“When I received the news of my diagnosis, I was told to stop everything that I was doing, my job, my studies and my life; I felt like my life was over.”
“The World’s Best Film” doesn’t need to be the world’s best film, nor is the title as audacious as it sounds. Sydney filmmaker Joshua Belinfante set out to do his own justice to the title and however many awards it wins the 87 minutes shows that he, and everyone else featured, have put in their 10,000 hours.
The proverbial shorthand a distant memory for many of the experts herein, Belinfante, set on realising his own passions as a feature creator, sought inspiration from experts in many (often obscure) fields who are, at the very least, aspiring to be the world’s best.
“In the world we find ourselves in now many have begun to question their mortality and the decisions they’ve made in their lives,” said Belinfante. “They may be feeling depressed that they cannot do the things they want to do because the world is closed.”
“I wasn’t happy with everything that I’d done up to that point and I started to think about what I would do if I recovered and got a second chance; I realised I wanted to travel to as many places as I could and tell stories about people pursuing their passions. A lot of people out there now are stuck inside dreaming of an open world to navigate; in some ways my film has never been more relevant to the experience of people going out and fulfilling whatever it is they wanted to do; whether it’s fantastic, amazing or seemingly mundane to other people.”
Hitting a unique cultural nerve amidst a pandemic unforeseeable to the filmmaker and the Festival scene, Belinfante, capturing attention with the curious gimmick and seemingly ostentatious title, has seen the flick resonate at a number of Festivals including the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (now screening online) and Revelation Film Festival’s online series ‘Couched.’
“I felt it was important to finish the film and release it in the age of doom and gloom we now find ourselves, to offer audiences the opportunity to have an uplifting experience if they wish to take it,” said Belinfante. “My own journey from being told that I might not have much time left to being lucky enough to recover and travel the world hopefully shows people that there can be light after darkness.”
Spanning Sweden, Thailand, the UK, Romania, Australia and else, a marionette artist, the owner of the world’s most eclectic taxi cab and Britain’s toilet tour guide and expert on all things loos proved among this author’s favourites.
“This is my first independently made feature documentary so having glowing responses from audiences has been wonderful,” said Belinfante. “Hearing from people that they’ve been inspired to question their own life paths and what they spend their time on has been a great reward for me, a reminder that the film is slowly finding its community.”
Benefiting from delving into the filmmakers’ own experience and that of Belinfante’s immediate family, “The World’s Best Film” would not resonate as it does but for a more than implicit acknowledgement of the filmmaker’s own function here far beyond documentarian; himself statedly setting out to realise herein his own aspirations. With most Festivals previously limited to geographic bases and select cinemas, absent an intimate screening Belinfante and other filmmakers are now finding that they can reach fresh audiences across Australia newly-exposed to now online Festivals patrons might otherwise never have experienced.
“Having films available on demand during a specific period is an exciting way to bypass the closures of the pandemic; obviously the option to screen the film online was not what I had in my heart when I set out to make ‘the world’s best film,’” said Belinfante. “Moving forward my dream would be holding a physical premiere and screenings where I’m able to meet audiences face to face.”
“I really want to hear from people about their experiences of pursuing their passions and what they want to say they might be the world’s best at! They need not be the Guinness World Record’s best at what they do or have even done everything that they say they wish to do; it is enough that they just affirm to themselves (and maybe some others to keep them accountable) that they are awesome and capable of greatness.”