Prodigiously multitalented, slightly off-kilter and always with a surrealist approach, Danny Sangra once again proves he is a next generation filmmaker who has honed the art of observation. Lief proudly releases his latest work, Parlour Games, a smartly written short in which Sangra’s signature dark wit is as ever-present as the film’s red backdrop.
Parlour Games is delivered by a stellar cast of British actors, featuring Margaret Clunie (Victoria, Goldbricks in Bloom), Nell Hudson (Outlander, Victoria), Vinette Robinson (Sherlock, The A Word, Vera Drake), Anna Wilson-Jones (Hotel Babylon, Spaced), Ashley Zhangazha (King Lear, Hamlet) and Robert Portal (Welcome to the Punch, The King’s Speech).
In the film, five characters from the Edwardian period stand in a room. The characters themselves are something out of Clue: the major, the servant girl, the matron, the husband and the young beauty.
A woman in a black dress and black veil appears and states the rules of a ‘game’: one person will have their dreams come true, another will die. When pressed on the details, she is blunt, flippant, abstract. The audience is left to wonder: are these the rules of a game or is this just life? The woman departs, leaving the heroes bewildered, with more questions than answers.
Upon her exit, the group try to avoid death by leaving the room themselves. It is like the plot of some unexpected psychological thriller, but everyone is unflappable, possessing an almost unsettling calm in the face of such a strangely presented existential dilemma. Perhaps they have all been here, killing time in this room, for much longer than they realize…
An all-around creative powerhouse, Sangra writes and directs in a singular style with a recurring gang of A-List collaborators. In his work, Sangra tends to comment on the state of modern culture, but via his own blend of absurdity and humor. London-based production company Lief, led by Executive Producer Margo Mars, has been a driving force in Sangra’s momentum as a well-oiled machine of creation.
Sharing the philosophy ‘don’t wait to make great work,’ Margo says, “Danny has an insatiable need to constantly be making. And he plays by his own rules to do so, which is why we make such a great fit. Lief is always defining new ways to create content in partnership with our talent and the platforms that are hungry for it.”
Sangra’s uniquely provocative voice can be explored within his expansive archive of interconnected short films, known as a whole as Voltaville. The plethora of short form content has earned him loyal audiences online, particularly on Vimeo, where he frequently picks up coveted Staff Picks.
Today, Sangra continues to make a mark within the commercial space with left-of-center work for clients such as Burberry, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung, Verizon, Miu Miu, SMART, Vogue and Balenciaga. True to his relentless creative nature, he is already hard at work developing his second feature film.