Interview with Filmmaker Gwen Isaac (TOKYO WOMAN)

TOKYO WOMAN was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the June 2021 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

I was inspired to make this film because I could see Japanese women were caught in the cross hairs of history with regards to having agency over their lives. I wanted to give them the chance to tell their stories, their way.

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

This short took one year to make.

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

Confronting, intimate.

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

Post production funding.

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

I cried, I found it extremely flattering and emboldening. I am having a hard time getting a feature off the ground at the moment and all these intelligent, engaging people with their really insightful remarks and feedback were just what I needed to hear.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When I watched “Fame” the TV series, aged ten, in my little seaside hometown in New Zealand.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

“Ghostbusters”, “Breakfast Club” and everything Kim Longinotto (documentary filmmaker) makes.

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

I think it is extremely professional, streamlined and an easy interface to navigate.

What is your favorite meal?

Pasta of any variety.

What is next for you? A new film?

My new film is about a pink-haired scientist who doesn’t play by the rules and is the reason why New Zealand is the covid-success story of the world.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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