FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Determined Spirits: Award-winning new short film explores Chinese superstition
Award-winning filmmaker, author Diana Rumjahn’s drama is mysterious, eerie, suspenseful, poignant thriller
SAN FRANCISCO, October 14, 2012 — Determined Spirits, a new masterfully crafted experimental short from award-winning filmmaker Diana Rumjahn, follows a mysterious woman threatened by a spirit from Chinese culture.
Featuring an outstanding sound design and original
film score, the psychological thriller makes viewers question the differences between reality and
fantasy through the guise of Chinese superstition.
Determined Spirits won the Honorable Mention Award for Best Short—Adventure-Fantasy- SciFi-Horror at Asians on Film Festival, United States and received nominations for Best Film Award at Film Festival Varazdin, Croatia and Best Original Score at Maverick Movie Awards,
"Diana is an inventive filmmaker. Her images are eerie and poignant, recalling David Lynch in their evocation of the uncanny," said Gregg Rickman, a veteran film critic, scholar and film historian.
Determined Spirits follows the daily life of the protagonist. All the while, a supernatural element follows her, tormenting her mind and soul. The films dialogue is in Cantonese with English subtitles. Dave Nelson of Outpost Studios Inc. served as Supervising Sound Editor and Music
Composer and created the outstanding sound design and haunting original score. He incorporated Asian elements to evoke dread and curiosity. To create an otherworldly feeling of suspense, oneof the main instruments he used for the soundtrack was an untuned zither. Dave Nelsons careerspans over twenty years in the film/sound and recording industry. His work involves an interesting mixture of documentaries, features as well as short films, and albums (some of which have been nominated for Academy, Emmy and Grammy Awards). Recently, his studio recorded
ADR for Robert Redford's feature film, The Company You Keep.
In her new film, Rumjahn hopes viewers will come away with an understanding of Chinese superstition and culture.
"We live in an unpredictable world and our experiences can be quite scary," she said. "Some natural events can be the most terrifying experiences."
Determined Spirits is Rumjahns fourth short film. Her 2006 debut, Going Home, won a Memorable Film Award at the International Panorama of Independent Film and Video Makers in Patras City, Greece and garnered honorable mentions and nominations at Malaysia, Ukraine and
Marin County (California). The stop-motion animation film for children featured the song, Long Long Journey, by world renowned recording artist, Enya and screened worldwide including 45 film festivals and the prestigious Times British Film Institute London Film Festival. Her other
films are Uncle Leo and If Only, which has screened in Japan.
Rumjahn wrote an award-winning childrens picture book based on Going Home, titled Charlie and Mama Kyna (2009). Kirkus Discoveries praised her book for its "laudable messages of friendship, love and fortitude"and "vivid, evocative word choice."
Rumjahn took to film as soon as she was able to watch television. Throughout her childhood, she developed an appreciation for television, film, sports broadcasting and music. In the 1970s and 1980s these media became very influential, inspiring and important to Rumjahn. She would
often sit in class not thinking about math, but film production. She would often sit for hours in front of the television and study every aspect of the show especially the opening title, opening theme song, storyline, acting, editing, cinematography, soundtrack, ending theme song and credits.