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Quarantine Chronicles: The Top Films Made During Lockdown

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed our lives in ways we never thought possible, including the film industry. As movie theaters closed their doors and film productions were put on hold, filmmakers were forced to get creative and adapt to the limitations of lockdown. The result? A new era of films made during quarantine that are both unique and impactful.


Even in the midst of a global crisis, some filmmakers managed to create exceptional works of art. One such filmmaker is Carolina Ravassa with her new film, Morgan's Mask one of the best films created during Covid. Savant Artists was able to help secure a deal with Good Deed Entertainment and the anticipated TVOD release is August 28, 2023 on AppleTV, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Vudu.

Carolina Ravassa is a well-known writer, producer, and star with over 419,000 followers across social media. Her previous works include Hispanglosaxon, which she produced, directed, and starred in, as well as notable roles in popular video games like Overwatch and Valorant. Morgans Mask is Now Available for Pre-Order.


In this article, we will take a look at the top films made during COVID lockdown, showcasing the creativity, resilience, and innovation of filmmakers during these challenging times. From heart-warming dramas to spine-tingling horrors, these films offer a glimpse into the human experience of lockdown and the power of storytelling to connect us all.


Join us as we explore the best films made during quarantine, and discover why they are essential viewing for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our shared pandemic experience.


Are you ready to explore the best creative films made during COVID Lockdown? Click one of the sections to jump down and read about a specific section:

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Film Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused a significant impact on the film industry. From production delays to theater closures, the pandemic has forced filmmakers to adapt to a new way of creating and distributing their work. One of the most significant changes that occurred was the shift in distribution methods, with many studios opting to release their films on streaming platforms instead of in theaters. This shift has created both challenges and opportunities for filmmakers, with some finding success in the virtual space.


According to the Motion Picture Association, global box office revenue dropped by 71% in 2020, resulting in a loss of $31 billion in revenue for the industry. The pandemic also caused many film productions to shut down or delay their schedules, resulting in a backlog of films waiting to be released. However, filmmakers have found ways to adapt to the new normal, implementing new safety protocols on set and utilizing virtual technology to keep productions going.


For instance, John Krasinski's horror film, "A Quiet Place Part II," had its premiere delayed due to the pandemic. However, Krasinski used the opportunity to work on a spin-off film and to build anticipation for the release of the highly anticipated sequel. Similarly, Kevin Smith's film "Killroy Was Here" was able to utilize virtual technology to continue filming despite the pandemic, ensuring that the film could be released on schedule.


As the pandemic continues to evolve, the film industry will undoubtedly continue to adapt to new challenges and opportunities. Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, filmmakers have demonstrated resilience and creativity in finding new ways to bring their stories to audiences around the world.

 

The Importance of COVID-era Films


COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our world, and the film industry has not been an exception. With cinemas closed and productions delayed, filmmakers were forced to adapt to the new normal and find innovative ways to continue creating. COVID-era films have become a unique reflection of the societal changes brought about by the pandemic, providing a means of processing our experiences and emotions during lockdown. In this article, we will discuss the importance of COVID-era films and introduce the top films made during lockdown.


The Importance of COVID-era Films:

Capturing a unique moment in history:


COVID-era films have captured a unique moment in history, documenting the world's response to the pandemic. These films have provided a glimpse into the challenges, the struggles, and the triumphs of communities and individuals worldwide. They have become an essential record of the pandemic's impact on society and its lasting effects.


Reflecting societal changes:


Filmmakers have used their art to reflect the societal changes brought about by the pandemic. The lockdowns, social distancing, and isolation have forced people to change the way they interact and connect with each other. COVID-era films have portrayed these changes, offering a unique perspective on how the pandemic has affected our lives and our relationships.


Providing a way to process experiences and emotions:


COVID-era films have provided a way for people to process their experiences and emotions during lockdown. They have helped us to understand our feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. These films have given us a way to connect with others who are experiencing similar emotions, offering a sense of community and solidarity during these challenging times.

 

The Top Films Made During Covid Lockdown


As the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay indoors and isolated from one another, filmmakers around the world embraced the challenge of creating captivating films within these constraints. Here is a comprehensive list of the top films made during lockdown that offer a unique perspective on the pandemic and quarantine experience.


Malcolm & Marie:

This black-and-white film directed by Sam Levinson follows a filmmaker and his girlfriend as they have a tense discussion about their relationship after his latest film premiere. Shot entirely in one location with only two actors, the film is a tour de force of intense dialogue and raw emotion. Zendaya, the actress who made history by becoming the youngest woman to win a best actress Emmy for her work on "Euphoria," stars in the upcoming Netflix film "Malcolm & Marie" alongside John David Washington. The film, which follows a couple over the course of one tense night after a showbusiness event, was shot entirely in a private home in northern California last summer during the pandemic. Creator of "Euphoria" and writer-director of "Malcolm & Marie" Sam Levinson said the film was born out of the idea of making a movie given the restrictions of COVID. The film's financing was structured so that all the crew and the charity Feeding America would have a cut of any profits.


I'm Fine (Thanks for Asking): "I'm Fine" is a movie that skates on the thin ice of the pandemic-induced economic downturn, and somehow manages to make it look graceful. Director and writer Kelley Kali, along with co-director and cinematographer Angelique Molina, have crafted a poignant and heartfelt film that captures the struggles of a young mother trying to make ends meet in a world turned upside down.

The film's protagonist, Danny, played with effortless charm by Kali herself, is a skater and hair-braider who finds herself struggling to pay the bills after losing her job due to the pandemic. The movie follows her through a day of odd jobs, hair-braiding gigs, and food deliveries as she tries to make enough money to pay the babysitter and keep a roof over her head.


What sets "I'm Fine" apart from other pandemic movies is its gentle touch. There are no villains here, only people doing their best in a difficult situation. Danny's encounters are poignant, frustrating, and sometimes even perilous, but they are also infused with a sense of hope and resilience.


The movie's cinematography is as fluid and brightly hued as Danny's skating, and the soundtrack adds a counterpoint to her building worry. The weed-induced sequence, cleverly shot and providing a respite from Danny's harried saga, is a particularly memorable highlight.

The film's ensemble cast does sweet work capturing the weight of a moment that has most everyone stretched thin. Even Deon Cole, in an intentionally funny-ish appearance as a dodgy dude in a sleek black Porsche, manages to bring a touch of warmth to his role.


Overall, "I'm Fine" is a small gem of a movie that captures the struggles and resilience of ordinary people in extraordinary times. It's a movie that leaves you with a feeling of hope and a sense that, even in the midst of a pandemic, we're all in this together.


Morgan’s Mask, one of the best films made during Covid, is about a gamer, streamer and cosplayer who is obsessed with her social media and interacting with her myriad fans. It’s an addiction that is only allowed to form because of the neglect she shows to other aspects of her life. Like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, this movie is shot all in one apartment. But the difference is that Rear Window is about what’s happening outside the apartment, whereas this movie is about what’s happening within. This is a story about the false persona we show the world. Making others believe everything is fine, even whilst we crumble inside. But more importantly, it’s also about self-care and self-love. Learning that all the love we wish to share with others, we must not forget to give to ourselves.

If you’re an avid gamer then you probably have heard of Carolina Ravassa. Carolina is best known for her roles as Sombra in Overwatch, Raze in Valorant, Taliana Martinez in Grand Theft Auto V, and Zyanya in Onyx Equinox on Crunchy Roll, as well as the Imagen Award-winning Hispanglosaxon, which she produced, directed and starred in. Check out her additional credits in television, anime, streaming and gaming on imdb.


Host: British filmmaker Rob Savage has made a name for himself with his quarantine horror movie Host, which was released in 2020 on AMC Networks' Shudder.

The movie has a 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 90 reviews, praised for offering genuine scares through a distinctly contemporary setting. This horror film directed by Rob Savage takes place entirely over a Zoom call and follows a group of friends who summon a spirit during a virtual seance. With inventive use of screen-sharing and camera angles, Host is a thrilling and genuinely scary film that captures the anxiety and isolation of the pandemic era. Movieweb argues Host is the best film made during the COVID-era in the following article, Why Host Is Horror's Best Movie of the Covid Era.


Savage followed up with a premiere at the BFI London Film Festival’s UK, Dashcam, which had its world premiere in Toronto. Dashcam is a found-footage genre feature that follows two friends on what is described as a “fucked-up horror road trip as they live-stream the most terrifying night of their lives.” It’s also the first film from a three-picture deal Savage signed with Blumhouse in the wake of Host’s success.


The Father: Florian Zeller's movie "The Father" has been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, including best drama and best screenplay. Zeller's directorial debut is an adaptation of his most successful play to date, and tells the story of a man who is coming undone as dementia skews his understanding of reality. The story is told from his perspective, and viewers are left to grapple with a blurred timeline and unsettling inconsistencies. Zeller first rose to prominence as a budding novelist before pivoting to theater. "The Father" has been performed in dozens of productions internationally and has earned several accolades.

Christopher Hampton, a British playwright and screenwriter, has shared how he collaborated with Florian Zeller, a French playwright and director, on the screenplay of the film adaptation of Zeller's dementia drama "The Father." Hampton was first introduced to Zeller's work in Paris, where he watched a play called "The Father," and he translated it for the Ustinov studio theatre in Bath, England. "The Father" won the Olivier Award and travelled to the US. There had already been a French film adaptation of the play in 2015, but Zeller and Hampton collaborated on a new screenplay that focused on making the story more cinematic and visually appealing. The film stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.

Stowaway (2021): Stowaway is a science fiction thriller that was entirely filmed during the pandemic. The film follows a crew on a mission to Mars, where they discover an accidental stowaway. Stowaway has been praised for its strong performances and its reflection of the pandemic's impact on our collective future.


The sci-fi thriller film "Stowaway" stars Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette, Shamier Anderson and Daniel Dae Kim, directed by Joe Penna, was conceived and shot before the COVID-19 outbreak, but the story of isolation, dangers, and morality in space reflects the post-COVID-19 world. The movie was produced by XYZ Films, presented to buyers at the Virtual Cannes Market, and set to be released soon in theaters. The movie's post-production was handled remotely and was just a few weeks away from being finalized. The film follows a small group of people who embark on a spaceship journey to Mars when an unintended stowaway tags along, putting everyone's lives at risk.


Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: This satirical mockumentary directed by Jason Woliner follows the fictional character Borat as he navigates pandemic-era America. With its sharp critique of American politics and culture, this film uses humor to provide a much-needed escape from the anxieties of the pandemic.


Sacha Baron Cohen reveals in a podcast interview that he brought a lawyer with him to the set of his satirical-political man-on-the-street movies to ensure he doesn't get arrested or have his cover blown. He also talks about his experience with the Secret Service at the right-wing CPAC conference during the shooting of "Borat Subsequent Film" when he busts into the arena dressed as Donald Trump. He explains that he was escorted by close to 15 Secret Service, Capitol Police, and event security and his aim was to not give his ID because if word got out that he was shooting a movie, the movie would be a hundred times harder to shoot. He also discusses how the editors found a moment during the pandemic that transformed the entire movie and showed the incompetence of the Trump government's handling of COVID-19. "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" is nominated for three Golden Globes including Best Comedy/Musical feature, Baron Cohen for Best Actor Comedy/Musical and Maria Bakalova in the Best Actress Comedy/Musical category.


The Vulture discusses the two main aspects of Sacha Baron Cohen's satirical sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which are Maria Bakalova's emotional performance as Borat's daughter, Tutar, and her perilous interview with Rudy Giuliani. The article reveals that Giuliani initially refused to take a rapid COVID-19 test before the interview, violating the safety protocols established by the film's producers. Despite this, they decided to proceed with the scene, as Baron Cohen felt that democracy was in peril and aimed to release the film before the 2020 US Presidential election. The article also comments on the nature of Baron Cohen's work, suggesting that it may be surprising that such a film could have an impact on politics.

Songbird: KJ Apa stars in the pandemic thriller film Songbird, which was the first film to go into production in Los Angeles after COVID-19 shutdowns. The film was shaped by necessity, with a script that evolved on the fly due to COVID-19 safety protocols. It takes place in a future Los Angeles where COVID has become even deadlier and follows the star-crossed romance between a courier named Nico and Sara, a young woman who must stay at home with her grandmother. The film also stars Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford, Craig Robinson, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario, and Paul Walter Hauser. The film's director, Adam Mason, was heartbroken when his passion project was shuttered due to lockdowns, but he and his writing partner Simon Boyes decided to shoot a no-budget film with friends over Zoom and FaceTime. The film gained Hollywood backing when producer Adam Goodman read the script and wanted to help, with Michael Bay soon boarding.


The film "Songbird" was made, which is a dystopian pandemic sci-fi thriller set in 2023 during a coronavirus outbreak that has gone through several mutations. The film centers around an L.A. courier named Nico and his girlfriend, Sara, who has been trapped for years in lockdown, attempting to find a way out of the nightmare. The article discusses how the idea for the film was developed during the pandemic and how it was met with skepticism upon the release of the trailer. The filmmakers defend the movie, saying that it is meant to be a hopeful and positive piece of work. The film was produced with a small budget and some actor friends using iPhones and laptops.


These films offer a glimpse into the creative ingenuity and resilience of filmmakers during a challenging time. By embracing the limitations of lockdown, these filmmakers have created films that not only entertain but also offer a unique perspective on the pandemic and its impact on our lives.


COVID-era films have become an essential reflection of our world during the pandemic. These films have captured a unique moment in history, reflected societal changes, and provided a way for people to process their experiences and emotions during lockdown. The top films made during lockdown have demonstrated how filmmakers have adapted to the pandemic's challenges.


 

Other Films Films Created during Covid Lockdown

Covid Killer: "The Covid Killer" is a new horror crime thriller film written and directed by Jeff Knite, set to be released on VOD on November 2, 2021. The movie follows two detectives trying to catch a serial killer who takes advantage of the pandemic to wear a generic Covid mask to hide his identity while preying on the citizens of New York. The film features an original score by Tasos Eliopoulos and a soundtrack from indie artists, and stars Paugh Shadow, Jorge Gautier, Tony Diaz, Johnny Careccia, and Jeff Knite. The film is produced by Dark Knites Entertainment and distributed by Gravitas Ventures. Read more about the film, Everything you need to know about the horror film ‘The Covid Killer’.

Killroy Was Here: Kevin Smith, a filmmaker known for his unique approach to movies, is releasing his horror anthology film "Killroy Was Here" as an NFT. The movie was directed by Smith and co-written by Smith and Andy McElfresh. The NFT collection will consist of 5,555 pieces and will be released on the Secret Network's primary NFT platform, Legendao. The collection will be produced in collaboration with Semkhor and Curio, and when fans buy the Killroy NFT, they will get exclusive access to the movie and the opportunity to repurpose it in any way they choose. Smith believes that this new way of thinking about movies as products that can be bought and repurposed is very exciting, and he hopes that this will lead to a new era of digital content distribution. The release of "Killroy Was Here" as an NFT is made possible by Secret Network's Legendao NFT technology, which ensures that the NFT content can only be accessed by the owner themselves.

 

The Creative Challenges of Filmmaking During Lockdown

The lockdowns imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging for filmmakers to shoot films in the traditional way. Social distancing guidelines, travel restrictions, and the closure of filming locations presented significant challenges. Filmmakers had to find ways to create the desired atmosphere and scenes while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. For instance, director Sam Levinson faced challenges while filming "Malcolm & Marie" during the pandemic. The team had to operate with minimal crew, and the cast and crew were required to undergo regular testing to ensure a safe working environment.

Innovative Techniques Used by Filmmakers to Overcome These Challenges

Filmmakers had to come up with creative solutions to work around the limitations imposed by the pandemic. Some filmmakers decided to shoot their films entirely indoors, such as the horror movie "Host," which was filmed entirely over Zoom. Other filmmakers used existing footage and archive material to tell their stories, such as Garrett Bradley's "Time." Filmmakers also turned to remote collaboration tools and virtual production techniques to work with actors, crew members, and visual effects teams from different locations. For example, director David Fincher used virtual production techniques in "Mank" to recreate 1930s Hollywood and shoot some of the film's more challenging scenes.


The Role of Technology in the Making of COVID-Era Films

Technology played a vital role in the making of COVID-era films. Filmmakers used various technologies to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. Remote collaboration tools such as Zoom and Slack helped filmmakers communicate with their teams while working from home. Virtual production techniques, like those used in "The Mandalorian," allowed filmmakers to create entire worlds and sets without leaving the studio. Some filmmakers even used augmented and virtual reality to create immersive experiences for their audiences, such as the virtual reality experience for the film "The Book of Distance." Technology also enabled filmmakers to continue post-production work and promote their films through virtual film festivals and online screenings, such as the Sundance Film Festival.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges for filmmakers worldwide. However, their creativity and innovation, along with the help of technology, allowed them to create some remarkable films that will go down in history. These films stand as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the film industry during challenging times.

 

The Future of Film in a Post-COVID World


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the film industry, with theaters closing, production delays, and changes in consumer behavior. As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, it's important to consider what the future of film will look like in a post-pandemic world.

This section will explore the changes that have occurred in the film industry during the pandemic, the lasting impact it will have, and predictions for the future of film. From the shift to streaming and virtual festivals to changes in how films are made and distributed, the film industry is sure to look very different in the years to come.


Interestingly, the pandemic did bring some positive changes, with an increase in streaming and video gaming due to people being stuck at home. Streaming is seen as the future of entertainment, with more studios launching films on streaming platforms, which will deeply cut into theater business. Read more about about stream with my previous write up, Streaming Wars: Navigating the Chaos Era.


Despite this, experts believe there is still a future for movie theaters, with local, independently-owned cinemas benefiting from greater patron loyalty and organizing film events. American television may face increased competition from overseas content, but Americans have become more comfortable streaming non-English language content.


Changes in the film industry post-pandemic
  1. The shift to streaming: With theaters closed, streaming services became the primary way for audiences to watch new releases. This led to an increase in the number of films released on streaming platforms and a decrease in theatrical releases.

  2. Virtual film festivals: With traditional film festivals canceled, many festivals moved online. This allowed for wider access to films and a more diverse audience.

  3. Delayed releases: Many films that were supposed to be released in theaters during the pandemic had to be delayed. This led to a backlog of films that will be released once theaters reopen.

  4. Changes in production: Filmmakers had to adapt to new safety protocols on set, leading to changes in how films are made.


The lasting impact of the pandemic on the film industry
  1. Financial impact: The pandemic had a significant financial impact on the film industry, with theaters closing and production delays leading to lost revenue.

  2. Changes in distribution: The shift to streaming and virtual festivals may have a lasting impact on how films are distributed in the future.

  3. Changes in consumer behavior: The pandemic may have changed the way audiences consume films, with more people choosing to watch movies at home rather than in theaters.

Predictions for the future of film in a post-pandemic world
  1. Continued shift to streaming: Streaming services were already becoming more popular before the pandemic, and the pandemic may have accelerated this trend.

  2. Hybrid releases: Some films may be released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platforms to reach wider audiences.

  3. More virtual festivals: The success of virtual festivals during the pandemic may lead to more festivals moving online in the future.

  4. Changes in how films are made: Filmmakers may continue to use new safety protocols on set even after the pandemic is over.

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant shifts in the entertainment industry that will have long-lasting effects on American culture and media. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the film industry, leading to changes in how films are distributed, produced, and consumed. The shift to streaming and virtual festivals may have a lasting impact on the industry, and some changes, such as hybrid releases and virtual festivals, may become more common in the future. The pandemic has also forced filmmakers to adapt to new safety protocols on set, which may lead to lasting changes in how films are made. As the world continues to navigate the pandemic and its aftermath, the film industry will undoubtedly continue to evolve and adapt.


Where To Watch Morgans Mask

Morgans Mask will be available on all major platforms and streamers. Savant Artists was able to help secure a deal with Good Deed Entertainment and the TVOD release was August 28, 2023 on AppleTV, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Vudu.


Navigating Film Distribution with Savant Artists

Founded by Sebastian Twardosz, who boasts an impressive Hollywood resume working with the likes of Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, Savant Artists leverages considerable insider knowledge to help filmmakers at every stage including financing, production, film festivals, marketing, and distribution. With over 25 years of experience advising and representing filmmakers, they are masters of shepherding indie films from development through to maximizing their reach and impact.



For emerging talents making their first foray into indie cinema, as well as established directors seeking to broaden their success, Savant Artists provides invaluable services that empower creators and get films into the spotlight.


Click the Youtube Channel link to learn more from industry insiders including writers, directors, producers, festival directors, entertainment attorneys, and much more.


Nurturing Projects from Script to Screen

Savant Artists dives into the development process, providing feedback on scripts, business plans, budgets and casting. Their extensive network and resources accumulated from collaborating with hundreds of indie filmmakers allows them to consult on building the necessary framework and team for a promising production. They help assemble the pieces - from solid script to financing to crew - that strong projects are built upon.


Advocating for Films at Major Festivals

Savant Artists doesn't stop at just guiding films through pre-production; they are an unmatched advocate for filmmakers whose works are ready for the world to see. With a track record that speaks volumes, they represent their clients to major film festivals and regional events, ensuring that each film receives the attention it deserves.


For many filmmakers, the dream is to have their films showcased at prestigious events like Sundance, SXSW, or Tribeca. Savant Artists is well-versed in the intricacies of the festival circuit and global distribution landscape, making sure your work secures coveted spots at such renowned platforms.


A Comprehensive Approach to Distribution

While getting a film to festivals is a significant achievement, the ultimate goal is to have it reach audiences far and wide. This is where Savant Artists' expertise in film distribution shines. They cover every aspect of distribution, from traditional channels like theatrical releases, DVDs, TV, VOD, and streaming to innovative models like DIY and hybrids.


One remarkable aspect of Savant Artists is their versatility in representing films with varying budgets. Whether it's a micro-budget indie or a multimillion-dollar production, they have the experience and knowledge to ensure each film reaches its target audience. This extends to all types of narratives, from gripping documentaries on diverse topics to TV series and even foreign language films from around the world.


Their comprehensive approach doesn't just aim for wide distribution but also ensures that each film resonates with viewers. They understand the essence of your work and tailor strategies that match it, making sure it reaches its audience in the most impactful way.


Guiding Filmmakers and Investors

Beyond individual projects, Savant Artists dispenses invaluable guidance for breaking into the Hollywood ecosystem. Their management consulting services help indie filmmakers and investors develop career strategies and make the right connections. Through platforms like their popular web series The Insiders, they provide rare insights into the inner workings of the entertainment industry.


This is especially significant for emerging talents, as Savant Artists opens doors, allowing them to break into the film industry's highly competitive and ever-evolving landscape. It's not just about distributing a film; it's about ensuring that filmmakers have the tools and knowledge to thrive in the industry.


Guidance for Navigating Hollywood

At the core of Savant Artists' services lies a genuine passion for championing indie filmmakers and shepherding their creative visions. They serve as true partners, seeking to understand each client's unique goals and voice. This dedication enables them to tailor strategies that help indie films speak to audiences in the most impactful way.


In the high-stakes world of independent cinema, navigating the path from an idea on paper to successfully sharing your creation with the world is filled with challenges. With Savant Artists' expertise accumulated over decades in the industry, indie filmmakers gain a formidable ally. Their guidance transforms the risks of independent filmmaking into exciting opportunities to share bold new cinematic stories.

 

More Information on COVID era films



Excellent Film Resources

If you're interested in learning more about the film industry and improving your filmmaking skills, there are many excellent resources available online. Some of our favorites include the American Film Institute, the Sundance Institute, and the International Documentary Association. Additionally, many film schools and universities offer degree programs in film

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