James Di Martino’s ‘The Faceless Man’ set for international release

25 March, 2020 by Don Groves

‘The Faceless Man.’

The Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF) in Estonia may be one of the world’s more obscure festivals but entering The Faceless Man there has paid dividends for the writer-director James Di Martino.


The filmmaker and his fellow producer Daniel Facciolo had planned to attend the festival, which is due to take place from April 25-28 and may still happen online, but for obvious reasons can’t go.

However Di Martino was contacted by Josh Guttman of New York-based international sales agent Hewes Pictures and a deal was signed.

“Previously we had a sales agent lined up with the idea of launching the film at Cannes, but we had not signed,” Di Martino tells IF.

“As COVID-19 will prevent any big markets for a long time, Hewes Pictures contacted me with the idea of releasing on alternative platforms and made a good offer.

“They have a a strong feature film catalogue which sparked my interest and their communication has been fantastic.”

Guttman tells IF: “The film came to my attention from the Haapsalu Film Festival. The trailer had a lot of elements that I found particularly interesting. The action mixed with horror was a great combination. So I contacted James and we moved forward from there.”

Di Martino’s debut feature, it was inspired by his experience of being diagnosed with Lymphoma when he was 18.

Sophie Thurling plays the protagonist Emily, who is haunted by a faceless creature in her subconscious three years after surviving cancer.

‘The Faceless Man.’

Her best friend Nina (Lorin Kauffeld) organises a weekend away with a bunch of male friends to a holiday house in an outback town, where they are terrorised by the faceless creature and harassed by the locals, cops and Russian monsters.

Roger Ward plays the leader of the town’s bikies gang with Andy McPhee as the intimidating owner of the holiday house. The cast includes Lucas Pittaway, Facciolo, Sunny S Walia, Martin Astifo, Albert Goikhman and David Beamish.

The film had a limited release on eight screens last October, premiering at Monster Fest at the Cinema Nova, self-distributed by the producers.

Di Martino says: “Hewes Pictures’ strategy for streaming and VOD in this climate is the way to go. Shelving the film for months is not an option given that most people will be home now and our film can be pushed out to mass VOD and streaming platforms.”

Guttman adds: “Multiple platforms are digging for content now so buyers are aggressively looking for content.”

Meanwhile the writer-director is developing several projects including a crime drama which revolves around a series of interconnecting stories that take place under a powerful crime syndicate and a dark coming-of-age comedy set in the world of indie filmmaking.