PATRIK played to rave reviews at the November 2019 Female Film Festival in Toronto.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
What motivates me to write “Patrik” is an anonymous elderly man who caught my attention years ago. I was 18, aspiring actress, student at that time at the Film and Theater Academy in Bulgaria and while on a lunch break, I suddenly found myself starring at this man struggling to cross over a busy road. He moved very slowly, with a persistence and patience, but obviously intimidated by the fast world around him, failing in every attempt he does to cross the street. He kept on going back to the starting point, facing the semaphore and waiting for a green light. He would barely make a few steps when the light would turn red again forcing him to go back and start over. Eventually, he gave up and walked down the street.
That story became one of these seemingly unimportant memories, we are not sure why we keep, until it finally made sense, and I felt the urge to share it the moment I met Patrik Baldauff. We both performed in a production of The Cherry Orchard at The Actors Studio, alongside Ellen Burstyn, as lifelong members in the actor’s unit.
I found the perfect actor for my story and “Patrik” was born! His exceptional persona and our work together inspired me to develop a lot more the narrative and established the main topics of the movie.
The beauty and maybe just a bit of sadness aging brings, when striped from expectations and ambitions, we find joy in the little pleasure the morning sunshine brings, a memory hanging on the wall, the calming sound of ticking clock and the freedom of not putting your socks on if you don’t want to. Yet the world is changing and it’s harder and harder to keep up, but maybe the need of slowing down is a call from the universe to take a breath and let the things that matter happen to us. Often something small we would barely notice it’s what we really need at that very moment and gives a new meaning to what is important.
It is when we find a Greater sense of acceptance of and tolerance for those normally disregarded in our community that we can begin to work towards change.
“Patrik” is a story about a man of the theater, a giant of the stage and a charmer of the screen. I am honoring the long carrier Patrik Baldauff has had, and we follow the happiest day of his life when he is being honored with a life time achievement award. He needs to make one last effort and proudly walk alone all the way to the theater to receive his award. This is his Golgotha.
But the world out there is too busy and won’t stop for the old man. He misses his ceremony, but unexpectedly, he’s been given a different reward, which turns out to be even more significant – the gift of opening one’s heart. My little hope is that the young man offering a hand on the street, is you and I.
I’ve been compelled to make art that is deeply personal and accessible to a larger audience and my intend is to fill my films with the purest and honest form of storytelling to life.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
This film took two years to make. It was my first film and I did every single possible mistake known to man. It took me a very long time to try to understand these mistakes, learn how to fix them and then fix them. But I wouldn’t change it for nothing because I have learned so much in the process!
Also, the editing took me a whole while as I was connected to every single moment. My first rough cut was 30 minutes, needless to say was incredibly long…… and after month of working on it and then letting it go for a bit I realized what is next, what needs to be cut and what I need to do.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
Help one another!
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was the editing! We shot gorilla style on Times Square all day long. We had Patrik Baldauff cross the street at least a 100 times.
We had prepared background actors and situations but honestly we didn’t end up using any of them. What we got to use was the real situations that happened around us. However, every time Patrik crossed the street there were different people in the frame so it was a complete mess in the editing room trying to connect the dots. But after a long battle, I think we have managed to make sense of it all! And I am so grateful for these situations that happened without much planning! They were absolutely magical and elevated the film to another level!
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Firstly, I would like to say Thank you so much for this opportunity! I liked the idea of the Feedback video and I loved the actual video. It made me very emotional to hear other people talk about my film. What they liked, what they didn’t, what worked and what not. Even just the fact that people took the time and interest to talk about my film is all I could have ever asked for. And the critique was very helpful for my future work!
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video :
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
As I mentioned above the inspirations were two- 1. The anonymous man I observed on the street and meeting the Broadway actor Mr. Patrik Baldauff.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Dumb & Dummer
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I find this platform an incredible way to share/help Independent filmmakers work and it is very easy to use!
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Probably something by Michael Jackson or Sail by Awolnation
10. What is next for you? A new film?
My big upcoming projects are 2.
My second short film I have written, produced and directors called “El Cavil”,
which is about o start it’s festival year run – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8277832/
“El Cavil” is about a man who loves his work as a shoe shiner, more than anything in this world. He believes in the old tradition, that if you have a shine on your shoes there is a melody in your heart. Unfortunately for El Cavil, people are just too busy to acknowledge him or their shoes. With this very special story we wanted to raise awareness of the struggle that homeless people go through every day and we wanted to show that may of them could be a valuable contributor to society if they only got the opportunity.
And last but not least, I am so happy to introduce to you the biggest project of my life so far, I am co-producing and staring in the film cosplay Narrative Series called “Lost Cos”.
I am proud to say that 140 people cast and crew Ce together to make this wild idea become a reality. We are already in post production and can’t wait to share this project with you soon.
Lost Cos is a crime drama/dark comedy narrative based in New York City that follows the female protagonist, “Eni” (character performed by Evgeniya Radilova), who’s faced with an abusive past that consists of traumatic events she must confront. Her rage has now come to the surface and her lover, Zoey, worries if Eni can remain in control of her life.
Central to her journey is the underground cosplay club “Lost Cos”. A place for costume culture bohemians to “lose themselves, or perhaps find themselves, behind a mask”. A sexy blend of costume artistry, thunderous jams, and burlesque style curiosities await all who can gain entry to the hidden club.
It is at Lost Cos that Eni discovers her love for performing as her cosplay character “Vampireniya”. A popular fictional comic book based vampire succubus (at least in our world). A heroine whose objective is to hunt and eliminate abusers of women. Can Eni face the internal demons inside her or will her obsession with the fictional heroine “Vampireniya” blur the line between fantasy and reality to the point of no return…?
For details please visit http://www.lostcos.com and on IG @lostcoscommunity