Interview with Filmmaker Anna Ludwig (OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE)

OLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE was the winner of BEST FILM at the September 2020 Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

The idea just came up and I can’t tell where exactly it came from. Only in retrospect I do find several reasons. One for example is that in Primary School I had a classmate who couldn’t walk. Her legs were stiff. She had to use crutches. Once the two of us played together during the school break. We hid in the bushes and imagined that we were robbers. The game was so vivid that we forgot the time and didn’t go back to class when the break was over. The whole school was alarmed. Finally, the facility manager found us. Although this girl obviously was a great playmate, I can only remember playing with her this one time. In retrospect, I can’t find any plausible explanation for it, except that she was different.

I can’t make up for it, but I can make a film about it so that other children forget their reservations and stand by their friends.

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

All in all, it took one year and a half.

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

Mission Friendship!

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

We only had 12 days of shooting and it would have been relaxing if it had been more.
Fortunately, there were no other major obstacles. Or maybe it’s a bit like giving birth. You forget afterwards how exhausting it was!

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

That was really amazing. Chicago is 7258 km from Munich, where I live, and that people overseas took the time to watch the film and rate it so positively made me very grateful.
I would have loved to meet them personally and say thank you!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

During a hike with friends, it suddenly was there. I find it really inspiring to be in nature.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

I think this must have been the “Dead Poets Society” that I saw many times as a teenager. We even named the guys around us after the guys in the movie… A few weeks ago I watched it again and found that it had lost none of its validity. A real masterpiece!

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

It’s easy to use and quite effective!

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

During the making of “Ole, Benni and the Rest of the Universe”, I kept listening to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. A super cool song, I love the slight melancholy and at the same time there is something heroic about it. Hopefully a bit of that spirit ended up in the movie.

What is next for you? A new film?

It would be great if I had the opportunity to do a 90 minute next!
And it will definitely be for kids again!

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