ANIMAL APPETITES was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the May 2022 WILDsound Film Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I wanted to make a film with a cat eating a man’s face. It was a morbid motivation but it was the clear image I had in my mind when I started constructing the story. Without a clear and distinct image in my mind, I find it difficult to really get behind a project.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I had conceived a similar story involving a cat and a dead man in 2019 during my second year of film school but the college wouldn’t allow films involving animals. Once I graduated in 2021, I revisited the idea and decided to rewrite it and produce it with the help of friends and family. In total it took about 2.5 years from concept to finished product.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Carnal and ironic
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Time and money. We had to film in two days and the crew worked long hours for relatively little pay. I also had to sleep with my executive producer to pay for the film. Thankfully my executive producer is my wife so I can’t complain 🙂
But it really was a huge sacrifice for my friends and colleagues to get this film off the ground. I couldn’t have done it without them. I thought directing the cat would be one of the biggest challenges but surprisingly the cat was extremely well behaved and friendly.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was pleasantly surprised at the positive reception to the film. I was a tad disappointed that no-one expressed what they didn’t like about the film as I’m sure people have some reservations and I need to learn from my mistakes. I find it interesting as well when audiences draw different conclusions to things than myself. That is not to say they are wrong. I think directors and writers are often the worst judges of their own work.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When one of my close friends told me I’d never make a movie. I’m Slovenian on my mother’s side and we tend to be very competitive and love a good challenge.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably The Fugitive (1993) starring Harrison Ford. It was a family favourite and growing up in a house with seven other siblings and one TV, you didn’t get much choice in what to watch. I don’t hate the movie, but I get a slight twitch in my eye when I see it playing somewhere.
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 would love some money to make another film. Cash prizes are a great incentive to submit to a festival. Giving me an opportunity to network with some people who have money, that might be nice too. I understand short films are not very lucrative but any financial support is really helpful.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
No complaints. The only problem with filmfreeway is that you are overwhelmed with solicitations to submit to more festivals than you can afford. But as long as you curb your ego and stick to your budget, it’s not a problem.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Steak (rare), peas and mashed potatoes.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
This summer I’m directing a short horror film I wrote called ‘Warble Warble’. It’s inspired by the Grimm Fairytales my mother used to read to us before bed. I’m also writing a feature called ‘Quick Quick Slow.’ It centres around a naive dance instructor working at a ballroom and latin dance studio that charges overpriced lessons to lonely old ladies. Once I finish writing it, the next step would be raising the capital so I could direct it.