Interview with filmmaker Michael Gorlick (Reinventing the Reel)

Michael Gorlick’s documentary short film about the LGBT community played at the September 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival event. A very timely film that tells two stories: The horrible history of the portrayal of LGBT in Hollywood movies, and what some filmmakers are doing about it now to improve it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of REINVENTING THE REEL:

Interview with director Michael Gorlick:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Michael Gorlick: I noticed how people in real life treated those who displayed ‘gay’ characteristics at any age, but specifically the bullying that goes on in the younger ages. This was being mirrored in films whenever LGBT characters were represented (which already was at a very low rate). Basically, they were being lead to believe their ‘straightness’ was normal because of the societal beliefs they had adapted from parents, society, and media (which reaffirms and even shapes our culture). If they are the norm, then all other aspects of human beings must be ‘other’. Otherness is feared because it is not understood. Thus, I started researching why and how there could be such a misrepresentation of LGBT characters and stories in film. I was interested how long this has been going on and what was being done about it.

GLAAD has a lot of research about this topic on their website about the statistics in film. They are very disheartening. Then I read about the contact hypothesis which really rang true to me which is the more an audience watches certain demographics on screen, they begin to relate to them better, and lower their prejudice towards them in everyday life. I wanted to see those statistics change and was curious to see if anyone was doing anything about it if Hollywood wasn’t going to. That led me to finding the storyline to my film.

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

2 months of focused research/preparing, 7 months of filmmaking process.

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

LGBT Crowdfunding

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

There were many. I would say the biggest is being robbed in LA while we only had 5 days to film all of the interviews and b roll for this film. That was not fun!

Structurally, this is a two-part film. The first part is about the past of LGBT in film. The second part is about the present and future of LGBT in film. Was this your plan all along when making this film? Or did things change in the interviewing process?

Yes, It was my plan all along. I knew in order for things to move forward that have been stagnant for so long, you have to always acknowledge the past. So I went with that feeling. I did not know the direction of the interviews or the on set filming would go or how it would all come together so I did not plan that but it all seemed to tie together well.

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

Nervous. It is a strange feeling to be listening to comments about your work while you are in the room and they do not know you are there. But that is where you get the honesty and because it is invaluable to get truthful feedback and it is worth it.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Matrix

What is next for you? A new film?

A few documentaries floating around in my head that I would like to produce and direct.

Interview with filmmaker Rian Smith (Robbie the Rabbit)

Rian Smith’s short film “Robbie the Rabbit” played at the September 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival to rave reviews. The audience loved this simple yet complicated story of two childhood friends, a tragic event, and a boy’s obsession with Rabbits.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of ROBBIE THE RABBIT:

I recently interviewed director Rian Smith:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was told that there was money to be made in short films. I was misinformed.

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

It took about 4-5 months to make, but took 6-7 years off the end of my life.

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

Touchingly weird.

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

Assembling the crew. I had never even seen most of the crew beforehand, as all my crew regulars were on different projects. It was a take-what-you-can-get scenario, and strangely what we got turned out to be some of the best going. Very lucky.

5. Tone-wise, this is a very tough film to pull off because we have to be 100% convinced by your twist ending. Which we are. How, why and where did you come up with this idea for a short film?

A drunken joke. My producer Finbarr Crotty came into college hungover, and was talking about a drink-fuelled idea he had about a boy who wants to be a rabbit. All I did was ask myself ‘why?’ and the film came from there. Not quite an apple falling from a tree, but I’ll take what I can get.

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

Right before any audience sees my film I immediately think that I’m a fraud and the film is terrible and that I’ll be chased through the streets with pitchforks and tax increases. So, I was relieved that they actually engaged with the film, that’s all I ask.

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

The Departed, which I feel really shows in Robbie the Rabbit.

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

I’ve started writing short plays. I’ve been told that’s where the money is.

Interview with Filmmaker Don Duncan (A SIGN)

Don Duncan’s short of A SIGN was the winner of Best Cinematography and Best Performances at the September WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video for A SIGN:

I recently interviewed director Don Duncan about his award winning short film:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Don Duncan: Essentially, I wanted to tell a fable of redemption. During the process of writing the script, I was looking for ways to convey a journey of loss and renewal of hope… but I wanted the journey to be one that was experienced extra-verbally. I wanted the main character’s moment of redemption to be a solitary experience, with no dialogue, and I wanted it to be on her own terms, in her own home. In addition to this, several areas of interest wove themselves into the story. I was interested in the notion of sexuality and sex work among older generations; and in the power of the gaze and how it can demean or ennoble. I was also interested in the power of imagination and how people use it to overcome loss.

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

It took a year and a half, from my initial idea to the final touches of post production. A good year of that period was spent developing my ideas, writing and rewriting the script and getting to the core of what I wanted to say and how I might say it visually.

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

Hope returns

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

The biggest obstacle I found to making this film was the school structure and mindset within which I made it. The film school I was a student at provided the budget, which was the practical life spring of the project. But the same school, its conservative and dysfunctional ethos, and its lack of faith in young talent made the process of finding my voice and testing it very, very difficult at times.

5. Your actors, especially the lead, were exceptional. Perhaps that’s why the audience voted them for best performances at our festival. Where did you find your actors and how much rehearsal/prep time did you do to prepare?

I was very fortunate when it came to the actors I worked with. Sebastien Peree, the casting director, and myself found Sophia (who plays the lead role) via one of the actors we had auditioned for the role of Georges. That actor saw the script and thought of Sophia immediately. When she auditioned, she gave a performance I had not imagined beforehand and one that made me think and explore the project in a different way. I immediately trusted her understanding of the story and I think she trusted my vision also. Our collaboration was a very rich experience for me. Similarly, Simon Andre, who plays Georges, was much older than the Georges I originally had in mind but in his audition, he gave a performance that was so tender and lost that it made me see the film project in a new way also. As a result, I feel that actors that unsettle ones hypotheses in an intimate and intelligent way are very much worth looking closer at.

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

I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to see real people react to the film. All the feedback I have had so far has often been either critical or negative (in the case of many professors at my school) or effusive (because I have been present in person at many of the projections). The WILDsound audience could speak freely and honestly and so their impressions were a joy to see. I was also over the moon to see that many in the audience seemed to have grasped and engaged with the main story arc but also with some of the sub-themes of the film. I took a risk by making a film that is somewhat open-ended and one which depends more on visual and musical communication rather than verbal communication. I am delighted to see that, for some in the audience, this paid off.

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

In terms of number of times, it must be one of the Christmas TV film standards on Irish TV like Mary Poppins or The Wizard of Oz! A film I discovered in recent years that I keep going back to (and one which influenced me a lot in the making of “A Sign” is “Climates” by the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

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

Yes! I have two projects in development (in my head and in my notebooks). The first is a short film about a middle-aged man who is trying to find a way to truly love his aging father before his father passes away. On his journey to revisit and overcome childhood violence suffered at the hands of his father, he rediscovers a musical tune he composed when he used to play piano as a kid. By exploring the tune and developing it further, he manages to get to the place inside himself that hurts and find some kind of peace.

The second project is a feature film, based in a fictive present-day united Ireland where Dublin has been left to ruin and and in that ruin and decline a bunch of social outcasts create their own paradise.

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Watch the best of the September 2015 Film Festival
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/september_2015_film_festival.html

Watch the best of the monthly festival under its new ownership since May 2013:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/film_festival_videos.html

Interview with filmmaker Shekhar Bassi (NO LOVE LOST)

NO LOVE LOST was a multiple winner at the August 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival. It is perhaps the most unique film that has ever played at our festival. This is a film that stays with you for days as you keep going back to it and thinking about it. It’s a 15 minute film with no dialogue, a strong social impact, and overall, it’s an extremely entertaining short film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of NO LOVE LOST:

Interview with director Shekhar Bassi :

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Shekhar: Initially, it was just the desire to make a film following a long unplanned hiatus after my father passed away and also health reasons. For me it had to be a strong piece of cinematic story telling that would grab people’s attention. I was keen to tell a simple, multi-dimensional and engrossing love story of the isolation of hatred in a world where love overcomes differences hence chose the world of our story to be an urban setting rather than going across geographical borders. The underlying subtext when my brother and writing partner, Shalinder, were developing the screenplay was ‘we alienate our self by hating while believing we are alienating the person or thing we hate’.

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

Shekhar: The film took us eight months to complete. The short was self-funded hence it was a stop and start journey but a worthwhile journey.

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Shekhar: Real world.

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Shekhar: For a couple of months it seemed that I would not be able to make the film having been subtly and overtly threatened by certain groups against making No Love Lost when trying to raise funding. In my case when I am told I can’t do something creatively, I am doubly motivated and make it a point to prove people wrong. So the journey to making No Love Lost became more creative, self-financed and required the making of the one shot short film ‘Faux Départ’ in order to secure free post-production for No Love Lost. As we moved forward, editor Nathan Cubitt and I strived for the best cinematic story and made hard choices like cutting certain parts. Getting the right music took time and fortunately my path crossed with a brilliant Brazilian composer, Renan Franzen.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Shekhar: London as a city and the UK as a country are a busy hub of filmmaking. Several shorts are being made even as I answer this question. The UK is famous for lending itself to international feature film productions. As a local filmmaker, I know making a feature film is much tougher since finding funding is difficult. Luckily we have satellite organisations like Film London supporting filmmakers to take the next step into making features.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Shekhar: I found it very refreshing and I was glued to the screen. It was good to hear the audiences reactions to the film and what they took away from it. It really is exciting when you find an engaged audience.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Shekhar: That is a long list. Of the top of my head – Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment’.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Shekhar: At the moment, my brother and I are finishing a draft to a feature length screenplay for a UK Producer but I am not attached to direct. I am also in deep research for quite some months prior to writing a low budget feature, for me to direct that has been optioned by Vertigo Productions in Australia and on which Rolf de Heer will be script editor. At the same time, I am busy writing a Malta based film which has garnered a lot of support after No Love Lost was seen at various festivals on mainland Europe and followed up on my other work online. The next step for me is to make my first feature.

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

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Interview with filmmaker Cedric Messemanne (AFTER)

AFTER is what some might call an ‘arty’ film. It’s a short film that many would consider what this artform is all about. I recently chatted with the director Cedric Messemanne about AFTER and his reactions after it played at the August WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of AFTER:

Interview with Cedric Messemanne:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Cedric Messemanne: I initially wanted to make an ‘experimental documentary portrait’, but I quickly realized that I was more inspired by the character I had in my mind, as I did not want to change the mood and the rhythm I could picture. So it became a fictional portrait.

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

Cedric: It took me about a month to write it, two evenings to shoot it, and then about 2 months of editing and going back and forth with the music composer, Florent Paris.

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Cedric: A feeling of descent

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Cedric: Leaving shots out was definitely my major difficulty during the editing.
I had to take out shots that I loved because they were too long or didn’t resonate enough with the text.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Cedric: The film scene in Paris is quite active, but independent french films mostly have a depressing mood. It’s interesting.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Cedric: I was really glad to have a chance to know what people from Toronto thought of my film, because in most cases, I don’t have the possibility to attend the foreign festivals featuring my shorts, and overall I don’t get any specific feedback, so it feels a bit like a dehumanized process sometimes. Plus, there were some very interesting interpretations from the audience, it’s always fascinating to hear how people perceived your work.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Cedric: Well it’s mainstream but in theaters, it’s 2001, and at home, I would probably say Clockwork Orange or Pasolini’s Theoreme.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Cedric: Yes ! I am in the process of writing new short films.

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with filmmaker Tingting Liu (BEING)

I chatted with Chinese animation filmmaker Tingting Liu about her short film BEING. It created a lot of reactions when it played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in August.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of BEING:

Interview with Tingting Liu:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Tingting: About 12 years ago I watched a film called lost in Translation, I didn’t get its deep meaning at that time. But once I started my life in America, I remember that movie time to time. It is nice to be strong and independent. But sometimes it could be very hard to understand other people. It is even more difficult to read ourselves through other people. At first I thought it was just for international people. But now I feel it is for everyone, who has a lonely self hiding very deep inside. I am trying to show this corner to everyone, and I hope people can find a way to get through their own difficult time.

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

Tingting: It has been a long time since I wanted to make something about identity, loneliness. But I have been very busy with my day time job, feature film character animation. I only did it during not super busy weekends. So if just calculate the hours I put on it little by little, I guess the total was like around two to three months. But I got the rough idea about 2 years ago.

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Tingting: That is hard, I guess self-worth ?

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Tingting: I guess it was the time, working in animation film industry was not easy. Usually the day time job need me put 200% energy and time focus on it , which means I had less time to work on my personal project, especially during Christmas time.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Tingting: I guess we might have one of the largest markets in the world, but I don’t think there are many film festivals for independent films. People are so desired to watch fancy Hollywood style movies. Box office, lots of VFX are the key points for producers. It is still growing. And we all agree only good story can survive in long film industry history. So we will see.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Tingting: I was very happy my movie sold very well about what I wanted to say, and the audience totally get it. It made me believe I have found my “ghost toy” which is animation to talk to people . Also thank you very much for showing these feedback to me.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Tingting: I watched lots of traditional Disney 2d animation films, and live action feature films with strong storytelling and acting. If you want something different from Hollywood style, I highly recommend a very old one from Japan by Akira Kurosawa called Red Beard released 1965

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Tingting: Yes, I am just starting a new short 2d animation movie based on some story in real ancient Chinese history. I hope I could get a chance to show your audience in the future if possible.

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with filmmaker Pepe Gomez (KNOCKED DOWN)

I chatted with the Spanish filmmaker Pepe Gomez about his short film “Knocked Down”, which played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in August. It’s a unique tale told in animation of a boxer pondering why he does what he does. There is a lot of subtext in this film about the perspectvie of a professional athlete, with a very cool animated style.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of KNOCKED DOWN:

Interview with Pepe Gomez:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Pepe: I was an amateur boxer myself for a few years, and I wanted to make people experience boxing the way I did, first hand.

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

Pepe: About five months.

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Pepe: Inside boxing

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Pepe: The slow motion scenes. It took me a while to get them right.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Pepe: I was quite nervious at the beginning (watching the audience feedback of my film), but people seemed to react very positively so it really was a great experience.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Pepe: Probably Jurassic Park… or Seven

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Pepe: Yes! I am already working on my next short film which will be my graduation project. It is called “The last king of Granada”, and it follows the last day of Boabdil el chico as king of Granada, before he surrended the city to the christians on January 2, 1492.

You can actually follow the progress of the film here:

http://pepegomezanimation.wix.com/pepegomez

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with filmmaker Camila Moreira Marques (FAT)

I recently chatted with director Camila Moreira Marques, who made her short film “FAT” at the Vancouver Film School. We showed her film at our festival in August 2015 to rave reviews from the audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of FAT:

Interview with Camila Moreira Marques:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Camila: All my life I’ve been fighting eating disorder without even being knowledged about it. In my case, I was fat just because I liked to eat and I wasn’t stronger enough to control my eating desires. At least this was what everyone used to tell me, because most of the people don’t know anything about eating disorders. They don’t understand how someone who suffers about this condition feels. That’s why I decided to make a film showing what looks like to have a monster of compulsion inside of you.

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

Camila: It took me approx. 5 months to do everything with a really crazy schedule of 18-hours work a day.

Matthew: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Camila: Love Yourself

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Camila: It was really difficult to do this project because I’m talking about a condition that I have and about I am still suffering. But I received a lot of support from my friends and from some VFS teachers. They helped me letting me think about what the movie represents, they showed me how the project was bigger than my own problems and that it’s an important and true message. In the end, I knew it was important to show to the world how it feels being a person with an eating disorder.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Camila: I am from Recife, Brazil. My city has a lot of film festivals as well and I am applying for some of it.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Camila: I am really happy. First of all, because the audience could understand the feelings that I wanted to convey through my movie and second reason because my animation style also was praised. I am amazed and happy.

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Camila: I always have been an animation movies addicted. I Especially love the Disney ones.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Camila: I am going back to Brazil now. My home town, friends and family are waiting for me there. I also plan to apply for jobs in some animation studios in my country and here in Canada. But for sure, I already have some ideas for my next movie as well.

    * * * * *

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Interview with the Director of 1500 NIÑOS, Oliver A Dubois

I recently chatted with Olivier A Dubois, director of the film 1500 NIÑOS. A fascinating film about a Mexican peasant who collected all kinds of dolls and puppets he exhibited on his island for his own pleasure, but also to protect themselves from a ghost that haunted him.

Learn more about the film that played at the July 2015 Film Festiva:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/1500_ninos.html

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Olivier A Dubois: I had seen these images of this island from the web, and when I had the opportunity to actually go there, I did not hesitate for a second. At first I had planned to take pictures only, but I knew video would have a stronger impact, despite the short time I had. My motivation thereafter was really my fascination for the peasant, the real person (who started it all). He died in 2001, I did not know at the time I started this endeavor, but I was interested in his personal psychology. It challenged me, I tried to imagine how he lived and his inner motivations to collect all the dolls.

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

Olivier: Filming in Mexico took about 2 days and post production in Quebec took about six months.

Matthew: I see that your main actor unfortunately passed away after the making of this film. Did he get a chance to see the movie?

Olivier: The actor: “Roberto Sanchez de la Vega” was struck down by cancer in 2014. I was fortunate to have him for my shoot, because his health worsened rapidly. I didn’t have the privilege to know about this remarkable man, who was not a professional actor, but he gave me this incredible performance. Fortunately members of my family over there managed to show him the film on his hospital bed. It seems he laughed a lot!

Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Olivier: The little time I had on the island … and perhaps post-production, it’s crazy how long it can take to transform superb HD digital images into ‘old film/celluloid format’! Ha ha 😉 !

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country?

Olivier: I live in Quebec, and there are several very interesting festivals that project short films. Fantasia for example. My short film also had great international distribution, it was presented in 17 other festivals and soon it will be shown in a museum in Belgium as part of a doll exhibition.

Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Olivier: I was delighted! Short movies may be shown at several festivals, but it’s not every day that the creators of those shorts get real-time feedback from a live audience. It made me really happy. Thanks for that!

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Olivier: The Exorcist? Ha! Ha! Ha! Nah, I can’t say really… I find it very difficult to answer this question seriously. My interests in cinema cover several genres, but I especially love the movies that surprise or upset me. It’s so hard to find works that demonstrate originality.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Olivier: Sure. Making movies is a choice I made long ago although it’s not easy to have the means of one’s own ambitions! I’m still working tirelessly, aiming towards making a feature film, but for now I create shorts at least twice a year. It’s easier for now… I have an idea to stretch a work over several years, it’s quite appealing! But for a feature length format lasting over an hour and a half, you need something dense enough storytelling wise. ‘1500’ is cool, but that idea expanded too long would have made a boring feature length film. The short is a genre in itself, perfect for that type of concept. It may not generate big profits for the creator , but it certainly feeds me creatively ;)! This said, it’s really cool to sometimes have a little recognition as WILDsound provides. Thank you again.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video for 1500 NIÑOS

Interview with Belguim Director NORA BURLET (Go Against)

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of GO AGAINST:

Matthew Toffolo interviews Directoed Nora Burlet:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This story came out of a picture. I was in the South of France, lying on a deck chair and wearing sunglasses. I was reading an article about an actress (I don’t remember her name) who told the story of her first runaway when she was 17. She left her home with a friend of her to going to Spain. I had this picture of these two young girls who were runing away from her school, driving fast with the music outload. I found that image very beautiful. I kept that picture in my head, with the fantasy of making a film out of it. So here I am, writing the very first lines of this script under the sun of vacation.

My first desire was to show this furious energy of the youth who doesn’t know what to do with it. Talking about the teenage dream which is impossible to live. This lust for life. However, as the writing process goes by, the main theme appears : the fusional friendships of teenagers.

At this age, you’re building your identity through the look of others and by comparing your choices with their own. I’ve been living those things, and I observe it today.

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

Less or more than a year.

3. Talk about your cast: The main performances were terrific. Where did you find these girls? And was type of rehearsals did you do?

The casting process were very long.

I’ve been looking for young girls who were in the top of their youth and who were closed to my characters. After many encounters, I finaly selected Lou Bohringer and Nina Lombardo, even though they doesn’t have the age of their characters. I was looking for their kind of energy.

I met the actresses three weeks before the shooting. We started to work very lately. We’ve seen each other many times to discuss about the characters. We exchanged movies, musics, drawings… Anything that can feed their imagination.

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

Cold. We’ve been shooting in the middle of January, at the edge of a country road. It was frozen. The entire crew were suffering, and I was wishing just one thing : the snow.

Finaly the snow never came and the cold doesn’t appear on the screen.

5. How did you find the locations in your film?

We’ve been shooting at Chaumont-Gistoux, ai the countryside by Brabant Wallon, near to Bruxelles in Belgium. It’s been a real pleasure to spotting for the film : we’ve been driving hours through the countryside, listening music while we were looking for this american road look alike. It is one of my nicest memories of this shooting.

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

When I got your mail, I didn’t watch the video right away. I send it to a friend of mine for him to translate the video’s contents. When I got his translation, I watched the video several times. I found some of my intentions in the audience reactions. In a certain way, I think I succeeded in telling my story. It’s amazing what audience members see in my movie. You can’t control everything when you’re making a movie, so everyone is able to see whatever they want in the final result. And that’s a good thing.

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

I don’t have any idea.

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

For a year ago, I’ve been writing a new script for a short film that’s going to talk about the same themes, but in a much darker way. I am also working in movie business, on sets and as a casting director. Today, I’d like to move and to travel a little.

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Deadline FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.