Author Archives: Daljit Kalsi

Want to be a film producer? Don’t miss this opportunity

COLUMBIA, SC – If you want to see your name listed as an Associate Producer or Executive Producer in the credits of a film on a major streaming service and on the Internet Movie Database, then don’t miss this opportunity.

Award-winning filmmakers Daljit Kalsi and Merritt Vann are teaming up to create a new film, “Rescued.”

 

This feature-length drama will take audiences of an emotional journey and walking away with a smile.

However, the self-financed filmmakers need some help to ensure the best possible cast and crew can be assembled for the production, set to begin in July.

The filmmakers are in need of additional funds to properly compensate and care for the talent and team of professionals on set.

They need your help, and are offering producer credits for anyone willing to make specific donations.

Any donation amount is appreciated and will be used to better the film, but these are the specific amounts required to obtain a producer credit in the film’s closing credits and on IMDB.

$100 – Be listed as an associate producer

$200+ – Be listed as an executive producer.

$1,000+ – Full producer access, set access, creative input.

Producers will also be provided with a digital copy of the finished film and invitations to the official premiere.

Click here to become a producer.

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Your company can be featured as a sponsor in an upcoming film from award-winning South Carolina filmmakers

COLUMBIA, SC – Award-winning filmmaking team Daljit Kalsi and Merritt Vann are collaborating once again on a new feature film heading into production in summer 2019 in and around Columbia, South Carolina.

Vann and Kalsi have produced a string of award-winning films, including BOUND: An unflinching look inside the brutal world of human trafficking, Triggered, Bottled Up, Down in the Dark, and Harvest Season.

On the heels of creating several powerful narratives on the topics of human trafficking, school violence, alcoholism, and cancer, Kalsi and Vann have devised a new script surrounding another hard-hitting subject that will take audiences on an emotional journey and leave them smiling through tears.

The film, tentatively titled “Rescued,” follows Tom Connelly, a grieving man who hopes adopting a dog can help fill a hole in his heart and life. Tom soon learns his new dog, Ruby, has her own tragic backstory, and this discovery ultimately sets Tom on a path on a path to save a young child’s life. However, there are unexpected detours along the way and Tom is eventually forced to make what will either be the best decision of his life, or the last.

Kalsi, who was named Best Director at the Northeast Mountain Film Festival in Dillard, GA in June 2019, is back in the director’s chair for this film.

Kalsi is co-producing with Vann, who is also playing the lead. Vann has a lengthy resume, including principal roles in CBS’ The Inspectors, Homicide Hunter, Atlanta Homicide, Murder Calls, Killer Couples, Sleepy Hollow, Banshee, and American Nightmare.

Lucy, a lab mix with a resume of theatrical performances in the Columbia area, will portray the four-legged leading lady.

10-year-old Columbia native Chappell Lackore will be making her on-screen debut as Louisa, a young girl whose life is on the line.

NFL legend and South Carolina Football Hall of Famer Sam Wyche, who played in Super Bowl VII for the Redskins and coached the Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII, is lacing up his cleats to lead the supporting cast.

Kate Dailey (Homicide Hunter, The Encounter), Matthew Merritt (Cracks, Mister Academy), Chantey Colet (Harvest Season, Door to Door) and Pat Yeary (Love to the Rescue, The Righteous Gemstones) round out the top supporting cast.

Kalsi and Vann are currently seeking sponsors for the film. A financial contribution will earn sponsors a mention at the beginning of the film, in the closing credits, and in forthcoming social media and promotional materials. There is also a likelihood of having a sponsor’s business or product featured in the film as long as it fits the script. In addition, the filmmakers are also seeking restaurant sponsors for select scenes in the film and an automotive sponsor for the motor vehicles in the film. Additional incentives include brand exposure to audiences at film festivals across the country and brand exposure via online streaming platforms, such as Amazon Prime, Roku, and other leading video-streaming networks.

Kalsi and Vann have a proven track record of making successful films. Below is a list of films and awards or nominations.

BOUND (2017)

  • Winner – Best Overall Film, Tryon Intl. Film Festival (2017)
  • Winner – Silver Award, Independent Shorts Awards, Los Angeles, CA (2018)
  • Nominee – Best Short, Independent Horror Movie Awards (2017)
  • Nominee – Best Editing, Independent Horror Movie Awards (2017)
  • Nominee – Best Cinematography, Independent Horror Movie Awards (2017)
  • Streaming on Amazon Prime

Bottled Up (2018)

  • Winner – Silver Award, Spotlight Short Film Awards (2018)

Triggered (2018)

  • Winner – 3rd Place, Lander University Film Festival: 2 week challenge
  • Streaming on Amazon Prime

Down in the Dark (2018)

  • Winner – Filmmaker’s Award, 2nd Act Film Festival, Columbia, SC
  • Streaming on Amazon Prime

Harvest Season (2018)

  • Winner – Audience Choice Award, Reedy Reels Film Festival
  • Winner – Best Musical Score, Peak City Film Festival
  • Winner – Best Director (Daljit Kalsi), Northeast Mountain Film Festival
  • Official Selection – North Carolina Film Awards
  • Nominee – Best Short, Top Indie Film Awards 2018
  • Nominee – Best Director, Top Indie Film Awards 2018
  • Nominee – Best Writing, Top Indie Film Awards 2018
  • Nominee – Best Music, Top Indie Film Awards 2018
  • Streaming on Amazon Prime

Businesses and individuals wishing to learn more about sponsorship opportunities can email daljitkalsiproductions@gmail.com for additional details.

Crew needed: Award-winning SC filmmaking team wants to introduce your skills to a global audience

COLUMBIA, SC – Award-winning South Carolina film-producing team Daljit Kalsi and Merritt Vann [multiple awards for Harvest Season (2018), BOUND (2017), Triggered (2018), and Bottled Up (2018)] are collaborating for a new feature film to be shot primarily in/around Columbia, SC in the summer and fall of 2019.

“We know the first question is – ‘how much are you paying,'” Kalsi said. “The answer is, not a lot, but we will make the best offer we can for highly-skilled professionals and artists.”

Kalsi and Vann do not have investors or make back-end guarantees. They provide compensation, but are limited in resources because they fund their own projects and film outside of their full-time work obligations.

“We need skilled and dedicated crew members who are willing to invest their talent, tools, and creativity to turn a $10,000 project* into one that looks like a million bucks,” said Kalsi, also the writer and director of the forthcoming project.

*($10,000 is not the actual budget)

“We need people who want to make something special,” Vann added. “We want to make a piece of art that touches people’s lives, but it’s a labor of love for us, and we want to work with like-minded individuals who value artistic collaboration and creation above all else.”

Kalsi and Vann said the goal is to get this film into the hands of a distributor and made available to audiences around the world.

Crew members will be needed for approximately ten, non-sequential shooting days, spread across multiple weekends in summer/fall 2019, dependent on talent/location availability.

POSITIONS NEEDED:

  • Assistant Director
  • Cinematographer/Director of Photography (Your own 4K camera or have access to one)
  • Production Designer/ Set Decorator – (a highly organized artist or crafter who can work within tight deadlines and tight budgets.
  • Sound engineer
  • Assistant sound person
  • Assistant camera operators/techs (multiple positions)
  • Hair and make-up artist(s)
  • Production assistants (multiple positions)

Interested parties should e-mail daljitkalsiproductions@gmail.com and CC vanntastic22@gmail.com. Use the subject line “film crew.”

Guaranteed credit, fuel/travel allowance, catered on-set meals offered in an appreciate, creative work environment.

 

 

 

Casting Call – New feature film from award-winning SC filmmaker

“Rescued” is an upcoming feature film from Daljit Kalsi and Merritt Vann. The film follows a middle-aged man, Tom, who adopts a dog in hopes of filling some of the void in his life wrought by a personal tragedy. After some growing pains, the dog becomes more than a companion, and a springboard for a new chapter in Tom’s life, ultimately setting him on a path toward what could be the best thing he has ever done, or the last thing he will ever do.

CASTING

rescued cast list

Kalsi and Vann are currently casting a number of roles for the film. The open roles are listed below.

Interested parties should e-mail daljitkalsiproductions@gmail.com.

ANNE (Open) – a free-spirited woman, late thirties to mid-40s, with an almost spiritual connection with dogs and an easy, but cautious way with people. She is genuinely nice but wary after her own lifetime of heartaches and heartbreaks. She has learned to enjoy temporary happiness while it lasts and to know that another chapter always waits ahead.

CANDACE (Open) – Louisa’s mother, mid-to-late 30s, who is doing her best to stay positive and keep her family together as long as she can, but doing so is becoming increasingly difficult due to her daughter’s declining health and her husband’s inability to maintain his sobriety through the ordeal. She is a boots-on-the-ground fighter, and since doctors tell her chromosomal differences prevent her from being a suitable organ donor for Louisa, she is losing her drive to fight. She’s desperate for any ray of light in her ever-darkening world.

NEWS ANCHOR – Male of female, late 30s and beyond, needed for one short scene, delivering broadcast-style report.

RECEPTIONIST (Open) – A young professional, likely in her late twenties but can be older, who is eager to help, but also wary of bending the rules.

NURSE (Open) – A woman in her 40s of 50s, motherly, and kind, but firm when she needs to be. She doesn’t like to see people suffer and does her best to lift their spirits as part of the care she provides.

DANA (Open) – She was the shining light in Tom’s life before her death. She appears here briefly, a dream or perhaps a vision from beyond, still supporting and encouraging her husband, like she always did in life.

ORDERLY (Open) – A silent, likely male character tasked with wheeling patients out of the hospital after they have been discharged.

First review of Harvest Season – “A wonderful film short delivered by a hard-hitting group of filmmakers”

Capture

(Tryon, NC) Kirk Gollwitzer, one of the co-founders of the Tryon International Film Festival, posted the first in-depth review for Harvest Season on the Polk County Film Initiative Facebook page.

Poignant– is the word that comes to mind to describe the feelings evoked while viewing “Harvest Season”, the 2018 dramatic film-short by Emmy-nominated media journalist and filmmaker Daljit Kalsi. The film paints a vivid, slice of life, portrait of a married couple caught in the tight grip of terminal cancer. 
The twosome is found at the pinnacle of their joint struggle, deeply besieged with two conflicting emotions, helplessness and survival, as Elsie, played by Chantey Colet, struggles with her war against terminal cancer, but desperately trying to comfort her deeply caring but outwardly frustrated husband Ed played by Merritt Vann.
The film paints a portrait of despair against the pallet of their loving home–staged in the autumn, Western North Carolina countryside, where Kalsi stiches together perfection. Adding to the rich cinematic emotion is a wonderful film score by Neil Lee Griffin.
Kalsi blends understated symbolism with the use of natural props including a dreary fall season, a lifeless cemetery, multiple pours of whiskey and broken pumpkins, which are accidentally injured and stabbed during the climax of their joint despair.
The story clearly has the water mark of Kalsi’s film-making style which includes passion and honesty, but it’s the effortless depiction of a woman finally coming to terms with her approaching death where Colet’s acting talent shines through. Colet’s character finds herself reaching beyond her pain only to comfort her pregnant daughter Karen, played by Lindley Mayer and her emotionally drained husband Ed (Vann).
Vann, once again congers up another dose of deep emotion which slowly pressurizes the story line– pushing tears from the beginning to the very end. Vann’s versatility as an outstanding actor (Bound, Triggered) completely demonstrates the control he has with character development and versatility.
“Harvest Season” should be considered a must-see during the 2018 highly competitive film festival season. Kelsi has stepped up to be a judge of the Best Short Film division during the 2018 Tryon International Film Festival, October 5,6 ,7. He and his crew will also be on hand during the out-of-competition, screening of their 31-minute, DCP formatted, version of “Harvest Season” scheduled at the newly renovated Tryon Theatre during the three-day film festival.
Production Company: Daljit Kalsi Productions
Writer/Director: Daljit Kalsi
Review by Kirk Gollwitzer, Co-Founder, TRYON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Kalsi’s Lander Film Festival entry mentioned in Index-Journal article

Daljit Kalsi’s short film, Triggered, an entry for Lander University Film Festival’s Open Division 2-week challenge was mentioned in the April 8, 2018 edition of the Index-Journal.

Drama examining gun violence among entries in 9th Lander Film Festival

BOUND wins Best Overall at Tryon International Film Festival.

Accomplished film producer and director Frank Calo selected Daljit Kalsi Productions’ film BOUND as Best Overall Film at the Tryon International Film Festival in Tryon, NC on October 29, 2017.
best overall
Frank M. Calo (center) presents BOUND producers Daljit Kalsi (left) and Merritt Vann (right) with the award for Best Overall Film in Tryon, NC (October 29, 2017).

Mood and Melody: Neil Lee Griffin to score BOUND

GREENVILLE, SC – Upstate musician Neil Lee Griffin will give BOUND a dark and moody sound score to hammer home the imagery captured by cinematographer Collins White and the intense performances by the talented cast, led by Melissa Hanna of Columbia.

Neil Griffin

Neil Lee Griffin

Griffin, along with his wife Jessica, perform in the band Antler Hill and can be heard performing regularly at festivals and live events around the Carolinas.

“Neil is incredibly talented,” BOUND director Daljit Kalsi Jr. states. “Neil can create dark rhythms and ambient sequences needed to really complete the mood and feel of our film.”

BOUND, a short film based on a real human trafficking case, will offer an intense and alarming look inside that world, told through the eyes of a young victim.

Kalsi said the score will be a crucial element in the film.

“The musical score does more than complements the images and the performances,” the director said. “The score, in many cases, makes that final connection needed between the viewer and the material. Music deeply impacts us, and I’m confident Neal’s compositions will be compelling, suspenseful, and elicit every tear, every held breath, and every tense moment in the film.

Click here to read more about  Neil Lee Griffin and Antler Hill.

Click here to support BOUND on Kickstarter. The filmmakers have until April 15 at 8 a.m. to reach their crowdfunding goal.

Filmmaker Collins White joins BOUND as Director of Photography

GREENVILLE, SC – Filmmakers Daljit Kalsi and Collins White are teaming up to shine a light on human trafficking.

The two filmmakers are collaborating on BOUND, a short narrative film based on a true story that offers a look inside the world of human trafficking through one victim’s eyes.

Kalsi, who is producing and directing the film, was seeking a talented cinematographer to bring an artistic edge to the BOUND’s dark subject matter.

White, the owner of Other Vision Studios in Greenville, answered the call and will serve as the film’s cinematographer and director of photography.

ovs

“Collins has a great eye, combined with the know-how and tools to capture beautiful images,” Kalsi said of White. “The subject and the elements we’ll see in this film are not pretty, but I’m confident Collins will be able to find the beauty in tragedy, so to speak, and develop a visual language that completely drives home the film’s thematic elements. I’m excited for the opportunity to work with him.”

BOUND will head into production in May and the film is expected to be completed by late summer.

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the film is currently underway. The filmmakers have until April 15 at 8:07 a.m. to raise $4,500 or else they will not receive any of the funds pledged thus far.

Click here to back the film on Kickstarter.

 

BOUND, Daljit Kalsi’s upcoming human trafficking awareness film is fully cast

Greenville, SC—Casting is complete for Upstate filmmaker Daljit Kalsi’s human trafficking awareness film, BOUND, which is scheduled to begin filming in May.

“I’m thrilled to get the chance to work with a group of talented actors and crew members from across South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia,” said Kalsi, the film’s director and producer.

The cast will be led by Melissa Hanna of Columbia, SC, who is currently shooting a feature film, “Test,” with BOUND co-star Merritt Vann, who also serves as BOUND’s co-producer. In BOUND, Vann stars as the brutal and manipulative leader of a human trafficking ring and has forced Melissa’ character, Anna, into his service.

The film, based almost entirely on a true story, follows Anna’s escape attempt from the brothel where she is enslaved, only to be recaptured and punished in a way she never imagined.

“The real story that inspired this one really impacted me and led me to begin researching human trafficking its prevalence,” Kalsi said. “I had no idea that these things were happening everywhere, right here in the US, with victims being rescued and arrests being made all the time. While the story we will present is brutal and violence, the hope is that viewers will walk away with opened eyes and a desire to both learn more about human trafficking and ways to combat it.”

Longtime actor, voice actor and former Upstate radio personality John Oliver leads the supporting cast as Anna’s father, alongside Chantey Colet as Anna’s mother. Teen actress Camila Escobar, who was featured in scenes with William Baldwin in “Chronology,” rounds out the family as Anna’s younger sister.

Kathy Sandvoss leads the supporting characters involved in the human trafficking ring, alongside Zari Rice, retired pro-wrestler Jon Malus. Jay Cohen, Chadwick Pressley, Jorge Boneta, Bill Brucker and Josh Rosyton complete the line-up of seedy characters.

Actress and Upstate pageant winner Lindley Mayer is in talks to lead the supporting band of human trafficking victims featured in the film, alongside Lauren Wilson, Audrey Dickson, Ashley McHam, KatieBeth Cesaro, and Meredith Woodard.

Fellow Greenville filmmaker Collins White, owner of Other Vision Studios, has signed on as the film’s director of photography, Spartanburg filmmaker Porter Blackman has signed on to head the film’s post-production and editing process, and make-up and FX artist Emily Schreiber of Augusta, GA has agreed to lend her talents to complete the film’s visual aesthetic.

“Everyone who has read the script has been moved by it, so the subject matter and story, as grim as it may be, has brought together an incredibly talented group of performers, technicians, and artists from across the Southeast who will bring some amazing skill, passion and depth to this project,” Kalsi added.

With casting complete, Kalsi is working with production manager Roman Visser to draft and organize the production plan ahead of filming.

“The casting is complete, and the next hurdle to jump is fundraising,” Kalsi said.

Kalsi launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $4,500 to cover production costs and post-production expenses. Backers must pledge that entire amount by April 15 at 8:07 a.m. or else the filmmakers will not receive any of the pledged funds.

“We were hoping that people would be as passionate about this issue as we (the cast and crew) are and would be willing to not only help us meet our funding goal, but exceed it, so that we may donate the proceeds to groups and organizations in the area who are leading the fight against human trafficking and helping victims rebuild their lives,” Kalsi said. “Unfortunately, the campaign has not picked up as much traction online as we hoped, and now time is ticking away, so we are urging everyone, whether they can donate money or not, to at least share the link on their social media pages, with their friends in activist and awareness groups, and with benefactors of the arts.”

Click here to view the Kickstarter page.

A grant has been awarded to cover a portion of the production expenses. Additional details will be forthcoming once the grant has been finalized, but Kalsi said the additional funds will ensure that some of the Kickstarter funds can be immediately donated.

“We want to not only make a film but to also give back,” Kalsi said. “The grant funds will ensure we can do that just by reaching our Kickstarter goal. The Kickstarter campaign cannot be adjusted once it goes live, but if the public will get behind us, just by helping us reach our goal will allow us to donate a significant portion of the funds to the organizations we’ve pledged to support.”

Follow BOUND’s progress and production on Facebook.