Interview with Filmmaker Kristin Gorell (THE FLOWER GATE)

THE FLOWER GATE played to rave reviews at the May 2018 Sci-Fi/Fantasy FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kristin Gorell: I set out originally to make a puppet play to participate in a local theater program for fun- but as I started the script, it turned into a short film rather quickly and I decided to just go ahead and make it instead. I also saw the making of this film as an opportunity for healing in action for several of the people involved in different ways. I actually didn’t think much about showing this film until I started editing and found I was making something I truly liked. It was a lovely surprise to make something for different reasons than creating a product and then to love the finished piece as if it had been approached in a more precious fashion. I wrote/shot with very personal, immediate, and intuitive goals and it turned into something that felt like a piece of living poetry to me. I am so delighted to be able to share it now.

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

It was shot in about a week on a trip to Israel, with one scene being directed over skype for an extra shooting when I started going through the previous footage. I started writing in February and finished the film entirely by the end of September that same year. It took me some time to find the right editor- a couple of months in the middle were mostly lost to that- but once I found Antonio, everything clicked.

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

inside outside

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

Living in a different country than my location and having no real budget, working with limited borrowed equipment on a tight time frame, all of this was challenging. Additionally, shooting a film about the realities of a failing relationship with your recent ex has its own challenges.

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

It was overwhelming in the best of ways to feel the moderator’s genuine affection for the film as well as the audience member who bravely spoke so eloquently as well. I felt a real mix of astonishment and contentment to reach the audience in a way they could personally relate with while also engendering a layered process of intellectual engagement.

Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

The idea for this story came while I was reading the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen. I stopped midway and started wondering what it might be like if told today from the eyes of a similarly isolated female character. By the time I finished reading the original, images from scenes and and dialogue were starting to arise. I began rough work on the script that night.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I haven’t counted but it would be between these perhaps… Groundhog Day, Ran, Rear Window. I also love films from the early days of cinema.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s easy to use and overall a good experience working with that platform. There could be some improvements made on the information available to film makers about the different festivals and better ways to search festivals that might be a good fit for your work.

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

Really hard to say… probably something that tracks back to my childhood like – Here Comes The Sun (Beatles). I’ve loved that song since I was a wee lass.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Definitely more films. I’m also working on drawings/paintings, a stage play, and a novel.


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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 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


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: