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An Interview with AJ Singh, Director of Closure

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2018

Quick Links

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Your upcoming movie Closure - in a few words, what is it about?


Closure follows Laura as she spends the one-year anniversary of her boyfriend's death at the place where they first met. Laura's peaceful afternoon of solitude and reminiscence is ended when Asha, a rather quirky and talkative barista, decides to stop and rest next to her.

Between Laura's romanticism and Asha's cynicism, both discuss love and loss, and Laura is made to realise some harsh truths and how ignorance can have dire consequences...


Is any of Closure's story based on personal experience? And how do you usually deal with love and loss?


It wasnt based on any personal experience, however I thought itd be interesting to delve into the subject of losing a loved one and how these two in particular, would process their grief.


(Other) sources of inspiration when writing Closure?


Closure was inspired by a chance encounter and conversation Id had with a caretaker at a cemetery. He was on his lunch break and I was sitting down after a walk.  The conversation led to him to talk about his wife, and how happy they were and how her loss had affected him. Later that day, I thought about the conversation some more, and then wondered how it would have gone with someone who shared a completely contradictory and confrontational viewpoint. Thus, Closure was born.


Judging from the posters and storyboards I've seen so far, most of Closure takes place on and around a park bench mainly - so what are the advantages and challenges there, also in keeping things visually interesting?


This is true the timeline does keep 99% of the present day on the bench with our two leads, however, there are a lot of flashbacks (allowing for a constant change of scenery), as well as the context necessary for the audience to better understand both Laura and Asha, and how guilt can affect the way in which we deal with grief, and when that process is challenged; how we struggle to come back from it if at all.


Do talk about the film's intended look and feel for a bit!


Were going for a cinematic look Ive chosen the 2.39:1 format for the movie, and am aiming for a slightly dull colour palette. Given the time of year, there wont be a lot of foliage either, so will also help with the aesthetic.


What can you tell us about your projected key cast, and why exactly those people?


We have two wonderful actresses Sophie-Rose Middleton and Yasmin Khudhairi playing Laura and Asha, respectively.  We put out a casting call for both roles, and had literally hundreds of applicants, with wonderful showreels!

At the time, we had only released the synopsis, but it was enough to garner interest.  When we eventually short-listed the potential actresses to provide self-tapes, I provided each short-listed actress with a scene and as difficult as it was I had eventually found our Laura and Asha. Their instincts (regarding the characters) were spot on body language, quirks, right down to delivery of dialogue! They understood the essence of the characters the most, and the rest, as they say, is history.


As far as I know, you're currently running a fundraiser for Closure - so do talk about your campaign!


Were currently running a crowdfunding campaign, to raise the necessary funds for the production of Closure. Were looking to raise 6,000 to cover all our production and post-production costs, along with festival costs.


Once the budget's in place, what's the schedule - and any idea when and where the film might be released yet, however tentatively?


Once the budget is in place, we can continue with finalising prep for our shoot, and are aiming for principal photography to commence in January. The shoot will take no more than 4-7 days, and with the team well have in place we can have Closure ready for a lengthy festival run; aiming for an online release in November/December 2019, as well as Blu-ray copies exclusively for contributors of the crowdfunding campaign, which will be packed with extras.


Any future projects beyond Closure?


I have prep underway for another short film, but for now, my producers and I are keeping that one under wraps, until we can get things sorted for Closure.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


Ive always been a fan of film and TV, from a very young age. I never studied film academically, as I was never able to afford tuition, but its always been a passion and when youre passionate about something you find a way. The intervention happened about 5 years ago; my friends and family had persuaded me to pursue it properly, as they said I had something to offer. I was really hesitant because family and friends have a vested interest in your endeavours, but something in my writing and the hobbyist projects on which Id contributed had caused those around me to push me onto this path, and Ive not looked back.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Closure?


Ive worked on some short films for other producers and writers trying to get projects made, but was only allowed to interject a certain level of creativity and vision.  I wanted to work on projects that told stories, in which I was interested, and since I wasnt getting those kinds of scripts, I decided to write my own.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Hands-on and conscious of the acting process. I definitely think you have to be, as it makes the communication process a lot easier. Ive worked on sets where there seems to be a little disconnect between the director and the actors, and I didnt want that on my films. I studied acting for this very purpose, and found it was a handy skillset to have, as I enjoy the odd moment in front of the camera, if the opportunity ever arises.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Off the top of my head Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, Ryan Coogler, Jon Favreau, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Sofia Coppola, Terry Gilliam, Robert Rodriguez, Jackie Chan, Wong Kar Wai, John Woo, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton [Buster Keaton bio - click here]. Ive missed so many others, but Ive watched so many TV shows and movies over the years Id have to go through my film collection in order to provide you with a concise list.


Your favourite movies?


My first love is Hong Kong cinema, but my tastes are far too eclectic when it comes to specific genres and being able to pick out a select few films.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


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The current culture of reboots and remakes has already become irksome, but what really annoys me are the unnecessary remakes, and the funding that could be better spent on other film ideas, and stories which are original AND would appeal to a much wider audience.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Id like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have currently contributed and really do hope that we are successful with our campaign, so that we may deliver a film with some re-watch value.


Thanks for the interview!


by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD