Interview with Filmmaker Germain Kanda (Hippopotamus & Crocodile Hunt)

“Hippopotamus & Crocodile Hunt” was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the August 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Oh, you wouldn’t believe it, but there was an actual no painting gallery which took place some years ago. I read about it, even saw a video where people were admiring the empty walls. I simply started to imagine the conversations people were having and found myself laughing. I believe the subject needed tension and I remembered Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s new clothes” and the build up of people believing his clothes actually being there, so I decided to set the story at an auction house.

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

The idea took about two or three months to write. We shot the film in 9 days as we depended on the location and actors’ schedule. The issues came during post production while film scanning and colour grading because some 35mm film that we shot on was too old. Post production was a hassle but I am very glad that we managed to finish the film.

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

Inner child

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

There were obstacles but none of them too big to be faced and to keep rolling.

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

It came straight into my heart. I couldn’t believe that people were actually talking about the film. Right now, as I am writing, I am still deeply touched as I have never experienced something like this before. It is my first feedback from an audience. I am very grateful for your feedback, for watching, for taking the time to share your opinion. This is pure fuel to keep on writing.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It was a sort of a switcheroo. I was studying for medical school at the time, during highschool. My big wish was to cure people who were hurt or sick. In the meantime I was also very passionate about photography, filming and writing. I remember asking myself “Could it be possible that sick people also exist outside hospitals, people that look healthy but feel sad, confused or stuck? Wouldn’t that also be a form of sickness?” And I realised that cures can come in many shapes, even in the shape of films that can give you an advice, bring a smile, a good laugh or some hint that makes you realise a way to be happier. So, in a way, medicine was my actual drive, while writing and filming were my passions. So, that is how I realised I want to make films.

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

It is one of these three: Forrest Gump, Eight and a half, The Grand Budapest Hotel

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

FilmFreeway opens an infinite opportunity of showing your work to the world. The video feedback that I’ve received is a living proof of how you can reach almost instantaneously outside your border.

9. What is your favorite meal?

This is the most difficult question. Somewhere between Greek salad and fried calamari.

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

Yes! I have some short and feature film scripts that I am working on. Mostly comedies, simple and absurd themes but also two dramas which I really enjoy working on.

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