film production
Kalyna Kapur

Production company joins forces Manchester, Glasgow, Chicago

The film production company Ave Fenix Pictures seems to be soaring lately in and out of different countries and continents. Uniquely, Ave Fenix Pictures started on the streets of Chicago, a film movement empowering stories of the often forgotten. Founders Monica Esmeralda Leon and Zachary Laoutides not only had a distinctive vision for the city they signified, but also a global movement. Together, Leon and Laoutides created a new method of filmmaking incorporating realism and theatrics together, often casting the real characters, scouting genuine locations that kept to the integrity of their films. Laoutides watching activist forces coming together in the name of art realized it could become a global phenomenon, “No one took a worldwide film company serious, especially coming from where we did, but I knew there were people just like us in different neighborhoods, different countries who would join the movement to showcase their talents.”

The United Kingdom was on that list of recruitments becoming the force behind Ave Fenix Pictures stellar soundtracks. Liam Williams (from Manchester) currently producing with Sony and his studio the OddFellows helped propel Ave Fenix Pictures into film nominations two years in a row with Williams recently being nominated at the London Independent Film Awards for Best Composer. Likewise, Jay Deane (also from Manchester) composed moving tracks for the film Arise from Darkness released in January. Patrick E. Fagan from Glasgow jumped into the mix and composed ambient moving tracks that followed real life psychic Lazaro Torres who was clinically declared dead five times. AXS Entertainment praised the movie’s soundtrack applauding Deane’ moving lyrics and voice, with Fagan equally being admired.

Monica Esmeralda Leon originally from Mexico saw the distinctive universal partnership, a brain-trust who is certainly a head of the game producing film’s like Adios Vaya Con Dios the first Latino/UK music collaboration soundtrack, “Mexico is a hub of influence, you can’t dismiss the blends of culture and traditions where so much of our civilization came from. It’s what makes Mexico ‘Mexico.’ – The same way it makes Ave Fenix Pictures so rare. For an independent studio to be so global it’s really a new concept – Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico, Scotland, United Kingdom. There’s nothing quite like it.”

Ave Fenix Pictures expanded into Los Angeles with its branch headed by producer and actor Marius Iliescu (from Europe) who has helped establish and produce the studios last three movies. Iliescu realized early on the unique potential in a globalized film company encompassing the best from all over, “The global impact that Ave Fenix is intending to make requires a creative input which cannot be limited to a country or another. Our collaboration with international artists can only enrich our vision of creating content that is universally understood. The United Kingdom has been a tremendous inspiration for us – musicians as Liam Williams, Jay Deane and Patrick E. Fagan streaming the audio space of our last two feature films Arise from Darkness and Black Ruby.”

Last year the theatrically limited release of Arise from Darkness walked away with nominations at Film Invasion Los Angles being the first film to use real electronic voice phenomenon from paranormal recordings by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. IndieWire Magazine listed the movie as the top twenty indie films to open theaters in 2017. Equally, Ave Fenix Pictures newest film Black Ruby is the first film to be shot with the iphone 7. Last month Black Ruby received seven nominations at the London Independent Film Awards with many praising the performances of actors Zachary Laoutides and Joseph Mennella who play two disturbed Jazz musicians falling in love with a black escort. The Huffington Post recently compared the duo to “Brando and Montgomery Clift performances,” citing Mennella’s similarity to Marlon Brando’s earlier works and Laoutides’ method-acting techniques towards Montgomery Clift. In London England Laoutides has his name on all seven nominee selections notably Best Screenplay and Best Actor, “Nominations and saying who is the best is subjective and I don’t really take that so serious – but that being said you’re not going to be nominated Best Screenplay if you don’t have the team to make your words come to life, you don’t get nominated Best Actor if you’re not around other good actors pushing you. You certainly don’t have emotionally moving scenes if you don’t have talented composers. I’m very grateful to be working with the best all around.”

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