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Filmmaker Evgeniya Radilova bringing new award-winning short to Fort Myers Film Festival


Filmmaker Evgeniya Radilova made her Fort Myers Film Festival debut last year with Patrik, a short film that was accepted into 18 other film festivals, receiving 9 awards along the way including Best Narrative Short at the Olympus Film Festival, Best Comedy at the 2019 Florence Film Awards, Best Original Story and a Best Actor for Patrik Baldauff at the 2019 Cannes Global Short Film Awards (which recognizes excellence in short films under 15 minutes in length written and produced by both amateur and professional filmmakers from around the world) along with an Honorable Mention for Radilova by the Top Shorts Film Festival. She returns for the 10th anniversary of the Fort Myers Film Festival with another award-winning short titled El Cavil.

El Cavil is a man who loves his work more than anything in this world. A shoeshine boy, he subscribes to the old tradition that if you have a shine on your shoes there is a melody in your heart. But the once-ubiquitous shoeshine boy has nearly vanished from street corners, railroad stations, barbershops and American popular culture and El Cavil isn’t one of the fortunate few to land in the lobby of a ritzy hotel where the bootblack business still strives. On the street, people are just too busy to acknowledge El Cavil or their shoes. At $7 a shine, he’s lucky to earn $700 a month. Not enough to put a roof over his head. Barely enough for food.

Radilova’s film, which she co-wrote with Shashwat Gupta who plays the title role, illustrates the struggle of homeless people in a number of important ways. First and foremost, it shows that just like the rest of us, the homeless are desperate to make a connection with the people they encounter. More, they need to see themselves as full members of their neighborhoods and communities. They needed to be, and be appreciated as, citizens who can be valuable contributors to society if only given the chance.

El Cavil also poignantly illustrates that just like you and me, the homeless have dreams and aspirations. In the film, they are given voice in technocolor – in contrast to El Cavil’s monotone reality – and music and cinematography that conjures parallels to that ever-hopeful, beloved dreamer, poet and gentleman Charlie Chaplin, an actor, director, composer and filmmaker renowned worldwide for his tramp persona.

Although it is only just now making its way through a film festival season suspended by COVID-19, El Cavil has already snagged a number of early awards and recognition. Besides being accepted into the Fort Myers Film Festival, it is a nominee for Best Comedy at ICP Entertainment Film Festival 2020 and received an Honorable Mention in the category of Comedy and a Top 15 for Screenplays & Original Stories at Tops Short Film Festival 2020.

El Cavil boasts a large and varied cast. Besides Gupta, the short features performances by Darja Schabad (German tourist), who co-produced the film, Diana Broderick (teacher), Benjahmin Asher Muniz-Roberts (boyfriend), Christina Valentine (girlfriend), Stefaniya Makarova (model), Adrian Gorbaliuk (business man), Tsveta Dimova (mother), George Chorny (kid), Mickael Monroe (passer by) and Olivia Hardin, Daria Karic and Yasmin Santana as friends.

In addition to collaborating with Gupta on the screenplay, Evgeniya Radilova directed and co-produced the film. An award-winning international actress and a filmmaker, her first music video, True Paradise, was accepted in 8 festivals and won three of them for Best Music Video, Winter Film Awards, LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood and Miami Film Festival. After the success at her debut as a director, she co-founded iDareProductions, which takes its name from Radilova and Schabad’s espoused mission to have the temerity to tell stories, like Patrik and El Cavil, that inspire people to be more aware of each other, extend a helping hand to those in need, and recognize what is truly important in life – the human connection.

To access Radilova’s full profile, go here.

While no date has been announced for the Fort Myers Film Festival, Executive Director Eric Raddatz promises that the festival will be held as soon as it’s safe for everyone to gather again in public and the event can be coordinated with FMff’s viewing partners and venues.

April 5, 2020.


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