“A world without movies would be a damn bleak world.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Joshua Cremer

2023 June 7

“A world without movies would be a damn bleak world.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Joshua Cremer

-Who is Joshua Cremer?

I am a 32 year old filmmaker from Belgium. More precisely from East Belgium, I grew up in the village Crombach. Since then I live not far from there in a small town called St.Vith.

After 6 years of clarinet lessons in my childhood, I played drums for another 14 years in different bands (mainly punk, metal and experimental rock). But towards the end I realized that drums and music alone were not enough as a means of expression for me and the hunger for filmmaking grew. And so, over the next few years, band and film projects mixed until 2021 and 2023, when I made my first completely self-produced films called “The Repairer” and “The Moment of Eternity“, where I am responsible for writing, producing and directing.

I have had the privilege and honor of working with the most wonderful team on these films:

Chris Eyre-Walker and Roger Arens behind the camera, music composer Dany Gallo, Anne-Sophie Velz for visual effects, my girlfriend Catherine Bettendorff in production, Marzel Maraite and Simon Zolotar as actors…..just to name a few.

The journey continues and we are now in the casting process for the next project.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I grew up with my father’s plays. I was allowed to see films with him which I was actually still too young for and afterwards there was always an exchange or a quiz about the film we had seen. That was wonderful and my love for film developed very early. At the same time, it was also the reason why my grades in school were bad, because daydreaming was more important and exciting than math and homework. My mother is also active in theater. Both of them are my first inspirations and shape me a lot until today.

I love writing stories, to drawing, making music and working in a team to create something new. All of that comes together in filmmaking.

For me, filmmaking, and art in general, is about constantly reinventing myself with each project, feeling new, and not putting limits on myself in my creative work. Because that’s what it’s all about in my opinion: Freedom !

To be vigile and listening deeply to your inner self and the world and not being afraid to let it out in a new form. And of course to keep the inner child always alive. Art is the fuel for freedom and catharsis. It all started with this feeling and desire and I couldn’t imagine working in any other way.

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

Absolutely. I hardly know anyone who doesn’t watch movies.

The films we grow up with in our childhood consciously and unconsciously shape us throughout our lives.

Movies have tremendous power on so many different levels.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw “Jurassic Park” or “Alien” as a child. What an experience!

It was a total game changer. Movies changed my life and opened new gates, they were a refuge in dark times and will always give me strength.

Movies can be a lifeboat and a lighthouse at the same time.

A world without movies would be a damn bleak world…

-What would you change in the world?

Wow, that’s a big question. I think it’s quite a lot. And the current times we live in give us more than enough reasons again to constantly want to question and change everything. I often feel very ashamed of the behavior of our own species….

However, I’ve never been a big fan of just being upset all the time about what’s going wrong on our planet. It just eats up a lot of energy, and I don’t want to let the people who have too much power and are responsible for the bad things on our planet get control over me through that

I think every person should start with themselves first and think about what they can do concretely with their abilities in themselves and in their environment to save our “still” blue ball.

In a world that is becoming more and more disturbing and seems to be losing control, I prefer to create new worlds through films, where it can also be disturbing and painful, but I myself am in control of what and how it happens.

Filmmaking is my personal weapon to fight against our inner and outer demons.

I want to create places of retreat, but at the same time confront people with their deepest inner longings, fears and also with the beauty of the moment.

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

It’s sad that in current mainstream cinema or on the big streaming services, there’s always more emphasis on quantity than quality. The effects and the pictures are often insane, but a good, brave story is often missing…

A lot of things are unfortunately often not thought through to the end, too hectic and only designed for mass success.

I’m also annoyed by the constant remakes of old masterpieces that simply can’t be filmed any better. Unfortunately, this will probably continue in the coming years….

Fortunately, however, there are wonderful streaming services like MUBI and also more and more cinemas that offer worth seeing and courageous films by great and also often unknown independent filmmakers.

And of course, the screenings and the experiences in the cinemas themselves are the most important and cannot be replaced. There is no better evening than having a good dinner in a restaurant and then watching a good movie in the theater and talking about it all night afterwards.

So hope is not lost yet.