Miriam Dehne directed the artistic mystery short film “FALLING STARS”, which was showcased at the FEMALE FEEDBACK Film Festival in December 2016. “FALLING STARS” was awarded “Best Cinematography” at the festival.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Miriam Dehne: That two young female writers – students from university in Babelsberg (Berlin) came to me (Lily Duchow and Kat Russ) and asked me to direct their script, because they liked my movies. I liked the script, even though it seemed difficult to pull off for a short film, because you don’t have enough time to develop the characters for the big drama – and that was the challenge. I tried to solve that, by using high visualization for storytelling. And: I like to do a film with a little mystery touch .
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
MD: Nearly a year. It was difficult for us to finish editing because the film is a cooperation with the University Babelsberg. Editing was sponsored by the post=production provider Schröpfer & Bühler, and it was not easy to coordinate with the university rules and semester breaks. That was an ugly challenge for my producer Katherina Loersch as she pulled all strings and has did a lot more than normal producers duties.
MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?
MD: Disturbing and glittering
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
MD: To shoot in 3 Days and make it looking like that! Thank you to Florian Baumgartner, our DOP, Bohdan Adam Wozniak und Barbara Lennartz for set design, and the whole crew, to make it happen.
MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
MD: I was so touched, and feeling grateful that at the other side of the world, people decide going out in the evening, dress up, go to the cinema AND watch our movie! And it triggers something in their thoughts. So normally you do not get an audience feedback. For me, the feedback-video could have been much longer ; ) – as I just loved every single minute of it.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:
MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
MD: The film is a cooperation with the University Babelsberg-Berlin. The two writers Lily Duchow and Kat Russ asked me if I would like to direct it, because they saw another short I´ve done (TEARS https://vimeo.com/71151705) and the liked my picture language and a female way to express emotions.
It was a project, where professional directors work with students, that they get professional insights, and the university is the producer. I was a guest lecturer for the actors too. I brought a lot of professionals into the team, together with the producer Katherina Loersch, respective Editors, Costume, Set Design, Soundtrack, Make-up, First Assistant director. The DOP and his departments were film-students. The wonderful actors were a mixture: the two main characters Zoe (Lily Meinhardt) and Julius (Filip Gurjec) were students in the final Acting class – also the role of Victor, the guy in the wheelchair was a student (Yannik Fisher).
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
MD: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, directed by Sam Peckinpah (to learn editing emotional scenes).
The Day of the Locust, directed by John Schlesinger (because of acting and set design).
Blue Valentine, directed by Derek Cianfrance ( because of the acting and beautiful images for love).
All Movies by Jane Campion and the new work of Andrea Arnold: American Honey. But mostly I watch a movie only once.
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
MD: I´m writing a script for a film about my grandparents Heti and Fatty. They ran a pub during the Nazi-Times in Germany called Fatty`s Atelier. It was a place where a lot of artists, gay people, actors, painters, actors, misfits found shelter. My grandmother Heti rescued my grandfather from denunciation and concentration camp and also Fatty’s Atelier from closing. Hopefully I will shoot in 2017 Mamy Blue. Its about a stage mother, who tries to rescue her daughter and herself from poverty.
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 www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.