1.Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project
Charlie Schwarzer’s great career in comedy just won’t take off as planned and on top of that, the love of his life, Emilie, has just left him and gets involved in a serious car accident. But does this mean ‘game over’ for Charlie? The answer is ‘no’. His motto is “Stand Up!”
What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
You have to be able to really listen, you have to be in tune with your instincts - and empathy too would be a good tool to have. And finally you gotta show up!
How did you communicate with the cameraman?
Using the script, the locations, the characters, the lighting and the characters’ psychology - plus the inner driven motor of the story. The right screenplay has a certain sound that tells you the most.
What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
Mostly of the places I already knew and I’d been to before - or they were places that I’d been searching for a while in my mind and in pictures. I like to imagine the set up early enough in the production process, but I also like to be able to adapt and to adjust to new locations in case we need to. It’s just a process of drama at work, which is really complex if you sit down and try to analyse it – and I would also explain it differently depending who I’m talking to.
Why should distributors buy your film?
Because they are smart?
What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you
characterize your work?
I did that but more unconsciously, or at least the result has to seem as if it is made without any certain ambitions. It’s not my role to characterize my work, I’m just the creator, which means I go with the flow and if it doesn’t work out, then I’ve got to make it work out.
At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already
premiered? If so, where?
The movie has been shown around the world at various international film festivals and has won 46 awards so far. Because of the tough covid restrictions and the implications of covid for cinemas everywhere it was impossible to plan an official start for the movie, so we decided to go for the festivals.
What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I’ve been performing as an actor in many independent films over the years, and that makes you think like that. When I first started I was working with an old movie veteran called Klaus Lemke. It was funny and really interesting to watch him at work and to be a part of the movie-making process. He was really living it - and he still does, despite now being 80 years old.
Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I’ll give you my current top eleven and you’ll ask ‘why’? And my answer would be ‘because they show us the struggles in a poetic way, and what they all have in common is that they tell us the things which we constantly ignore, and that we are getting nowhere without patience, without being kind to each other and learn to enjoy some kind of pleasure in letting go.’ A good film teaches you how to fly and fall at the same time - haha.
Nomadland / Chloé Zhao
Beasts of the Southern Wild / Ben Zeitlin
Birdman / Alejandro González Iñárritu
There will be Blood / Paul Thomas’s Anderson
Swiss Army man / Daniel Kwan
La Danza de Realidad / Alejandro Jodorowsky
Being John Malkovitch / Spike Jonze
Big Fish / Tim Burton
On the Waterfront / Elia Kazan
La Strada / Federico Fellini
Citizen Kane / Orson Welles
What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
I don’t put myself in a category. That would mean limiting myself. I’m no big fan of setting limits for myself, and the sky is getting cloudy anyway. We all strive for love, respect, and self- sufficiency and once you go to work you have to see within your personal story and within the bigger story, how to get there! The topics just do not matter. That doesn’t make sense? See, that’s how easy drama works.
What genre do you like to shoot and why?
Life, Death and Laughter - or fire, water, ice? Period.
What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
What person will I be one day, and what will he be about?
How has COVID affected your film life?
Right when it all started I got inspired and I just thought ‘the streets are empty like never before’ and I started an apocalyptic mockumentary project about crises and solutions called ‘The dance around the Black hole.’
What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your
That’s a funny question.
What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I’ve been juggling some ideas around in my head and starting to meet and talk to friends and people who I’d like to work with. Filmmaking is a process that needs certain tricks. One trick is to keep your mouth shut until you really need to talk. So I’d like to finish with a Joe Strummer Quote: “the future is unwritten.”