Private Project

Lost Footage

How would a found footage film look if the footage was never found? This conceptual art experiment questions the very nature of film and cinema while serving as an ironic tribute to the found footage horror pop culture. The found footage format provides the narrative justification for such a film to exist: the non-existence exists because the footage existed yet it was lost and never found.

Inspired by John Cage's 4'33", Andy Warhol's Empire and Shirley Clarke's The Connection.

Festival selections: Vienna Shorts (European Premiere) and the Unnamed Footage Festival in San Francisco (World Premiere).

  • Adrian Țofei
    Director
    Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)
  • Adrian Țofei
    Writer
    Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)
  • Adrian Țofei
    Producer
    Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Conceptual Art, Avant-garde, Experimental, Mockumentary, Found Footage, Horror, Metaphysical, Mystery, Satire
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 12, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    Romania
  • Country of Filming:
    Turkey
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Vienna Shorts
    Vienna
    Austria
    May 27, 2022
    European Premiere
    Curated Program
  • Unnamed Footage Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    March 20, 2022
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Adrian Țofei

Adrian Țofei (pronounced Tsofei) is an acclaimed Romanian filmmaker and actor best known for his debut horror feature Be My Cat: A Film for Anne and his upcoming apocalyptic feature We Put the World to Sleep, as well as his film festival lists used by numerous filmmakers.

Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015) was named a “new intelligent found footage film you need to see” by Blumhouse, “revolutionary & dangerous” by Dread Central and “terrifying” by Austin Chronicle. Adrian won Best Actor at Nashville Film Festival as well as Best Film at A Night of Horror in Sydney. He directed, produced, wrote and starred in the movie, which premiered in 2015 at Fantasporto, traveled the festival circuit and received critical acclaim (currently 88% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), being ultimately acquired and released by Terror Films in 2018, and has since attracted a cult following.

Adrian Țofei has been married to actress Duru Yücel since January 22, 2017, and they have also become partners onscreen in their upcoming feature We Put the World to Sleep, an international coproduction 7 years in the making which proved to be Adrian's most ambitious project to date.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In coming up with this film I was inspired by John Cage's experimental composition 4'33'' which consists of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, thus questioning the nature of music, and by Andy Warhol's experimental film "Empire" (1965) consisting of an 8 hours long static shot of the Empire State Building, thus questioning the nature of film.

I've long been wanting to create a piece of cinematic art in the vein of the two above, but just presenting a black screen would've been meaningless without proper context. Until recently when I've realized that the found footage format provides the narrative justification for such a film to exist. The non-existence exists because the footage existed, yet it was lost and never found.

What sparked my realization was the discovery of Shirley Clarke's "The Connection" (1961), which is the first known feature shot in the found footage format and beginning with a found footage title card. "The Connection" is notable as well for featuring a predominantly black cast and being directed by a woman years before the Social Rights Act of 1964.

The fact that found footage began with an artsy experiment challenging the social status quo, ahead of its times on so many levels, and not with a vile film killing animals on camera (Cannibal Holocaust), I believe raises a lot the bar for this filmmaking format and demands that we all take it more seriously.