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ND/NF 2011 | 14 Directors In Their Own Words

ND/NF 2011 | 14 Directors In Their Own Words

New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center once again joined forces to produce the 40th edition of the popular New Directors/New Films series. A number of directors from this year’s edition provided responses for indieWIRE’s annual Meet the ND/NF Filmmaker series. The festival wraps this Sunday, April 3.

Below find links to read the full interviews:

Matthew Bate, “Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure”
“I used to hang around a friend’s record store and an older guy called Ron, who was one of those obscure music-knowledge types, told me about this bizarre recording of two old men fighting called “Shut Up Little Man.” I went home and listened to it and it was so shocking and so compelling that I was immediately hooked.”

JC Chandor, “Margin Call”
“I wrote this film during the fall of 2008, literally during the heart of the economic crisis. At the time, it wasn’t known exactly to what extent the responsibility for the crisis would lay at the feet of investment bankers, but I saw these characters providing a very interesting window into the mindset that to a certain extent had influenced our entire country. As it turned out, over the next two years we have learned that these very characters lay at the absolute heart of the crisis and the film has taken on some different baggage because of that.”

Rebecca Zlotowski, “Belle Epine”
“I had the idea adolescence was not an age of innocence or purity, but instead it was full of lies, fatigue, a certain idea of responsibility and guilt. That’s why I wanted to cast young actors and actresses, not young non-professionals whose age would be closer to that of the characters. I had a deep faith in fiction and working with actors. Loss, which is the hidden subject of the film, seemed to me very austere and harsh, and my purpose was to turn it into a cinematic experience, connected to the youth, the speed and the excitement of being a certain age.”

Natalia Almada, “El Velador”
“Working in documentary film, I often feel trapped by the educational, explanatory or activist expectations of the genre. I wasn’t really interested in making an educational or activist film about Mexico’s drug war. While the socio-economic realities are very interesting to me and the film has a political view point, I want the realities to be inherent to the film’s context and not something that turns the film into a portrait.”

Mikhaël Hers, “Memory Lane”
“I wanted a strong sensation of now and reality, and at the same time something more abstract and timeless. I wanted to shoot the beginning of a love story, the outbreak of a disease in a family, the drift of a character in a real existential crisis, and also some simple moments like the return from a party in a sleepy suburbs, the city hills of my teenage years, a young woman who plays Ping-Pong in the sunset on a terrace of a swimming pool. It’s a portrait made with all these details.”

Matt McCormick, “Some Days Are Better Than Others”
“My work tends to focus on setting and landscape, and with “Some Days” I was very interested in creating a batch of characters who were all struggling with environments that they were deeply intertwined with. With all my work I strive to look for metaphors, and abandoned objects I find make great metaphors. An old house left to rot is more than just withering architecture – it’s the abandonment of an idea or plan – it’s a visual reminder of some sort of failure. Abandoned objects are the end of some tragic story where the beginning and middle are obscured; literally a tragic mystery. But there is also a strange hope in abandoned objects and spaces; they open up new possibilities, like a new frontier open to be explored and reclaimed. They can also offer comfort, in simply reminding us that we are not alone in our own failures.”

Daniel and Diego Vega, “Octubre”
“‘Octubre’ is about a ‘family’ composed of very lonely people getting together for just one night. And the reason they get together may be necessity. “Octubre” occurs in Lima, but if it weren’t for the background—the month of October during the Lord of the Miracles processions—the story could happen anywhere in the world.”

Bogdan George Apetri, “Outbound”
“I honestly can’t remember when exactly I started thinking that I could become a filmmaker, I’m quite satisfied with the easy answer that it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Paddy Considine, “Tyrannosaur”
“There were numerous happy accidents that happened during the shoot. A lot of inspiration came from embracing the community of Seacroft Estate where we shot. The busker in the wake scene we picked up off the street. He was harassing the crew and I pulled him in and got him to improvise a song on the spot. He just piled into it, so I got him in the movie. All the extras were from the estate. They just joined in the process and the film is more authentic because of them.”

Göran Hugo Olsson, “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975”
“The film is what I call a “mixtape” – not a “remix.” This “mixtape” is riffing on the 70s style of sharing music like we used to do on cassettes back in the day. But here in this instance, I am sharing film, and sharing this new found archival footage with a whole new world.”

P. David Ebersole, “Hit So Hard”
” I am going to bust myself and say that I am a fan and a believer. I think Courtney is awesome. She has a line in our film about how she has no rivals—people wake up everyday and want to be Madonna, but no one wants her job.”

Dee Rees, “Pariah”
“I was going through my own coming-out process when I first wrote “Pariah” in the summer of 2005, and that was the biggest inspiration for the story. The film is semi-autobiographical in that as I was coming into my sexuality, I started to be okay with knowing who I was but the question remained how to express that, and the main character, Alike, struggles in the same way.”

Deron Albright, “The Destiny of Lesser Animals”
“The general approach of the film was simple: authenticity of representation, honesty of character, respect of location, and a willingness to adapt. So, for example, there was never any question of shooting in local languages – the question was rather, which language was appropriate for the given scene.”

Sameh Zoab, “Man Without a Cell Phone”
“There are two major approaches that I can point out specifically. First, inspired by the Italian neorealism, I see the characters of my movies to be the main force of the drama. It is not necessarily the plot. Second, I always struggle to find the balance between making a movie that deals with important social political issues, and at the same time is able to entertain the audience. The movie is ultimately more powerful if it tells something substantial, and as a filmmaker, you must have an opinion in your work.”

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