“Santa Shakti” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Louis Mouchet

-Who is Louis Mouchet?

Louis Mouchet is the name of my grandfather, an ancestor I never met because he died long before I was born and my parents said almost nothing about him. As I testified in my films The Jodorowksy Constellation and The Family Forest, it took a lot of genealogical introspection and a lot of transgenerational analysis to become the Louis Mouchet I am today: a filmmaker who has made a few pictures but still has much to do.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

I spent my early childhood in Tunisia, which was and still is a lost paradise for me. Returning to Switzerland was difficult, so I sought refuge in the dreamy comfort of the movies. This was the birth of my passion for cinema. The step behind the camera was something special. I was asked to work as an apprentice on a movie based on a book by my father, the poet Charles Mouchet. Naturally, I had a special relationship with the actor playing my father. He asked me for advice and tips, which I gave him from the depth of my heart. We became friends and he inspired me to make the movie Visionary of the Invisible.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Everything changes. Everything you do, big or small, changes the world if you truly express yourself and do not repeat what others have done or tell you to do. The silver screen is a mirror, so it amplifies the changes.

-What would you change in the world?

The first thing you have to accept is that the world, everything, is as it is and not as you want it to be. From there you can contribute to this constant change by identifying your calling and expressing it in the best manner you can. This is the best way to make your contribution to the world: To identify and accept your difference in order to make a difference.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

The art of vision has been around since at least the Stone Age, when people painted hunting scenes frame by frame in their caves. I remember being particularly impressed by the vision of a priest traditionally moving objects in front of an idol on a Kali temple. To me that was clearly a motion picture. For the next 100 years, the art of vision will always be there. It has changed and it will continue to change. I am very excited to have new tools to expand my expression and reach, as I have begun to do with my new project, INTELLIGENCE·S.

“Red Knots” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Ehasaas Kanjilal

-Who is Ehasaas Kanjilal?

Ehasaas Kanjilal is a 22-year-old cinephile and workaholic entrepreneur. With a background in journalism, she’s currently pursuing a master’s in English literature, balancing her passion for film with academic pursuits and entrepreneurial endeavors. International cinema has always been a gateway of unlimited possibilities for her. It is the place where magic meets reality.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

I was inspired to become a filmmaker by my deep love for storytelling and the power of visual narratives to evoke emotions and provoke thought. Growing up I was either surrounded by cinema or theatre or literary crafts, all thanks to mother, Sumana Kanjilal, who is a renowned journalist, writer and runs a production house enriching the love for cinema in the household, and my father, Anjan Kanjilal, who’s a renowned theatre and film director nationally. Which eventually fueled my true passion for the art form, I was driven to pursue filmmaking as a means of expressing my creativity and sharing my unique perspective and my team’s collective effort with the world so that just how world cinema has taught me, one impactful scene on the screen, could eventually bring the biggest change in the society. Michael Moore, Werner Herzog, Alex Gibney, Anand Patwardhan, Ritwik Ghatak, their documentary films are my motivation to start my film career as documentary film director.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Yes, cinema has the power to bring about change in society by raising awareness, challenging norms, and countering power. Through storytelling and the portrayal of diverse perspectives, cinema can address social issues, promote empathy, and spark important conversations, ultimately influencing attitudes and behavior. Which successfully has been portrayed and promoted by many international Film directors in world cinema.

-What would you change in the world?

If you asked me what I could change in the world, that would be a very wide and lengthy answer but If asked in the aspect of Cinema, I think Cinema should strive to challenge stereotypes, promote inclusivity, and amplify marginalized voices. By depicting diverse narratives authentically and sensitively, filmmakers can foster empathy and understanding across cultures and identities. Additionally, cinema should address pressing global issues such as climate change, social injustice, and inequality, inspiring audiences to reflect, engage, and take action for a more equitable and sustainable world.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

In the next 100 years, cinema will continue to evolve and innovate, leveraging advanced technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence to create immersive and interactive experiences. Storytelling will remain at the heart of cinema, but the boundaries between reality and fiction will blur as audiences become active participants in narratives. Furthermore, global collaboration such as this and cultural exchange will shape a diverse landscape of cinematic expression, reflecting the richness of human experience and existence. But we must realize and remember that filmmaking is not only a technological reproduction but also a socio-political & philosophical outcome in a visual language to archive history & counter history of mankinds.

“Crashendo & The experiment” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Florian Lejal

Who is Florian Lejal?

I’m a film director based in the North of France, specialized in drama, thriller, and Science fiction but I already have driven comedy and horror films. What I especially likes is to make an impression with modern issues that concern us or could concern us in the years to come. Answering the big questions of our world and our interactions in society to bring new avenues of reflection, new theories about past facts all while carrying a strong emotional wave.  
A lot of this questions obsess me, such as that linked to our beginning and the ultimate question: why do we exist/live? Could we have a special goal on Earth, undiscovered at present?
I am keen to develop a new approach with my point of view, on pure fiction, or on films with a preponderant part of truth. I always try to entertain, but by bringing that little extra that keep you sit at the end of a film watching the people you came with. 
My dream since I was little has always been to make others dream, to escape them by telling stories rich in meaning.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Since as young as I am capable, I see films. Cinema has this own way of telling stories in such a versatile and unique way who has always fascinated me. 
It’s a bit like a painter who materializes his own reality, and each director is a bit of a painter of visual stories. He/ She is the conductor of a new dream reality. When i first start to discover the art of filming in studies, i fast realised the artistic potential way for telling stories, and the incredible power that animated images have to generate new sensations, emotions…  My references in terms of favorite films, everything I love about cinema made me curious to know more and more, this is how I discovered the big names in cinema like Nolan, Spielberg, Burton, McTeigue, Noyce, Snider, Niccol, Besson, Scott, Columbus, Zemeckis, Kubrick, Lynch, Villeneuve, Vaughn, Wiseman, Demeusy and so many others who were precursors of their own style and who inspire me everydays. The 7th art is a big liberty of expression and i see it like a mission. The mission of open our minds and experience a unique moment that will stay in people’s minds. Change the world on our scale, for the better. Just as important is the team. Cinema is teamwork and I find it incredible the number of different professions to allow the general public to share a good time on the big screen.

Color grading – Short Film Crashendo by Florian Lejal

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Cinema has already changed society. And it will continue to do so. Often a precursor to many subjects, I firmly believe that it is one of the most powerful ways to convey messages in a subtle way. I remember the release of Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, which was at the time the best video materialization of a black hole. Obviously each film has its share of monitoring and documentation to be carried out, especially if the film in question has its share of reality. I think the realism of this film left a lasting impression. Beyond that, this film has raised awareness in the sense that the subject of astronomy and our place in the universe has once again become a subject of interest for part of the population. Instilling one more link between scientific hypotheses and modern society. More recently, even if there are happier stories, which doesn’t stop me from being a total fan (probably because it’s my universe), the Black Mirror series. This series describes the potential excesses of society, and some of the concepts highlighted in the series are (unfortunately) no longer fiction. Then  But we can clearly identify with the protagonists of these stories, which makes them very powerful and impactful. Perhaps if there had not been an episode on, for example, the concept of social note, currently applied in China, it would not have been so visible and criticized in the press in the West.

“On Set of The experiment – short film by Florian Lejal”

-What would you change in the world?

In connection with my previous answers, I would like to provide new avenues for reflection and a questioning of our current world in order to bring about positive changes. Coming from the world of communications, I know how much storytelling works. I am sad to see that where the biggest budgets deployed are in communication and especially advertising, to work on product storytelling, to induce a logic of consumption. We could change so much more if thoughts were focused on films that allow an open mind. A new point of view that encourages positive change. The answer is in the question : for me, making films can change the world.

Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I think there are going to be many revolutions. We are at the dawn of a new era with artificial intelligence (generative and others). There is an element of fear in the collective consciousness, but everything new or unknown has been scary at some point. From a technological point of view there will still be change, smartphones are witness to this. Fortunately, we still understand the interest in large equipment for cinema films, but maybe one day, that will change. Jobs will surely have to reinvent themselves. In any case, one thing is certain, the best story told will remain deeply human.

“THE PANHARMONION CHRONICLES: Times of London” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Henry Chebaane

-Who is Henry Chebaane?

I’m a curious ape on a spinning rock, orbiting the sun at a speed of 30 kms per second, while travelling back and forth in time. This dizzying trip makes me anxious to use each day creatively to optimise every precious second. So, I try to transcend normative boundaries and explore ideas through a variety of artistic media. I’m a fiction author with a first graphic novel published and two more on the way through my production studio Supanova Media, with which I also write songs and produce electronic music under the alias LX8. Beside this, I’m also a lighting, product, graphic and interior designer with over 20 years of experience through my experiential branding agency Blue Sky Hospitality. I’ve worked on numerous projects worldwide from Alaska to Korea, Iceland to India, Tuscany to Kazakhstan. That being said, I’m just a humble philosophy student, privileged to be able to observe, think, feel, manifest, and share ideas and emotions with the public by using a large variety of creative media. I take constant inspiration from the diversity of people on our amazing planet and the wondrous energy that forms the substrate of our reality.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

It’s been a gradual process. I was born and grew up in Paris, where I watched a myriad of arthouse movies and ‘films d’auteur’. Many were French but also Italian, Spanish, and German. This diet combined with reading a stream of relevant books piqued my interest in intimate drama and characterisation, not just of people but also of places and buildings. When I moved to London almost 40 years ago, I was fortunate to learn more, by being exposed to a completely different type of storytelling. The Anglo-American approach tends to favour a more formalised structure, driven by the writing of luminaries like Aristotle, Robert Mc Kee, and Joseph Campbell. I’m self-taught in architecture and set design so was able to apply immediately my own theatrical vision to each commercial project. For example, in 2002, my first restaurant design in Warsaw was inspired by the work of playwright Witold Gombrowicz. More recently, my design for the Parisi Udvar restaurant Budapest was used as set in the American horror thriller ‘The Invitation’ (2022); and my designs for the Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid were used throughout the eight episodes of the Netflix Sci-Fi spy thriller ‘In from the cold’ (2022).

But the tipping point into filmmaking might have been the recent creation of a London boutique hotel called The Gyle. It is a conversion of 19th century heritage-listed townhouses in King’s Cross, Camden. During my research into the history of the area, a story formed in my mind. I took screenwriting classes and wrote a TV pilot. During the same period, I started reading more graphic novels as research into storyboarding. And then, one night, inspiration struck me in a way I didn’t expect. An entire, epic novel came fully formed in dream, with plot, casting, dialogues, wardrobe, locations, props, even the soundtrack! This story wanted to come out. So, I commissioned a very experienced comic artist called Stephen Baskerville and produced the first volume. It’s now published as The Panharmonion Chronicles: Times of London. The story is about a multi-cultural female music composer who struggles with a conflicted identity, a traumatic past and repressed supernatural abilities while fighting a violent supremacist cult through Time. Because the hero is a music composer, I wanted to try another creative experiment by learning music production and making several tracks under the same artist alias as the story protagonist: LX8. Then, I wrote the script for a music video, directed, and acted in it. I play the role of the author wandering in his own imagination, inside the world of the novel. By shooting the music video in The Gyle, which is the main plot location for my novel, I close a narrative loop and open another one into an infinitively recursive universe. Although it is an experimental short film, The Panharmonion Chronicles: Times of London has already received several awards, for which I’m grateful.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Yes, it does and has done so many times already. Like literature, cinema is a powerful medium. It enables the audience to test and experience facets of reality that might not always be familiar, possible, or comfortable. Cinema allows society to explore and interrogate its own consciousness, ethics, and behaviours by placing the viewer in a hypothetical situation: what if…? This is the reason why cinema (and books) are often the targets for censorship from special-interest groups and state-control.

-What would you change in the world?

Well, this is a vast subject perhaps beyond the scope of this interview, but I will try to give a short answer. If I could change one thing, I would make access to universal knowledge free and unlimited to all humans. Knowledge brings insights, context, awareness and therefore empathy. It puzzles me that 5,000 years since the ability to share complex thoughts in writing, humanity has not developed a common understanding of the world. Reality is causality. This is why stories are so essential to being human. We live in a complex, entangled web of reciprocity with other beings. We must cooperate to live a peaceful existence, by listening, watching, and respecting other people. Everyone, not just humans. Maybe filmmaking is the ideal tool for this as it is a medium that transcends linguistic barriers.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Naturally, there are many possible branches in the road ahead. We can all speculate wildly but I personally think that, like books, cinema is an irreplaceable art form and storytelling instrument. I feel very grateful that streamers like Netflix have opened channels for us to access filmmaking from an increasingly large proportion of the world. If no catastrophic event put a stop to it, the spread of global filmmaking can only make humanity more enlightened and benevolent as it progresses into the future.

“The Detail” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Victoria Napolitano

-Who is Victoria Napolitano?

I am a person who loves old movies and films…where glitz and refinement filled every scene. I really miss when Hollywood stars dazzled on the big screen, looking their best in lavish outfits, conveying so much with a simple looking their eyes. I’d was captured by those tough, silent leading men and sexy women who just oozed intrigue. I would really let my imagination go wild. I’d stare up at the screen, trying to figure out what made those men and femme fatales tick. Getting lost in those old black-and-white movies was the best escape.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

There are two films from my childhood that I revisit annually. One is the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel Wuthering Heights. The Gothic romanticism and emotional turmoil depicted in this cinematic rendering of the literary classic continues to profoundly affect me years later. For those with a passion for cinematic films, this film provides an experience well-suited to cozy viewing. Another influential work altering my perspective on the craft of filmmaking was the 1956 French picture The Red Balloon, winner of an Academy Award. With sparing use of dialogue-mere sentences at most-I found myself enthralled by the emotional responses elicited.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I think change begins when filmmakers move away from preaching and imitating the work of other filmmakers. Over the years, I have interviewed numerous individuals, but recently I have found that the idea of educating and entertaining the audience has become extremely stale. Producing 50 remakes of the same successful movie will not guarantee its success again. Statistics show that people are watching more of the older shows than the newer ones. As I mentioned before, it’s because at that time things were fresh, new, and original.

-What would you change in the world?

I am confident that we can overcome the current divisiveness we are facing. In my childhood, I was exposed to a multitude of cultures and nationalities, and I recall people being more collaborative and supportive of one another. I held onto the belief that the world would continue to improve, and I was hopeful for the future. However, today’s atmosphere is characterized by anger and hostility towards differing viewpoints, which is detrimental to society. Ultimately, if we do not unite, no one wins in the long run.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

The concept of film as we currently understand it will undergo a significant transformation in the future. It is certain that filmmakers will be extensively examined and scrutinized in order to better understand the passion that they possess and the incredible creativity that some filmmakers (as well as writers) exhibit in our contemporary society. Future generations will thank you for the shards of beauty and bridges of understanding you leave behind. So, day by day, scene by scene, pour your passion onto the page, into the camera lens, onto film. Not for awards or achievements

to collect, but for the love of the craft itself. For now, is the time you have to create. The fruits of your dedication will ripple into the future in ways you cannot yet imagine. But carry on with faith that your unique voice and vision matter. Let this be your mark.

“Beneath the soil” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Peter Hartwig

-Who is Peter Hartwig?
Born in Brisbane Australia, I’m currently 38 years old at the time of this interview. My fascination with art began early; I excelled in oil painting classes at the age of 9 but eventually set it aside for school and sports. Yet, my passion for creating never waned—I’ve explored various art forms.  I’ve explored various art forms, from performing in plays and musicals to writing comedy skits for burlesque shows. My professional life as a bodybuilder and coach even blended athletic performance with artistic expression, crafting routines that merge martial arts with interpretive dance.

I have always had a passion for storytelling. Although I returned to painting sporadically in my 20s, it was in my 30s that my artistic endeavours truly deepened, leading to the creation of the ‘Beneath the Soil’ art series. This series inspired my experimental film of the same name, which was honoured with the Best Super-Short Film award at the 8 & Halfilm Awards—a pivotal achievement for me.

At 35, I made the challenging decision to pause my career and attend film school for a year, a choice that impacted my finances and professional trajectory. However, my commitment to art and storytelling is unwavering. It’s an integral part of who I am, and something that will shape aspects of my work and life in the future.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Amongst the different forms of creative expression, I gravitated towards film-making because of the impact that many films have had on me. The accessibility of filmmaking today, where compelling narratives can be brought to life on a shoestring budget, further fueled my interest. My initial inspiration for film-making came from an idea I had that I originally wanted to write as a play. However, as I fleshed out the concept, I realized the potential for a more expansive and unrestricted storytelling medium. Film, with its fewer limitations, offered the perfect canvas to bring my vision to life. This is currently the next film project I’m working on.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Firmly believe in film’s capacity to drive societal change, a phenomenon well-supported by historical evidence. In film’s early days, when resources were limited, many films primarily served to propagate the agendas of the political parties who funded them, showcasing film’s direct role in fostering social transformation. Advertising also demonstrates film’s power to shape societal norms, influencing consumer behaviour and perceptions of status.

Emotionally compelling films subtly yet significantly impact society and culture. They present archetypes that mirror human existence, offering insights into our relationships and inner selves. Through these emotional journeys, films convey nuanced messages that resonate with audiences, potentially shaping societal values.

I think it’s important to highlight important issues within society. However, I don’t like it when it’s completely ‘on the nose’, and it feels like propaganda is being rammed down our throats. I advocate for a nuanced approach over overt didacticism, which risks alienating viewers. When messages are delivered too directly, it can strip audiences of their sense of autonomy, leading to resistance rather than engagement. Conversely, presenting themes through subtle, artful storytelling invites audiences to form their own interpretations. This method fosters a more organic acceptance of ideas, avoiding the pitfalls of feeling coerced or demeaned into adopting a particular viewpoint.

-What would you change in the world?

If I could change anything in the world, I think it would be that everyone had shelter and enough to eat. There is so much disparity in the world. According to experts, there seems to be enough resources to do this, but greed and politics prevent it from being so. It seems simple but obviously a very complex problem.

It’s human nature that if someone obtains something without the mechanisms of defending it, other humans will often take it, so you end up with greed and gluttony ruling over a lot of things.  In my art series ‘Beneath the Soil,’ the inaugural piece, ‘Torn,’ touches on these themes. The poem intertwined with the artwork delves into these issues with duality as the central theme. Sometimes it is easy to see what is happening in the world, but I don’t have a magic wand to solve issues like this. If I did, it would be one of the first things I changed first.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I think that Artificial Intelligence will have a huge influence over film in the next 100 years. It is already becoming prominent in it’s early stages within every aspect that involves technology. I think this makes it hard to predict what films will be like in 100 years, but I do believe that they will likely be significantly different to today. Combining this with Virtual reality, who knows where we will end up.

“Heart to Heart” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Bruno Marro

-Who is Bruno Marro?

First of all I’m a musician, a guitarist. I spent my whole life in music.
My father was a trumpeter. He made me listen to all kinds of music from Duke Ellingtone to Chet Baker, through Beatles, Bach or Rossini. He was a great father who always helped and encouraged me in my artistic career.
In my life I have had the good fortune to work with many artists, who have always been very inspiring. Working in the recording industry, I got to know and see many famous musicians at work.
When I left the recording industry, I started my solo career as a musician. I wrote music for cartoons and background for television broadcasts. Over the years I have produced some of my own records, and I have collaborated with many musicians.
In music, I have certainly been influenced by Hendrix, Beatles, Jeff Beck, Bowie and in recent years by Mark Knopfler.
Music is my life and I hope it will go with me to the end.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Making music for many years, it brought me closer to music videos. So I started writing and directing my own music videos.
I was lucky enough to collaborate with professionals, who like me shared my own ideas to achieve the goal.
I love the stories you can wrap up in a few minutes. Two music videos definitely impressed me: “Such a shame” by Talk Talk and “Every Breath you take” by Police
I love this type of narrative, essential but straight to the point you want to get to.
In the movie industry my preferences go to directors like: Billy Wilder, Black Edwards, Ridley Scott, Ken Loach and Tim Burton. I recently saw an exhibition about Tim Burton and it was a fantastic experience.
Music and images are two arts that unite together, arouse strong emotions. But the music can walk on its own, the video without the music, does not have the same shock force.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Well… not sure. Certainly movies can give signals, expose certain situations and reveal uncomfortable things.
The problem remains that independent cinema, the denunciation cinema, the cinema which can provoke changes,  is not properly supported. Because for Hollywood, for “big business”, it doesn’t produce money and it’s inconvenient for the topics it deals with. I remember: “Missing” by Costa Gavras. A film that was quite successful. But Hollywood should have awarded Jack Lemmond best actor. But he didn’t, because history was uncomfortable for the United States.
But we must not lose hope that Cinema, can help people to think differently. To open your eyes and see, what is kept hidden.
There are many actors and directors of a certain fame, who have made excellent denunciation films. Only last year, it was released: “Sound of freedom” by Mel Gibson, with Jim Caviezel.
The film was boycotted in all possible ways, but it managed to reach a large part of the audience.
Cinema can bring a change in the society? Let’s not give up and try to make films, that tell the truth. Let’s make people, after seeing a movie, stop and think.

-What would you change in the world?

Funny question. I’m not a baby, not a teenager and I’m not young. I like to define my age in one world: “TeenAged”. I am still a passionate and dreamy guy and I always try to deal with the things in life, with the same spirit as when I was a kid. I often repeat to my son: “Never forget that you were a child”. We must all find that spirit, that wonder in discovering things, that disenchanted way of living the events of our life. Life isn’t as serious as they want us to believe.
In this very difficult period, where the change that we are facing, seems to lead us towards a worse world, without feelings, without humanity, without mercy. We must regain the courage and strength to fight. We must return as children, rediscover the good feelings and the wonder that enveloped our lives back then, and find the courage to fight for humanity.
This I would like to change in the world.
I would like that all peoples, to rediscover the courage to fight for humanity.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Well very hard to predict. The film industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years, can you imagine in the next 100?. IA, thecnology, resources etc can open new frontiers, but creativity, good ideas, will be as always the ones that will make the difference. It doesn’t matter “where the film industry goes” in the next 100 years. The important thing is that we make good films. Films that convey values. Film that tell the truth, that make people dream and think. Charlie Chaplin didn’t have technology, he didn’t have IA, he didn’t have special effects, but his movies hit everyone at heart. The same for music. The Beatles didn’t have “plugins” that played any sound. They had no midi recorders, but normal 4-track recorders. Yet the music of those years remained in the heart of everyone. Wherever the cinema goes, the important thing is that it strikes people’s hearts with good feelings. What matters is that it gets to people’s brains and makes them think, always telling the truth.

(Picture by: Alberto Alaggio – Art Director: Roberto Da Pozzo)

“The Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Hudley Flipside

-Who is Hudley Flipside?

Hudley Flipside is a pseudonym. The name was given to me as a young punk in the early Los Angeles punk rock scene. My last name was Hudson. It was originally “HUD,” and I added the “ley” because many of the punk rock bands, music promoters, fanzines and record labels, and people who corresponded with me back through Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine in the late 1970 and throughout the 1980s, thought I was a guy. Yet my name is symbolic of the more androgynous tendencies or equality for the male and female within myself. It is my punk, author, publisher, and now documentary filmmaker name. I am an anarchist wildflower that grows in the cracks in the city made of stone.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

It was a progression of my punk rock roots as a natural D.I.Y (DO it yourself) creator that inspired me towards the process of making a documentary film. I did research while in the process of achieving creative momentum as a filmmaker, or how I wished to share the Flipside Fanzine creation narrative. I got a little advice studying my protagonist American film director maker Michael Moore, and even a tidbit from my nemesis, American singer, writer, and spoken word artist Henry Rollins. Michael said you begin your film with what you have around you and Henry said, once in a documentary, that a lot of us original punks did not keep or preserve our stuff and that upset him. I started this narrative creation story film with Michale’s advice, and I was happy to disappoint Henry with a positive to his negative. I have a lot of preserved stuff from my “youthful rebellion days” as a fanatical fanzine punk rock journalist. Hallelujah. The details are not as important, but I worked with Zoom, Adobe Premiere Pro, and many other little willy-nilly D.I.Y and learning as you go was my inspiration to create and become a filmmaker.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Along with my wild nature I also later went to college and took a film course. The book presented to us students was jammed with a history of creative philosophies applied to film perspectives. How can I say this in a positive way, I chose to forget all of that history. I went back to an intimate place where I used to be with punk bands. When we interviewed and taped live shows. I wanted to share the simple voice of someone who was there at the beginning. Books, plays, art and the cinema all share the common truth of “good or bad” storytelling. It does not matter; a story is a story. As any story can inspire, so can the cinema. Now we can sit around our electrical computer fires and create films. The cinema is already changing societies globally.

-What would you change in the world?

I do not want to change anything in the world but myself and how I respond to my environment. By not giving up hope in lieu of the fire of creativity and inspiration.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I have gotten so tired of superhero action films. I have gone back to film noirs, biographies, and simple Perry Mason episodes on TV. I would like to see books stores, big screen theaters and buttered popcorn come back. We live in a world that craves film intimacy that is cheaply priced. An escape from reality for a brief time. That is where I hope the film industry goes in the next one hundred years. I had a dream once where I was in a small house with a hallway leading to doors. I assumed small bedrooms and such. I opened one of the doors to look in and was amazed to find a large theater with a stage. The room was filled with people cheering, crying, and laughing. I walked up the side aisle and found behind the stage a rough, rocky hole that led down into the underworld. It held all those creative feelings of the theater. Mystery, aah and wonder. This is the world of the cinema as well.

I have entered the world of filmmaking, and it is amazing what I am finding, the experience is changing my life in a positive and profound manner.

“Anything You Lose” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Irina Vodar

-Who is Irina Vodar?

I like to think of myself as a storyteller. When I was a kid, I liked to tell scary bedtime stories. It was a gift that made me friends in any setting. I am a film graduate of VGIK (Russian National Film School) and Columbia College, Chicago, U.S. Film Department. My path in entertainment began with Runandgun! Inc. startup in Chicago IL, developing “Duelin’ Firemen!” videogame for 3DO platform in exchange for food and shelter.

At Runandgun! I met a pleiad of iconic American stars; Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Nancye Ferguson, Timothy Leary, Rev. Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius and Rudy Ray Moore, the father of modern rap. My first music video 3D collab “I’ll stick around” was for Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters, following the dissolution of Nirvana at Kurt Cobain’s passing. My newfound set of skills landed me a job in TV advertising in New York City, and shortly after started my career with ABC News.

I am a filmmaker, art director, graphic designer and a former 3D artist, with over twenty years’ experience in film and Broadcast Design. Distinctions range from the 30th Daytime Emmy Award Nomination, to The George Foster Peabody Award, and others.

I always had a passion for filmmaking. I’ve written, produced and directed two indie full-length documentary films during the span of my TV career. My debut doc feature Miss GULAG, produced in association with Neihausen-Yatskova Films on a beauty pageant in a Russian prison for women, premiered at Berlinale 2007 (available on Amazon Prime). The film was praised for its humanistic and compassionate portrayal of the women, as well as its insight into contemporary Russian society.

My second feature doc Anything You Lose, premiered in Los Angeles and New York City in the Fall 2023, and has already garnered 37 awards from 41 international film competitions, and just as many nominations. This breakthrough came as a phenomenal surprise. Anything you Lose has been in the works for 14 years, and is my most difficult, personal, and beloved film. It is a contemporary tale for grownups in a documentary film genre, shot verité style for seven years, and digested and edited in another seven. Once upon a time, there lived Eddie & Irina, and they didn’t have children…

An insight into hopes and dreams, addiction and isolation of ReproTech-enmeshed reality, Anything You Lose is an action-packed adventure of two individuals on the road to finding happiness, meaning of life, and joining in matrimony through a child conceived via ReproTech.

Anything You Lose is funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), a recipient of Best Feature Documentary and Best Educational Film Awards from the 8 And HALFilm Awards, among others.

-What inspired you to become a Filmmaker?

I loved the spirit of movie making since I was six years old, when I first saw a film crew working on location. They were filming a period action scene on a rooftop of a house in my courtyard, in the historical city center of Moscow.

…I was sitting by the window looking out at the courtyard. Suddenly, I noticed a man running across a rooftop, balancing on the ledge. He got to the middle of the roof, stopped, took out a revolver and pointed it to the right, then to the left, and then directly at me. I slowly slid below the windowsill for safety and hid there till my parents found me and sent me playing outside in the courtyard.

I stayed close to my building entrance, concerned about the gunman. There, a beautiful blond lady approached me and asked if I saw the film crew. The film crew!!! At that moment, a thousand bells rang in my head. I was spellbound. The next day, they filmed in my building on the staircase landing, and I stayed enchanted for what seemed like an entire 8-hour shift. With every new take they filmed, I took another little step towards the landing. When I was finally right in front of them, I was invited to play in the scene, and ran away. It would have been so blissful, life could end. The act of filmmaking became my secret passion.

Years later, when circumstances made me take up the camera and set it as a shield collecting data of my daily existence, I wrote with that original zeal of a child about bitter aspects of my grown-up life, sustaining leverage, addressing issues and sharing highlights I found to be most valuable, eye-opening, and helpful, things that I thought would resonate.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

All arts come from storytelling by the campfire. It is emotional communication that activates both intellect and visceral receptors. The best storytelling archetype of all times is the journey of A Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Anything You Lose follows that storytelling structure into the underbelly of the Whale, survives, and comes back stronger and wiser to tell the tale, truthfully, and with some street credit.

The beauty of humanity is that we are spontaneity inclined. Ideas penetrate our minds and shift the way we see the world. Each generation chooses to uphold the liberties of progress or fall into conservative retention. Collectively, we see and understand the world, collectively we shift awareness by recognizing a relatable experience that’s binding. All great works of art elicit an emotional reaction and therefore shape the viewer’s world, expanding understanding of ourselves and the place we live in. So, in that sense, every work of art perceived creates the world anew for each exploring individual. And we are many.

-What would you change in the world?

I have great reverence for the mechanics of the universe and would consider notes to the Creator as a form of hubris. But addressing people, I would share a message of unity and perseverance. We are at a boiling point in history where polarities are once again clearly defined, and battles rage over the values of the new millennium. Is it going to be a one-size fits all, or is it going to be a multi-polar world? I believe both individuals and countries have the right to exercise the freedom to choose. I promote establishing connection with the living source in each and every one of us, the source of joy and perseverance that sees us through the trying times, and balances the light and dark within, accepting who we are and moving forward. It is a process that is taking place right now in many, particularly since the COVID-19 period of isolation. There are new voices in the indie film community now leaning towards daily spiritual practice. It takes being honest with yourself and clearing out outdated programming that does not serve us or limits us in any way, granting dignity to every human effort.

…”re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.” -Walt Whitman.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I think in essence it will always be the Hero with a Thousand Faces. We need the stories that can teach us how to overcome the challenges we face in life, achieve success, and enjoy a lifetime of merit.

Technically, I’m sure it will take new forms. It may be the cerebral experience of uploading programs that will look and feel like guided interactive dreams, similar to my childhood stories, with tactile elements build in or simulated directly into the prefrontal cortex. The merge of Science and Biology has just begun.

Wild Filmmaker will attend the upcoming Berlin Festival with the film ‘The Family Whistle,’ produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope (EXCLUSIVE)

By Michele Diomà

“Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather,” “Rumble Fish,” and the highly anticipated film of 2024, “Megalopolis,” are just a few of the titles that have made Francis Ford Coppola one of the most beloved directors of all time.

While his cinema is admired worldwide, few know the origins of the Oscar-winning founder of American Zoetrope, the company that produced “The Family Whistle.”

With this documentary/confession of exceptional historical value, everyone can now discover the cultural references that inspired Francis Ford Coppola and allowed him to create his masterpieces.

“The Family Whistle” takes viewers on a journey into memory with unpublished testimonies from Francis Ford Coppola himself, his daughter, the director Sofia, the highly successful actress Talia Shire, sister of the director of “The Godfather,” his nephew Christopher Coppola, and other personalities who have played central roles in the life and formation of the great director.

Why is “The Family Whistle” a necessary project to see for anyone who loves great cinema?

Throughout history, from the times of Georges Méliès, the artists who have written fundamental pages in cinema history were those who dared to experiment and had the ambition to create an original style.

This innate trait has always belonged to Francis Ford Coppola, who, multiple times in his career, risked bankruptcy to create films without betraying his inspiration.

Ideas that have generated myths of pop culture, such as the characters portrayed by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in “The Godfather,” actors whom Coppola found difficult to cast in 1972, given the production’s reluctance to have them in those roles.

Thanks to the rare nature of the director as a fighter, today, at 84, Francis Ford Coppola, personally investing around $120 million, is ready to return to the forefront of contemporary cinema with “Megalopolis.”

Only by watching “The Family Whistle” can we understand which man Francis Ford Coppola was inspired by to always risk everything to achieve his cinematic ventures.

Without the example of Agostino Coppola, an immigrant from southern Italy in the early 1900s, we would not have the masterpieces signed by Francis.

Who was Agostino Coppola?

Agostino’s story begins like many others, a man searching for a better life who emigrates to the United States, the land of opportunities.Creative, courageous, and with a strong desire for redemption, Agostino Coppola, despite coming from a disadvantaged economic condition and speaking English poorly, managed to integrate into American society and give rise to a true dynasty of artists. This dynasty includes the Oscar-winning composer Carmine Coppola, Francis’ father, the Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, the professor August Coppola, the radio speaker Marc Coppola, the producer Roman Coppola, the director Gia Coppola, as well as the already mentioned Talia Shire, Sofia Coppola, Christopher Coppola, all protagonists of the international cinematic scene.

The story of Agostino Coppola bears many similarities to the fable of The Little Prince, the literary masterpiece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The dream of flying higher and higher is common to both stories, teaching us how important it is to always have the courage to be honest with oneself before being honest with others.

You cannot lie to yourself if you want to create a great work of art. As the Little Prince says, “The essential is invisible to the eyes.

Every true artist tries to tell “that essential,” their soul, which the camera has the magical power to capture.

How did “The Family Whistle” come to life?

“The Family Whistle” is directed by Michele Salfi Russo, an Italian filmmaker and actor who discovered at a very young age that he was related to Francis Ford Coppola.Michele spent several years trying to get in touch with the great American director, a feat he achieved after various difficulties.

A great friendship was born first, followed by an artistic collaboration, which allowed Michele Salfi Russo to become part of the prestigious cast of “The Godfather Part III.” A partnership that years later gave birth to “The Family Whistle,” a documentary that begins in the small town of Bernalda, from which Agostino Coppola left in the early 1900s and culminates in Hollywood.

Selected at the Cannes Film Festival, in the history of cinema documentaries section, “The Family Whistle” continues to win awards worldwide, like the very recent 8 & Halfilm Award, awarded in January 2024, a prize dedicated to the Indie scene whose name is inspired by the masterpiece directed by Federico Fellini.

“If you love great cinema, watching “The Family Whistle” will make you feel like part of that Family.”