Interview with Filmmaker Karel Candi (OFFSHORE)

OFFSHORE, 14min., Iceland
Directed by Karel Candi
A short documentary about an Icelandic couple and their relationship to the sea.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This film was made as a part of my MA studies in film practice. During my thesis research I studied “Transcendental Style in Filmmaking” as described by Paul Schrader. The style is best exemplified in films by directors Ozu and Bresson. They present an “everyday reality”, and then at the end show it in a new, more spiritual, transcendental way by highlighting an emotional/spiritual aspect of that mundane reality. My research focused transposing this narrative style into documentary filmmaking, and my documentary Offshore serving as an experiment and case-study. I was interested in portraying the more transcendental and meditative quality of life of the fisherman.

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

From the initial forming of an idea, to filming, editing and multiple revisions, the process of making the film took approximately 6-7 months. Much of the time was spent discovering how exactly I would structure this “transcendental style” documentary to achieve the desired result I had set as my goal.

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

Calm and meditative.

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

The biggest obstacle by far was the seasickness I suffered from while filming on the boat.

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

It was very encouraging to hear so much positive feedback. This is a film that I was very much interested in making, but I wasn’t expecting it to be interesting to a wider audience due to its slow and meditative style.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

When I was around 10 years old me and my friend started making little comedy sketches in my backyard. This quickly became the thing both me and him preferred spending our weekends doing. Ever since then filmmaking has been my primary interest and means of expression.

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

Probably Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs. My dad would rent it for me when I was around six years old and I would watch it again and again. Finally, my father became tired of renting it repeatedly and simply asked the video store to sell him the copy.

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 think that the most valuable thing about participating in film festivals can give me is encouragement and an honest critique of my work.

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

I have found the FilmFreeway platform easy to use and understand. I can focus my search on festivals that suit my work and have positive feedback.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My go-to favorite would be some sort of a pasta dish. My grandfather emigrated from Italy as a young man to start a family with my grandmother in Iceland, so he tought me to appreciate good Italian cooking. Traditonal Icelandic “þorramatur” (smoked lamb, ram testicles, liver sausage, dried cod, etc.) also has a nostalgic place in my heart, but that’s something I enjoy once a year and preferably with a bit of Icelandic “burned wine” (it helps make you think the stuff actually tastes good).

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

Currently I am working part time at an elementary school in Iceland teaching filmmaking to children. This has been an enjoyable and challenging new experience for me. Teaching children filmmaking and film analysis is something that I could see myself doing more, but I am also always looking forward to a new film of my own. Offshore was an unexpected turn for me, as I had always imagined narrative films would be my focus. But after the experience of making Offshore I am excited to experiment more with the documentary form.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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