Interview with Filmmaker Deon van Rooyen (CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE)

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE played to rave reviews at the April 2022 Black & White Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Being born and raised in South Africa under the Apartheid system, it always bothers me that oppressed people are never viewed as fully three dimensional, but rather as a caricature conforming to someone else’s stereotype.

This actually prompted me to become a filmmaker, as it is easier to engage someone in the comfort of their home, as opposed to a face-to-face argument where no one is really listening.

Hence, the Civil Disobedience Series, where we can engage people on a variety of socially relevant topics, and depict the marginalized people as a fully formed, three dimensional, relatable human beings, and which will hopefully give people pause in the future before making snap judgements.

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

Perspective was conceived when we had already commenced working on the Civil Disobedience Series.

The writing did not take long but as we were working on producing multiple episodes, we produced about 2 and a half episodes in about a year and a half.

We shot the 2 and half episodes in one day, of which Perspective took about 3 hours of that day.

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

Conversation starter.

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

Being this is an Indie production, fund raising, I would say.

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

Gratifying; that the audience reacted in a way as intended, and tuned in to what we are trying to say with this piece, and this series, really.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Growing up in South Africa, television only came in to our homes around 1976. Up until then, movies and comic books were my escape from what looked like a bleak future. You have to realize that many careers were off limits to the us, as were opportunities, so filmmaking was the furthest thing from my mind. But I always had a creative bent, so I guess it was inevitable that I would transition in to filmmaking, as I love the whole creative process (not so much the business side, though! 🙂 )

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

It is weird because I am not your typical filmmaker/writer as I am mostly self taught, so even though I will rewatch movies from time to time, I don’t really have a favorite. Characters interest me, as well as story.

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

Film Festivals for me are a great networking opportunity, so if I can make solid connections with other filmmakers/producers who may be interested in collaborating, that is a win for me. As the event organizers, you know who the active producers are, and who can green light projects, and the type of projects they are interested in. An introduction would be most helpful, imho.

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

FilmFreeway is extremely easy to use, and we’ve used it multiple times in the past.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Pasta; tortellini being my current favorite.

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

We actually just wrapped “The Samaritan” which is our Civil D Pilot, and centers around the #BLM topic.

To date we have the following completed episodes available to view:

The Samaritan – BLM

Perspective – Religious Persecution

Trauma – Gun Control

We also have a glossy TV Bible, a Business Plan, and the scripts for 3 more episodes in our first Season yet to be produced.

In addition, we have a series teaser trailer and so much more info on our website: http://www.CivilDisobedienceSeries.Com


By matthewtoffolo

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

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