Interview with Writer/Actor Sophia Cleary (ONE & ONLY)

ONE & ONLY, 15min., USA, Documentary/Experimental
A young comedian misses performing, but faces a world in which she can no longer tell if she’s funny, so she decides to reconnect with her audience members – one at a time.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In 2021, while emerging from pandemic isolation, I decided I wanted to create a standup comedy show – but for an audience of one person. One & Only is the documentation and story of how I attempted these performances. It is a category-defying, short film with narrative and documentary aspects that culminates in an experimental standup special for an audience of one person.

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

A year and a half.

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

category-defying, experimental

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

The pandemic — the fear, malaise & paralysis that came with that time period.

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

I was so honored to have such thoughtful feedback about this short. It made me really happy and grateful to feel that this special concept intrigued and entertained people.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I am first and foremost an artist interested in live performance. When I can contribute to filmmaking through that lens, that is what I am most interested in. The pandemic made me want to make films so that I could reach wider audiences with my live performance ideas.

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

Unfortunately (?)… The Mummy (1999)

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’m not sure! I’m so impressed by the treatment I’ve received from this festival already.

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

I really enjoy the FF platform. It’s great that I can build up a film’s profile and then easily submit it to multiple festivals without much tweaking.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Impossible to answer. I love food too much. Maybe fresh ceviche? I love seafood and raw seafood. Oysters! But that’t not a meal… I love French and Ethopian cuisine. Maybe a fresh salad or salty vegetable and then some kind of stew or pasta. For dessert? Tiramisu.

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

I am hoping to find a way to continue live theatrical performances of One & Only. I am currently in the process of looking for producers and funding for this work to continue.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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