Interview with Filmmaker Martin Geisler (MATCH)

MATCH was the winner of BEST FILM at the February 2020 ROMANCE Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Martin Geisler: I’ve always been fascinated by relationships between men and women. Lately, in the media we have heard a lot about the female point of view, their experiences in our society, their relationships with men: how women live and feel about these things, about harassment, the origins of the #metoo movement etc.

With this in mind, I wanted to talk about the feeling of love from the male point of view: at 20, how to find the right position, the good way to approach a girl?

I also wanted to talk about a generation: nowadays, for men in their twenties, how it can be difficult to express inner feelings, even in friendships.

The question of male rivalry and “love triangles”, also interests me. In sport, we express intimate things through our bodies that we cannot easily express with words. I also wanted to talk about dating apps and the illusion they provide by making us believe that with one click, instantly, it is possible to find one’s soul mate, creating a sort of mercantile exchange even though the reality of meeting someone is very different: falling in love and building an honest relationship demands time and patience.

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

Around 1 year: 6 months for the scriptwriting and the pre-production.

The shoot took 4 days.

Editing and post-production spanned approximately 6 months.

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

Rivalry and seduction.

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

I encountered two difficulties: in the editing room it took a long time to find the right balance for the story. We also had a small budget because we made it without external funding, so I had to take a lot on myself to finish the film properly…

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

I loved discovering the reactions of an audience from afar and listening what each person feels about my film. It is very important for me to touch people from all over the world, not only in France. I think that cinema is a universal art form and I’m very sensitive to audience feedback. I was also very happy to see that the story provoked reactions, that it didn’t leave people indifferent. I think it’s great to share the experience of the film with the audience despite the long distance between Toronto and Paris. A very original concept! This may be the future of movie-going: being able to communicate about a same film between people from one end of the planet to the other!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The script was written during a writing residency in Paris organized by the school “Les Mots”. We were a small group of 8 young authors. Cécile Ducrocq, who was leading the workshop, asked us to write an outline for a 10-minute short film in which the starting point would be “the neighbour”. So I imagined the story of a young man, a sports student, who is secretly in love with his neighbour but unable to reveal his feelings to her.

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

I think Annie Hall by Woody Allen.

Who framed Roger Rabbit by Robert Zemeckis during my childhood.

Between both, I am not sure the one I have seen the most!

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

I think it’s a great way to share your work, all over the world. I like the keyword search feature that allows you to send your film to many festivals according to a specific theme.

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

Let’s dance by David Bowie. I love the electric feeling and the power and energy of the guitar riff. Impossible to stay static when you listen to this track!

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

I am currently writing a new story about preadolescence and the thrill of first love! In this story, nature will have an important role to play!

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