Interview with Filmmaker Sarah Vianney (ISLE OF RUM)

1. What motivated you to make this film?

During the pandemic, I felt people around me lose faith in their surroundings, they needed community but wanted to be far away from the real world. I had spoken to Dave Beaton, our main protagonist a year prior and thought he was a wonderfully eccentric character. On Rum they had build these four houses and had all together decided that the new occupants should have a skill or something that would benefit their community, and I loved that idea. When we were filming the people on the island could feel the absence of one of their own deeply and so it makes sense to choose someone who would fit the place. the funny thing is that they are all eccentric and headstrong in their own wonderful way, so chasing a new villager is really not based on how easy that person is. As someone who is def not easy either that appealed to me. I wanted to make it beautiful and calm, so people could sleep next to it if they wanted – but also to show something worthwhile, not idyllic ad perfect but accepting and welcoming and nuts,.

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

It took a year. Not the filming but all the work around it, it took nearly a whole year.

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

Hopeful. Calm

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

You are on an island and you don’t realize that to get to the other side you need a car, but there’s no car for you. If the restaurant closes, no food. No phone connection (tho wifi works). Even getting to the island took me three days from London.

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

I was so happy that maybe my plan worked. When I send this film to your festival, I said – Give me 52 minutes of your life and I hope I can make you a little bit happier. I think maybe we all achieved that, and that really really means a lot to me.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I have always loved stories. It’s obnoxious how focused I am on people’s stories, even hungover face down on a couch, I immediately perk up when I hear something good, But film allows you to tell a story on so many levels and thats important to me. Here is a pretty film, its calm. It also speaks about chasing your life with its upsides and downsides. And maybe if you want to go deeper than that, you can see that we are all weird people who deserve respect and we deserve support from our community.

You could not show that in an article, in my view. Probably a book, if I had that talent.

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

I have a whole host of comfort films that make me feel better. The ones that make me better as a filmmaker, they are not usually the ones I love.

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 am not sure but I think maybe a cooperation with other festivals – like a recommendation to help us grow?

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

Very good.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I am Viennese. Even if I haven’t lived there in eons, Marillenknoedel. They rule.

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

Absolutely. I have quite a few ideas. I also want to start balancing documentaries with commercial filming – for some reason people stamp you with one or the other, which is simply not the case.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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