Logline: A teenage girl has to deal with the distance between her and her sick best friend.
Length: 15 min
Director: Paula Neves
Producers: Jessica Nave and Juliana Biondi
About the director and producer: Paula Neves is a Brazilian filmmaker, now resident in LA, who feels the need of engaging in stories that have a need to be told. She uses filmmaking to break society's paradigms, to tell personal and human stories.
Juliana Biondi is a Brazilian filmmaker, resident in São Paulo - Brazil. She studied together with the director and became familliar with the story right in the beginning of the process. Knowing that Pumpkin was based on a true story made her fell in love with the project and take it as her own.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Funders for a feature version of “Pumpkin", specially those who support women in the filmmaking industry. Festival directors who would like to screen our film at their festivals.
Release date: June 2016
Congratulations! Why did you make a film called Pumpkin?
When I was 14 years old, I met this guy online who used to call me Pumpkin. He changed my life in so many good ways. And I needed to thank him somehow. So I named the film the way he used to call me.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Pumpkin is a very human and sensitive film. It’s about friendship, lost and love. Everybody felt one of those at least once in their life. It’s about the human relationships in this internet era. Easy to feel connected to.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I wrote this story as a way of thanking a very beloved friend for everything he did and for who he was. It was very personal from the beginning. I just never thought it would get to where it did, and so many people would’ve come to me saying good things about it. I guess it is more than a movie about a friend. It’s a movie about unconditional love.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The script changed a lot from its first version. We had a lot more characters, and less locations. After three months we finally locked the script. And from that on forward, it was pretty much the exact same thing during the production. We had a very intense preparation. My Director of Photography and I collaborate in a way that every change in the script had to be approved by both of us. In the editing process we cut a lot of dialogue, which made the movie have a better pace.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Most people tell me “I've lost someone too, and I know how hard it is. I’m glad you wrote this story”. Some people like the internet and modern aspect of it as well. The word they say the most is “touching”.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes. I always like to see who is the audience cheering for. I have two male characters. And it’s always interesting to see who liked who the most. It usually has a lot to say about people’s personalities. Evey time someone comes to tell me to talk about their interpretation about the movie, iy is something new that I learn about myself.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
When I got the email I was very happy about it. I think it’s important to share the word about personal stories. Tell stories that mean something to you, and that can make people connect to them. We Are Moving Stories is also a great platform to celebrate new women in the industry.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Film Festival Directors, buyers or distributors. We’d like to make a feature of this story. The short was just the beginning of Alice’s adventures. So whoever can help us spreading this story, touching people’s heart or getting funds for the feature, the better!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Because it was made mainly to thank a friend every time someone tells me they felt connected to it, it’s already something so big. But I’d like to have people thinking about my main character’s choice in the end. I’d like to have people seeing that a very personal and human story can be really good and simple. I’d like to have people laugh with my characters, and cry with my characters. To make them feel connected and as one.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Is it really possible to love someone you only know online? And is it worth to live this virtual love instead of a real one?
Would you like to add anything else?
I’d like to say that I’m very happy to see where Pumpkin has got to. Something so personal and a personal eulogy to a dear friend. Now a lot of people know a little bit of the amazing person he was.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Right now I’m writting Pumpkin’s feature and a TV pilot that seeks complex and strong women characters.