Monday, 15 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Antonio Amaral

From Star To Star will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
I come from outerspace. My human name is Antonio AMARAL but it is not my real name. After I turned eighteen, I spent some time in jail for something I didn't do: I was innocent. I talked to my fellow inmates about all of this: how I got to earth and all the troubles I faced in this planet... At first they laughed. And then they advised me to make a film of it. When I left, an educator found me a job in a cinema stuff rental company ... for me, cinema started like that. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
We all make films. We make our own films in our head for ourselves. Our memory helps us to make the editing. The truth doesn't matter ; what matters is to believe in it, to believe in that story... I was searching for a way to escape from that trap. The character "Pedro" came to my mind. He's poor, homeless and sick... he has nothing to lose and no time left to lie to himself. Pedro wants to understand cinema and most of all he wants to find the truth. He wants the truth inside the actors, because he's convinced that they are able to show the human soul. 

*How has your style evolved? 
I made some animation films, and fictional films.  Making the imagination work is what guides me. Let the imagination work from the simplest raw material. Do not try to add, rather strip things on the contrary.   Only switch on the camera if there is an idea and try to give it shape. Luck can help. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
I started casting in search of the actress who could play AYA (the main character); I met Ariane LOUIS. She was enthusiastic about the script. I know that I seemed weird to her (I'm used to it), but as a good professional, she did not let anything appear. The casting went on... it was difficult to find the actor that could understand and play "Pedro" (the other main character of the film). No one wanted the role. One told me "I don't even understand what your project is !", another told me "This character is always offscreen, f***k that !". I had the chance to find Filipe Dionisio ; he told me "Pedro is an obsessive compulsive, always offscreens ! that's perfect, that's for me!". And he has been perfect indeed ! He first thought that it was a short film. After a few days, he understood that we were shooting a feature film... Filipe started to realise the amount of work to do! He did the job. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
In my opinion, Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto says that it's not only capitalism and the commercial film industry that is killing cinema. Critics, festivals, support funds ... are all looking more and more in the same direction, the divergent discourses of the mainstream are stifled. Reality TV has multiplied through the Internet; doing or saying something that makes sense doesn't really matter : it's buzz that counts and attracts flies. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
I will do quite the same: filming like if I was making a documentary, in real places, in the middle of real people. The next film will reveal certain things from Pedro, things that the film From Star to Star leaves hanging.It will be about Adamou, a young african migrant. We will follow his path through the streets of Paris and its suburbs.In a foreign country, far from home and without papers, Adamou is in a critical situation. Yet he only thinks of helping others ... he meets Pedro, Pedro is an homeless man who only thinks of making a film.  But Pedro is sick and getting worse ... Pedro will cause an unexpected change in Adamou