Interview with Filmmaker Celia Jaspers (MILK)

MILK was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the July 2021 FEMALE Filmmakers Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Lockdown in NZ and the Covid crisis essentially! We had just come out of our strict lockdown phase and we were starting to get back out in to ouir communities again and the feeling of being kind and looking out for each other was strong in our small village and across of all New Zealand. So I was literally driving back from the shops with my daughter Charlotte (who is the star) and it came to me as a bit of an epiphany if you like and by the time I had reached home I had written it my head and had to quickly type it up before it was gone! But I was keen to make a narrative short anyway, and had limited resources and funding for it, so it needed to be something short and achievable that we could pull off with no budget in quickest time frame possible. Very grateful to my film friends and community who rallied behind this with incredible generosity across all sectors of it.

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

3-4 months perhaps. Mastering it took a couple of months because it was a pro bono job, so I just had to wait, but the production was completed by November and I wrote it in July perhaps? Took 2 days to film. And just a few days to edit.

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

Pure kindness.

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

Asking so many favours to do this film for no budget.

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

I was very humbled by their genuine responses and had a tear in my eye myself as the last woman in particular was so moved by it and understood the message so well. It was a delightful experience watching those reactions, I hadn’t expected to feel so much by that process.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When I was 15 years old, I saw Jane Campions The Piano, shot here in NZ and was blown away by the power of that film and by the fact it was made by a New Zealand woman. Very rare thing in those days! I have been relentless in my pursuit of content creation since then, but have been mostly working in factual television space, so really had to take a tangent to get this narrative film off the ground. And dearly wish to do more.

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

Interstellar by Chris Nolan. Absolute gem of a film.

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

Filmfreeway is far superior site to all the others. Its great to navigate and edit your film and profile, the layout is great, its very easy to find the information you need. BLows the others away by a mile.

9. What is your favorite meal?

haha! any meal cooked by someone else!…. and then Japanese of any kind

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

I have 2 longer shorts in development and a fun short poem/music video type hybrid and a fantastic feature ready to go, but all need producer support and financing.

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