Interview with award winning director Erich Steiner (In the Still of the Night)

Erich Steiner’s IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT was the WILDsound July 2015 winner for Best Film.

You can learn more about this film and it’s various festival selections and wins on it’s Facebook Fan Page:

Interview with Erich Steiner:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Erich Steiner: A family, not far away from where I grew up, had killed themselves in 1938. The picture of the father haunted me for quite some time. And then I began to do research on the topic, etc. At the same time, right wing movements had been rising all over Europe during the last couple of years. A frightening development and suddenly I thought: Those things are closer than we think they are.

Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

Erich: Three years. The topic is not very welcome in Austria, country where we still are trying to forget and deny what happened during the Third Reich.

Matthew: How was the tone on set when making this film? This film is so intense and I’m curious how your cast/crew was feeling during filming, especially when working with child actors.

Erich: We didn’t tell the story to the kids because in the film the kids didn’t know what was going to happen. Only Maria, the oldest daughter, is suspicious. And we filmed in a special location: the owner of those flats is a known Neo-Nazi – we found that out only during the shooting. At first it was strange but then we felt good about it and proud. It was very challening to shoot with young kids, especially with the young boy. When I told his parents the story they were very moved. They told me that his grandfather had been deported to Auschwitz. At that moment I knew that we were doing something of value. Telling stories that should never been forgotten.

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Erich: Raising the money. Like I said before. The climate in Austria is still very much in the denying phase.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Erich: Very small but prosperous. Austria is a very small country but our films do exceptionally well internationally. Ok, not so many people watch them but they regularly receive prizes at top film festivals. We have very talented people.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Erich: I was very moved and excited by it. It’s so amazing to see how people react.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT:

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Erich: All Bergman films. Dead poets society. 8 1/2. La strada.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Erich: I am working on three scripts at the moment. All for feature films. Let’s see: ))

    * * * *

Deadline FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:

– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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