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One 48'er is "Fighting the Sky" in Family Video stores all over the U.S.Monday, March 25, 2019

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Cleveland 48HFP alumni filmmaker Conrad Faraj has film fans all over the country looking to the skies in terror, as his sci-fi feature Fighting the Sky rolls out in Family Video stores across the U.S.

Since it's theatrical premiere in Cleveland last year, Faraj's film has been picked up for national distribution by High Octane Pictures and is currently available for rent in Family Video stores across the country, as well as on VOD through Google Play, YouTube, and Amazon. And as huge as getting the distribution deal has been, Faraj was happy just to be finally making a film in one of his favorite genres. "Its the kind of film I would pay $10.50 to go see in the theater, so in essence, I’m making something my 12-year-old self would hopefully be inspired by,” he told Cleveland's Scene Magazine in an article from 2015 before the film went into production.

Fighting the Sky tells the story of a group of UFO researchers who begin an expedition to track down the point of origin of a series of strange other-worldly sounds that are echoing around the world. As they get deeper into their journey, they begin to discover more than they bargained for.

And while Fighting the Sky is an alien invasion film, Faraj has worked hard to make it stand out against a backdrop of countless other science fiction films of a similar vein. His use of unconventional cinematography and quick-paced editing gives the film a sense of constant movement that one would expect more out of one of Paul Greengrass' Jason Bourne films than a traditional sci-fi flick. But for Faraj, his biggest personal challenge was bringing a sense of mystery to the genre. "I knew that an 'invasion' film in a traditional sense has been done many times and by more practiced filmmakers, so I needed to sway away from that and instead focus on the mystery and the suspense. Hitchcock once said, 'There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it,' so I put that into practice on Fighting the Sky."

conrad-feature-filma-workshop-with-credits_2Fighting the Sky is not Faraj's first feature (that was the indie horror film The Shadow People that he shot in 2011). In fact, what's most impressive about him is not just the success he's found as a young independent filmmaker (Faraj is only 28), but the body of work he's accumulated--since he started making films in 2003, Faraj was made over 100 short films, music videos, and internet shows, including two 48HFP films. His most recent 48HFP entry "Two for Twenty" won Best Film in the 2018 Cleveland 48 Hour Film Project and was screened at our recent Filmpalooza in Orlando, where Faraj was also a guest panelist in the Feature Film Focus workshop. "Two for Twenty" is also an official selection of the upcoming Cleveland International Film Festival, an Academy Award-qualifying festival for short films.

Faraj attributes the 48HFP as one of the reasons that he was able to make the leap from short to feature films at all, especially a sophisticated science-fiction film like Fighting the Sky. “The 48HFP gave me the training and the discipline to make my jump into feature films. It forced me to create a movie from start to finish on a deadline, and I applied that same discipline when crafting my feature films. The 48HFP is a creative outlet that expands the minds of filmmakers and prepares them for the challenges of a broader and highly competitive film market.”

As a filmmaker, Faraj's plate is always full. He's currently in preproduction for his next feature The Wrath of Rebecca Taylor, and already has the follow-up film to that planned. To keep up with his many different projects, check out the Facebook page  of his production company, Conrad Studios. Their feature The Colours of Desire is available for VOD rental on Amazon.  Fighting the Sky is available for rent on Google Play, YouTube, or Amazon, as well as at Family Video stores across the U.S.

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