Interview with Filmmaker Richard Van Kleeck (GURGLE: PULLING WATER)

GURGLE: PULLING WATER, 57min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Richard Van Kleeck
A documentary featuring courage, teamwork, adventure, and life lessons explored through the lens of the sport of rowing. Featuring Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic; archeologist, author, and rower John Hale; the amazing story of Oksana Masters, the world’s most decorated paralympic athlete; and a host of other interesting characters that inhabit the world of rowing. Directed by Richard Van Kleeck.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I have always been intrigued by the sport of rowing and knew that there is a wide diversity of very interesting people involved in this sport. Little did I know how many incredible people I would meet while making this film.

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

This film took one full year to complete.

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

Educationally entertaining.

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

Keeping equipment safe from weather and water.

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

I loved that each of the audience members found different details and characters that resonated with them. They did not have to be rowers to enjoy this film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

What really inspired me about filmmaking was the time when I was artistic director and co-producer for a PBS music series (The Lonesome Pine Specials – 74 one hour programs) now in the permanent collection of the Museum of
American History at the Smithsonian Institute. That was a major inspiration to begin discovering/creating/sharing interesting stories on film.

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

“Double Indemnity” directed by Billy Wilder

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

Continue to find new ways to get independent films in front of more eyes.

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?

Sitting at The Provision Company in Southport, NC eating their fresh seafood and watching the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Fear River and Inland Waterway just before sunset.

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

Yes. This decision will be made soon. I’m waiting to fall in love again as I did with rowing. It will come, I’m sure.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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