I was honoured to meet Pascal Fintoni recently at The Martial Arts Show, where he kindly offered to give me some footage to use in my film. Pascal runs a new film production company specialising in action movies, who have just held the Premier of their first martial arts film, ‘Land of the Kami’, at the Gala Theatre and Cinema in London. The original idea for Land of the Kami was developed by Pascal, who also took on the dual roles of producer and director. Land of the Kami is an action adventure set in medieval Japan combining elements of fantasy and great onscreen fighting and sword duel scenes. The exciting story follows two Western soldiers attempting to cross a forest haunted by the spirit of an evil samurai.
Land of the Kami was entirely produced in the North East, with principal filming taking place in County Durham just a few miles from the famous Cathedral. Several months was spent on research to get the look and feel just right so that County Durham could pass for medieval Japan. Shot in black and white, and using local outdoor locations to great effect, Land of The Kami is a tribute to old samurai films, taking the viewers into Japanese culture and the code of the warrior. The film was produced over a period of 13 months by ACTIF Productions. ACTIF stands for Action Cinema Talents and Ideas Factory and was founded by Pascal Fintoni and Paul Gray, both big fans of this type of film.
One of the key features of Land of the Kami is the creation of realistic combat sequences. Paul Gray, who also performs in the film, spent 4 months developing and rehearsing the fight scenes with his team of professionals. The premiere was attended by film industry professionals and moviegoers who responded very positively to the screening:
‘Full of unexpected angles and dazzling action closeups’
‘compulsive watching, informative and entertaining film’
‘loved the black and white, the music was great adding to the atmosphere’
‘Kurosawa meets Predator.’
Encouraged by the feedback, ACTIF Productions is now planning to present Land of the Kami at the Cannes Film Festival and enter many film festivals and competition throughout the year. ACTIF Productions will continue to develop and help produce action and adventure films – both Pascal and Paul are keen to put the North East of England on the map for Action Cinema.