STUTTER was the winner of Best Performances at the December 2016 Family/Animation Film Festival. A film about a strong-willed widower with a heavy stutter who is determined to win the respect of his son by speaking to the boy’s class on Career Day.
It was a pleasure chatting with the filmmaker about the film and what’s next:
Matthew ToffolO: What motivated you to make this film?
The motivation came from the idea to come to terms with my speech impediment and self motivate me to become a filmmaker no matter what; encouraging people to come to terms with their issues to be successful in whatever they do.
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took 6 months.
MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Finding a middle-aged man who stutters in real life. I found him in a speech clinic as a patient, and he is a non-actor. This was his first time acting.
MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I agreed in all the reactions and critiques; and punched myself for not paying attention to those faults that the audience saw and I thought they were not going to see. That was a lesson I learned for my next film. Also, I got surprised when one of the viewers cried. Also, at the end of the video, the moderator mentioned an angle of the characters that I didn’t see. And that new angle made me proud because that was sign that the movie transcended and was more complex than I thought.
WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the short film:
MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
I’m a person who stutters since I was five years old, and as I grow older with my wife, I asked myself: what if I’m a middle-age man and I keep stuttering bad? How will my son respect and see me? What other thing I can do to get accepted by my children? From this paranoia the idea of the story came up.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
I have the bad habit of not repeating movies since I hate when I already know what is going to happen next. So I think maybe Forrest Gump is the movie I have seen two times, at the most.
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
Right now I’m writing a feature but I want to continue making short films before jumping to direct features.
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.