ICARO was awarded “Best Performances” at the Festival.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Carla Shah: It was time for me to direct my first fiction. I had had the idea for Icaro almost two years before actually filming. The time came where I had to prove to myself I could make it.
From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
The film took about two years from start to finish. The script was what took longest. I had never written a script before and although the images were clear in my head I was concerned people wouldn’t understand my message when translate onto paper. The funds for the film came from a crowdfunding platform here in Brazil and took about 3 months to get the amount we needed R$ 15,000 (approximately $ 3,500). The filming took 4 days, while post-production another 2-3 months.
How would you describe your short film in two words!?
Poetic and Thought-provoking
What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was probably gaining my confidence and voice as a director. Ícaro was my first fiction as a director and although I had experience directing documentaries the language and techniques for fiction is very different. I had for example never worked with such a big crew for example (12 people).
What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I really enjoyed watching everyones reactions. Everyone really took their time to think about it and ‘digest’ it in their own way. Everyone who has seen the film, not just from your audience, always ends up heavily debating the ending. One thing that was very important to me was that the film could base itself on the myth of Icarus but that it would not end in a tragedy i.e. the death of the protagonist. It is a myth that is charged with metaphor to provoke us to think about our condition. For me the flight of Icarus represents the longing for freedom. Where my character is confined in a elevator, the elevator can be a metaphor for a number of things. My message at the end is that our condition is ultimately about choice. When he takes off his name tag at the end, I am suggesting that he disassociates himself from the myth (and the tragic ending) and chooses a different path for himself.
How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
The idea initially came from a painting by my father. It’s a picture of a man in a business suit who is sprawled face down on the ground (as if having fallen from a great height). The grass around him is burnt into the shape of wings. Nearby we see the shoes of people surrounding him looking down. The image was always really powerful to me and I love the modern interpretation of the myth.
What film have you seen the most in your life?
His Secret Life, original title Le fate ignoranti (2001) by Ferzan Ozpetek and The Piano (1993) by Jane Champion.
You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I like it, I think it’s important for film makers to be able to give feedback on their experience with festivals.
What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
The entire album Transe, by Caetano Veloso which he wrote when living in London.
What is next for you? A new film?
I am currently writing a fictional series but continue to work with documentaries non stop.
WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:
ICARO, 11min, Brazil, Experimental
Directed by Carla Jay Shah Laroche
Based on the Greek tragedy, Icaro is a Brazilian modern adaptation of the iconic struggle; a man who seeks liberation from an environment in which he feels caged and powerless. Where myths tell us that our fate is determined by a greater force than our own, Icaro is a poetic film which illustrates how our fate is also determined by choice. Icaro must reach his own decisions on how his profession as an elevator operator will ultimately affect him, a profession which is still widely in use in Brazil. The film touches multiple aspects of Brazil’s complex society.
CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!