Interview with Filmmaker Agata Korycka (BY THE RIVER)

BY THE RIVER was the winner of BEST FILM at the July 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

1. I was motivated to make this film by the desire to be a director, it is my graduation film, the first one in my life. I was also motivated by the need for artistic expression. Moreover, I would like to express my commentary on the socio-political situation in Poland, which is becoming more and more fearful.

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

Writing a screenplay was a long process and I started writing it while still in film school classes. The film was shot in two seasons. In summer and late autumn, because I wanted the film to show the passage of time through the changing of the seasons. In addition, some scenes were filmed on the authentic Independence March which takes place in Poland on November 11. I refer to authentic events in the film and I really wanted to chase these shots out in an authentic setting. The work on the set itself took 8 days in total. However, the post-production of the film took me almost a year due to the lack of funds.

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

courage and romance

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

The biggest problem was the financing of this film. I did so largely from my own resources. My inexperience bothered me sometimes, but ultimately this film taught me a lot.

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

It was a fantastic and unforgettable experience! Thank you very much for that. It was the first time I met with such feedback. I was very pleased that the film turned out to be understandable to you in all respects. That you appreciated my team: the work of the operator, actors, editing and music, and of course the story itself. Thank you very much again, it was very important to me and I appreciate it very much.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I worked as a journalist and I felt that I liked it, but I knew it was not my way. Late in the day, I decided to go to film school. I have recently finished other studies (geography, sociology and journalism). I studied for a long time and now it even makes me laugh that I didn’t know what I wanted to do for so long. When I went to a film set as an apprentice for the first time in my life, it dawned on me. At that moment, I understood that the film was always with me and it was only there on that film set that I dared to dream about becoming a director. It was Maria Skłodowska-Curie (2016). Later I realized that since I was a child I had been inventing scenes, scripts and changing the films I had watched in my imagination.

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

I watched many times: The Shipping News, Smoke, Forest Gump, Lord of the rings and many other movies. I love watching movies a couple of times.

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

I am very happy that there is this internet platform, it is a fantastic idea and thanks to it I added to you. Thanks to this, I can deal with the promotion of my film myself.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I really like Polish and Japanese food 🙂

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

Yes, I am thinking of more movies. I have some ideas. I’d like to write and direct myself. I would like them to also apply to LGBT + people.

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