Interview with Filmmaker Ange-Régis HOUNKPATIN (VINDICTE)

VINDICTE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the June 2018 European FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ange-Régis HOUNKPATIN: My motivation was to make a film that would be different from usual African movies, in terms of style, rhythm and aesthetics. But still an African subject.

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

I think it took almost one year and a half.

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

Relentless chase.

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

Honestly, the biggest obstacle was myself. I didn’t want to give a bad image of my country, so at first I restricted myself a lot. Then I thought about how South Korean directors don’t back up from the most creepy aspects of their societies, and I decided to go on.

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

It felt weird to see strangers talking about my movie without me in the room ! It’s the first time I got to witness this. I was really happy about the last intervention, the last viewer really understood the subtext about control. It is the first time I hear someone clearly explain it; I was moved. I felt my voice had a meaning.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The idea came from scenes I witnessed when I was younger, living in Benin. Growing up, I discovered these kind of behavior were also detailed in the classic movie “Fury” by Fritz Lang, and realised it could be a universal subject, a cinematic one.

i wanted to shoot a movie in my hometown, so I decided to make a movie about it. I spoke to my producers (who were then my classmates) about it, and they were really very excited.

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

Blade Runner, by Ridley Scott.

But the one I truly know by heart, by soul and by spirit, is “Hyenas” from Djibril Diop Mambety.

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

If I only say one song it wouldn’t be a honest answer, there are too many. But since I’m a child I’ve listened a lot of Michael Jackson’s songs, so let’s say “Beat it”, to stay in the theme.

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

I’ve completed a short movie just after this one: “Pantheon” and it is in the festival circuit right now.

Next is a new short film, and then a feature one.

Wish me luck ! Thank you !

vindicte

_____

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 http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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