Interview with Filmmaker Ken Allen (MIYAWAKI MAN)

MIYAWAKI MAN, 8min., Australia
Directed by Ken Allen
A documentary focussing on one man’s goal to plant as many trees as he can. The film features spectacular drone footage from the FNQ region and the amazing growth rates of Miyawaki Forests.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
Miyawaki Man started life as footage shot for a teaser reel for a documentary I wanted to pitch at a documentary conference. A computer glitch at 10Pm the night before (yes it happens) meant that I never pitched it.
We had a local Film Fest coming up so I re-shot it and knocked it into a short film for that. I then started entering it in festivals around the world and regretted making it only 8 min to suit one festival.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took around three weeks all together. I had the drone footage already. But playing with festivals and marketing etc chews up a surprising amount of time after a film is finished.

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

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Time, there is simply never enough of it for passion projects.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
They get it! It was really interesting to see people reactions from across the globe who are just watching the film on it’s own merits. I’m surprised and supremely satisfied to see how well they got it.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
A long long time ago…In a galaxy far-…..

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
No one favorite film… Many.. Many films. My favorites change as I change, as my life changes. I enjoy good films, often Indy…I like ones that make you think, ones that stay with you…Original stories!….. I don’t do superhero 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?
Many festivals have workshops. I think they’re a great idea. Even online ones help. There is so much to learn! Hooking us up with distributors or people that can help would be awesome for those of us who aren’t local.
Also get IMbd certified, I think it helps if your short film is on their with it’s awards.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Film freeway is way too easy to spend money on… It’s a great platform which takes the pain out of submitting to festivals world wide.

10. What is your favorite meal?
Steak and chips (Fries)

11. What is next for you? A new film?
I start shooting the feature length doco of Miyawaki Man in late Feb. called “How To Build A Forest”
AND I NEED MORE FUNDING!
The doco is an upbeat and inspirational film which follows the building Australia’s largest Miyawaki forest and includes step by step instructions as well as interviews with scientists and the scientist who worked alongside the inventor of the Miyawaki method of tree planting.
Shot with cinema grade gear it will include more great drone footage as well as timelapse etc of the beautiful local rainforest of far north Queensland. We meet some of the interesting locals and get in deep with the scientists about the science behind Miyawaki forests and their rapid growth and rapid carbon capture potential.
(Yeah I know, the “elevator pitch” needs work)

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By matthewtoffolo

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

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