Interview with Filmmaker Anna Maués (SHADOW)

SHADOW played to rave reviews at the November 2020 Dance & Music Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was challenge by my directing teacher to create a movie with no dialogs that could express a range of emotions. As music is probably my biggest source of inspiration and I always wanted to do a dance piece, I saw a great opportunity to create something that could combine these two forms of art into a narrative. That’s when the idea of shadow was born.

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

It didn’t take me too long. Probably around two weeks. Gabriel and I are friends since high school and we had collaborated in so many projects that right now I think he can read my mind when it comes to soundtrack. I told him about this idea of a dancer that no longer dances and is trapped in this nostalgic moment. In two days, he came up with this amazing song, I sent it to Jessica and she created this beautiful choreography. It was just a matter of finding the right location and we were ready to go.

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

Nostalgia and freedom

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

Finding the right location with the big bright window. As the window symbolizes freedom, I really needed a place that I could use the window as a second character.

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

I was completely swept away by emotions. It’s incredibly powerful to see how people perceive your art, how the audience reads what exists only in your head. It is probably one of the strongest moments an artist can experience, and I felt truly blessed to be able to hear the feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I guess the idea for this film came from my own life experience. I always wanted to work with stories, giving life to all the characters that are in my head is my happy place. Nevertheless, after I graduated at college I started working for a big company and the everyday life ended up consuming my creative side. It was a moment of extreme growth on my career, but I wasn’t happy because my artistic voice was dying little by little. So, I decided to quit my job and go back to creating stories, and here I am now. And that’s the outline of Shadow, the story of a dancer that no longer dances and that feels she is trapped in the shadows of her own existence, like the light of her life is slowly dying.

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

That’s a difficult answer for someone who rewatches films as hobby! As the subject of the festival is dance, I can say that a movie that I love dearly and that inspires me immensely is Black Swan, by Darren Aronofsky. I totally lost count of how many times I watched that movie, but I guess it was a lot since I already memorize some of the lines!

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

I love filmfreeway. I think it made the task of finding and submit to festivals much easier. It’s awesome to have such a great catalog of festivals and industry events in one platform.

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

I have to confess that I am a sucker for the 80’s and Forever Young by Alphaville holds a special place in my heart.

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

Right now, I am working on a short film called The Date, a psychological thriller that follows a couple on an apparently harmless date, but things turn dark and dangerous pretty quickly. This is another collaboration with Gabriel Falcão and his breathtaking original score.

Also, I am writing a TV series called Heritage. A story about an innocent girl that finds out that her beloved father was a prolific seral killer.

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