An audacious crew of local filmmakers have set up shop in LA under the banner of Rezistor Films, and they’re ready to make their mark.
“We want to be able to go against the grain a little bit with the kind of work we do and not try to emulate trends…our chief resistance will be mediocrity,” says Marc Furmie, who is one of the main players at Rezistor Films. Raised in Australia, but now based in LA, Furmie is best known for his impressive 2016 sci-fi thriller, Terminus, which was shot locally but boasted an undeniably international finish. Rezistor Films came together when Furmie made the acquaintance of fellow Aussie, Jason Mavraidis, who had spent significant time in Los Angeles, studying at the New York Film Academy and shooting several music videos and shorts.
Both ardent and obsessive lovers of film (check out Mavraidis’ ink below if you need further proof of how committed to the art form he truly is), the two bonded instantly, and opted to move into the professional sphere together too. The pair founded Rezistor Films, with Mavraidis stumping up the cash to make it happen. “I idealised the American Zoetrope model of filmmakers collaborating to make groundbreaking, daring cinema, not for the sake of commerce, but for the sake of telling good stories in bold new ways,” says Mavraidis. “All of our favourite films and filmmakers emerged from the American New Wave of the 1970s, and that’s the kind of collaborative environment that we aim to foster at Rezistor. I wanted to invest in filmmakers that I believe in, and Marc has an incredible work ethic, a good sense for story and a solid reputation.”
Under the Rezistor Films banner (the company was named after the circuit device that resists the passage of an electrical current), the pair – who brought in tech entrepreneur Ty Linegar as a co-founder in 2019 – set out to nurture directorial talent and help short form filmmakers transition into long-form projects, with an eye to working on genre films with a classy sheen and developing prestige dramas based on true stories. Rezistor Films has since brought on director/producer Michael D. Olmos (whose film, Filly Brown, starring Gina Rodriguez and Lou Diamond Phillips, played at Sundance) as Head of Content, producer Jamal Mallory McCree as Head Development Executive, producer Martina Silcock (who has worked on British TV shows including The Last Kingdom and Love, Nina) as Head of Physical Production and Alexander Kim as Public Relations Director. Their current roster includes international filmmakers including Australians James Chappell, Yeoseop Yoon, Jon Gwyther, and Paul Nevison; LA based directors Luke Eve, Gavin Michael Booth, Brooke James, Derek Pike, Phillipa Pomeranz, Daniel Carberry and Keenan O’Reilly; and Swedish directing duo Bjorn Favremarck and John Boisen.
With strong material and an undeniable desire to work in the commercial space, Rezistor Films is looking to provide an Australian voice on an international scale. “We are aiming incredibly high with our projects and want to partner with financiers who have great taste,” says Marc Furmie. “My feeling is that much like the cinema that followed WW2 and Vietnam, the current divide in America, the coronavirus epidemic and the inevitable downturn that follows it will open the door to a new wave of innovative and important filmmaking driven by international voices and people of colour. We’ve been careful to put together a team that represents that new voice,” says Furmie.
ON THE WAY FROM REZISTOR FILMS…
HARLEM 58 Based on the novel When Harlem Nearly Killed King by Hugh Pearson, this true life drama scripted by Marc Furmie follows the true story of Dr. John Cordice, the African-American surgeon who battled prejudice and politics to save the life of Martin Luther King Jr following an attempted assassination in 1958. Harlem 58 is being produced by Australian-American, Elliott Yancey of Toil Films, in association with Rezistor.
MERCIFUL Produced by James M. Vernon (Hacksaw Ridge, Predestination) and Marc Furmie (who scripted with Shiyan Zheng), Merciful is the true story of convicted Bali Nine drug-traffickers Andrew Chan and Myu Sukumaran, who were executed in Indonesia 2015.
UMBRA Umbra is a ‘70s-set werewolf horror-thriller set in the American midwest, written by Australian screenwriter, Simon I. Proud. The film was brought to Rezistor by producer Keith Sweitzer and Josh Pomeranz of Spectrum Films (Go Karts, Palm Beach).
PARALYS This Scandinavian supernatural thriller is based on the Vimeo-Staff-Pick-winning short film of the same name. The film will be directed and co-produced by Bjorn Favremarck and John Boisen of Is This It Films in Gothenburg. The script is written by Tatiana Ikasovic and Marc Furmie.
BLACK GOLD Created by Jane Walters and Marc Furmie, Black Gold is Rezistor’s first television series pitch, based on a true story set in South East Asia during the Cold War. It follows a young Sumatran oil baron as he struggles to outmanoeuvre the CIA’s attempt to control the oil supply in Indonesia while maintaining loyalty to his country and family.