Interview with Filmmaker Kevin Andrew Heslop (THINGS SHE WANTS)

THINGS SHE WANTS was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the May 2022 EXPERIMENTAL Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

The poem on which it’s based: Paola Ferrante’s text is sentence-for-sentence one of the smartest, fiercest, and most nuanced feminist texts in the language, in my view.

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

The whole process took about two years.

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

Paola’s words.

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

Obstacles are always opportunities. But there was half a moment when I was less than completely certain we were going to find someone who would trust us with one of their horses. It’s a weird phonecall, after all: “Hi! My name is Kevin and I’m a filmmaker and I’m calling to ask whether you might have a horse available to appear in a short film based on this incredible text by poet Paola Ferrante, truly one of the strongest voices writing in the language right now, which explodes domesticity by deconstructing the patriarchal institution of marriage and domestic violence as a sort of Skinnerian phenomenon.” “Um. Sorry. What was your name again?”

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

That they got it, that they were viewing the film with the kind of open mind and thoughtful, nuanced analysis that the text and film deserve.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Film was a natural synthesis of the writing, theatre, and collaborative artmaking that I’ve been practicing for the past decade or so; but it was particularly when the possibility of documenting the kinetic interpretation of poetry through dance that I started making films back in 2017.

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

Probably clips of home movies my dad shot.

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’d be remiss to suggest a thing after experiencing the hospitality and thoughtfulness with which you operate. So no suggestions––just thanks.

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

No complaints!

10. What is your favorite meal?

The meal is incidental to the company. A couple of raw potatoes is a feast and a marvel when you’re with the right person or people.

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

I’ve got five more short films in production for this year and a film company, Astoria Pictures, to get off the ground. Then there’s a new book of poems to secure a publisher for; a play to workshop at TAP Centre for Creativity in June; short films to premiere in July; another play to workshop in October; an ongoing book of interviews with Londoners about MAiD; a gallery exhibition to prepare to curate at Westland Gallery next year; and a month at the Mauser Ecohouse in Costa Rica to write come winter.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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