Interview with Filmmaker Maria Brendle (TAKE AND RUN)

TAKE AND RUN was the winner of BEST FILM at the February 2021 Female Filmmakers Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When I first heard about bride kidnapping, I was shocked and felt ashamed that I had never heard of it. All the more when I learned during my research how often this happens and yet it is unknown to most people like it was to me. As a filmmaker I wanted to show that something like this exists in our world. I wanted to give the victims a voice and show that their stories are worth hearing.

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

It took more than four years to make this short. Because the script only required a lot of research. I spent three years working on it alone.

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

Empower women!

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

Actually, the whole project was full of obstacles. First of all, funding the venture was not easy. Then there was the language barrier. Only a few people of the Kyrgyz crew and cast spoke English and the Swiss part of the crew couldn’t speak a word Kyrgyz at all. Without translators, we were not able to communicate.

And in a country like Kyrgyzstan, you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. There are power outages and no cell phone reception on a regular basis, or people show up late or don’t show up at all. Five out of seven locations dropped out just before we started shooting and we had to replace them in no time.

Because I am based in Switzerland and the film was shot in Kyrgyzstan, we had to do a lot of the preparation online before getting there. We specified locations and production design via cell phone – with a lot of pictures and even more emojis. 😉 Because emojis are international and we overcame the language barrier. The whole crew earned a master’s degree in improvisation and I am very proud of them.

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

I was overwhelmed by the feedback from the audience. It means so much to me. To be honest, I had tears in my eyes from the very beginning. This film made me overcome my personal limits and required me to fight for this project for a very long time. There were always doubts as to whether we would actually make it. I am infinitely grateful for the feedback from the audience after all this hard work. It is good to hear that the film touches the viewers and they become aware of the topic. Especially in times of Covid, where filmmakers lack contact with the audience, I am very, very grateful for the feedback. So, again: thanks to everyone who took the time to watch the film and talk about it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. Do you remember that moment when you first realized that you wanted to make films?

Actually, I grew up with a film camera. My grandfather, with whom I had a very close relationship, always filmed with his Super-8 camera. That was his hobby. He taught me how to edit Super-8 films. Later I made an internship at a TV station where I spent a lot of the time in the editing room. I enjoyed putting the moving pictures together to make a story out of them. That’s when I realized that I wanted to make films.

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

The Prestige (by Christopher Nolan).

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

It has advantages and disadvantages. The number of festivals can be overwhelming but it’s good that filmmakers can use a platform like this. FilmFreeway offers filmmakers a good overview and an easy access to submit their film.

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

What He Wrote from Laura Marling.

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

Yes, I am currently writing new film projects. Next, I would like to make a feature-length film.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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