Interview with Filmmaker Freya Billington (TERMINATED: TEETH & TINDER)

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Freya Billington: It was a reflection on a very tough time in my life nearly 10 years ago when my husband left and my front tooth fell out at the same time. I couldn’t believe having suddenly and unexpectedly become single again I was ‘back on the market’ as an older woman which is hard enough to feel attractive as it is without not even being able to smile properly. Life moves on but as it did I have found myself having conversations with so many women who ended up in very similar situations and I wanted to make something about that.
In truth I HAD TO MAKE THIS FILM – I am nearly 50 and am not going to apologise for talking about difficult, embarrassing, truthful things anymore.

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

A couple of years but thats mainly because I am a single parent, work full time as a Uni Lecturer and do freelance consulting/ teaching on the side, so my time is very limited. I shot the interviews on the train and got ‘little freya’ made a year before I managed to get enough money to actually shoot more and pull it all together.

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

Personal Obnoxious

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

Sharing such personal information.

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

Its both great and hard. Always lovely to have positive feedback but never easy to hear people not getting it or enjoying it BUT ultimately to know people watched it in a cinema in Toronto, completely out of any context I know or without any prior knowledge is rather wonderful. It is an AMAZING thing you are doing.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Talking to students about whether I should go on Tinder or not!

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

Wonderboys or Bombay Beach

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

It’s fine – always hard to gauge if you are targeting the right festival.

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

IN YOUR EYES Peter Gabriel

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

I am in development a new more traditional narrative film called SERVICES and in conversation with a couple of different people about a possible podcast or radio drama along the lines of older women talking about Tinder.

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