‘Fear is a virus’
Corona is a 2020 Canadian thriller film about neighbours that are trapped in an elevator with a young Chinese woman they suspect has COVID-19; accusations and racism spread among them faster than a virus.
Written, produced and directed by Mostafa Keshvari, the GrandMuse Pictures Andrea Stefancikova, Andy Canete, Emy Aneke, Josh Blacker, Richard Lett, Traei Tsai and Zarina Sterling.
“Besides the slightly pretentious dialogue exchange between the characters, I appreciate the symbolism tied with the story’s mise en scene and its relevance to Keshvari’s thesis. The elevator is a representation of the world, indicating that we are actually closer to each other than we appear; consequently, our independent actions will have immediate impact on everyone else.” Christine’s Cinema Corner
“Overall, a pretty weak, unconvincing and rather frustrating story that the world probably doesn’t need right now, but one that was acted well by all involved and filmed to a good standard.” The DC Review
“The elevator is full of life, death, racism, forgiveness, distrust, anger, loneliness, compassion, hatred, sadness and love. The film is a gritty piece of first-class Canadian filmmaking and strangely a degree of harmony and togetherness is obtained after an emotional and intense roller coaster of emotions and surprises.” Set the Bar
Corona premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on August 8, 2020. It was released online by Level 33 Entertainment on September 1, 2020.
Cast and characters:
Andrea Stefancikova … Pregnant woman
Andy Canete … Debtor tenant
Emy Aneke … Elevator repair
Josh Blacker … Landlord
Richard Lett … Man in the wheelchair
Traei Tsai … Chinese nurse
Zarina Sterling … Teenager
Parker Chen … Radio Anchor VO (voice)
Ali Ghahary … Radio Anchor VO (voice)
Desirée Monsuraté … Radio Anchor VO (voice)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The entire film was improvised by the actors in a single take in an elevator following an outline written by Mostafa Keshvari who got the idea while in a lift and reading news about racist attacks on Asian tourists around the world.