Interview with Filmmaker Simone Cita Kieltyka (EXIT)

EXIT was the winner of BEST FILM at the November 2021 DANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I already had the desire to realize an own dance video for quite a while. I find the potential interesting that the medium of film opens up to you, to use movement, space and time differently. In September last year it became suddenly more concrete. As in all other countries, cultural activities came to a standstill because of the pandemic. However, there was then a kind of emergency financial package for artists – a grant for an artistic project. I knew then that I would like to use it to make a dance video – at the interface of contemporary dance and vertical dance – and I was very happy when the grant was approved. I also already had the connection to this great film location, as we were holding a residency there for a year in one of the halls with the Vertical Dance Company (the Angels Aerials).

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

I would say 5-6 months, but I wasn’t working on it constantly – the last two months were the main period. As part of the preparation for the project, I wanted to have a research phase at the German Dance Film Institut in Bremen and after that I wanted to start with the creation – but the lockdown made it impossible to go to the archive and I had to wait until it could open its doors again. After that, everything went pretty fast, and Peter Heinrichs, the camera man and editor, did an amazing job.

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



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

The lock down.

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

I had my eyes wide open and at the same time a smile in my face. And I had to pull myself together very much not to bite my fingernails – which is strange, because I don’t have this habit, normally. So I think I was also very nervous. Especially because you don’t know who these people are…

It was really exciting to see all this people from far away giving feedback – and by doing this getting somehow really close to me. I felt very grateful for it!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

When I first saw the work „Puur” and „Blush” of Wim Vandekeybus – the director of the belgian dance company „Ultima Vez” who mixes dance and film and live music – I was totally fascinated. It was so powerful and different from what I saw before, that I immediately bought the dvd of Blush and watched it a few times. But at that moment, I was 24 or 25 years old, I couldn’t imagine being „on the other side” – being the one that makes films or directs it. But as time goes by and more people also from my environment made films – it became more and more an option, until I dared to do it recently. And here I am 🙂

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

The Big Lebowski! And I will definitely see that film a few times more..

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Maybe the option of a mentor or buddy system, that you can get in deeper dialogue and communication with another person from this professional field (expert, other participant,…)

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

It was easy to handle, and I didn’t have any problems.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Nearly everything with Porcini mushrooms

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

At the moment I work on a Dance Improvisation Experiment and on a Dance Training Concept, but after that, next year, I would definitely like to work again on a new film. I let this wish grow inside and move it a little bit around – until I’m ready to come out with i


By matthewtoffolo

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

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