had at their disposal, with gentle guidance from Schwartz and producer and director Nathan Suher of IM Filmworks.
“Part of the fun is that the performers only know their part,” said Schwartz of the filming process. Suher then took the resulting works and edited them into the feature-length Far From Perfect: Life Inside A Global Pandemic.
Schwartz said of his collaboration with Suher, “He’s game for most things, which has led to us collaborating many times. When I had five responses to do this I messaged him. And he was in!” During that initial four-minute exchange, 15 more responses poured in.
“It is uplifting to see this many people rally from all corners of country to participate in a project that I know will be appreciated by those feeling the stress and anxiety of our trying times,” said Suher.
The interconnected stories that make up the film range from funny to sad to emotional, but there is a through-line to the piece. “The loosely connected stories are all based around people in the middle of this pandemic. Each one leads on the next and it is sometimes funny, sometimes horrifying. But I do think at the end it is hopeful,” said Schwartz.
Suher agrees that there’s a positive message in the film’s very existence. “This film has created a beautiful time-capsule of an event that will forever link all of us together.”
The world premiere of Far From Perfect: Life Inside A Global Pandemic will take place as a Facebook watch party on Sat, Apr 18 at 8pm at fb.com/coronavirusfilm2020. It will then premiere on Amazon Prime on Apr 25. For more information or to join the watch party, go to fb.com/events/667936497355546