Interview with Filmmaker Marina Ziolkowski (19)

19 was the winner of BEST FILM at the May 2020 Female Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Marina Ziolkowski: I wanted to talk about how psychological violence can lead to physical violence

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

It took 6 months and I was 8 months pregnant when we shot!

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

Powerfull, uncomfortable

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

Finding amazing actors

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

Happy, grateful, touched, moved, relieved

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

Talking all night with my producer

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

Some like it hot

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Great


9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

The Beatles I think ! One song is just impossible!

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

Yes a new short film, a comedy this time! Before starting my feature!

Interview with Filmmaker Chris Garcia (NEW LIFE)

NEW LIFE played to rave reviews at the May 2020 Experimental, Dance, Music Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Chris Garcia: I wanted to talk about a subject that personally touched me. I wanted to show that any kind of art (dancing, acting, drawing…) could be a therapy and take a part of a rebuilding ourselves through it.

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

It took about a year from the idea to the finished product. I wanted to take my time with pre-production especially so I can present the subject with the finest vision.

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

I would describe it as a feminist and a necessary film to watch perhaps.

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

I didn’t really have any problems or obstacles during the project. When I made it it was very clear to me from the very beginning to the end because I kind of had already pictured it inside my head and I knew how I wanted it to look visually.

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

I actually weren’t totally awake when I got to see the feedback video and I couldn’t really believe what I was hearing because it was too good to be true.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I finished class with my friend and fellow actress Melanie Bokata, and I wanted to make a short film with her. The idea was born when I was in the train on my way back home and I literally just told her that I wanted to make this short film about the violence towards women through the art of dancing and she said yes and the rest is history.

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

“Lawrence of Arabia” and “Singin’ In The Rain” are my two favorite films that i must’ve seen more than a million times in my life.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s the best platform for young filmmakers to find good festivals for their films.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

“Where is my mind” by Pixies

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

I am currently in pre-production of my next film “Summer” and the subject of it will be about accepting ourselves and our sexuality.

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Interview with Filmmaker Brian Ng (24)

24 was voted BEST FILM at the May 2020 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Brian Ng: The initial motivation to make this film was the assassination of my uncle on a highway in the Philippines. Up till then I was working on another animated film based on the Filipino Street. But after he was killed it made me question aspects about my personal motivations as an artist and animator. I felt that art and filmmaking should be used to depict an aspect of humanity that is hard to define in any other medium. I asked myself the question “If I could send a message to the world, what would I say?” The answer was 24.

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

I guess because of the content I would have to say I’ve been working on this film for most of my life. The conclusion of this film took 24 years in the making but the actual production and structuring of the content took about a year from 2018-2019. I gathered up photographs and mementos from every year of my life to structure the content that I wanted to animate from.

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

Fragmented Memories

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

The biggest obstacle was looking back at certain traumatic events of my past and trying to represent them in a way that a general audience could understand; then trying to create a written and visual vignette of each year in response.

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

I felt kind of embarrassed, it’s probably the first time that I’ve seen a recorded response to my films on video.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

24 was a film that I started to develop as a result of my mixed heritage and background growing up between Singapore and the Philippines. As a half Singaporean, half Filipino person who moved constantly, I was exposed to certain aspects of reality that formed my being. I saw humanity, corruption, terrorism, inequality, oppression and racism from many different perspectives. I turned 24 years old in 2019 and I thought that it would be cathartic to use the number 24 as a framework to put the most significant experiences of my life into perspective.

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

Synecdoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think it’s a good medium to send ideas to a large variety of audiences around the world. It’s a good way of collecting spreading films through.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Do You Hear The People Sing from the Musical Les Miserables

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

At the moment I have another animated film that’s in the post production stage called Ryori, which is a stop motion animated cooking film based in Japan. I am also working on the production of another animated documentary called the Absence of Memory, which is based on the experiences of multiple individuals within their conscripted military service in Singapore.

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