Alexander Ratter

Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
LEAVE IT ALONE is about two men who meet at night in front of NEW YORK's glooming sky line. It is on the audience to decide how they interpret their relationship. That is at least here to say: it is shifting and being turned around or even (re-) discovered over the short almost 7 minutes of the film.

To be honest I was not expecting that in 2022 especially hetero male guys who watch the film are so resonant with it. It is not a gay film in my eyes, but it is not wrong to say it is a romantic component between the two men to be discovered. For me that was at New York Film Academy where I shot the project within my studies the task: as a sexually hetero person, can you make a film including two male persons' emotions in a yet romantic way and still be vibrant and resonant without being kitsch or cliche? The audience can decide if I failed or not!

For me, this was in 2022 no provocative or even political topic. My experience showing the film publicly proves me wrong! For me, this is an unexpected and yet negative surprise that this - as I considered - absolutely normalized topic is provoking people, or should I say: triggering them and their (hidden?) blind spots pointing out as it seems at an again rising taboo -as shocking as this for myself is.


What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
I wanted to find two male men who are being understood not as gay in the first place. I wanted to keep this open to allow the audience to connect coming from their own personal perspective and influenced by their very own personal questions and challenges if they see two strangers, two hetero friends or even two gays dating, yet possible here they are just an ordinary gay couple as well. It was important - as it is always for me - to find two very authentic still sensitive talents with their own uniqueness, not going for average (for me not very interesting) necessarily in the first place sympathetic characters to be shown. I am just more impressed by searching for the thin line between empathy and a slight touch of awkwardness or unsympathetic that does not have enough impact to let the audience resonance become dysfunctional but yet engages the audience to a certain amount of awake discomfort allowing a deeper traction in their psyche. I am happy I exactly found here what I was searching for - and I am very happy their acting has, even more, the quality a filmmaker can be happy about.



How did you communicate with the cameraman?

This is simple to answer: I was as well the cameraman ;) This is not something very abnormal for my work as I have some photographic experience and enjoy feeling the material I shoot as close as possible.

What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
We filmed in a park in Brooklyn on the other side having the Downtown Manhattan skyline in the evening as the background. It was a bit a - to be honest - simple tourist idea to shoot the 100 million perspective of Manhattan, yet I liked the distance to the skyscrapers and the „heart" of the city, the vibrant park close by and the moon rising as counter-shot to one of the most famous pictures in the modern world. The green park lightened at night felt yet a vibrant contrast to the structured and cold skyline by night on the other side of the water. Images are more than just what you physically see, so feel free as you are invited in any (good) film or even artwork to build your own interpretation involving all possible elements of it in a deeper understanding. The rest is yours.

Why should distributors buy your film?

Because it is unique, beautiful, and even political or relevant. The acting is amazing as is the photography and the editing. I am proud of the direction and the little details that „do not perfectly fit" It could as well be a scene out of feature, so I am ready to shoot that one if a buyer encourages and helps me to do it! This film is a fresh view of 2023 and as that it should reach the biggest possible audience as possible.

What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?

My short films are focused on intense acting and strong aesthetical photography, often using authentic locations and their cinematic „natural" urban light sources. I focus on minimalistic acting that is yet psychological and soaks the audience in the frame using often close-ups transporting the emotion of the characters directly into the audience resonance. „Resonance" is the best word for me and my film production company Picco-Studio ( I try to challenge the audience without losing them. So I work with obstacles and „mistakes" or unorthodox approaches that make me match my unique feeling for the work in its different episodes of the developing process. As we are working now on features and series of course I am adapting more to the big audience and the appreciation not denying the need for material success. We have the goal to keep the qualities of our more arthouse experiences and bring them together with the necessaries of mainstream works to be relevant and successful as appreciated.

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At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?

The film was submitted only to very few festivals. It was a couple of times awarded, yet about 90% of the submissions are not yet announced if selected. So let`s see!!! Yes, it had a premiere at the „Student World Impact Festival" in 2022 where it achieved an „honourable mention".
8. What motivated you to become a filmmaker?

It is the most challenging thing I can imagine. Freedom, a feeling of satisfaction, connecting, exchanging artistic ideas, reflecting and redefining again and again what the work is about, seeing the world and its most stunning places, working on such a sensitive and intense level as in film; expressing your own perspective - after cruelly honest discovering it including research and discoures, feeling as part of discourse - and of course: the necessity to question yourself and every one of your expressions or actions, combined with the mandatory need to never stop learning. All of this gives me such excitement.....what else could I say...did I forget something....?

Which movies are your favorites? And why?

There are quite a lot! Holy Motors in front of the list, 2001, inception, La Grande Bellezza, fight club, stalker, Le Mepris, china town, blue, white, red, metropolis. the 5th element or Blade Runner? experimental filmmaker's works like Alexander Kluge or Harun Farocki, or the films of Michael Glawogger...8 1/2, Lost Highway, Mulholland drive, Inland Empire, Thelma and Louise, ...70s sci-fi... Jackie Brown, ...the longer I think, the harder to stop....I could....well there are plenty more to be mentioned....

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?

The idea needs to feel relevant and unique enough to be told or to be told in a certain way. I need to be interested in it. That is all it needs.

What genre do you like to shoot and why?

I want to shoot comedy! ... In the end, there stays the genre drama....what a shame! How I can still change that somehow?

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?

I have a very adventurous life story and have written 400 pages already. Yes, that will be a film.....of course, I wanna this year shoot as a showrunner my personal first series! Billion Dollar fraud every year, ongoing! We are in the middle of the script development. Authentic under cover researched by our own. Nobody is yet on it it seems! No joke! If you have the money we need: reach out to me! You will not regret it!

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What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?

I love to travel with my young family, I like to hike and I love all kinds of arts. I enjoy being adventurous whatever it means.

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?

Have a look here: two big series and two features are on the way! And of course, we have already amazing ideas for the time after! At this particular moment, we are open for 1-2 private investors. Reach out to us if my words here made you resonant!

Alexander Ratter, Picco-Studio, flight into darkness, Escaping the past, T2:NY1, Andres Jauernick, Burgtheater, Resonance,, Wolfgang Schlögl, Jan-Stephan Schmieding, Tobias Vees