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Moment of Truth (2022)

8min   |  English   |  Producers: Pavel Shatu & Lea Pfandler  Director: Lea Pfandler

With 'Moment Of Truth', we are provoking the classic film-noir genre by telling a revenge tale through the female gaze.

A grief stricken woman seeking justice and revenge must use herself as bait to catch her sister's murderer.

Moment Of Truth
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Film Festival News

Moment of Truth will have its world premiere at the 14th Lighthouse International Film Festival on June 4th at 10:30M!

Come join us! For more info and tickets click the buttons below.

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Director's Statement

Moment of Truth started with a little film idea inspiration on my husband and my wedding anniversary. My husband had this idea to challenge and play with the audience’s mind in a way that we see one thing on screen and a voice over would fool the audience to believe another which would then ultimately lead them to a surprise at the end. The film was meant to be a Detective/Crime story. And with the narration idea and our mutual love for black and white images, we were set on the iconic film-noir era: inventive camera angles, the stark lighting effects, the stylized genre of film, mystery, crime, love, deceit. We thought we had it all figured out: a damsel in distress, being followed by someone, the detective that saves the day, and her. And then it dawned on me: wait a minute! Why damsel in distress? Why has the female got to be saved? Why has the man got to be the hero of it all? As an, in my opinion, empowered and forward thinking female, I realized then that we are yet still so conditioned by what we’ve been used to and what we’ve known and have been comfortable with for so many years, decades, centuries. It dawned on me then that we had to turn this story around completely. It was my mission and felt responsibility to bring awareness to these conditionings. I felt the urge to challenge our perspectives, challenge the iconic classic film-noir genre and provoke it with a story through the female gaze, turn it on its head. That felt good! It was always meant to be a neo-noir detective, crime film, but now it is one with a twist, one that challenges our conditionings: one with a 21st century revision. That is how Moment of Truth evolved into the revenge story that it is now, told through a female perspective. A photographer myself, I drew my inspirations from my love for black and white photography, both classic and modern. I was inspired by shows such as Mr. Robot for some of the inventive camera angles, and Watchmen for music ideas and the feeling I had as an audience and female while watching that show with it’s kick-a** female protagonist. As many female identifying persons, I’m on a mission to change the narrative for women in film. By provoking a genre and era that is still so mesmerizing, iconic, and popular, my hopes are to challenge our perspectives, challenge our conditionings (that we might not even be aware of) and bring a fresh, uplifting and fun take to an old and beloved classic. The experience I most want to communicate with Moment of Truth is that of empowerment, having fun with and get a kick out of it. I would love for people watching this short film stand up from their seat at the end of it and yell: “ Hell yeah, you go, girl!” That would be fantastic! 


The Team

Meet The Crew

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Lea Pfändler

Director, Writer, Producer

Lea Pfandler is an international director, writer, and filmmaker. Being Swiss by passport, but grown up all over the globe, she considers herself a citizen of the world speaking multiple languages. Lea’s love for storytelling started at a very young age, writing scripts and drawing comics, which lead her to study film at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. She also holds a BA in Acting from Germany and is now residing in NYC, where she has directed, written, and produced several short films. Her films have won Lea awards such as Best Film Of The Festival, Best LGBT Film, Best Thriller, Best Emerging Storyteller, Best Screenwriter, and two Audience Choice Awards. She is a member of NYC Women Filmmakers and participated in the inaugural all female film challenge ‘Women’s Weekend Film Challenge’. She has a soft spot for romance and period dramas and believes in telling stories that move the heart, advocate inclusion, and provoke thought.

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Pavel Shatu

Writer, Producer, Actor

Pavel Shatu is a Russian-American actor from West Siberia best known for his roles in HUNTERS, Mr.Robbot, Orange Is The New Black, and 12 Kilometers. He is also a writer and producer and has won the Best Actor Award at 300 Seconds Short Film Festival, for his portrayal of Vlad in Old Habits Die Hard. Pavel started his acting career on one of the KVN teams, “Region 42”, a popular Russian TV/stage show. He received several Best Actor Awards for his performances as lead actor throughout five years on the team. After migrating to the United States in 2010, Pavel graduated from the William Esper Studio in New York City and joined the SAG-AFTRA Union. He has since been on sets of directors such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Barry Jenkins, and Todd Phillips. Pavel  is also an abstract artist and graphic designer having created his unique artwork and brand ArtPavelShatu that can be described as modern expressionism. He is currently developing a TV show.

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Kevin Barber

Cinematographer, Colorist

As a director, cinematographer, and colorist of commercial and social videos, Kevin has helped companies like Gatorade, Forbes, Zeiss, and Nokia to bring their stories to their audiences. In 2018, his projects wracked up over 30 million views on YouTube. As an independent filmmaker, Kevin's projects have played at festivals around the country, like DC Shorts and the Sonoma International Film Festival. HIs most recent film, “Admirationism,” explores gender dynamics, ethics, and grey area in the fashion industry, treating it as a microcosm of our larger society. When not writing/directing his own projects, Kevin contributes his colorist and cinematography services to other independent films, having worked on over 20 this past year.

In addition to Kevin's freelance & artistic pursuits, he teaches directing and filmmaking at Pace University and graduated from Vassar College (B.A.) / FSU (M.F.A.).

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