Cynthia Fridsma is a writer who has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother since she was young. She writes supernatural thrillers, such as Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding, which was nominated by the Swedish International Film Festival. She started her writing career after a handicap in 2014.
Her books are about supernatural creatures, such as vampires, zombies, and demons, who are involved in various conflicts and conspiracies. For example, Help is about a doctor who escaped from Hell and tries to create a new world order¹, Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding is about a vampire who fights against a zombie outbreak during the COVID-19 pandemic, and The Nightbird series is about a vampire who wants to be human and gets involved in different adventures.
Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding is a drama thriller movie directed and created by Cynthia Fridsma.
It is about Sybil Crewes, a former anti-terrorism agent, who must stop a deadly variant of COVID-19 after her friend Harry Brown is kidnapped. The movie is based on the book by the same name.
Washington DC International Cinema Festival - Best Narrative Feature
Beyond the Curve International Film Festival - Best Drama (Main Category)
4th Dimension Independent Film Festival - Best Animated Film
New York Neorealism Film Awards - Animated Film
Indie Movies Spark Film Festival - Best Feature Film
Crown International Film Festival - Best Animation Film
Casablanca Film Factory Awards - Best Feature Film
Bright International Film Festival - Best Animated Film
Muzzle = Feature Animation
RedWolf Film Festival Awards - Best Animated Film
FilmNest International Film Festival - Best Animation Film
European Cinematography AWARDS (ECA) - Best Animation Film
Swedish International Film Festival - Best Animated Film
Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival - Best Animation Film
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Sybil Crewes, a former ATU agent receives a threatening call from a man that has her lover Harry Brown captive.
She is to run some errands for this mystery caller/abductor if she wants Harry to be set free. Her first errand involves retrieving a briefcase from a mansion ...
Genres: thriller, drama, horror
Runtime: 1 hour 31 minutes 29 seconds
Completion Date: December 27, 2022
Shooting Format: Digital
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Dobly Ditgital 5.1
Review from Rome Prisma Film Awards by prismaadmin
“Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding” by Cynthia Fridsma, is the perfect example of the fact that sometimes a lack of resources, and the challenges derived from it, can be the spark from which an unexpected surprise deflates.
Director Cynthia Fridsma did not stop at the evidence that she could not afford to make a live-action film from one of her novels, and decided to proceed with professional 3D animation software.
Indeed, its script has taken on a life of its own as an experimental film, both in plot and technique, and the result is really unique.
We are in Boston in the year 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Former ATU agent Sybil Crewes receives a threatening phone call from a stranger who is holding her lover Harry Brown captive.
The kidnapper wants her to run some errands for him so that Harry can be freed. Her first errand involves the recovery of a briefcase from a mansion …
Rich in symbolism, with some focus on the contradictions of contemporary society, and the perception that digital tools give us of it, Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding blends elements of the action thriller with the harsh reality of the pandemic, resulting in a successful paradox somewhere between dystopia and realism.
Source : Rome Prisma Film Awards
Review from GGIFF jury
“Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding” by Cynthia Fridsma is a very experimental film in a plethora of ways. From the story to the visual approach, it is full of unorthodox approaches that create unique atmosphere, which is rare and exciting.
The visual approach used in Pandemic is surprisingly unique. Although 3D animation is not new, Pandemic differs to other examples of films used such technology. Being independent and pretty low budget for such projects, it creates unique atmosphere of retro video games of 2000s. Having similar flaws to video games’ engines used at that time, it does not make it worse, rather adding more aesthetic to the film. Which is exciting; whether was it done on purpose or not, it defines the motion picture and makes it stand out.
Unfortunately, there is an important flaw, which is the story. Although it is full of surprises and definitely unusual, combining vampires to actual events happened few years ago in the US, the dramaturgy lacks rhythm and coherency. Certain scenes are too focused on events that can be told in a shorter amount of time, in order to focus on the main character.
Nevertheless, this is a very interesting motion picture film. I believe if Cynthia would analyze few flaws the film has, she can achieve incredible results with such approach. It is exciting to see independent filmmakers having an opportunity to express themselves with tools that are accessible.
Source: Golden Giraffe International Film Festival
Cynthia Fridsma is an author specializing in supernatural thrillers. She is inspired by her mother's stories and by authors such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and Philip K. Dick. She began writing in 2014 after a handicap that affected her right hand, wrist and fingers. She has published several novels, including Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding, which was adapted into a film. The animated film Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding was nominated for the Swedish International Film Festival in 2023.
When did you decide you wanted to be an actor/director/ screenplayer?
I am a writer and I like to put my thoughts on paper. But I also like to visualize my ideas. Since I enjoy working with specialized 3D software, I can make this happen. By gaining a lot of experience, I was able to make my first movie: Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding, based on my book of the same name. That was last year. So to come back to your question, seven months ago I decided to start this movie project, that's when I decided to become a director to make my movie come true.
How did your family react?
My husband supported me from the beginning and I love him for that. Well, not only that, but you know what I mean, right? It's great to have a supportive husband and when I told my family about my movie project they were very enthusiastic.
Do you have a Muse or a Role Model?
Not really. I don't have a role model, although I admire strong women. My main character, Sybil Crewes, is partly based on the fictional character Alice from the Resident Evil movies, played by actress Milla Jovovich. You could say that her character is a role model. The same goes for the fictional character Chloe O'Brian from the action-packed TV show 24, played by actress Mary Lynn Rajskub. Vannessa Dogscape is a character based on Chloe O'Brian, to name a few. But like I said, I don't have a muse or a role model, except for the ones mentioned here.
Who's your biggest fan?
That'd be my husband, Gerard. He's very supportive of everything I do, and I love him for that.
What brings you inspiration the most?
For me, the news is a good starting point. When I read something that interests me, I like to dig deeper to gather more information about the topic that I can use as a backdrop for my story, or even as the main event. Like the terror that happened in 2013 during the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15. That was my inspiration to write my book The Black Widow, which is about terrorism and vampires. And for my movie project Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding, it was the COVID-19 pandemic, the attack on the Capitol that happened on January 6, 2021. I used this horrible event as the background for my book and later for my movie Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding.
Which actor or director would you like to work with?
I would love to work with Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Hunter, head of the ATU (Anti-Terrorism Unit) in Boston, and Milla Jovovich as Sybil Crewes.
Have you ever seen a film that was better than the book?
A book is a different experience than a movie, so it's hard to compare the two. But I think Clive Barker's Hell Raiser and the original Candyman movie from 1992 were great to watch. Also The Mist, based on a short story by Stephen King, was a great experience. But I like the movies and the books equally. A movie is a visual journey of images and sounds, while a book is words and can be very intense. You have to use your imagination to visualize the story.
What's the movie that taught you the most?
This is a hard question to answer. I have seen so many movies that I have lost count. But you asked about the movie that affected me the most, and I can tell you that it wasn't a movie. It was the 1978 TV miniseries Holocaust, starring Meryl Streep and James Woods. It's the saga of a Jewish family's struggle to survive the horrors of Nazi Germany's systematic marginalization and extermination of their community. And also the 1977 miniseries, Roots, about Kunta Kinte's enslavement to the liberation of his descendants. I was ten years old when I saw the series on television and I was shocked at the time, not understanding why people would kill or enslave other people because of their race, religion and color. What I learned from those two shows is that racism is evil and that we're all born equal. Your color, race, religion (or in my case, lack of religion), and sexual orientation should never be a reason to hate, discriminate, harass, and kill. It's also the reason why I start writing stories in the hope that people will learn to appreciate each other instead of hating.
About your artistic career, have you ever had the desire to quit everything?
I think everyone has that feeling from time to time, when something you have in your head doesn't work out in practice, you just want to give up. But quitting is never an option for me. Sure, I take a break and take a deep breath and call it a day if I don't succeed at first. But the next day I will do my best to make it happen.
On set what excites you the most?
Since I work with 3D models and 3D software to bring my ideas to life, my stage is my PC. It's great to put 3D models in motion. Hearing the characters speak and act while I set up the stage to make it happen. It's like magic and a dream come true. Almost literally.
And what scares you the most?
A computer crash. Sure, I have backups, but reinstalling all the software and recreating all the footage takes a lot of time. It took me seven months to create and edit my first movie, Pandemic : Chaos is Bleeding. It would be a nightmare if I had to do it all over again because of a malfunction. Luckily that didn't happen. As they say in showbiz: break a leg, you might get lucky. I didn't break a leg, my computer didn't malfunction, and I finished my first movie project.
What's your next project?
My second movie will be a sequel to the first, but with a lot more drama and scary moments. Sybil has to put an end to a new threat - a terrorist organization of hardline voting refuseniks who want to overthrow the current government with a deadly variant of COVID-19 that turns people into skinned zombies.
You can steal the career of an artist you really admire, who do you choose?
Jimi Hendrix. I always wanted to play guitar in front of an audience. I also admire Steven Spielberg, who doesn't? But wait, I mentioned two. Sorry about that.
An actor/director/screenplayer is made of....
Passion. That's the word I want to add to your sentence.
For you Cinema is....
The best place to see dreams and stories come true. Where you can be safe and enjoy a great movie.
Do you think Black and white movies have a powerful impact?
I really don't like watching black and white movies. It's old school. Vivid colors and Dolby Digital Surround make a movie enjoyable. Not black and white and mono sound. Although I do enjoy watching old movies like Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps or Gaslight starring Ingrid Bergman.
Have you ever dreamed of winning an Oscar?
To be honest, it is fun and exciting to participate in a film festival. Especially when your film is selected to be seen by a jury. Then the adrenaline rush when you find out you've won something, a semi-finalist, a finalist, an honorable mention, a nomination or an award. I never imagined that my film would win an award or be nominated at the Swedish International Film Festival. It would be a great honor to win an Oscar, or to win at Cannes, or to win at the Florence Film Awards. Only time will tell.
Do you think you're gonna win it?
To be honest, I don't expect to win an Oscar for my movie. But it's fun and exciting to be a contender.
Source: Florence Film Awards
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