Category: Uncategorized

Andrey Serbin

ANDREY SERBIN/DIRECTOR

Director: Andrey Serbin

 Born and raised in Ukraine, Andrey Serbin’s path led to being an editor and DOP as soon as he moved to Kyiv, the country’s capital. Soon, when exploring the working field of a director, he realised that there might be further development stages to wait for him and shape his career. Find out which project marked the start of his professional success and why his future goals go beyond his own projects.

 When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger?

When I was a teenager, I started parcouring and it pushed me to take my camera. I filmed, directed and mounted videos of our team. It was a turning point in my life. I am grateful for the time when I clearly realized what my life was all about and where my path would lead.

When did you realize that you want to be a director?

When I moved to Kyiv, I was editing and worked as a DOP. A few years later I realized that being a DOP is not the limit of my possibilities and not my main goal either – so I continued to develop further as a director and editor.

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now?

My first project was at Fashion Week. I made a film about a designer and his new collection. It was a cool project and I did my best – which is the only way to achieve anything! To myself at the time, I would advise to be less afraid, more determined and more confident! But in fact, I knew that the film would be cool and stylish!

Which of your works is your favorite? And why?

My most successful and coolest project at the moment is Favourite Sport, although there was a lot of post-production and it was not easy to shoot. But we worked as a big team, and I played several roles at once (I was director and editor!). It was a cool experience to demonstrate my entire skillset.

What is the biggest dream for your professional life?

I dream of being part of the people who move the film industry world forward. To be one of those who set the style and dynamics of the film industry. To be part of a team of world-class professionals.

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Darja Pilz

DARJA PILZ/DoP

 DoP: Darja Pilz 

When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger? 

I was born in Russia and lived there until I was 6. My mum was traveling to Germany a lot and once carried a tiny TV with an integrated VHS deck and a VHS with MTV recordings back to Russia. I was watching the music videos over and over. I was fascinated by the variety of visual styles and the interaction of musical rhythms and the rhythm of the edited visuals. I soon started to shoot my own music videos on an old S-VHS camera that we had at home. 

Besides that, I was influenced by the soviet cinema that was regularly watched at home. A moment I will never forget was when I saw the Belorussian anti-war film “Come and See”. I was about 12 years old and devastated by the images that will never get out of my head. It was the first time I could feel the significant impact that film could have on human emotions and it influenced the way I feel about storytelling today. 

When did you realize that you want to be a DoP? 

It was more of process than one specific moment of inspiration. I started with photography when I was 14 and shot a documentary with our youth club when I was 16. Back then, I had not been yet that this could be an actual profession. I was doing a lot of research on what I would like to study and all my ideas were aiming towards visual arts and especially film. After hours of research I understood that there is someone responsible for the photography in films specifically – and that’s when I decided to study cinematography. 

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now? 

My first project was the short film „In the Nick of Time“, that I shot during my undergraduate studies. I teamed up with a director from my class and we decided to produce the whole film on our own, even if we didn’t get funds from the school. We worked part-time to get enough money and produced it on a level so that we could apply for festivals later on. The preparation took half a year and we were wearing so many hats. Gladly we could find an amazing crew who helped a lot but still, we had to be really creative: the lack of money just didn’t allow us to realize all our ideas in art design and postproduction. 

Eventually the short film was very successful and was screened at over 100 festivals worldwide. I wouldn’t do anything different because producing it from A to Z was the best experience for a first project. It taught me a lot about the infrastructure of filmmaking. I would just not let the wrap party take place in the shooting location anymore – to avoid the damages that the boisterous partying and music making crew has accidentally caused. 🙂 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why? 

My favourite case is the feature SHARAF, that is currently in post production. Based on Sonallah Ibrahim’s famous novel, it tells the story of a modern Candide – the young man Sharaf – who gets imprisoned unjustly after defending himself against a rape attempt. 

The world he faces in prison reflects the complex situation of global societies, economic tensions and dependencies on authorities and capital. In the microcosm of the human encounters, Sharaf realises how each individual has caused the global crisis or is affected by it. He falls victim to bribery, manipulation, blackmailing and physical violence until he decides to take action for himself. 

For me, the story is so important to tell because it shows in a universal way that it is time not only to rethink but also to actively change ourselves and our society structures. Sharaf represents millions of humans, who have to cope with uncertainty and confusion. We may not feel that here as much as in other parts of the world, but a lot of our safety and wealth is built upon the suffering and the bad living conditions of others. So horrible that they risk their lives to leave it behind. I hope that the film will give power to those voices that are often not heard. 

What is the biggest dream for your professional life? 

I want to shoot films that have an impact on how we live together as humans and how we create our environment. Many have been conditioned to live in separation and mistrust and lost the sense of community to the individualistic lifestyle of meritocracy. I feel very inspired by artists who are able to tell stories that bring us closer together.

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Sven Lippold

Sven Lippold/DoP

 When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger? 

During the early days at home in Leipzig, I would just tape loads of arthouse movies and animations from Arte, a German-French art channel, onto my vhs recorder. I have always been into foreign movies, different languages and cultures and I just wanted to get a taste of the world out there. 

When did you realize that you want to be a DoP? 

I knew that my profession had to be something related to art, music and some kind of visual language. I actually wanted to become a craftsman but didn’t know what to pursue in the first place. Then I discovered 35mm Stills Photography – and that triggered a creative nerve in me. 

I started out in the wrong field but changed my profession 5 years later when I went 

to study at the FAM, a TV Academy in Leipzig, and things slowly got into shape. 

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now? 

My first project was a documentary about “wild Eastern Europe” which I shot in Ukraine and Poland for approximately 5 months. It was an intense experience, and from there on there was no point of return for me. The film turned out alright, but from a technical point of view, I would approach a shooting like this in a totally different way today. Still, for what I knew back then, it was acceptable. 

In all stages of my career, the learning curve has been steep and as professionals, we grow with each job. So there’s nothing to regret. The best experiences were the jobs when I actually failed and had to reset my plans – it’s always been a creative and technical battle. 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why? 

I have a few favorite projects, all of them were special in their own way. 

What is the biggest dream for your professional life? 

I moved to Asia in 2006 and that is when things became really interesting. Working within a totally foreign culture, I had to challenge myself everyday. That’s the best thing ever happen to me, I became a different person. What I would love to do is shooting a major feature film, in order to collaborate with like-minded people that all want to shoot projects from the heart. 

The goal is to refine the craft, to shape my skills and constantly adapt to new technical inventions which is an ongoing challenge. Also, I would like to continue travelling to far out places, see and feel more of our wonderful earth. I am very grateful and lucky to have a life like this. 

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Alexandre Pluquet

Alexandre Pluquet/Director

 When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger? 

When I was young, my whole life revolved around music. I practiced instruments like the guitar, the saxophone, the piano and percussion and spent a lot of time in a music school in my town where I played in a band and the symphonic orchestra. And when I played, I always imagined pictures in my mind, like a spiritual journey. Playing music was like a way to tell a story. And it offered me a fabulous process to develop my imagination. 

A little later at school, I discovered the work of artists like Gaspard Noé, JL Godard, Bunuel, David Fincher, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott and Wong Kar-Wai. For the first time, I was able to view films as a powerful way to express myself. And as a viewer, a powerful way to evoke reflection and shift perception. This was where my deep passion for both watching and making movies began. This feeling has remained with me ever since! 

When did you realize that you want to be a director? 

When I discovered the magic of making movies, I didn’t set out to be a director: I just wanted to create and explore film. For many years, I worked on opening titles for feature films and series or as an art director for commercials. This was a really great opportunity for me as feature film directors and producers offered me the possibility to express my own vision and feelings through the movie, without constraints. 

These experiences helped me to develop a trust in myself as well as my creative vision and to define my own style. After a while of working on different productions, I became curious about the rest of the creative process for other parts of the movie, and wanted to tell stories. So being a director became a natural transition. 

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now? 

My first professional project as a Director was a music video for a famous french singer. It was a collaboration with two other colleagues and our idea won the project. 

It was my first time to work on a professional set which was both a really exciting and challenging experience. As a first-time director I had to manage teams and lead the project which reflected in a learning curve. Maybe the film is not perfect and I would make it differently now, but it’s like a finger print of my creative period. Above all, it confirmed my desire to become a director… 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why? 

It’s difficult to choose one of my movies particularly because all was interesting at their period. Some for the great challenge they had, other for the success they gave me, or for the human experience they’ve brought me. But they all have something in common: the pleasure to create movies with passion and creativity. 

What is the biggest dream for your professional life? 

My biggest dream actually is the realization of some personal projects. I hope I will be able to do so in a nearer future. 

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Michael and Mathias Jener

DoP & Director: Mathias and Michael Jener

When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger?

Working as a duo ever since, we’ve been fascinated by capturing images from a young age. When we went on a trip to Barcelona, we decided to videotape our journey for fun. Back home, we couldn’t wait to edit everything we had captured. It took us six weeks to finish editing since we were total beginners – but once it was done we both realized how passionate we were about it. We then traveled to the south of France, solely to record again. It was amazing how we were able to bring life to the footage we were capturing. The combination of motion picture and rhythm is what eventually triggered us and became our passion.

When did you realize that you want to be a DoP and become a Director? 

We always worked for free and just posted our stuff for fun on social media. A friend of ours saw our work and asked if we would like to produce a film for Bosch. We had never done any project in this magnitude but were sure we could complete the task. We were successful and both realized that we could take our talent to the next level: directing.

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now?

Our first professional project was the one for Bosch in 2015 where we especially learned how to serve other people’s ideas. It was intense due to the fact that to that point, it was just the two of us when shooting freelance work. Suddenly, we had a crew of 10 members and were working with a famous actor. We were nervous not knowing if the client would be happy with our work. But that was the case and the client started recommending us for other work. 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why?

Our favorite case is the freelance work we did for Benjamin Rayher who is both an artist and a triathlete, a project we took on because we were fans. We had time for trial and error and tried different tactics, searching for our niche. It took us one full year to finish – but this work became the biggest learning lesson for us no man can teach.

What is the biggest dream for your professional life?

Our biggest dream is definitely to shoot visuals, for big clients and the big names, that will be remembered and inspire other people. 

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WOMSE

WOMSE/DIRECTOR

When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger? 

For me, the passion for film has more to do with the desire to tell stories. As a kid, I accidently broke a window. I didn’t want to get into trouble so I came up with a story in which there was a storm and a branch destroying the window. When I told it to my parents, they believed me and I didn’t get in trouble. I was happy and I realized the value of stories – that’s how my passion for storytelling came about. 

When did you realize that you want to be a director? 

At the age of 10 I saw „Jurassic Park“ and was completely fascinated by the film. I also wanted to tell such great stories and wanted to know which profession I would have to learn to make movies. That’s why I bought my first “Making of” book, from which I learned that my dream job is called “director”. By the way, the book is still on my shelf today. 

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now? 

My first „real“ project was a short film at the beginning of my studies. Before, I had only realised one-man projects, but was still convinced that I knew what a director was doing. But standing at a studio set with a big team for the first time, I did not have a clue. I made an infinite number of mistakes during the shooting and felt useless afterwards. But when I realized afterwards that I had learned an incredible amount through it, I learned that mistakes don’t make you fail – they let you grow. 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why? 

„Wahre Gefühle“ for Schauspiel Köln is my favourite project since it combines sound and vision in a fantastic way. The combination of an absurd plot, the outstanding sound design and the counteracting music is simply fun. 

What is the biggest dream for your professional life? 

Treasures, hidden rooms and secrets have always fascinated me. This is why my biggest dream is shooting an adventure film à la „Jurassic Park”, “Indiana Jones“ or „The Goonies“. 

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Dennis Schmelz

DENNIS SCHMELZ/DoP

When did you discover your passion for film? And what was the trigger? 

In my childhood, I started producing short movies with friends. I always enjoyed this “filmmaking thing”. In 2013, I finally started my career as freelancer before I did several internships and completed a 3-year education as audiovisual media designer. 

When did you realize that you want to be a DoP? 

I tried different things in the field of media such as graphics and audio composing. Then, in 2008, I did an internship at a recording studio. I filmed a studio diary for a band that just recorded their new album there. This was when I realized that filming was the part that I enjoyed most. 

Can you describe your first project? How did it go? And what would you do different now? 

The first big project after I had started my freelancer career was for Interrail / Eurail. I discovered over 30 European countries in one summer and created different short clips of cities and interesting train routes across all of Europe. It was a real challenge but I made it. In hindsight, I would allow more time for it to be more flexible. 

Which of your works is your favorite? And why? 

Every job is nice in its own way, but I really enjoyed the jobs in big teams. Also, I like travelling a lot, so a combination of both is just perfect for me! 

What is the biggest dream for your professional life? 

I would love to shoot a long film. I just finished my first 30 minutes of long series pilot which will be pitched for Netflix soon – this was a great experience. What I also love is shooting commercials for interesting brands all over the world. 

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SHOOT IN JAPAN

SHOOT IN JAPAN

Please find additional informations about the shooting of the Games 2020 in our PDF presentation.

The Japanese have fascinated for many centuries by their culture, precision, kindness, culinary delights and also by their strength as a nation, which they proved in numerous catastrophes. The old Japan is a marked but above all very proud and dignified country. The new Japan, on the other hand, waits for its visitors with numerous bizarre and strange things, but still stands for technical progress, industry, modern design, enjoyment and world culture. Numerous international companies have their roots in the island state. Away from the big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka, the breathtaking and diverse nature inspires its visitors. From Fuji to the elaborately designed gardens – Japan is a highlight.

In 2020 the Olympic Games will take place again in Japan. Already in 1964 this country was in the focus of all sports enthusiasts and carried the idea of the common and peaceful competitions of all nations around the whole world. We assume that there will be a very high demand for video and TV productions in Japan immediately after the Games. Therefore, we recommend to start already now with the planning of filming and to implement these if not absolutely necessary before summer 2020 ideally still in the year 2019.

We would like to emphasize in particular that Japan has a high interest in filming and that the public authorities are very cooperative here. The Japanese community is also considered to be film-friendly and so it is quite possible to get extras interested in a film project. On the other hand, it is difficult to shoot in Tokyo’s public traffic, which is why parts of a production are often shot in other cities to give the impression of Tokyo.

Japan is also the content of elaborately produced documentaries and serves as a film location for cinema and advertising films. Infrastructure, crew and equipment can be found at the highest level in Japan. yolo films is also excellently connected here and produces film and video content in top locations as a film service production with high professional partners.

 

Hier findest du zusätzliche Informationen zu den Dreharbeiten rund um die Spiele 2020 als PDF.

Die Japaner faszinieren seit vielen Jahrhunderten durch ihre Kultur, Präzision, Freundlichkeit, kulinarische Köstlichkeiten und auch durch ihre Stärke als Volk, die sie bei zahlreichen Katastrophen bewiesen. Das alte Japan ist ein gezeichnetes aber vor allem auch sehr stolzes und würdevolles Land. Das neue Japan wartet hingegen mit zahlreichen skurrilen und befremdlichen Dingen auf seine Besucher, steht aber weiterhin auch für technischen Fortschritt, Industrie, modernes Design, Genuss und Welt-Kultur. Zahlreiche internationale Unternehmen haben ihre Wurzeln auf dem Inselstaat. Abseits der großen Städte wie Tokio und Osaka begeistern die atemberaubende und vielfältige Natur seine Besucher. Vom Fuji bis hin zu den aufwändig gestalteten Gärten – Japan ist ein Highlight.

2020 finden in Japan wiederholt die Olympischen Spiele statt. Bereits 1964 stand dieses Land im Fokus aller Sportbegeisterten und hat den Gedanken der gemeinsamen und friedliche Wettkämpfe aller Nationen um die ganze Welt getragen. Wir gehen davon aus, dass es unmittelbar zu den Spielen einen sehr hohen Bedarf an Video- und TV-Produktionen in Japan geben wird. Daher empfehlen wir bereits jetzt mit der Planung von Dreharbeiten zu beginnen und diese sofern nicht absolut notwendig bereits vor Sommer 2020 idealerweise noch im Jahr 2019 umzusetzen.

Besonders hervorheben möchten wir, dass Japan ein hohes Interesse an Dreharbeiten hat und die öffentlichen Behörden hier sehr kooperativ sind. Auch gilt die japanische Bevölkerung als filmfreundlich und so ist es gut möglich Statisten für ein Filmprojekt zu begeistern. Schwierig hingegen sind Aufnahmen im öffentlichen Verkehr der Stadt Tokio, warum oftmals in anderen Städten Teile einer Produktion gedreht werden, um den Eindruck von Tokio zu erwecken.

Japan ist zudem Inhalt aufwendig produzierter Dokumentationen und dient als Drehort für Kino- und Werbefilme. Infrastruktur, Crew und Equipment findet man in Japan auf höchstem Niveau. yolo films ist auch hier bestens vernetzt und produziert als Film-Service-Produktion mit hochprofessionellen Partnern Film- und Videoinhalte in TOP Locations.

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SHOOT IN FILMLAND THAILAND

SHOOT IN FILMLAND THAILAND

Please find additional informations in our ENGLISH or GERMAN presentation.

Why Thailand? It is one of the most film-friendly countries in the world!

From classic films like ‚The Deer Hunter‘ and ‚The Killing Fields‘ to blockbuster hits like ‚The Hangover – Part II‘, Thailand has proven itself time and again as a favourite location for international filmmakers. Directors such as Werner Herzog, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Wong Kar-Wai, Luc Besson, Michael Cimino and George Lucas have created some of their best works in Thailand. Whether scenes like jungle wars, beach paradises, rural life in breathtaking mountain scenery or even hectic city life, Thailand can provide the backdrop to bring a filmmaker’s vision to life.
But Thailand is much more than just a beautiful place. Equally important for a film or commercial production is to find an international level of crew, stage, props and equipment. Whether your production requires the latest digital cameras, large lighting equipment, drone cinematography or state-of-the-art post-production facilities, Thai companies have invested in modern technology. Thai crews are legendary for their speed, cost efficiency and willingness to cooperate. Most important, however, is their experience. A producer filming in Thailand can be sure that he can expect an infrastructure and a production environment that has developed and refined its skills over many years and can adapt to the working methods and creative styles of international filmmakers.
More and more filmmakers are coming to Thailand for studio work, green screen scenes and post production. Thailand is the perfect balance between quality and value.

The Thailand Film Office is the body appointed by Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism to oversee international film production in Thailand and help filmmakers find the right local services and make the best of their time in Thailand.
See for yourself why Thailand has the reputation of being one of the most film-friendly countries in the world.

 

TOP ADVANTAGES THAILAND

  • Excellent English-language services at Hollywood level (known by James Bond, Hang Over II,…)
  • Very low costs for staff, equipment, material,…
  • An unsurpassed variety of indoor and outdoor locations
  • Fast shooting permits and efficient authority procedures
  • Numerous studios equipped with the latest technology
  • Experienced production designers and authentic stage design at unbeatable prices
  • Excellent trained and experienced SFX and Stunts teams
  • Numerous European models and actors living in Thailand
  • Good planning and sunny weather conditions
  • Excellent infrastructure

 

FILMING PERMIT AND WORK PERMIT

For shooting in Thailand you need a general filming permit and a locally registered coordinator. yolo films takes care of that for you! For productions under 15 shooting days, such as commercials, there are accelerated approval procedures.
TIP: Thailand has very strict laws when it comes to defaming its cultural heritage or national institutions, so it is advisable to avoid this in the script, otherwise there is a risk that the application will be rejected. In Thailand, the A.T.A. Carnet Act applies. This means that the temporary import of professional equipment is exempt from import tax. In addition, Thailand has entered into double taxation agreements with many other countries. Crews who intend to work in Thailand for a maximum period of 15 days can do so with a tourist visa. Only crews who work longer than 15 days must have a multiple visa.

 

DO’s & DON’ts

Technology makes it easier and faster than ever for people living in different parts of the world to communicate with each other. This has created new opportunities to interact with people of different faiths and cultures. For a better understanding, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, the Ministry of Culture would like to present a short guide on certain aspects of Thai culture:

 

SOCIAL CUSTOMS

  • Thais greet each other with a wai, traditional closed hands and a slight bow of the head, where younger people initiate the wai. But more recently, Western visitors will usually receive a handshake.
  • Thais regard the head as a sacred part of their body. So you should not touch anyone’s head. Apologize immediately if you happen to touch someone’s head.
  • Thais consider their feet to be low, so do not place your feet on a table or chair or point your feet at people or objects.
  • Expressing sexual feelings in public is not acceptable in Thai culture.
  • Showing a picture of the Thai national flag on any packaging or product is only allowed if it is made…

(A) with the approval of the governmental authorities; and
(B) for commercial purposes, with the consent of the government in accordance with the laws governing the national flag.

  • During the Songkran Festival or the Thai New Year, clean water and appropriate utensils should be used, and water should not be sprayed on those who do not wish to attend the celebration.
  • The monarchy is regarded by the Thais as a respected institution, and great respect is required. Any violation of the monarchy either openly or secretly is an offence in the sense of the constitution. One should stand as a sign of respect when playing the royal anthem. When you enter a palace compound, dress properly. Sleeveless shirts or blouses, shorts or sandals are not allowed.

 

GENERAL INFORMATIONS

  • Observe all normal precautions regarding personal safety and the safety of your property. Walking alone on quiet streets or in uninhabited areas is not recommended. Make sure that your valuables, money, jewelry and airline tickets are properly protected from loss. Call 1155 Tourist Police for help.
  • Dispose of your waste in a waste container. Bangkok City Council strictly enforces the laws to keep the city clean and healthy. Fines can also be imposed on those who spit, dispose of cigarette butts or waste.
  • Avoid illegal drugs or narcotics. The penalties for drug offences in Thailand are severe and include the death penalty.
  • Do not support the abuse of wild animals in any way. Never buy products or souvenirs from wild animals such as snakes, lizards, turtle shells and ivory. Avoid patronizing local restaurants offering wild animal delicacies.

 

RELIGION

  • If you visit Buddhist temples, dress politely. Visitors may wear shoes when walking around the temple, but shoes must be taken off when entering an inner sanctuary or in places with a sign for taking off shoes.
  • Women are not allowed to have physical contact with monks. If a woman receives anything from a monk, she should wait until the monk has dropped the object before picking it up. If she wants to give the monk something, she should place it on the cloth that he has spread out in front of him.
  • Climbing, sitting on, or leaning against a Buddha image, regardless of its size, condition, or whether it is real or a replica, is considered extremely disrespectful. It is permitted to take pictures with a Buddha image, but it should be taken in a polite and respectful manner.
  • The placement of Buddha images is important… Since the Thais consider Buddha images sacred, it is considered disrespectful to place them on the floor, under a table or chair, in a bathroom or on the lawn.
  • Buddha images are sold as objects of worship and not for other purposes as they are considered representatives of the Buddha. As such, Buddha images used as trademarks for sweets, drinks, alcoholic beverages, toys, or the attachment of Buddha images to shoes, socks, swimwear, or underwear are prohibited.
  • Since a Buddha image is made for worship, laws were enacted to protect the Buddha images. The unauthorized export of Buddha images from Thailand is a violation of the law that brings violators to justice.
  • Hate or disregard of religious objects or places of worship is a violation of the law according to section 206 of the penal code with a prison sentence of 1-7 years.
  • Causing a disturbance or insurrection at a religious assembly during a lawful assembly, worship or religious ceremony is an offence within the meaning of article 207 of the penal code with a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year.
  • Illegal dress as a false clergy in any religion is a violation of the law under section 208 of the penal code with a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year.
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