Interview with Filmmaker Aparna Sharma (STILL LIGHT)

STILL LIGHT, 3min., USA, Experimental
Directed by Aparna Sharma
Still Light is an experimental short made of photographic stills. The film explores the relation of light to perception. It is entirely shot and edited on a mobile phone.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Over a few years I had been spontaneously making pictures using my mobile phone while on long walks. I had a sense making these images that I was interested to see how light impacts our perception of a space. I kept making these images and storing them on a mobile phone. During the pandemic I had to travel to India for an emergency. This was before the vaccines had come out. So I had to undertake a 10 days quarantine in a hotel. I was locked up in a room and to bring some semblance to that time I started to look at these pictures I had been making. Impulsively I felt like selecting and editing them into some form and that’s how the film really started and came about.

When I was taking pictures, I had no idea that it would result in a film.

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

I had been making images on my phone since 2016. But I started assembling materials and editing in late-2020 and the film was completed in Spring 2021 when I started sending it to festivals and screening it.

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

Happy Surprise!

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

Not that I can think of one. No, I don’t think I faced any obstacles. I really enjoyed the process of making this work.

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

I was very touched by all the comments. I deeply appreciated the seriousness with which people saw the film and the respect with which they spoke about it. I was very touched.

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

Long back… ages ago. In a former life when I worked in television in India.

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

Dziga Vertov’s The Man With The Movie Camera.

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 have enjoyed receiving feedback from this festival, which is something a filmmaker always looks forward to. One thing that could be implemented is the possibility of conversation between filmmakers featured at the festival. Some form of interaction that enables sharing experiences because one is usually pretty alone in making films.

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

I find Filmfreeway quite convenient. One thing it doesn’t offer me is a thorough understanding of how different festivals approach films.

10. What is your favorite meal?

I am easy-going with food. Always happy to try something new. I am vegetarian. That’s the only thing to bear in mind.

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

Yes, following Still Light I am considering a follow-up to this film. This time I want to examine darkness. I have some thoughts on darkness and our thinking process. I might do something with that material.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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