Interview with director Zsolti Szabo (SHAPING SCARS)

Short Film “SHAPING SCARS” played to rave reviews at the June 2017 LGBT FEEDBACK Short Film Festival.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Zsolti Szabo: ‘Shaping Scars’ was inspired by a personal relationship I had in the past, as well as by the experiences of the Poet Fern Angel Beattie and Composer Christopher J. Ward, their past relationships equally influenced the spoken word and music they created for this film.

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

I first discussed the concept with the Poet Fern in Spring 2015 and the film premiered in an intimate setting of my 30th birthday party on 5th December 2016.

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

Dancing Pain

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

This film was my debut as a Director and Producer on a larger scale. I knew I had the organisational skills to see through the process but because I didn’t go the film school and didn’t have years of experience I had to fight a lot of self-doubt. I wanted to show my creative side, be a good Director, create something that moves people at the core and leaves them in tears. It was somewhat frightening experience because this film was my way to process a painful separation, and I thought whatever feedback it will get that’s also a judgement on my personal feelings. Fortunately over time the project became less about who I was in my past relationship but more about who I have become as a Filmmaker.

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

I was in tears. This was our worldwide premiere on big screen and the first time to hear feedback directly from the audience. The comments were deeply moving and validating.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I was going through a break-up in 2012 and in the aftermath I started to see images rolling in front of my eyes but not really knowing what to do with them. Later on this happened a few more times and I came to the conclusion that I have to extract these images from my head, to let them come to life. It was the first time I started to look at filmmaking as a new career path.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Constantine with Keanu Reeves – love the mystical concept how good and evil has to battle it out for every soul.

What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Bliss – Breath (from a Cafe Del Mar album) – it’s on loop when I mediate.

What is next for you? A new film?

I’ve just started my own film production business Pulie Productions to operate between London and Hungary (where I’m originally from). I’ve been working in offices far too long, now I want to travel, meet with new creative people and have more freedom. I might have 2 more dance films in the pipeline too…


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto twice a month, and every other month in Los Angeles. 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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