Interview with director Irene Garces (THERE WAS A PLACE)

Irene Garces directed  the comedy web series  “THERE WAS A PLACE”, which was showcased at the FEMALE FEEDBACK Film Festival in December 2016. “THERE WAS A PLACE” was awarded “Best Film” at the festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Irene Garces: For a long time I have tried to find my own voice when I make movies. I’ve been experimenting with different genres, but one day I realized that what really motivates me to tell stories is to talk about my fears. In this short film I have tried to atone for my sins, my defects as a daughter, as a sister and as a future mother. A way to tell myself what kind of person I don’t want to be.

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

IG: It has been a long process, because this short film was born as a final project in my Cinema School, so I worked on the idea for many months with my teachers and then all the students go through presentation and a pitch where the school evaluates the costs, viability, idea and projection of the short film, and then they choose only two projects, and this process take us many months. Then we start with the pre-production, and we filmed the short film in 4 days, after that we had a long postproduction because the school is always supervising each process. So maybe a full year until it was finished.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

IG: Home and forgiveness.

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

IG: I have to say that it was a fairly easy and natural project, of course the obstacle is always money, you never have as much as you really need, but in general, maybe it’s the easiest shooting I’ve ever had. I think the hard part was the development of the idea.

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

IG: It has been such an amazing experience. In almost every festival you do not have a real response from the audience, sometimes someone is waiting for you at the end of the screening and tells you his impressions, but what you do in this festival is to respond with a mature idea and find the replica in the rest of viewers. In addition the interventions of the moderator seemed fantastic and very close to my approach to the short film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

IG: When I talk to my friends, I realize that we are a generation that we can not express to our parents that we love them. I wanted to talk about this, about the barriers that I find in my life to talk to them. And also talk about the women of my country, and in general of the whole world, the strong, passionate, rational and at the same time emotional they are. I have lived many years away from home, even from my city, and I wanted to return to shoot in my land and tell the world “these are the beautiful landscapes we have and this is the people so wonderful and complex that lives there”.

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

IG: Maybe… The Wizard of Oz, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Talk to Her.

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

IG: I started to write my first feature film, but in a relaxed way, without pushing myself in any way. A few months ago I rescued an idea that I had saved and I’m thinking of shooting a short film for 2017, very simple, two characters, in a single space, who barely speak but who are going to start to take things from their past that they discover that they do not like.


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

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


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