Interview with Filmmaker Isabela Falcão Vaz (SAUDADE)

SAUDADE played to rave reviews at the December 2020 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My motivation was the beginning of the development of a long dream. I am an architect with a master degree thesis in Architecture and cinema and during years I worked as an architect only with an immense passion for filmmaking but never investing in making that passion become a concrete physical thing. So this Documentary was the first time I made that dream into a palpable thing in my life.

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

It took about 5/6 months.

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

Nostalgic memories

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

My biggest obstacle was to have Elias time and availability to film in the same spaces as the actresses. He was working full-time and we could not find a day to have him in daylight in those spaces. It had to be 1h in daytime for the interview.

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

I was happy to hear the perception of different persons that don’t have any connection with me in what the short film transmitted to them. Usually the feedback comes from people you know or that know your soul so their feedback comes with the perception of who you are. But in the case is the opposite. The film gives the perception of your mind.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I am an immigrant myself for the last 13 years and the feeling of “saudade” is a heavy feeling in my life that develops through time in such a complex way emotionally. While thinking about it I meditated on how this feeling is so emerged in my culture either in music, (Fado); Either historically in the Portuguese discoveries. But you feel it also in the portuguese people soul. So exploring the perception of this feeling in a complete different culture and history and Panoramah was an interesting challenge for me…how Elias felt this emotion in his life.

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

I don’t repeat a lot of films, I like films that make me feel emotionally connected but I have a love for the sensibility of Michaelangelo Antonioni in representing women and women’s emotions. I am a Tarkovsky fan also by the way he transmits powerful images emerged in silence. It feels like eqch plan hits you heart…

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

I find it a bit artificial in the way that it works…it’s not actually curating good festivals…there are actually some film festivals listed that arenot serious.

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

Ui…hum maybe Nick Drake / northern sky

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

A new documentary.

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