A record-breaking attempt to gather as many people with the same name in the same place at the same time - Vincents in the CITY OF VINCENT (located in Western Australia).
Director: ASHLEIGH NICOLAU
Producer: JASMINE LEIVERS
Writer: THOMAS BASKERVILLE
About the writer, director and producer:
ASHLEIGH: Is a film director from Western Australia, she works at the Film and Television Institute (FTI) as their Marketing Coordinator. In 2015 Ashleigh graduated from an undergraduate’s degree in film, she studied in both Perth and abroad in the USA. She was recently appointed a position on board of directors for the Australian Cinematographer's Society (ACS) where she hopes to engage other women in the industry.
THOMAS: Thomas is in his final year of a Bachelor of Creative Industries at Edith Cowan University, majoring in both Film and Photography. Currently he is working on expanding his creative portfolio.
JASMINE: Jasmine has a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Film and Video from Edith Cowan University. She currently produces corporate films and has had some success with producing horror short films.
Key cast: ASHLEIGH NICOLAU, THOMAS BASKERVILLE, ALEC NICOLAU
Funders: CITY OF VINCENT, FILM AND TELEVISION INSTITUTE (FTI)
Made in association with: JAZAM PRODUCTIONS, LIGHT SENSITIVE AND BASKERVILLAIN
Release date: JANUARY 2017
Where can I watch it? ON JULY 9TH AT 7.30PM, MDFF
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
ASHLEIGH: Flipping the classic culturally focused documentary into a new space, Viva La Vincent is a tongue in cheek promotional video for the City of Vincent. We aimed to execute the film in such a way that the audience would forgive the product placement and location hype, leading us to create what is essentially a mockumentry with a community focus.
My goal was to make a funny, crowd pleasing, unique film. My most treasured moments directing this short doco included watching it as it unravelled into something I could not have anticipated.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
ASHLEIGH: Viva La Vincent is pretty. Every shot is wide, centred and semiotic, which makes it very reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s films. It is quirky, happy-go-lucky, easy to follow and heart warming. We micro-focused on the Vincents we interviewed, their passions and their hobbies.
The film really showcases the similarities and differences that resonate with people who share the same name. All I wanted to do was make the audience laugh and enjoy themselves - if you like to laugh then you will like Viva.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The themes in the film centre around community engagement, comedy and the old question ‘What’s in a name?’ While the film’s plot is pretty silly, the human element shines through to remind us that there is a rich tapestry of people and stories right in our backyard.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
THOMAS: When the script was initially being worked on things felt a lot more constructed. It was important to let go of that control and let the story tell itself. No matter what could have been written and planned the reality is so much more entertaining.
ASHLEIGH: I met a lot of Vincent’s along the way, a majority of them really interesting characters. The people we met really drove the story, which made it really hard to fit SO MUCH into such a small doco. We had to kill a lot of our darlings and really focus on what was important.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Positive so far! Viva has been nominated for a 28th annual West Australian Screen Award for “Best Short - Factual”, the awards will be announced on Monday July 4th, fingers crossed.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
THOMAS: It was definitely surprising because it was so completely overwhelming. A lot of effort went into the film from beginning to end so having a great response so far has been really rewarding.
ASHLEIGH: I am just so happy that it was well received.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on?
JASMINE: We would like to show that sometimes a quirky little idea like this can do big things and make people feel good. It was also made by a female producer and director which hopefully inspires other female producers and directors to strive for success in their projects.
ASHLEIGH: I would just like everybody to have the opportunity to hear about it. If your name is Vincent you should see the film. Even if your name isn’t Vincent, you should see it too!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
THOMAS: Honestly, we are just happy to get the film out there and get noticed.
ASHLEIGH: I am working on a comedy web series now, so I am hoping that Viva can prove that I can be funny (haha). Any exposure our film gets is great, so journalists and film festival directors come at us!!
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
THOMAS: We made this film mainly for people to enjoy. It was very fun to make so it will hopefully be equally as fun to watch.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
THOMAS: Honestly I want people to think about how different and diverse everyone is, even if you share a name we are all individuals. We had Vincents with a whole range of backgrounds and stories.
Would you like to add anything else?
ASHLEIGH: I am flying over to Melbourne from Perth to attend the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, my brother Alec Nicolau (who also stars in the film) will be flying over with me...Also a Vincent we interviewed in the film (who came over from Melbourne for the event) will be coming along to see the screening for the first time! Come say hello to us!
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
ASHLEIGH: I am currently writing a comedy web- series.
THOMAS: Thomas currently just finished a pilot for a mockumentary series and plans on co-writing again with Ashleigh over the next few months.
JASMINE: Jasmine is currently writing and developing a one-off 50 minute documentary to pitch to the ABC.
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela