Interviews

Interview Alyssa Gruhn

MAYA ON THE MOUNTAIN

A poet and traveler at heart, Alyssa draws her cinematic inspiration from the beauty of the natural world around her. She is passionate about creating films that are immersive, expressive, and experiential, focusing not on the images, but rather on the sensations they inspire. In 2020 Alyssa filmed and directed her first short film, “What the Path of ECK is All About,” which has since been viewed over forty thousand times in countries all around the world. She is currently in the process of setting up her own production company, Living Poetry Productions, and looks forward to the crystallization of the many new projects she has in the works, which aim to inspire great beauty, love, compassion, and deep spiritual connection.

Interview Fletcher Turale

NOT HERE, NOR THERE

Based within Adelaide, South Australia. I am 17, and passionate about all avenues of creative expression through film. At an extremely early age I took interest in the artistic side of cinema, and with the lessons that could be taught and communicated through entertainment and the arts. As this passion progressed, so did my interest in the core elements of filmmaking, growing my skills in both cinematography, screenwriting and directing.

Interview Niko Yingqi Ren

THE MONKEY KING

Director Niko Yingqi Ren is a young Chinese filmmaker graduated from American Film Institute directing major. Before he attending AFI as a Directing Fellow, he graduated from California State University Northridge film production major, and became a one of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association member and worked at several film and commercial companies such as Shanghai Education TV Station, Doing Film studio, and UNEED Entertainment.

Interview Al Lewis

PRIDE IS PROTEST

Al directs and produces films for editorial and commercial clients with a special interest in documentary film making. She has worked on films for The BBC, BFI, The Guardian, Pulse Films, Some Such, Boiler Room, Dazed, Insight TV, Vice, i-D, Young Turks and global NGO’s. Most recently she has produced two television series for Vice Studios. She has also worked with brands including Nike, WeTransfer, Levi’s, Loewe, Nikon, Bacardi, Lynx, Giff Gaff and ASOS.

Zina Papadopoulou

SPLIT APART

Zina Papadopoulou is an independent animator and director. She studied Graphic Design at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens and took her Master’s degree in Animation at the Utrecht School of the Arts, the Netherlands. She has many years working experience in the Netherlands, UK and Greece. Filmography 2020, 59 Days, 5 min 2012, Eight-minute Deadline, 8 min 2009, Lena Platonos: Moving House, 3 min 43 sec 2008, Lena Platonos: Date, 3 min 2007, Bloody Mary, 1 min 6 sec 2004, My Dad, 3 min 37 sec

Interview Cha Cha da Vinci

JACK

Cha Cha da Vinci is an ex-pat American living in Montreal. She is a dancer, a singer-songwriter and a storyteller, having collaborated with award winning composer, Stephen Gaboury to create the sci-fi cabaret show, Crystal 6 (NYC), with Zette, renowned NYC performance artist, forming the infamous group, Andronyx and signing with 25 West Records to write and record, For The Same Man, which shot up the Billboard Dance charts with a bullet. She has worked with Luc Fortin, Quebec’s acclaimed guitarist, releasing a compilation of original songs entitled, House of Cards and winning an Honourable Mention at The John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Taking her stories to the screen, she partnered with known actor, producer and mentor, Mariah Inger. They made their first film, Alice is falling, the story of a woman healing from child abuse. which was awarded at the ACTRA Short Film Festival. They formed Black Willow Films, intent upon making films that promote and celebrate female stories. Jack, the story of a woman awakening from 50 years of denial was first published in 2015 as a short story in the compilation, Creativity (Editions FrI). Cha Cha adapted it to a screenplay and Jack became BWF’s second award winning film. Filmography ALICE IS FALLING (year) 12 min. Drama Short Winner Montreal ACTRA Short Film Festival JACK (2019) 15 min. Drama Short BIRDIE & FAYE (in development ) 15 min. Drama Short

Interview CABON & LE BLEIS

LA TERRE EST ROND

David made his first audiovisual steps on TV, as a young host on several web TV. Passionate about cinema, he pursues his studies at the Ecole Superieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle in Paris and graduates in 2016. David splits his life between movies and TV. From 2015 to 2018, he hosts Ascenseur Pour Le Live, a musical program on Britani’s TNT channels. At the same time, he builds up his experience in movie making as an assistant director. Today, a member of several associations of production companies, he acts as producer and director. He directs Barres De Rires and wins the Enfance Majuscule prize in 2016. The short is then relayed by the ministry of eduction as part of the campaign against bullying lead by Najat Vallaud-Belckacem. In 2018, he writes and directs Je suis inespéré, a short about adoption. David now tackles the web series genre with LA TERRE EST RONDE while as well signing his first co-directing. Passionate about video, Romain has been evolving in the audiovisual world for more then 15 years. Director, self-taught, he works on numerous projects, notably around music. Known in the Briton audiovisual landscape, he directs many concerts and show tapings. He’s also credited as director on music videos for several Briton artists like CORBEAUX or BODERIOU BAGPIPE. From 2015 to 2018, he coproduced and directs Ascender Pour Le Live, a musical mag on local Briton channels. From Britany, through India, or Guinea, Romain is also writerdirector of many documentaries and the world of fishing. For a couple of years, he also has been working as main director for Minut’prod, a start up specialized in Branded content. With LA TERRE EST RONDE he signs his fiction directorial debut.

Interview Roman Gonther

#KEEPDISTANCE

Roman Gonther has been working in the film business for some time now. He started as an editor and story board artist for corporate films and commercials. Then he became a writer for television and worked at a film studio in Frankfurt. Today, as a writer, he develops concepts for corporate films and commercials for international companies. He directed “The Observation” a 20minutes short film he also wrote and produced as well as several projects for television, like a 3x45min documentary series about “Healing Places”. He also worked on several motion pictures and television shows as a visual effect supervisor.

Interview Mary Apick

THE CAT

Mary began her acting career as a child star in Iran. One of her earliest successes was Octopus, a long running show at the National IranianTelevision where Mary performed as a teen star in political and satirical skits weekly. Going on to star in countless television shows,feature films and plays, Mary became one of themost popular stars in Iran. She was the first actress in the Iranian Motion Picture history to win the Moscow International Film Festival Best Actress Award for her performance in Dead End, (BonBast) Mary starred in critically acclaimed award winning films, The Mission, Checkpoint, Price For Freedom, Roxana, Monday Nights at Seven, Samir, Madaran, Homeland, and more. She also co-starred in productions such as the NBC miniseries On Wings of Eagles and produced the MGM release, Mind Games. Among many awards she recently received the prestigious ARPA International Film Festival Foundation Award for her Humanitarian efforts using the theater to mirror the true voices and the stories of the women of the Middle East. Theater has always been Mary’s greatest passion. In 2005, she wrote, directed and produced the politically charged Critic’s Choice play Beneath The Veil which was presented in many prestigious venues such as Lincoln and Kennedy Center and Geffen playhouse. Mary has also created many projects for children, including A Fairy Tale In The Forest and Jewel of The Night, which gives the children of Iranian expatriates a bio lingual fairy tale show and an opportunity to learn about their parents’ culture, language and homeland. Her recent portrayal of the role of the Mother in the movie “I am Neda” received a nomination for the Best Supporting Actress for Mary in 2012 at the World Music and Independent Film Festival. She also worked with Academy Award Winner Robert Redford, Sydney Pollack and Edward James Olmos at the First Sun Dance Institute. She is a Writer, Producer, Director, Composer and an Actor. Her recent project in which she is producing and starring, is the animated feature film Nowrouz. Throughout her adult life, Mary has remained fiercely committed to improving the lives of women and children, especially in the Middle East. Through her work as an advocate for clearing land mines and reducing their use, and appearing as a spokesperson before the U.S. Congress and in all media, Mary remains vigilant and vocal in the pursuit of all freedoms

Interview Michael McLennan

A TEA PARTY FOR SAD PEOPLE

Michael McLennan is an Australian-based writer/director whose short films have played at film festivals around the world. These films include Standby, A Tea Party for Sad People, Go Quickly, Small Things, Magpie and Why We Trade. He was Head of Production and Head of Film at Sydney Film School from 2015-2019, where he taught Screen Language, Writing, Post-Production and Creativity, and supervised over 450 short films made at the School. In 2009 he founded the Secret Film Society, producing ten short films over the subsequent two years. He recently completed the proof of concept film Traveller, and is in post on the short film Pinch Me. He is developing three feature scripts, and teaches film at the Academy of Film Theatre and Television, Academy of Information Technology, the Australian Film Television and Radio School, Bradfield Senior College and Excelsia College.