Interview with Filmmaker Alex Balcells Querol (THE GIRAFFE)

THE GIRAFFE, 9min., Barcelona, Action/Adventure
Directed by Alex Balcells Querol
The first real action of the Mirage F1 was impressive. At the very beginning of its operational life, the Iraqi Mirage F1 entered the “hall of fame” by killing some Iranian F14 Tomcats, by using the new Super Matra 530F missiles and the “Giraffe” maneuver.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

A Spanish aviation writer (Manuel Parrilla) who used to fly the Mirage F-1 in the Spanish Air Force, came up with the idea that we could produce a movie about the Mirage F-1 aircraft that shot down two F-14 Tomcats during the Iraq-Iran war using a technique called The Giraffe. This technique permitted two aircraft with less combat capabilities (F-1) to shoot down two ultra modern and apparently “indestructible” aircraft (F-14).
That was an amazing historical event that needed to be explained!
I really liked the idea as well that the Spanish Air Force performed different training camps with the USAF. The USAF wanted to prepare their pilots and get expertise in dissimilar air combat against the Spanish Air Force F-1 before going to the Iraq war. There was a real possibility that some Mirage F-1 Iraqi fighter pilots could attack the Americans.

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

It took us less than a year.

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

Tactical combat

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

The biggest issue we had to face was that we had a deadline on the movie release. Therefore, that put a lot of pressure on the team, especially during the last weeks.

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

Wow! It seems that they really enjoyed our work.

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

As a professional pilot and aviation lover, I always wanted to watch aviation movies. I always thought that there are not enough aviation movies on the screens but a lot of incredible stories to explain, so then I said, why don’t we make those types of movies?

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

Top Gun

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 would like to know the feedback from the judges and the reasons why a movie has been or not been selected for the festivals. And if it was awarded I would like to know the reasons. A critical review would be nice as well!

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

It was a very handy platform and well designed. It’s an easy and fantastic tool to promote our movies in the festivals worldwide.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Paella 🥘

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

Sure! An aviation history / event film ☺️


By matthewtoffolo

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

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