5Q's w/Natalie Malla "Crush Hour" Director

SUNDAY | BLOCK J | 9:30 |
Crush Hour (7 min) dir: Natalie Malla


#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

Crush Hour is about taking chances and I hope that people will watch it and be inspired to seize the day.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

Crush Hour kind of speaks for itself - it is about a crush which forms in the middle of rush hour on the London Underground, but maybe if you haven’t been on the underground in London, I should explain that people don't talk to each other on the tube. It’s just not the done thing…eyes down, focussed on a book, the newspaper, your phone etc - so talking to somebody on the tube is a pretty big deal. It is also very loud, so if you’re talking, you’re probably shouting and the rest of the carriage will also be listening in, not a great place to start flirting if you feel a mutual attraction. 

This idea actually started out as a libretto, because an Opera Singer friend of mine: Daisy Brown convinced me that I should write a one act comedy opera…so there are many other characters from this same tube carriage that I created who also had a life in the libretto. Which means there’s maybe potential for more shorts like this one set in the underground at rush hour…. we’ll see.


#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I am a writer and director, but I come from a script development background so story and characters have always been very important to me. I have worked in the industry for about 15 years, and my first short film as writer and director was The Girl In The Dress which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2015 and was made with the support of Film London’s London Calling initiative. Since then, alongside Crush Hour, I have also written and produced a short film called Killing Thyme, directed by M J McMahon  and I have co-created a web series called Acting Up with Jordan Baker; which can be found at www.actingupwebseries.com if you’re interested!  

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

This short film started as a workshop with some actors as part of a session organized by the Reframed Filmmakers Collective which I am a mmber of.  It was then that my now producers Eric Geynes and Mal Woolford encouraged me to “just go and shoot it” and over this whole process I have learned that as long as you have enthusiastic people around you, you can basically achieve anything.


#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

We are screening at the London Short Film Festival in January, just after Borrego Springs and hopefully a few more festivals after that. 

Matthew NothelferComment