Trash City, October, 2012
For the past 15 years, the director has been asking people about their murder fantasies, and giving them the chance to act them out in staged scenarios – with the sole stipulation that they, themeselves, must take part, either as victims or killers. These films are mixed here in to interviews with the participants, who provide their personal perspectives on their fantasies, and also express opinions on other death-related topics, such as capital punishment, and whether they’d be able to take revenge on the perpetrator if someone dear to them was killed. The results are chilling, not least because of the absolute normality of the participants: no criminal records, and the final sequence shows their professions, ranging from farmer to English teacher, and none of them would exactly be the kind you would expect to have such morbid thoughts. Mind you, perhaps I am surprised by them, because I have genuinely never harboured such fantasies myself. Is that because I have seen so many murder-death-kills on the screen over the last two decades or more? (more…)
by Celeste Ramos | Projection, Oct 29, 2012
0K: Zero Killed and an interview with director Michal Kosakowski
Don’t worry. No one dies in this article.
Sixteen years in the making, Zero Killed looks at the dark side in all of us — the fascination with killing and death that, more than anything, points to the issues in our waking lives. Director Michal Kosakowski’s work has long revolved around violence and the motivating issues beneath it. “Fortynine”, the video art installation displayed in a mirrored room, was the precursor to the Zero Killed film that exposed people to 49 looping films showing very real-looking murders. From tortures to suicides, psychopathic one-on-one’s to quick-and-clean poisonings. Shootings, “accidents,” war crimes. As much as it sounds like TV news, these are the real fantasies of the main victim or perpetrator in each film, a living dark fantasy now made immortal thanks to the medium of film.
Michal Kosakowski is the prolific director of more than 70 films, a mix of shorts, documentaries, and original fiction. Often critiquing and interpreting the effects of media on the perception of human interactions and violence, his style is intelligent and disturbing. From a chalk outline exhibit to a collection of Hollywood film clips depicting the Twin Towers that “helped” in the public absorption of 9/11, Michal has long kept a close eye on how and why human beings act the way they do in the arena of violence.
Upon watching Zero Killed, I couldn’t help but imagine whether the whole process was traumatic or cathartic, or some shadow in between for them. What does it mean to be murdered, or murder someone else on screen for any and all to see? And what does it mean that people will pay money to see such things? (more…)
‘Zero Killed’ has been officially selected for the inaugural Horror-on-Sea Film Festival in Southend-On-Sea, United Kingdom. The festival runs from January 18-20, 2013. As soon as the screening schedule is available, we will share it with you! Stay tuned! This festival is our 33rd participation at a film festival worldwide!
About the Horror-On-Sea Film Festival by Paul Cotgrove, Festival Director
“A very warm welcome to the emerging website for the inaugural Horror-on-Sea Film Festival, which is set to shock, amaze and astound the good folks of south east Essex (and beyond!) in January!
I will be your host. I’m also Festival Director for the Southend-on-Sea Film Festival, which celebrated its fourth outing back in May. Now firmly established as Essex’s number one film festival, it’s going from strength to strength, providing a huge variety of film entertainment to an equally wide variety of filmgoers.
Naturally, Horror-on-Sea is much more focussed, although we hope to cover a wide spectrum within the ‘fantastique’ genre.”
The closing night film at ANOTHER HOLE IN THE HEAD #9 is a 2012 German documentary on death and fantasy called ZERO KILLED. Have you ever thought what it would be like to murder someone? In ZERO KILLED you’ll watch ordinary people’s twisted fantasies come to life on the big screen! This will be one of the most intense and anxiety-inducing films you will ever see. “ZERO KILLED” will screen at the
December 9th, 2012, 7pm @ Terra Gallery at 511 Harrison, San Francisco
“… And at the end our 2012 European tour we stopped in Germany, and stumbled on a film that had Closing Night written all over it: “ZERO KILLED” a documentary about murder fantasies, is so out there and over the top that your anxiety level will shoot from Zero to 100 in no time…”
Finally! Austrian Premiere of ‘Zero Killed’!!! We are happy to present the film in the country where most of the shooting was done and most of the participants live! Fright Nights Horror Film Festival runs from Nov. 17-24, 2012 at the Hollywood Megaplex in Vienna. We will announce the screening schedule soon!
‘Zero Killed’ runs in the Feature Film Competition at the 12th TOHorror Film Fest – Festial di cinema e cultura del fantastico in Torino, Italy (November 12-17, 2012). Screening is on
November 13, 2012, 11pm @ Cine Club “Blah Blah”
Among the most important Italian art film festivals, TOHORROR FILM FEST starts from cinema and then explores all possible means of communication, with the purpose of analysing contemporary society through the deforming lenses provided by the fantastic and horror culture. Thus, through the young authors’ videos and the films made by more expert directors, the meetings, the theatrical performances, the concerts, the art and comics exhibitions, we are enabled to to interpet reality, filtering it through a most wild imagination.
TOHORROR FILM FESTIVAL is seen as a magnifying glass, a periscope, a microscope, a scanner which, through the eye of the camera, the images conveyed by films, pictures and photos, investigates and analyses fears, terror, the permanent horrors and today’s ones.
by Ronny Carlsson | Film Bizarro, Oct 22, 2012
Have you ever thought about killing someone? Of course you have. Will you do it? Most people won’t, but some do. What would push you into ending a person’s life – self-defense, revenge or hate? Is it right to execute a murderer, or is it a case of severe double-nature? If you got the chance to kill someone, or be killed by someone, and it was fiction – what would be your murder of choice? These are the things that “Zero Killed” focus on.
In 1996, random people from all over the world were offered the chance to make their own short films about their murder fantasies. There was only one rule set: they have to act in them as well. Either as the murderer, or the victim. Now, many years later, they meet these people again and question them about their films and the motives behind them, as well as discussing the many sides of murder.
The short films we see differ heavily in style as well as murder of choice. Several of them portray shootings – either just execution by gun, or more along the lines of school shootings. Obviously, a lot of people went the route of torture – probably the most common style to go for. Everyone has imagined themselves torturing some asshole who has done them wrong, and the brutal things they would do to them before ending their lives. But then we have the short films that are either more creative, or just go for a different kind of murder entirely. A woman guiding a hitman through IMs, knowing that she has the power to end a life by just typing. Or the one I felt was the strongest, most effective and intense to watch – a suicide by poisoning. Many of the murders are gory, but this one is completely without blood and is effective because of the matter-of-fact-style, and the acting by the young man on screen. In many of these, you’ll recognize your own fantasies, but some of them also come off as strangely planned out. And that’s because people think about murder, it’s a fact and this documentary proves it. (more…)
We are proud to announce that ‘Zero Killed’ has won the Best Chill! Award at the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Thanks to all the participants and crew that made this film possible!
Yo! ‘Zero Killed’ got an Honorable Mention – Best Documentary Feature 2012 at the 10th Fargo Fantastic Film Festival!
Wow! ‘Zero Killed’ has been nominated for 3 Awards at the Killer Film Fest in Somerville, Massachusetts: Killer Foreign Language Film, Killer Editing Feature Film & Killer Death Scenes! The festival runs from Nov 1-3, 2012. Our movie is screening on
November 1st, 2012, 6.30 pm @ Somerville Theater
‘Zero Killed’ is also part of the Killer Film Fest Online! Check it out!
‘Zero Killed’ is an official selection of Horrible Imaginings Film Festival of San Diego and will screen on
November 11th, 2012, 9.00pm @ 10th Avenue Theater and Arts Centre
Episode 86: Human Murder Fantasies: A Talk with Michal Kosakowski
by Miguel Rodriguez | Monster Island Resort Podcast, Oct 14, 2012
A conversation from around the globe! Michal Kosakowski is a film director based in Germany whose documentary Zero Killed is racking up awards on the film festival circuit. This unique collection of short films and interviews attempts to explore a very taboo and dark topic–the murder fantasies of regular people from all walks of life. The result is fascinating, and Kosakowski has a lot of great things to say about what he learned on his dark journey making the film. This is an episode I am quite proud of–please enjoy it! I am bringing Zero Killed to San Diego! It will be the first documentary screened at the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival.
Midday Movies: Horrible Imaginings – Going Someplace Dark – A Talk with Horrible Imaginings Film Festival Director Miguel Rodriguez and Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter and Author of the blog Cinema Junkie
by Beth Accomando, Maureen Cavanaugh and Tracy Stegeman | KPBS Radio, Oct 18, 2012
… This is the third year for the Horrible Imagining’s Art Show and Film Festival , which kicks off next Wednesday at the 10th Avenue Theatre and Arts Centre and continues for three weeks. The festival’s director, Miguel Rodriguez, describes Horrible Imaginings as, “The first film fest in San Diego to showcase macabre cinema and art.” Rodriguez’ mission statement for the festival is to elevate the horror genre, create a conversation about horror, and provide a venue for the artists to achieve the goal of horror as an “expression of a feeling.” …
… The documentary film “Zero Killed,” directed by Michal Kosakowski, is a look at the darker and more murderous side of human nature. The film poses the question “What are your murder fantasies?” to people from all walks of life. Personal interviews, as well as some of those interviewed starring in short films of their own murder fantasies …
We are proud to announce that ‘Zero Killed’ has been invited to screen at the 3rd Brisbane Underground Film Festival directed by Nina Riddel. The festival takes place in Brisbane, Australia and runs from November 1-3, 2012.
November 3rd, 2012, 12am @ Brisbane Powerhouse
Brisbane Underground Film Festival (BUFF) screens recent, weird, lowbudget, risky and overlooked films to people whose curiosity goes beyond the megaplex.
Defining underground movies as a mixture of highbrow (video art and experimental film) and lowbrow (gore and boobs), BUFF has no middle-of-the-road. You will be entertained, perhaps enlightened, and definitely exposed to the most interesting films around.
‘Zero Killed’ has been nominated for the Best International Feature Award at the Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival, New York. The festival runs from October 17-21, 2012. The screening is on
October 21, 2012, 8.45 pm @ Dipson’s Market Arcade Film & Arts Center
by Mike Everleth | Bad Lit, Oct 11, 2012
This might be a total mis-remembrance, but it goes something like this: In an interview, horror filmmaker Wes Craven turned the tables on his interviewer and asked, “How many people have been killed in all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined? … None, it’s all make-believe.”
If horror movies are the means by which non-violent people can experience the darkest realms of the human psyche via projected surrogates, then German filmmaker Michael Kosakowski doesn’t let the subjects of his documentary Zero Killed off quite so easily.
The film begins with a title card explaining its unique conceit. For the past ten years, Kosakowsi has been asking a wide swath of people to reveal, on camera, what their most secret murder fantasies are. Then, once they’ve spilled their metaphoric guts, the subjects were asked to act out those fantasies — fictionally, of course — in a short film. Finally, later, Kosakowski interviewed all the participants again about the entire experience. (more…)
Good News! ‘Zero Killed’ wins Best Cine de Curios Feature Doc Award at the South Texas Underground Film Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas!
We are very proud to announce the African Premiere of ‘Zero Killed’. Our movie is an official selection of the 8th Annual South African Horrorfest and will be screened at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.
October 29, 2012, 6.15 pm @ Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town.
Rising from the doctor’s slab for its 8th blood curdling year, Africa’s most prestigious Halloween festival is set to deliver another all-encompassing event unlike any other. This exciting festival embraces all aspects of Horror/Chiller entertainment, its serious and lighter sides.
by Shirley Clemens | Thriller! Chiller! Blog! Oct. 10, 2012
Interview with director Michal Kosakowski on the occassion of Zero Killed’s Michigan Premiere on October 10, 2012 at 4:30pm at the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival
The film “Zero Killed” is strikingly similar to other documentaries we’ve played at Thriller! Chiller! by the fact that it is so thoughtful of our own experiences as movie watchers. It can be said that watching a movie like this at a film festival dares to ask the viewer: “Why do you watch movies?” It dares to explore what is universal to all human beings who experience the horror/thriller genre and ask them how they deal with their own inappropriate fantasies and thoughts.
1. It was a long haul making this film come together over the course of a decade. Tell us about the emotional impact of these stories on you personally and why you felt the need to tell them?
First of all, the process of doing this project had a very personal approach. Since I was born in Poland and since I grew up during the times of communism, my access to western movies, or, generally speaking, the access to media, was very limited. My first touch with horror was a rare presentation of the music clip of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” when it was aired at late night in the polish television. I was immediately gripped by the “fantastic” and at some point violent theme of this clip. I wanted to do clips like this by myself. But it was only after my family and I moved to Austria in the 80’s, where I discovered a video library that was something completely new to me. I was thrilled to have this huge range of videos that I could select by myself and watch them whenever I wanted to. This was also the time where my father bought his first VHS-C Camcorder, so I immediately felt like using this tool to fulfill my fantasies that I was constantly dreaming of. (more…)
Raindance TV interviews Michal Kosakowski about his film Zero Killed at the 20th Raindance Film Festival.
‘Zero Killed’ has been selected for the East Silver Market 2012 which takes place at the 16th Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic (October 23-28, 2012).
East Silver is a specialised market in the Central and Eastern European documentary film field. The East Silver market consists of a video-library, catalogue and a specialized on-line database of Central and Eastern European documentary films. The East Silver project is realized because of the co-operation of the International Documentary FilmFestival in Jihlava and Institute of Documentary Film, Prague. East Silver strives to continuously serve as a unique promotional and support tool for Eastern and Central documentary productions by assembling in one place completed documentaries from East European countries.
Jihlava IDFF is the largest festival of creative documentary filmmaking in Central and Eastern Europe. It offers Industry Programme including networking initiative for Emerging Producers from European countries, which will include self-presentation of talented producers to the film community, round-tables with film experts, master classes and case studies.
Since 1996 Michal Kosakowski has been asking people, from all walks of life, about their murder fantasies, turning their dark confessions into short films on the condition that his subjects act in them, allowing them to live out their fantasies. This film brings those shorts together with interviews from his ‘murderers’ and ‘victims.’
There’s something for everyone in the grim realisations of their homicidal daydreams, some are darkly comic, some brutal and drab, there’s torture, poisoning, assassination, even a philosophical suicide. Kosakowski has succeeded, often eerily so, in creating depictions of murder that teeter perilously between fantasy and snuff. Amongst this the contributions from his participants ruminate on the simple desire to kill, how it can become intermingled with daily frustrations and what would drive someone to perhaps make the fantasy a reality.
Scenarios vary, from a farmer musing about the character required to kill a sheep, something he has to do on a daily basis, to a soldier pondering the justification for their actions, or the seemingly universal desire for murderous revenge if someone harmed your children. Kosakowski tantalisingly keeps his subject’s careers anonymous, leaving the viewer to create their own little fantasies about what they do for a living and how that may have influenced their make-believe murder.
A strangely playful film, this is in turns a riveting, wince-inducing succession of nightmare scenarios and at once an arch, wry look at the cruellest fantasies that ordinary people harbour.
by Ivan Radford | I-Flicks, Sept 30, 2012
I’m gonna kill him! How many times have you said that? What if you went one step further and actually thought about how you’d do it? That’s what director Michal Kosakowski asked people all around the world – on the condition that if they were going to share their murder fantasy, they had to act it out in front of the camera.
The result is a halfway house between social study and snuff movies – a disturbing look at the dark side of human nature. Sound unpleasant? It is. Kosakowski spent 10 years on the project (presumably the Midsomer Murders DVD box set had sold out), getting subjects to reflect on what they did several years down the line.
“The memory is still so fresh…” says one, before we see his short film. It’ll probably stay fresh for some time – even for those in the audience. Each murder is unsettlingly believable, shot with a gritty feel, cutting away as a bell rings to mark the kill. But for all its grimy realism, the bright, sterile vox pops are what really get under the skin.
Some laugh about what they did. Others are less serious. “I’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to push someone into a volcano,” jokes one guy, drily. Meanwhile, almost all of them, it turns out, would gladly kill if it meant revenge for a loved one.
“I believe it has a lot to do with self-esteem,” suggests one woman. “If you respect yourself, how can you not value someone else?”
She’s backed up by the inclusion of a young man’s fake suicide – a quiet moment that’s probably the most harrowing thing in the whole film. (more…)
‘Zero Killed’ has been nominated for the BEST FEATURE AWARD at the 6th Annual Dark Carnival Film Festival that runs from October 19-21, 2012 at the historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, Indiana. Our movie is also the opening feature film of the festival and Indiana Premiere! When?
October 20, 2012, 2.05 pm @ Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Founded nearly six years ago in Bloomington Indiana, the Dark Carnival Film Festival strives to be the premier event for screening the best independent horror, sci-fi, and dark fantasy films.
Dark Carnival is a celebration of horror, featuring live entertainment, merchandise vendors, special guests and film screenings. It’s a different show every year, and Dark Carnival events have included outdoor drive-in film screenings, costume contests, dance parties, sideshows, horror hosts, filmmaking seminars, burlesque dancers, live fire shows and more!
by Spencer Hawken | Socyberty, Sept 29, 2012
A documentary filmmaker asks a group of people how they would like to kill someone, then allows them to live out that fantasy.
In 1996 filmmaker Michael Kosakowski started talking to people from different backgrounds about murder. He asked the people involved about if they were to murder someone, how they would do it? He offered the people involved the opportunity to carry out their wishes (obviously through acting), as long as they were the ones who performed the murders themselves. Ten years after carrying out the project, he returned to see those same people, to look at their murders, and ask them their views on the killings, and how they feel now, about their murders, and the society we live in.
Zero Killed is an intriguing documentary, with a variable sliding scale of depressive scenes and attitudes, to very light hearted moments, and hysterical “deaths”. Of course on a movie that focuses on death however, it is bound to be the more depressive points that dominate the agenda.
Kosakowski makes a very profound, but ultimately very true statement with his film. The movie is a very surreal experience; to hear the people involved discussing murder in the same way you may talk about going to the shops to buy a loaf of bread is a very sobering aspect. (more…)