I thought that the feedback video was one of the best gifts this short film could bring me. Everything the audience said was so precise, every emotion… They captured the essence of the film! I never thought it could go so far. It really inspired me to keep on working.
– Laura Garcia’s reaction to watching the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the WILDsound Festival
Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:
The Short Film ALEX was the Winner of Best FILM from the March 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.
Matthew Toffolo interviews director Laura Garcia:
Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?
Laura: I was interested in adolescence and identity so adoption came up to my mind. Alex, the adopted girl in the film, wants to know more about her origin so she decides to meet her mother but hiding her identity. I thought that decision was strong enough to write and shoot about it. As I was writing the script, I felt I did no want to shoot a big drama; what interested me more was the curiosity and the need to know of this adolescent.
Matthew: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Laura: A year, from the developing of the idea to the first screening of the film.
Matthew: Talk about your direction and your collaboration with your cinematographer. There is some exceptional work here. Did you storyboard? Detailed shot list? Or did you freebase on set? This is perhaps one of the best directed shorts I’ve seen in a long time.
Laura: Thank you very much! We did some previous work, a detailed shot list to feel safe before the shooting, but it was not until we saw the actresses on set when we knew what we needed to tell the story: just a few shots, most of them hand-held. For example, when we were in the optical shop, we had a long shot list to cover the scene but it was not until we were shooting the shot where Clara (Alex’s mother) is out of frame until she sits down when we knew we did not need anything else to cover Clara’s first appearance.
Matthew: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Laura: The two mothers are two well-known spanish actresses that I admire and that stressed me, I had just finished university so I felt inexperienced and nervous. At the end, it turned to be a great experience.
Matthew: Does the mother know that’s her birth daughter?
Laura: I like this question, it is open to discussion! However, I feel she does not know that she is her birth daughter but somehow she feels connected with the girls of the same age as her daughter. There is a strong connection between them when they meet but Clara does not think Alex is her daughter.
Matthew: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Laura: I felt excited. I thought that the feedback video was one of the best gifts this short film could bring me. Everything the audience said was so precise, every emotion… They captured the essence of the film! I never thought it could go so far. It really inspired me to keep on working.
Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?
Laura: One of the films I have seen a lot of times is All About My Mother, from spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. It impresses me every time I watch it. I love the brave female characters in Almodovar’s movies. All About My Mother is about the journey of a mother to face her son’s past so I feel it has a certain connection with Alex.
Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?
Laura: I am currently writing my next short film and, bit by bit, my first feature film.
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Deadline: FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:
– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.