Babetida Sadjo (front) and Souleymane Sy Savane (back) in Our Father the Devil.

The small-budget indie movie Our Father, the Devil was completed in only 74 days, from the first day of production to its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, thanks to a film editing software that made post-production go as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Our Father, the Devil follows an African refugee’s quiet existence in a sleepy mountain town in the south of France, which is suddenly upended by the arrival of a charismatic Catholic priest whom she recognizes as the warlord who slaughtered her family.

Written and directed by Ellie Foumbi and starring Babetida Sadjo and Souleymane Sy Savane, Our Father, The Devil was made on only a $150,000 budget, all of which they won in grant money from the Venice Biennale Cinema College Program. In addition to the prize money, they also got to premiere the film at the Venice Film Festival in 2021.

“The thing that’s crazy about their program is that, basically, once you’re selected, you have nine months to shoot your film. You get selected in late October and you are premiering your film in September of the following year. So it’s very much like, you’re making your movie you’re going to Venice, that’s it,” producer and colorist Joseph Mastantuono told MovieMaker

“Which I feel like it’s actually a really good thing for independent films and first-time filmmakers not to be stuck in that space of not having to get it done and not spending forever waiting for it to be perfect in a lot of ways.”

To make an already tight timeline even tighter, their shoot date got pushed back due to COVID-19.

Making Our Father, the Devil

Their ace in the hole, according to Mastantuono, was Blackmagic Design’s Davinci Resolve software, which allows filmmakers to do editing, color correction, motion graphics, and audio post-production all on one program.

“Not only do I think it’s the best color grading software out there — it’s also really a Swiss army knife for anything to do with footage. So we made all our dailies from Resolve, we did subtitling in Resolve. We did all our creation of any deliverables we had. We made all of our VFX in Resolve. We made a lot of our titles in Resolve,” Mastantuono said. “It’s just the best tool for not only dailies, but also finishing the color correction.”

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A still from Our Father, the Devil

The editor, Roy Clovis, did all the film’s editing in Avid and was able to seamlessly transfer his edits over to Resolve, where Mastantuono could immediately start color grading.

“One of the things that’s great about Resolve is that it also works well with other software,” Mastantuono said.

“The integration with all of those tools being so solid, there was never any problem for me to just basically be like, ‘Okay, let’s take your Avid edit and bring it into Resolve,’ and within minutes I had the cut up and going was able to [color] grade right away.”

He added: “Using Resolve as our home base for post was really something that helped us streamline the process. After production, we literally only had 28 days total to not only finish editing the film… [but also] we had to make some time for audio and finishing and DCP and some stuff like that. So it was really kind of a quick process. Having Resolve at the heart of it was really helpful.”

Our Father, The Devil also played at Tribeca, where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated a 2023 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature.

Our Father, The Devil is now playing in select theaters across the country.

Main Image: Babetida Sadjo (front) and Souleymane Sy Savane (back) in Our Father the Devil.