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Exclusive Interview with director Ben Mole - The Case of Mary Ford

The Case of Mary Ford by award winning director Ben Mole starring Tamar Karabetyan (Nina Forever),

Branko Tomovic (Tesla) with Yannis Stankoglou (Hostage) and Dimitra Hatoupi (The Third Night) has just been completed and is starting the international festival circuit now.

It's adapted from the award winning short story by John Mole and tells the story of the Greek legend of the Vrykolakas, a vampire from the sea.

Synops: New York City, 1913. Recent Greek immigrant Mary Ford is accused of killing her lover. Mary claims the real murderer is her husband. But her husband... is already dead. Maria's defense relies on the story of how she came to America. Her tale begins five thousand miles away in her birthplace in the old world, a village on the shores of the Black Sea in Greek Aa Minor. Here, a web of jealousy, intrigue, mystery, deceit, murder and finally escape leads us to a dramatic climax, in which love endures beyond the grave.

What was your inspiration for "The Case of Mary Ford"? 

I read the short story, written by my father John Mole, and immediately thought it would make a good short.

It combined period drama and the supernatural – two things I am constently drawn to.

I also liked that it wasn’t a traditional Western horror story but had an eastern mystique about it.

The stills look very creepy and eerie, can you tell us a bit about your style?

It was important to get the period right and the look and style came from that. I have always found the stone houses, dark seas and monochrome clothing of the eastern meditteranean beautiful and evocative without being pretty. It is very atmospheric.

The casting looks very interesting, a great mix of very good actors, can you tell us a bit about the casting process?

Yes , a fantastic cast! A great look on screen and all super actors. I liked that it was a European of Serbian roots (Branko Tomovic), a real Greek (Yannis Stankoglou), and a Turkish girl (Tamar Karabetyan) coming together to play out a story in the Balkans. I enjoyed the poetry of that!

But had they been other nationalities I still would have cast them as they are so good for each role.

Very different but play extremely well together.

It looks very unlike the current dull teen vampire stories that seem to dominate the cinemas at the moment, I am glad you managed to shed a different light on this genre. What are your favourite vampire films? And have any influenced The Case of Mary Ford?

Actually I never set out to make something different to the current style, it was not reactionary. I mply liked the story.

In fact the story of the Greek Vrykolokas vampire had its first outing in Hollywood in Val Lewton's Isle of the Dead with Boris Karloff, so I wasn’t really breaking new ground!

I had always wanted to shoot in Greece, the light and the scenery is fantastic. And I had a great team there too. And I like the period at the end of the Ottoman Empire, Europe is all change and anyone who can is going to America. So there were a lot of factors coming together in the story that drew me to it rather than a mple "lets make a different horror drama". That said, I was drawn to the 'accept your fate or not' theme that is present in vampire stories but in this case it is the non-vampire girl who is in that tuation as much as the Vrykolokas vampire himself. Some people have commented that the story is an allegory for Greece today – how the dere for the new and the modern

- the car and the money has created a “blood sucking” tuation in Greece. One in which it appears there is escape, but that escape is ultimately tragic.

Do you believe in the supernatural? Do you think there could be some truth in vampire and ghost myths?

I am much more drawn to the melodrama of horror than a belief in the supernatural. I have always liked religious and supernatural stories and I like the goosebumps you get in spooky tuations.

Outde of out imaginations I’m not sure any of that exists – but our imaginations are so good at it and we create such wonderful alternate realities that doesn’t really matter.

Filming a horror film can be quite intense, do you have any interesting stories from being on the set?

The intenty came from the fact we were all – cast and crew living on a Greek island for a week or two – in each other’s pockets.

So it was a fun intenty.

Where can we see The Case of Mary Ford?

It is just starting to do the rounds at international festivals, and people can check out their local one on Once that the festival circuit is complete we will be streaming it via the te.

Your filmography seems quite diverse, will you continue to work in this genre?

I have done a couple of supernatural shorts as well as a lot of period drama and reconstructions. At the moment I am doing a pretty spooky mass murderer show, based on a true story drama-documentary for Discovery and right after that a 300-style medieval battle TV movie called Bannockburn which will be ace. I’d love to come back to the genre though. I have just finished a high-concept ghost-thriller feature screenplay, so hopefully that is next.

It shold be eaer as it is present day not period.

But then again, it is set in China.

It seems I’ll never learn to go for the easy to film stories!

VespaV Tuesday 9/03/2013 at 08:28 AM | 102194