Interview with Filmmaker Emily Eaglin (SWEETER)

SWEETER played to rave reviews at the July 2018 FAMILY Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Emily Eaglin: A combination of babysitting & wanting to take on a true challenge as a director (hence a child-filled cast)!

I also wanted to create a role for myself Samira, who was far enough away from my experiences & reality, but who’s values & passions were close to my own.

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

Half a year from the early summer (writing) to mid-winter (post).

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

Bittersweet Lessons

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

Committing myself to quality in terms, from Pre-production to Post-production. For example, I had never had a Celtx Premium account for pre-production, done ADR, created foley, used a RED camera etc. I wanted the quality of this work to be knit-picky & was past fulfilled by this obstacle’s outcome.

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

I was AMAZED! It’s seriously some of the most engaged, critical, and most of all ON POINT discourse Sweeter has received. More than anything I felt gratitude that you all not only took the time to talk, but also took the time to edit together this video. Am looking forward to sharing such beautiful words & thoughts. Wow!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

Originally I was thinking of making an adult comedy about a precocious little girl obsessed with non-little-girl themes (especially after doing summer camps, babysitting, etc. & learning what kids are ‘into these days’). I was thinking of Willy as someone who wanted to probe her mom on timely things like America’s gun problem, when she can try Marijuana like her friends’ older cousins, impeachment & Scandal Episodes. I decided to dial it way back for the sake of accessibility & time. I moved the focus to specific issues that directly effect me & wrote the screenplay to be being family friendly (so that kids Willy’s age could get something real out of it). I also (as was mentioned in the audience discussion) wanted to present a world from the eyes of someone much younger than me, hopefully giving older viewers a perspective we often lose touch with.

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

Possibly The Wizard of Oz, or maybe Elmo in Grouchland, they both still hold up tbh!

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

Aside from festival fees, it was pretty painless.

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

According to Spotify it’s (recently) Sick Beat by Kero Kero Bonito. It’s a song with solid Sweeter-like themes & singing along with it/their music helps me practice my spoken Japanese (an area in which I need all the help I can get).

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

In addition to acting, I’m currently hustling a bunch of music videos this summer & am so excited about it! This is something that I love to do and want to do more of. Much like shorts music videos are accessible to folks in terms of time-commitment & viewing. I’m always mad passionate about the music & musicians I work with (Fun fact: Sweeter had its whole film scored by local artists including Actress Joy Postell).

Currently finishing up a music video for a band called Raw Silk, filming/directing one for rapper JPEGMAFIA & in pre-production for a video with a band called Sneaks.

Since Sweeter I’ve also done a short film for Red Bull (Baltimore DIY), was a booking producer on a local talk show (BMORE Lifestyle), & sold books at a radical, co-owned worker collective (Red Emma’s).


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


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