Today feels a bit anticlimactic -no more Talent Campus and probably no more film parties I can get into. It’s cold as well, very, very cold. Almost everyone at the market has already given up and gone home or else gone to the nearest bar. I’m left to reflect on things for the day before some screenings tonight.
As I mentioned in my section about getting ready for pitching, it’s really good to have a producer attached to your project, in fact, it’s pretty much essential. People just don’t take you seriously when you’re just some kid with a treatment, harder still is the fact that you can’t even be regarded by most as a ‘kid with a treatment’ because it’s almost impossible to get in front of the right people.
Something that I already knew before I came, and frustratingly was unable to sort out, is that you should make contact with the companies you want to see well in advance of the festival.
By the time they get here most people are fully booked and certainly have very little free time to speak to an unknown, first time, director. This is a prime example of where a producer will help you out.
I spent the entire of January working a bar job and kitchen job to pay my rent and save money for the trip, I also worked through the night most evenings on my treatment and didn’t have a single day off. The point here I guess is that you have to realise your limitations.
This is a collaborative medium and you can’t do everything on your own, particularly when you have to deal with the everyday realities of life; rent, food, sleep etc. I think it’s a fallacy that all directors are artsy fartsy dreamers and the producer is the only one who needs to think about business, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses -find people who complement yours.
I can in no way, however, regard my trip as a failure. Good contacts have been made, I’ve seen some incredible speakers and some fantastic cinema. I’ve also learnt where I need to be to make my project work and being in an environment like this helps you focus a lot.
This is a lot like what my heaven would be I suppose. I think as a young director as well it’s important to get your face out there, eventually people are going to start to recognise you and assume you must be someone or something. Weird I know, a bit facile sure, but I think true.
The two screenings in the evening are awesome! Yeeeeeeeeeah! This is why I got the bug in the first place.
The first screening is La Teta Asustada (The Milk Of Sorrow) this a Peruvian film that is in competition. According to the programme, director Claudia Llosa examines the archaic legends and customs of her native country. It’s a story about a young girl, Fausta, who suffers from a mysterious illness that is passed down in the milk of mothers who were raped or or physically abused during pregnancy or whilst breast feeding. After her mother dies Fausta goes on a journey that will take her, as the poster says, from fear into hope.
We make a ‘hilarious’ mistake by accidentally going to a screening with German subtitles instead of English -ha ha! Somehow though, it doesn’t really matter. The film is visually stunning, features a spellbinding lead performance and has music and singing that will make your heart burst. I love it, I love it, I live it!
Second is Yang Yang a Thaiwanese film that’s playing in the Panorama section, it tells the story of a Eurasian girl, whose mother has just remarried at the beginning of the film, she is a promising athlete and later actress. It’s difficult to really say more without giving the plot away but basically the film is a meditation on the duality of a girl with two national identities. I guess it goes further than that and touches on the duality we all have within ourselves.
I can’t really work out whether I love this film or I feel the director doesn’t know what he wants to say. It’s either a bit of a ramble or a very interesting example of form as content. I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Either way it’s got me thinking and that in itself is good.
As I drift off to sleep images and scenes from both films drift through my mind, particularly La Tetu Asustada. The film has that quality of all great cinema to both transport you somewhere else while you are in the cinema and keep dragging you back after you’ve left.
Posted by Max Sobol
(image: The Milk of Sorrow)
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