CARGO I FEATURE FILM I 2018

Distribution: Netflix (Worldwide) / Umbrella Entertainment

Production Company: Causeway Films

Directed by: Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling

Screenplay by: Yolanda Ramke

Produced by: Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder and Mark Patterson  

Cast: Martin Freeman, Simone Landers, David Gulpilil, Susie Porter, Anthony Hayes, Caren Pistorius, Kris McQuade, Natasha Wanganeen, Bruce R. Carter, Andy Rodoreda, Marlee McPherson-Dobbins, Lily McPherson-Dobbins

 

 

AWARDS

Film Critics Circle of Australia (2019)

Nominee: Best Film

Nominee: Best Actor (Martin Freeman)

Nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Susie Porter)

Australian Film Critics Association (2019)

Nominee: Best Film

Nominee: Best Director
Nominee: Best Actor (Martin Freeman)

Nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Susie Porter)

Nominee: Best Cinematography

Fangoria Chainsaw Awards (2019)

Nominee: Best First Feature

Nominee: Best Supporting Actress (Simone Landers)

Satellite Awards (2019)

Nominee: Best Motion Picture Made For Television

 

Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) Awards (2018)

Nominee: Best Film

Nominee: Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominee: Best Production Design

Nominee: Best Sound

Nominee: Best Hair & Makeup

Australian Writer's Guild (AWGIE) Awards (2018)

Winner: Feature Film - Adaptation

Australians In Film (2015) 

Winner: Gateway LA Script Prize

 

 

FESTIVALS

Tribeca Film Festival (2018)

Adelaide Film Festival (2017)

REVIEWS

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Jamie Righetti, INDIEWIRE: "With Cargo, Howling and Ramke offer much more than cheap emotional manipulation by exploring Australia’s history of colonization, as well as growing fears over climate change and fracking. From Romero’s original zombie series to the films it inspired, this type of horror succeeds when it laces its scares with biting social commentary, and Cargo utilizes this formula to great success."

Matt Donato, /FILM: "Horror fans, do not fret because your gore is not forgotten. Restrained and saved for emphasis? Sure. But bloody gashes and piles of guts pack a punch that positions death as a final bow, not some slaughterhouse highlight like in other grindhouse affairs. Ramke builds an entire outbreak mythology around Containment Assistance packs, zombie habits such as burying their heads (like ostriches), plus mouth and eye excretion symptoms like slathered-on honey. We’re immediately transported to a world that’s dealing with epidemic prevention, albeit not very well. And on top of it, we get a perspective from Thoomi’s (Simone Landers) aboriginal tribe who believe zombies still have souls to be honored. For how simple Cargo may seem, its treatment of subtext is both rich and meaningful – something The Walking Dead has never been."

Karen Han, ROGEREBERT.COM: "The zombie movie has recently been undergoing something of a renaissance. Cargo, the genre's latest offering, is one of the most impressive. On the surface, it looks fairly rote—a determined father does his best to keep his child safe in the face of a zombie apocalypse—but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Directed by Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling, the film takes place in the Australian outback, and is equal parts an exploration of Australia’s history with regards to its aboriginal people and a drama about the lengths people will go to for love. In other words, the zombies are a means to an end."

Sandy Schaefer, SCREEN RANT: "Cargo directors Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke deliver a thoughtful and moving tale of survival in their feature debut here. Martin Freeman is the film's headliner and emotional anchor, but its Australian creatives and context are as essential to the movie's success as its talented leading man. Cargo is a slow burn zombpocalypse drama that hits some familiar beats, yet there's a rich humanism at its core that makes the journey meaningful."

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Nick Shager, VARIETY: "Radiating not only paternal devotion but also a blunt matter-of-factness that amplifies as his situation becomes more dire, Freeman’s empathetic turn makes Andy an endearing center of attention, and the film — even for those who’ve seen its source material — a heartfelt entry in the overstuffed genre."

Andrew Whalen, NEWSWEEK: "Between The Hobbit movies, Sherlock and Black Panther, Freeman is such a ubiquitous face that it’s easy to forget how often he’s the guy along for the journey, standing just to one side of the action, perhaps commenting ruefully. Not so with Cargo—it is utterly Freeman’s movie, with no sign of the slight ironic distance that defines many of his other characters. Instead, he’s all anguish, all nerves and uncertainty and desperation. Andy contemplating the suicide spike, knowing the people he’s found for Daisy [sic] aren’t quite right, provides the dramatic heft that defines Cargo. And don’t forget, Freeman’s not just a father, but an incipient zombie too. He may not be as sweetly curious as Day of the Dead’s Bud or Return of the Living Dead’s Tarman, but Andy’s struggle to stay human, his daughter strapped to his back, ranks him among the more memorable zombies in horror history."

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Kevin Maher, THE TIMES UK: "In the end, though, perhaps unsurprisingly, it's Freeman's film. By turns fearful, aggressive, broken and acerbic, yet never once overplaying the 'big' emotions, this is a powerful study in deadpan resilience and paternal determination. He is too often the comedy sidekick (see Black Panther) or the second banana (Sherlock). Cargo is proof, if it were needed, that Freeman can carry his own movies."

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Luke Buckmaster, THE GUARDIAN: "Cargo is a very strong, at times stirring achievement: a zombie film with soul and pathos. The living dead are frightening again, not because of jump scares, surprise attacks or haunted house style shenanigans, but because they remind us of truly terrifying things: losing ourselves, and our loved ones."

Margaret Pomeranz, FOXTEL ARTS SCREEN: "The subtext of the film is the ruination of the land and its potential renewer in Aboriginal hands. It's remarkably tense and affecting, with Geoffrey Simpson's photography of our wide, brown land one of the key assets. All the performances are fabulous. Martin Freeman: stoic as the protective father, and young Simone Landers really impressive as Thoomi. Anthony Hayes does 'bad guy' so well - you can almost feel the malevolence seeping from his pores - and it's always beautiful seeing Gulpilil on screen. The music is at times a bit insistent, but it certainly ramps up the tension. Dany Cooper's and Sean Lahiff's editing is seamless. Ultimately this is a compassionate film; it's final scenes are really quite moving. It's a fine expansion of an original idea."

Sarah Ward, SCREEN DAILY: "Pitting Martin Freeman against the undead in the Australian outback, Cargo may take a bite out of a teeming genre, but it does so with heart, smarts and some weighty matters on its mind. As the film’s star once again tramples across a vast expanse of land — albeit in rather different circumstances to The Hobbit trilogy — first-time feature director duo Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke turn a zombie pandemic into a musing on parental love, environmental destruction and the nation’s cultural disharmonies."

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Peter Gutierrez, SCREEN ANARCHY: "Cargo builds to an ending that is nothing less than unforgettable. Then it becomes clear that what’s most remarkable about this reaffirmation is not only does it not eschew the fundamental horror and inevitable tragedy at the core of countless post-apocalyptic visions (Cargo recalls The Road in some aspects), but actually grows out of these givens with exquisite emotional logic. That is, whatever’s 'upbeat' about Cargo is still fully dependent on the inescapable nightmare it establishes, and the film doesn’t sell itself out for a conventionally happy ending."

David Stratton, THE AUSTRALIAN: "Ramke and Howling are at their best when they orchestrate scenes that depend on suspense rather than overt horror. And they're helped immeasurably by the outstanding cinematography of Geoffrey Simpson, whose use of spectacular South Australian locations gives the film a tremendous boost. Cargo, in common with the best zombie films, is not really about voracious blood-suckers; it's about the degradation of the environment, racism and the importance of family. There's a lot going on beneath the surface in this modestly accomplished feature film debut."

Leigh Paatsch, HERALD SUN: "The film's singular command of mood - floating somewhere between the desolate and the delicate - is assuredly deployed by first-time directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling. This talented filmmaking duo first came to prominence at Tropfest in 2013, when an acclaimed short film version of Cargo went onto become a massive online hit. The expansion of the original short's bare bone premise has been handled very carefully and effectively."

Travis Johnson, FILM INK: "The first-time feature directors’ tonal control is on point, nimbly pivoting from the horror of the apocalypse to the hope and humanity represented by Andy and his desperate mission. That hope is what really sets Cargo apart from the pack. By this stage of the game the zombie genre should be dead and buried. Who’d have thought that the secret to new life would be to inject a little humanity into the old shambling corpse?"

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Richard Gray, THE REEL BITS: "A terrific spin on the 'zombie' movie, weaving traditional Aboriginal narratives into an unforgiving landscape for an experience that's truly unique... What Ramke and Howling manage to do is use our familiarity with the tropes and continue to ramp up the tension until we get to the inevitable but powerful conclusion. The result is a showcase for original Australian stories, and one of the most remarkable new takes on the genre."

COLD HEARTS I SHORT FILM I 2016

Directed by: Danielle Baynes & Yolanda Ramke

Screenplay by: Danielle Baynes & Yolanda Ramke

Produced by: April Tafe

Cast: Danielle Baynes, Yolanda Ramke, Marcus Graham, Jeremy Waters

AWARDS

Australian Director's Guild Awards (2018) 

Nominee: Best Direction of a Short Film

 

Hollywood Film Festival (2017)

Winner: Best Narrative Short 

Hollywood Film Festival (2017)

Winner: Best Emerging Artists - Acting Award

(Danielle Baynes & Yolanda Ramke)

Australian Writer's Guild (AWGIE) Awards (2016)

Nominee: Best Short Form Script 

 

FESTIVALS 

Brooklyn Women's Film Festival (2018)

Newport Beach Film Festival (2018)

Flickerfest International Short Film Festival (2018)

Hollywood Film Festival (2017)

CARGO I SHORT FILM I 2013

Distribution: YouTube (15 million views) 

Directed by: Ben Howling & Yolanda Ramke

Screenplay by: Yolanda Ramke

Produced by: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke, Marcus Newman & Daniel Foeldes

Cast: Andy Rodoreda, Ruth Venn, Alison Gallagher, Yolanda Ramke, Kallan Richards

AWARDS

St Kilda Film Festival (2014)

Nominee: Best Achievement In Screenplay

FESTIVALS

St Kilda Film Festival (2014) 

Seattle International Film Festival (2014)

Florida Film Festival (2014)

Cinequest Film Festival (2014)

LA Shorts Fest (2013)

Heartland Film Festival (2013)

Leeds International Film Festival (2013)

Tropfest Film Festival (2013)

Napa Valley Film Festival (2013)
Uppsala International Short Film Festival (2013)
Sapporo Shortfest (2013)
Prague Short Film Festival (2013)

REVIEWS

Ivan Kander, SHORT OF THE WEEK: "By the end, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was actually fighting back tears—a response that I would never expect from any film featuring the flesh eating undead. And I suppose that’s really Cargo’s greatest accomplishment. This isn’t a zombie film. Rather, it’s a heartbreaking survival tale, more akin with The Grey than Night of the Living Dead. Australian directing duo Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke have crafted something special here—a film that is about the triumph of human spirit amongst the unimaginably bleak."

Donna Dickens, BUZZFEED: "The Walking Dead wishes it was this good. If you watch one seven-minute YouTube video this year, let it be this one. Warning: you will cry."

Lauren Davis, i09: "Cargo was a marvellous surprise this year, a movie that reminds us that any genre can be great as long as the story is approached thoughtfully. Set during the zombie apocalypse, Cargo celebrates ingenuity as a father who has been bitten by a zombie tries to provide for his infant daughter's survival, using the tropes of the genre to surprisingly heartbreaking effect."

Ray Flores, UPWORTHY: "Before he dies, what this guy does for his child is beautiful. The themes of parental love and loss are so strong that I felt compelled to share this with you."

Adam Dodd, BLOODY DISGUSTING: "The most touching zombie film (short or otherwise) I've ever seen... This is The Road of zombie movies, and that's saying something for a genre that is often depressing. It's bittersweet, and if you don't take eight minutes out of your day to watch it, you're doing yourself a great disservice. It'll touch you, and not in the show-me-on-the-doll kind of way."

Scott Beggs, FILM SCHOOL REJECTS: "After almost a year, I still can’t get this short from Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke out of my mind. Particularly now that zombies are so overplayed, it’s amazing to see the innovation some can find within the genre, and their story of a bitten man desperate to save his infant daughter is as harrowing as it is heartfelt. If you’ve never teared up during a zombie flick, this may be your first."

Therese Oneill, THE WEEK: "Cargo is a peculiarly warm-hearted zombie film that has taken the internet and the short-film community by storm. It involves a man who knows his time is limited, and who uses a balloon, a stick, and a Sharpie to help him ensure his cargo continues on safely without him."

Robert Brockway, CRACKED: "Cargo does more for the relevancy of the zombie film in 30 seconds than the entire second season of The Walking Dead. The efficiency of the first few moments is astounding... the premise is ingenious..."

© 2019 Yolanda Ramke

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