Interview with Filmmaker Jonathan Geffner (CASANOIR)

CASANOIR was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the May 2022 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

As a professional ventriloquist who is also a huge fan of film noir, I created the characters Trillo & Suede – a ventriloquist detective and his wooden partner – over two decades ago. Since then I’ve written and recorded many Trillo & Suede videos, short movies and the multi-award-winning Trillo & Suede web series. Casanoir is a parody and tribute to one of my all-time favorite movies, Casablanca.

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

I wrote the original script upon which Casanoir is based back in 1999. It was my first Trillo & Suede script and it was a feature film screenplay. I never found a way to fund the production of it as a feature film, so last year I decided to finally edit it down to short film length and self-produce it.

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

Ventriloquism Noir

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

Figuring out how to fund it!

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

I was delighted to see how well Casanoir was understood, enjoyed and appreciated by the well-spoken audience members.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I dreamed of making films since I was a child, but finally began making it a reality in 2005 with my first Trillo & Suede short film, Oxford Park.

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

Probably Night at the Opera, starring the Marx Brothers

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

You are already doing something that I have not encountered in any other festival by incorporating audience feedback videos. Innovative elements such as this are a great way to energize and inspire film makers to move forward with new projects. Perhaps you could also find a way to do interactive online discussions between film makers and audience members?

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

It’s very efficiently run and convenient.

10. What is your favorite meal?

A vegetarian or pescatarian Mediterranean/Middle Eastern meal

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

I seek funding for a feature film that I wrote which features the same Trillo & Suede characters of Casanoir. I’m hoping that Casanoir will attract enough attention to enable me to find a way to produce my feature film, While the Village Sleeps.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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