Interviews iPhone Film festival iPhones News, , , , , , , — November 14, 2012 11:50 — 0 Comments

iPhone ‘multi-film’ Departure gets Cruise backing

departure, iphone, mult-film, ruben katsnev, iphone film festival

Shooting begins in California for Departure, the first multi-film to be made on an iPhone

Hollywood star supports ambitious iPhone film project shot in three countries to make one short narrative story

Is this a world first? One film, three locations, three separate countries with three filmmakers shooting independently to form one complete project, one complete intertwining story …

In the entire history of filmmaking, we are not so sure, but Departure is certainly the world’s first multi-film project to be made on an iPhone. This is mobile filmmaking pushed to the max.

The 20-minute short is billed ‘as a venture in cost-effective, expeditious and epic filmmaking’ by its creator and producer Ruben Kazanstev, who is also co-founder of the iPhone Film Festival (IFF).

Departure is set in the United States, France and Belarus. The script, written by Jimmy Borto, is about a female Los Angeles cop with a shadowy protector from her father’s past whom she only finds out about when he saves her life after a drugs bust that goes wrong.

LA-based Kazanstev has used all of his contacts, at home and abroad, to get the project off the ground and received an unexpected boost from ‘Team Tom Cruise’, who manage the star’s website.

“When Team Tom Cruise wrote about our project, and they have been very supportive, it gave the entire team that extra push, it shows we are making history – so the pressure is on!,” says Kazanstev.

Referring directly to Departure, the Cruise website says: “Hollywood is seriously taking notice of the creativity and those creating new content in this innovative way.”

Praise indeed, and Kazanstev is thinking big and has plans to turn Departure into a TV series similar to CSI Miami and CSI New York.

ruben kazantsev, departure, iphone multi-film

Ruben Kazantsev, creator of Departure

“We are looking at this initially as a short film/pilot … there are a lot of people waiting to see how it turns out. The plan is then to have Departure Los Angeles, Departure France, Departure Belarus or Russia and slow grow all over the world.”

Like his original idea for an iPhone Film Festival back in 2010, Kazanstev says the ‘eureka moment’ for Departure occurred on one of his cigar walks around Beverly Hills, where he lives with his partner Renata Rinyu.

“I have had the idea in my head for over a year but didn’t know how to approach it. I also needed to be 100% sure I had a solid team, because if one team drops the ball then we have no film. We all need each other, this is a team project,” Kazanstev tells

With no budget for the project, Kazanstev says that most crew and cast are working for free, which they were pleased to do to be apart of ‘history in the making’. Each location is responsible for their own budgeting for food, drinks and equipment etc.

Rinyu, also a co-founder of the iPhone Film Festival, stars in the lead role of LA cop Deana Kashul in Departure. She is also one of  the film’s producers.

“We were lucky to get companies to sponsor us with products, especially lens maker who are developing items just for our project, like the Canon lens adapters and much more,” Kazanstev says.

The production schedule sounds like a nightmare, how is the indefatigable Kazantsev managing to keep the project on track?

Departure, Belarus, iphone film

Filming of Departure underway in Belarus

“The schedule is different for all locations, the US team started late last month, followed by Belarus with France starting this week. The US team will do the ending with France and Spain adding the special effects at a later date. Jimmy has rewritten the script to fit each location and is rewriting weekly as changes are needed,” Kazanstev tells us.

As if organising and producing three films simultaneously in three different countries, is not enough, Kazanstev has also been busy preparing for a prestigious iPhone Film Festival showcase at Macworld|iWorld iFan Event at the end of January where Departure will also be premiered.

“I am simply blown away on how well the project is going with all our teams, he says, we are all on schedule and need to meet our deadline, since MacWorld is basing their entire event around Departure. We will be showing four hours of IFF films on Thursday, Friday and Saturday building people up for Departure.”

• You can follow Departure’s progress on Facebook


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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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