Michael Anthony Kratochvil summoned to Montreal with ‘I Call Upon Thee’

'I Call Upon Thee'.

Melbourne filmmaker Michael Anthony Kratochvil is on the verge of turning a nightmare into a dream come true after his horror film I Call Upon Thee was selected for the Frontières International Co-Production Market at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.

One of nine international genre projects chosen for the event, the project is about two young sisters from a housing commission estate who chant a playground summoning ritual in the hope of preventing child welfare from taking them away from their drug-addicted mother. However, they don’t anticipate the consequences of the demon that they summon.

Producing is Kristian Moliere (The Babadook) of Triptych Pictures, along with Selin Yaman (John Safran vs. God), while Monster Pictures has submitted a letter of interest for ANZ distribution.

Kratochvil told IF I Call Upon Thee began its journey as one of two short films he made during the pandemic period.

“I started as a short film based on a nightmare I had,” he said

“I made the film and another short film Sweet Mary, Where Did You Go? back-to-back during the pandemic in one of the most challenging periods in Melbourne, when COVID and lockdowns were becoming a reality,” he said.

“Thankfully, we were able to complete the films and they have been having an amazing run on the international festival circuit, winning awards and over 45 festival selections so far.

“The films have opened up some exciting doors for me and it is fantastic to now be working with Kristian and Selin on the feature of I Call Upon Thee.”

Michael Anthony Kratochvil

Organised by the Fantasia International Film Festival, with the participation of the Cannes Marché du Film, the Frontières International Co-Production Market is designed to assist projects in development and early financing via collaboration with global industry professionals.

Kratochvil said the forum would be a great opportunity to connect with international industry leaders in the genre space.

“It was always my dream to expand I Call Upon Thee into a feature film, and set it in my hometown of Frankston, which has rarely been featured on the screen,” he said.

“The film is getting closer than ever to becoming a reality with the project being invited to Frontières. It will help create opportunities for me to progress towards achieving my goal of becoming a feature filmmaker – specifically with the aim of pitching and seeking financing for I Call Upon Thee.”

In a statement, Moliere and Yaman said it was an “enormous privilege” to be included in the event.

“We are both big fans of Michael’s short horror films and so are thrilled that Michael’s feature debut, I Call Upon Thee has been selected to the prestigious Frontiere’s co-production market,” they said.

“We are looking forward to meetings with potential sales agents, financiers and co-production partners to assist us in bringing Michael’s vision to production.”

The Frontières International Co-Production Market will take place from July 21 to 24.