A woman journeying through grief comes to find herself again through dance.
Interview with Writer/Producer/Actor Julia van Geldern
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! This film actually started off as a school assignment and became my passion project. Targeting societal issues has always been of great importance to me, and why I make art to begin with. However, film being art, it's a more emotional and interpretive approach to speaking on issues. It had been a project that had been on my mind already, and the school assignment really set that project into gear and gave me a reason to fully commit to the concept.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It's an incredibly relevant topic in our world today. Sexual assault happens everywhere, and this became very evident with the #MeToo movement. This film was about creating a space where stories as sensitive as this topic would be touched on in a way that's positive and informative. Me, having gone through something similar myself a few years ago, I understand how personal and sensitive this subject can be. Maybe at times, even uncomfortable to address, but still an important and relevant topic.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Paige's personal journey, I think, could be a metaphor for a lot of things in life. Although the focus of this film is to shine a light on the effects of sexual assault, there are some themes that could resonate with other people and other circumstances too. Themes such as hope, self-acceptance, loss, overcoming adversity, appearance versus reality, finding your way back, inner strength, friendship, and grief, are all universal and applicable to many people's lives. Themes have always been universal, in my opinion. We're more alike as a human race than we sometimes care to admit.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
It seems that everything changed at every stage of making this film. Every film has its challenges, of course. But in this case, the challenges I came across on this project, helped me find creative solutions to enhance the overall message of this film in an unexpected way.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
As with anything creative, it's very subjective. I've had some people tear up after having seen the film, some have needed to see it more than once to understand it better, and others didn't understand the interpretation of this topic at all. However, that's what I would expect, since the narrative is more open to interpretation. It's not a film that puts all the information to the forefront, and to be honest, I wouldn't dare to go there either since trauma can be so personal and experiences vary from person to person. If people come out of the film questioning something, or the film evokes an emotional response, that's what I'm looking for.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Sometimes, yes. But I'm open-minded, and I try to see from other people's point of you, whether it's good or bad. It stimulates thought and can contribute to your perception of life. However, it's hard to judge something you haven't experienced, and a sensitive topic such as this can leave some audiences feeling uncomfortable. I based this film a lot on my own experience and the research that I conducted before mapping this story out, and I don't expect people to understand it right away. It's subjective and open to interpretation. The topic is also complicated and barely touched on in-depth not only in film but in life. It's not a conversation that happens day-to-day, so it's okay if audiences might at first not resonate with it, which happens sometimes. However, for the people that it has resonated with, it was beautifully received and it makes this project worthwhile for me.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I'd really just like to generate some more publicity around this film, put it out there. Maybe
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I would love to pitch this film as a feature film. So to have producers, film festival directors and journalists interested would be amazing.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I’d like for the audience to walk away from this, being inspired to maintain hope throughout all their challenges in life, but also to believe in the good of humankind too. This project was created in order to open the minds of all audience members as to what can occur on an emotional level after experiencing challenging encounters, such as rape. This story is meant to shine a light on an important issue that should be prevented in our society, especially because people can live with it for so long. Educating ourselves, and learning about how people are effected can be a catalyst that generates a greater sense of empathy towards survivors.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How does trauma affect people?
If you were to see Griffin and Sebastian as metaphors in Paige's life, who would they be and how do they contribute to her story?
Would you like to add anything else?
Just to say thank you for having me!
Interview: September 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. 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
A woman journeying through grief comes to find herself again through dance.
Director: Manuela Vasquez
Producer: Julia van Geldern
Producer: Nupur Mehrotra
Writer: Julia van Geldern
About the writer, director and producer:
MANUELA VASQUEZ is a Colombian race car driver turned filmmaker. Her desire to tell stories through film shone through and propelled her into learning the art of filmmaking, all the while having a successful race car driving career. Her art incorporates her passion, as her director’s debut on the short film, "Dare", encompasses a world where cars are no longer legal. Her latest projects include doing film reviews on some of her favorite cars on her YouTube channel, as well as starting her own production company, Faktor Productions. Manuela puts just as much heart and passion into her work, as she does her team, which is a sure reflection in her storytelling. After having lived in LA for a few years, she now lives in Mexico as a newlywed with her wife.
JULIA VAN GELDERN is an artist from The Netherlands but has grown up in several African countries. Her writing develops from personal experience to which she hopes to make something beautiful. Through expression and story-telling, the basis of her career pursuits as a filmmaker and artist were formed. She always aims to explore the core of the human existence through artistic interpretation. Whether it be story-telling, working behind the camera or being in front of it, she aims to create something beautiful out of the human experience.
Key cast: Julia van Geldern (Paige), Cameron Duckett (Sebastian), Vicardo Moon (Griffin)
Looking for: sales agents, distributors, journalists, producers
Facebook: Lighthouse: A Guide Home
Funders: Self-Funded, Indiegogo
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Lady Filmmakers Film Festival/ Wilshire Screening Room Beverly Hills, CA - 28 September 2019 @ 12:15pm