-Who is Daniel Shehata?
Daniel Shehata is a European writer/director with a new, mind-bending, revolutionary vision. My brother and I humbly grew up as small town boys with an Austrian mother, an Egyptian father and an extremely powerful longing for a life in a big city.
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I shot my first short film for a course during my BA in English and American Studies at the University of Innsbruck where I discovered that my character traits would be a great foundation for the challenging life of an independent filmmaker. However, the moment that ultimately inspired me to become a filmmaker was the audience’s reaction to my film. I’ve got giggles, oooh’s, and a lot of questions as well as applause – that was it – I was hungry for more and it never stopped ever since.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
The cinema is an efficient church. Anyone can enter the cinema and have their moral compass seriously challenged so that they have to overthink and reflect on their way of life. Some films are high-octane motivators and some films make you laugh until your stomach hurts and you’re reminded of the joys of life whenever you’re down. The cinema brings change to society – it is indeed for us filmmakers to navigate that change – and that’s no bs.
-What would you change in the world?
If I was in a position of high political power I would provide women in developing countries with a great education so that they can raise a generation with more hope and a better perspective on the given opportunities. Maybe, I should make a film about that…
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
At the moment, the film industry is at the brink of providing a more immersive experience than a mere screen in front of an audience. Virtual and augmented reality as well as AI make that possible and will play a defining role in the future. With these technologies, I see that it will become easy to make what we nowadays consider high-budget productions for everyone who wants to make a film. If we want to keep real places – cinemas – alive and thriving, we always need to be able to provide an experience the viewers can’t have in their living room at home. I am a strong believer in the reinvention of the classic medium film to reinvigorate the film industry which is why I will make and show my next film “Pentonville” in a way that hasn’t been seen by anyone ever before and is indeed a world-first. If we don’t reinvent the classic medium we call film, the film industry will turn into something unrecognisable and trivial to us film buffs and filmmakers.