Interview with Filmmaker Jinji Sayson (All That Glitters Is Bronze)

“All That Glitters Is Bronze” was the winner of BEST FILM at the February 2022 ASIAN Feedback Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In the second year of the pandemic(it was July 2021 when I had the idea), two things happened: I discovered Kulintang music at a Filipino cultural workshop, and subsequently, I won a coveted spot in a documentary mentorship run by a local media incubator here in my city called CreaTV. Upon discovering the world of Kulintang, and being awarded the mentorship, I was incredibly moved by the beautiful music and felt compelled to share it with as many people as I could.

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

I began pre-production in the summer of 2021, and then finished the film mid-December.

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

heartfelt magic

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

The biggest obstacle I faced in completing the film was definitely getting the sound and audio levels just right. I scrapped everything audio several times, because I wasn’t satisfied. In the end, it paid off – ATGIB has won a couple awards for sound design, and it feels sooo good.

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

I was so happy to know that it resonated with so many people who are not necessarily Filipinx/o/a. At one point, someone said that they thought it was, “a very heartfelt film” and tears welled up in my eyes, because that was exactly how I wanted it come across: as a love letter(to Kulintang).

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

It’s been a long time coming(I’m 30, flirty and thriving now) but I’ve always had many passions that finally merged together when I got accepted into the DocuMentorMe program at CreaTV: I’m a published writer, essayist, visual artist, multi-instrumentalist, and so having been through the filmmaking process, which essentially combines all my passions, has made me love the process, even the gritty parts of it that are challenging.

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

Spirited Away! I love Studio Ghibli films, specifically ones directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve said as much before, but I think a lot of times American movies tend to, over-explain things. I like that he doesn’t pander to young audiences and trusts people will make their own conclusions. And of course, the storytelling and animation are brilliant.

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

I’m so happy to see that this festival is genuinely committed to promoting participating filmmakers and their work with multiple screenings and interviews; as a first-time filmmaker I don’t have much to compare it to yet, but I can say that out of all the festivals I’ve entered(which are still great and wonderful) this is probably the one where I feel like there are the most avenues for a filmmaker to generate visibility and attention for their work. I think more festivals should also offer audience feedback videos, as well as interviews with the filmmakers.

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

As a first-time filmmaker, it’s been a pretty great experience so far! I love that you have options to use filters so you can find niche festivals you can apply to.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Right now, I’m really digging this dish I made from a vlogger who goes by “Joyful Dumplings”. I’ve made her vegan katsu curry with panko-crusted tofu steak twice this week; it’s absolutely divine.

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

Currently, I’m working on a short narrative screenplay, as well as pre-production for a short documentary exploring the topic of mental health in the Filipinx-American community. Interested folks can connect with me on Instagram @jinji.season if they feel so inclined.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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