Interview with Filmmaker Sharon Israeli (TOURISTS)

TOURISTS played to rave reviews at the February 2021 FEMALE Filmmakers Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Answer: What motivated me the most to make this film was the passion to transcend the viewers an experience that they have not experienced before. To capture the heart of a certain situation and see how each person takes this situation and gives it its interpretation. To ask the important questions about the choices we make in life and how it affects us. A lot of people were interested in the reason I chose to tell this specific story, and honestly, this subject scares me the most. I think that something inside this film’s experience taught me a lot about myself as a woman and as a person.

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

Answer: The idea took about a year to be written in full, after a few writer’s blocks and breaks here and there. The shooting itself took three days. The editing took another year or so. My editor was transferred to a semester abroad, in Budapest, so we had a lot of online editing which was fun but a little more challenging than normal editing procedure, although I guess nowadays we will have to get used to it, hopefully not for long.
So in summary, a little more than two years it took me to make this short film.

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

Answer: Shock Therapy.

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

Answer: The biggest obstacle I faced, cliche as it may sound, was myself. Before the actual making of the film, what we may call the pre-production, I was scared and full of doubts. As a film student, it’s very hard to believe that it can be done and that something you imagine in your head can catch form and become real. My crew amazed me every single day of the shooting by how beautiful my film could look, beyond anything that came to mind. So at the end of it all, I see this film as a shared creation with all my cast and crew and not just as my own.

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

Answer: At first, I was very nervous, but after the first few seconds, I felt humbled and very flattered to hear, especially because I felt that the feelings and wonderings I wanted to convey came across without me knowing any of the viewers or explaining my actions beforehand. I felt like my film spoke for me and the viewers caught an individual and special understanding of my story, which thrilled me to my core. This was one of my main goals, to let the experience catch each person at its journey in life and wherever it takes him/her.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Answer: Of course. I was a freshman, fourteen or fifteen years old, and my school had a film department, so I chose it, just because it interested me. There was this one moment, where I and my friends were shooting a scene inside the school, and then as we went along more and more students who were just passing by wanted to join us, just because it looked like so much fun, and this energy of people working together, being passionate about something they even didn’t fully understand, just made my heart be filled with joy at this very second.

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

Answer: This is a tough one, there a lot, but if I had to pick one that got to me, it would have to be “Trainspotting” directed by Danny Boyle, no doubt.

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

Answer: I think this is a great platform to submit your film. as a filmmaker it makes the process a lot easier, all the festivals are in one place and they immediately let you know when you got selected, they are very communicative and overall very friendly, I strongly recommend any filmmaker around the world, it has softened my experience in the festival-submitting world.

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

Answer: This is also a tough one, music is a very big part of my life, any creator I think, in any art…music is inseparable from our experiences and memories. I think it would be “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead.

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

Answer: The COVID-19 had a great influence on all of our lives, so at this very moment, my life is at a bit of a pause. But I’m trying to always be in motion and keep writing. Right now I’m working on another short film, it will be a little longer, not more than thirty minutes I suppose. It’s another romantic drama, but this time about two girls, the film takes place at a swimming pool workplace, and hopefully, it will be as breath-taking (because they are underwater) and moving as I imagine it would be.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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