Interview with Filmmaker Tomislav Vujcic (CHAMP)

RISK was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the May 2019 LGBT Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Tomislav Vujcic: We wanted to depict homophobia in sports in the hopes of contributing to a more open society and promote tolerance in sports in general.

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

From the the idea to the finished film it took almost 2 years. The idea evolved into the finished script in about a year. The shooting itself took 15 days to complete.

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

Homophobia Sports

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

One week before we planned to shoot the final fight scene with the big cage, the location cancelled us. Flights for the actors already paid, 70 extras playing the audience for the scene and the crew waiting for a final answer. We were desperately looking for a new location, and with just two days left before the shoot we managed to secure one. But then, a lot of the extras had changed their plans, so we couldn’t get all the crowd shots. We had to solve it in post, by mixing in scenes of an actual fight audience.

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

It was so exciting! Nobody expected that kind of ending.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

A friend of ours was talking about making a film about MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). But we did not want to make just a martial arts movie.

We then came up with the idea to include a taboo topic in this sport.

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

Gladiator, Welcome to America, Gattaca, La Haine

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

It is a very good platform for filmmakers. Very intuitive interface, helpful reviews and information about each festival.

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

P.Diddy and B.I.G. – Victory

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

We plan to bring Champ to cinemas as a feature film and are also working on 2 other feature film ideas.MATOGRAPHY at the May 2019 LGBT Film Festival in Toronto.

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