Interview with WHY WE LEAVE filmmaking team.

WHY WE LEAVE, 13min., USA, Drama
Directed by Anastasios Ketsios
Why We Leave is a dramatic narrative about a married couple struggling to connect with each other after the suicide of their son.

Get to know the filmmaking team:
writer/star: George Ketsios
writer/producer: Toni Christopher
director: Anastasios Ketsios

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When we talk about what motivated us to make our film “Why We Leave” we tend to discuss the multiple layers that came into play for us. Toni, George and Anastasios worked collectively and made group decisions throughout the entire process of making this film. Which started from the original concept all the way through to the final lock at the end of post production.

The loss of a child is something George has thought about since he became a father 12 years ago and the urge to bring this story to life was important to him. George and Toni met in an acting class and they quickly realized that the work they were doing was visceral, committed and the connection they had with each other was so strong that they were inspired to create a project together. During the height of COVID, they began to collaborate together over Zoom on a script. As the pages started to come together, George invited his brother Anastasios to collaborate and workshop the script and when it was completed Anastasios drove from Chicago to Los Angeles and to direct the film.

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

We all agreed to work on the script until we felt it was ready to be workshopped and rehearsed between us. We wanted to make sure that we could present our story in the most truthful way possible. Our film took 2.5 years from start to finish.

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

Unspoken wounds.

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

As we already mentioned, Zoom played a big part in our production with the country on lockdown during COVID, Toni and George based in Los Angeles and Anastasios based in Chicago, we spent 6 months working on the script together over Zoom meetings. The three of us have been with this film from beginning to end and the post-production was tough at times as we all agreed to share our opinions and thoughts through the process. Post Production was definitely an obstacle. Working with our editors, composer, sound designer and colorist over Zoom made the process much longer than anticipated as we couldn’t make any changes there at the moment. With those obstacles in place we feel lucky to have assembled such a talented crew and love all the work that went into making this film.

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

We found validation and satisfaction with the audience feedback that touched on some of our bigger ideas and techniques in our film that really came through on the screen. The responses that focused on how we handled such a delicate subject were also very inspiring to hear. Overall, we were thrilled to hear the audience feedback.

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

When a mentor encouraged actors to start creating their own work. Also when you have three like minded individuals like ourselves that come together to create and bring stories to life.

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

Toni – ET (Steven Spielberg)
George – Seven (David Fincher)
Anastasios – Alien (Ridley Scott)

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

Offer more categories/blocks so many more filmmakers can have their work screened and shared with our community.

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

Easy Peasy. So grateful. Great platform and resource.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Toni – Mom’s meatballs and sauce.
George – Rotisserie chicken, side of greek potatoes and salad.
Anastasios – Anything homecooked, especially when traveling and particularly from family.

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

Yes, a short film and a few commercial projects. TBA


By matthewtoffolo

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

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