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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #16: Victor Levin Finds the Perfect Cast for '5 to 7'

Indiewire By Ziyad Saadi | Indiewire April 11, 2014 at 1:49PM

Finding the right actor for a particular role can be a very grueling process, but fortunately for writer/director Victor Levin, he was able to bring the perfect touch of class and a French sensibility to his latest film "5 to 7," in which Berenice Marlohe plays a French diplomat's wife who has an affair everyday with a young writer between the hours of 5 and 7. The final result turned into what seems to be a romantic success that will surely provide the director much more comfort than the film's pre-production.
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Victor Levin

Finding the right actor for a particular role can be a very grueling process, but fortunately for writer/director Victor Levin, he was able to bring the perfect touch of class and a French sensibility to his latest film "5 to 7," in which Berenice Marlohe plays a French diplomat's wife who has an affair everyday with a young writer between the hours of 5 and 7. The final result turned into what seems to be a romantic success that will surely provide the director much more comfort than the film's pre-production.

Tell us about yourself. Love movies. Making them, watching them, arguing about them, quoting lines from them ten years later. Love the connection with the audience. Moving them, making them laugh, involving them, asking questions they might not have considered otherwise. When I feel I’ve struck some sort of a chord with them – those moments are what I work for.

Biggest challenge in completing this project? The sheer patience involved – it was 7 years from completion of the script before shooting began. On our project, casting was absolutely crucial, and that can be a wildly time-consuming, spleen-endangering process. Actually making the movie – although you would never say it was easy – was very peaceful, happy and liberating. Even on the difficult days, when every noise, every delivery truck and everyone on Manhattan seemed to be in the take.

What do you have in the works? Another romance with comedy. I’ve stopped saying “romantic comedy” because that term has come to mean something else, something formulaic and simple.

Did you crowdfund? If so, via which platform? And if not, why? We didn’t crowdfund, for one thing because we started so long ago that no one had thought of crowdfunding yet. Also, our budget was a bit high by crowdfunding standards. Crowdfunding is a fantastic model, no question. Although that is a lot of thank-you notes to write.

Did you go to film school? If so, which one? Just a summer of Sight & Sound at NYU, which was invaluable. Would have loved to go to film school, but I was a writer first and I needed to work. You learn on every set you step onto, as long as you’re not afraid to ask questions and seem like an idiot. It’s a terrifying way to educate yourself, though.

What films have inspired you? Among the strongest inspirations are "Manhattan," "Jules and Jim," "Il Postino," "Cinema Paradiso," "Swept Away (1974 version)," "Metropolitan," "Local Hero," "Network" and "Casablanca." Smart, funny, immensely moving stories. Filmmaking that doesn't call attention to itself but gives you beautiful images. Dialogue I've never forgotten.

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.

This article is related to: 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers , Victor Levin, 5 to 7, Festivals