Interview with Filmmaker Melissa Lesh (PERSON OF THE FOREST)

Matthew Toffolo's Summary

PERSON OF THE FOREST was the winner of BEST FILM at the March 2019 Documentary Short Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Melissa Lesh: Leading up to Person of the Forest I had been directing short conservation/natural history films, so when I was approached by Tim Laman and Trevor Frost to edit and co-direct a film on orangutan culture I quickly took the opportunity. Knowing the critical state orangutans are in also motivated me to pour everything I could into this story.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It was about five months total, starting with discussions about the footage and the storyline in September, to our first festival deadline in February.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Orangutan culture

4. What was the biggest…

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