Interview with Filmmaker Christopher Mack (DIVA)

DIVA, 13min., France, Dramedy
Directed by Christopher Mack
What would you do to be a star? On a film with no budget? Audrey, a working actor, is determined to follow her dreams to shine, but finds herself up against growing challenges. Diva is a timely, comedic, and sharp commentary on working in the film industry as a female actor. It explores victimization and complicity in film making.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
I make my living, in part, as an acting coach in Paris, France. I also run workshops coaching directors on how to work with actors. Pretty much all the stories in the film are based on true accounts I have heard from actors about experiences in the industry over the years. And it got me thinking about passion which can sometimes lead to systemic abuse in filmmaking.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I wrote the first draft of the script in November of 2021. I went into pre-prod in late April/early May 2022. We shot over 3 days in early June. Work on the edit began in July, but didn’t finish until early October (along with sound mix, color grading, etc.)

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Absurdly true? (that’s a tough one to answer…)

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Budget constraints. In a way this is metacinema- a no-budget film about a no-budget film… Sometimes during the process it made me laugh at myself.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
It is delightful to see/hear the responses of people I have never met to this work we have created.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
About twenty years ago. I was already directing theatre and writing. I was a bad actor in anindependent film at the time, I’d just finished directing a play, and I decided to make a movie with some of the actors. I was hooked.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Several. Blue Velvet. Brazil. Rules of the Game. The Sweet Hereafter. I love watching and re-watching films.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Good question. Find me an agent? 🙂 Your information is so detailed.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
I like the site’s accessibility and ease of use. Sometimes I feel barraged by all the offers from festivals, and it feels like a money-making venture. It’s hard to tell which festivals are legit. But it’s great for exposure.

10. What is your favorite meal?
Morel mushrooms with wild rice.

11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am going to do a one day shoot of another short comedy I wrote in December, called Salvation about loneliness. And then I am collaborating with an actress/writer/director here on an ambitious project that involves 5 main female characters and about 50 male extras…yikes, hoping we will find the budget! It will be exciting for me to work on this project because the script is not my own, and it involves the female gaze.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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