Interview with Filmmaker Anna Auster (HOLKY: THE STEVEN HOLCOMB STORY)

HOLKY: THE STEVEN HOLCOMB STORY was the winner of BEST DOCUMENTARY at the Toronto DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When I first watched Steven’s interview, I was very moved by the raw emotion of it, and felt his story needed to be told with the utmost care. I am a documentary editor, and was excited to try on the producer/director hat for this project.

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

This film was a little like a relay race in that one crew began it, and another finished it. Much of the footage and interviews were shot in 2017; I first saw that footage in 2018 or 19; and we completed the film in 2021.

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

emotional rollercoaster

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

Navigating the sensitive nature of the story and relationships with those close to it.

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

The first audience member was very heartfelt and clearly deeply moved by the story. I was touched and grateful that the film had the impact we intended it to have.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I first started to watch documentaries in my 20s and realized the impact they could have on individuals and in the world of storytelling, journalism and in some cases, even society as a whole.

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

If I don’t count all the films I’ve made and screened over and over on their way to completion, I’d have to say something I watched as a kid like The Princess Bride or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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

In person event would be wonderful someday, but other than that, I think you’re doing a great job.

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

Pretty good! Except now my inbox is filled with festival promotions. I think I need to change my settings.

10. What is your favorite meal?

One that includes something from my garden and , most importantly, one that’s shared with good company.

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

As a freelance editor, I never know exactly what’s next until it comes along. In the immediate future, I am working on a Netflix series and my garden. If the right inspiration or opportunity strikes, I would like to try out another role in production, but I really do love working as an editor.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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