Interview with Filmmakers Morade Azzouz, Anca Ulea (OUR SEA OF WASTE)

OUR SEA OF WASTE was the winner of BEST SHORT FILM at the April 2021 ENVIRONMENTAL Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

We saw videos of surgical masks and gloves shot by Opération Mer Propre last spring and wanted to know more about how the pandemic was affecting pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. Since we’re both scuba divers, we care a lot about marine environments and decided to dig deeper into one of the main threats to these ecosystems. As we talked to more and more people we realized that Covid-related waste was just one small part of a massive problem, and we wanted to focus on what’s being done to fix it.

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

Our initial idea for this documentary came in July 2020, and we finished editing at the end of October.

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

Mediterranean defenders

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

What we had the most trouble with was getting access to a government source. All the people on the ground were very easy to get in touch with, and very eager to work with us on this project. The French environment ministry, on the other hand, was hard to get a hold of. This was frustrating because they are actually taking positive action on the issue. We ended up getting lucky with Caroline Marek from Ademe, who was lovely, very knowledgeable and easy to talk to.

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

It was very cool to get feedback from real people, even just virtually! It was great to see how many of you loved the scene with the children making art on the beach. That was definitely one of our favorite moments as well. Also the level of detail we got from some people was incredible. Thank you!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you know that you wanted to make movies?

Both Morade and Anca are fairly new to the filmmaking scene. We are both trained journalists, though Anca did study documentary filmmaking in college. After many years working in daily international news, it’s a breath of fresh air to have the opportunity to spend time with people and tell stories in a more creative way.

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

Anca: Big Fish
Morade: Star Wars (the original trilogy)

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

We found it very streamlined and user-friendly.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Morade: Grilled bell peppers
Anca: Any and all noodle soups!

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

Morade is currently working as an editor on a feature-length documentary (his first!). Meanwhile, Anca is researching her next project and hoping to get back to scuba diving regularly this summer.

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