Nadiv Molcho – the young actor, director and member of the NENI clan – is used to defying naysayers. His first feature film is The History of Now

The world of Nadiv Molcho – a hyperactive 27-year-old actor-director – is a multicultural stew of flavors and inspirations. Meeting over Indian curry and New York cheesecake at his Israeli mother’s flagship restaurant NENI on Vienna’s Naschmarkt, the youngest scion of a well-known, successful local family has had little reason to doubt his own potential. “I never had to wait in line, struggle as a waiter or bartender or anything. But that’s also why I feel I have to work harder.” He had a rude awakening in Los Angeles, where his European connections meant nothing. Promises of help were no more than airy schmoozing: “The first question a producer asked me in L.A. was what do you do? I said I’m an actor. And she’s like, Oh, what restaurant?” Molcho struggled to get representation; casting agents told him to play off his look and go for Adrien Brody-type roles, and he found no one was interested in his filmmaking efforts thus far.

Far from letting these and other setbacks dash his hopes, Molcho decided to use €25,000 of his own money to make a movie that could propel his career forward. After all, his generation grew up with all the relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use digital tools that allow anyone to become a hyphenate blend of artist, filmmaker, photographer, DJ, and composer.

Beginnings

The result is an ambitious debut effort: he is History of Now’s star, director, writer and producer, and even made a song for the soundtrack. “I want to set a certain standard for myself. The older I get, the deeper I want to work on something. I quickly realized the only way I was going to achieve that was to create my own opportunities. If I’m the director, I can choose to cast myself. If I’m also the writer and producer, I get to choose everyone.”

History of Now, a romantic drama of first love gone awry set in Vienna and Morocco, is loosely based on Molcho’s own experiences – he admits he didn’t see Before Sunrise, Richard Linklater’s romantic classic also set in Vienna, the gold standard of falling in love while meandering around a beautiful old city.

The History of Now
© Thimfilm

Sadly, the film suffers from relatively typical first-time technical and structural issues – a result of a hasty three-week pre-production period, and a deliberate decision to throw away the rulebook before filming. “We started rehearsing the dialogue, and I quickly realized: ok, we’re not really getting it, it doesn’t sound natural. I need this film to be realistic, to reflect rawness, and so I said, I wrote the script, we all read it, now let’s throw the script away. There’s two, three key moments I want in each scene, but around those, we can improvise. And that was just the best decision ever because it gave us all a close bond that is hard to create when you have a director telling you what to do. I directed the film, but I like to say we all directed it.”

The History of Now
© Thimfilm

Fortunately, Molchos are known for working together as a tight team to ensure they all succeed. Their business and home locations feature prominently in the film; his mother, father and eldest brother Nuriel play significant roles. Molcho shot the film partly in Morocco because his mother was there already to research recipes for a new cookbook. And in the end, a rather scrappy production defied all expectations to screen at international film festivals and find distribution. As their family motto states, “Life is beautiful.”

History of Now

Starts Feb 24

Votivkino
9., Währinger Str. 12

 

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Following studies in Anthropology at UCL, Film at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Law at Loyola, Andrew worked for Miramax Films, 20th Century Fox Studios, and won two awards as a public relations counsel at Ruder Finn. After seeing the US political system from the inside while working for the VOA at a Democratic & a Republican political convention, Andrew returned to Europe to make documentary films, including "Vinyl: Tales from the Vienna Underground", which premiered at Karlovy Vary. He is currently curating for a film festival, developing new film projects, and developing an organic food app