Festival volunteer Brandt Weber spoke to a few members of the audience, to see how they felt about the event.
- Name, origin, age and occupation?
E – Erik, Netherlands, 42 years old. Filmmaker.
G – Gabriel, Italy, 33 years old. Media and photography.
- What did you think of the film(s) and the overall programme? What stood out the most?
E – It was nice. There were some really good ones, and others less so. I really liked Fundamental by the director from Taiwan… I thought it was super good. I only gave it tens on the scorecards! The technique in this one is very minimalist, contrasting with the overwhelming and sometimes violent story, which is something I appreciated.
G – I don’t remember the titles of everything, but the Nascar one I really liked. Dust & Dirt? Yes, that one was visually really, really awesome I think. And I liked the one on the Cuban mother and son All or Nothing, it was really interesting. Those two stood out to me.
- Is this the first time you’ve been to a film festival?
E – No, I have been to several… I try to see as much as I can. I also released my own short through a festival.
G – No, I have been to some other festivals some years ago. This is the first time here in Amsterdam though.
- What is your overall feeling towards Independent film and has tonight’s event changed your opinion in some way? If so how?
E – Well anything that is self-financed and low budget can be seen as independent. I make independent films myself. That is how I see it.
G – I don’t really have a feeling about it, I think when you can do stuff you should do it, within the means you have, and as long as you can do stuff that’s cool. I don’t really consider myself a fan because I don’t consider it a genre or niche on itself, as long as you can say what you want to say in a good way…
Festival volunteer Shaila Nish interviewed Pierre Van de Kerckhove, director of short film ALZHAÏMOUR.
What was your biggest challenge whilst making this film?
The biggest challenge was having no budget. I tried to get budget twice with the Belgian ministry without luck, so I was ready to abandon it. But the team was adamant that we continue. This very nice professional team decided to work without money. They all volunteered their time so we could finish it. This film is a miracle. Even the lead actor who is an award-winning actor in the US volunteered his time for the project. He passed away suddenly last month in an accident. I loved this man. He was a fantastic man, 83 years of age, but had the heart of a teenage boy, always happy and enthusiastic. He was talking about the next project when he passed.
Does that give this film a more of an emotional connection and make you happy with the exposure it’s receiving?
Absolutely! I didn’t think many people saw my film when it was premiered here in Amsterdam on Wednesday. But tonight I have already had a few people approach me to tell me how much they loved it.
When people come up to you and say they like your film how does that make you feel? Does it feel like the hard work is paying off?
Yes and this film has already won many awards, especially in the US. But my current focus is already onto the next project and funding it. The next project is a feature so funding is key. But the success of this film gives me the encouragement to continue in fiction, even though I have a previous background in documentary. I already have two projects in the pipeline, and looking for producers around the world.
Out of the two, what is the very next film you are interested to get produced?
The title of the film in English translates to ‘A Horse in Winter’. It’s a story of a filmmaker struggling with his own scripts and he doesn’t know how to fix it. It comes from personal problems and he realizes that someone in the other part of the world has the same name as him, who is also an artist. He wants to visit this artist without telling him his concerns. And it unfolds from there.
Winners, Special Mentions and Season Award Nominations from Amsterdam Lift-Off 2017 can be found here: