Wow … I was very moved and thrilled from the beginning to the end. Any work is only completed at the screening and we have no control over the audience’s perception. In the case of the feedback video, the producers and I were very happy about people’s grand welcoming of the film. They highlighted positive and striking points. For us, it’s another confirmation that The Package has been special hit with the audiences at the festivals we took part in – It is our feeling.
– Director Rafael Aidar on the WILDsound Experience (Review)
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video for THE PACKAGE
Interview with Rafael Aidar:
Matthew Toffolo: Your short film played at our festival in March 2014. How has it done since it screened? Has it played at more festivals? Distribution deal? Can be seen online?
Rafael: The Package has fortunately had – and continues to have – a long and amazing career. In 2013 and 2014 the film participated in over 125 festivals worldwide and gathered 24 awards and / or special mentions in several countries. We’ve also signed two distribution contracts in 2014: with the Austrian NGO BAOBAB – Globales Lernen, which acquired the rights to the German-speaking countries and included the short in a compilation that will serve as educational material for students; and with Outplay, which represents our film in French-speaking countries. Due to other screening invites and commitments for 2015, the film is not yet available on the internet. But that should happen soon.
MT: What motivated you to make this film?
Rafael: Very personal reasons motivated me to make the film. I am closely acquainted with the personal drama of friends and family who live with the virus. In every case, there is anxiety in dealing with the issue before the possibility of a new romantic relationship. I felt there was the potential to make a fiction film addressing universal themes of tolerance and acceptance through a different approach. Besides, I had the opportunity to portray young people who belong to a social class that is poorly represented in Brazilian cinema, to deal with a contemporary topic (HIV / AIDS) and to build a subtle approach within the LGBT universe.
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Rafael: In late 2011, the script for The Package was awarded the Premio Estímulo Award for Short Film, by the State of São Paulo’s Government Cultural Bureau. This is a competitive grant, which awards 12 projects per year from hundreds of competitors. We made the film with the prize, worth 80,000 Reais (approximately $ 30,000). Pre-production took place in early 2012 and the film was shot in June. Post-production was in November and the film had its world premiere at the 63rd International Festival Berlin Film in February 2013.
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Rafael: The biggest challenge was to make a film with high production value with the grant’s minimal resources, taking into account that market prices in São Paulo are expensive and we had a crew of approximately 40 people. Upon completion of the film, our biggest challenge was to distribute the film with our own resources. There was a high investment and no financial return to recoup it. But it was all worth it. The film opened many doors in my professional and personal life. It is amazing to think that I have gained so much from my first short film.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
Rafael: I like diversity and, despite having a few favorite movies, I don’t usually re-watch them frequently. But there are two remarkable films that I would spend my life watching over and over again: Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” and Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire”.
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
Rafael: I have a new short film, called Submarine that hasn’t come out yet. It was also contemplated by the Premio Estímulo award, in 2013. We shot it in September 2014, finished it in November and are already applying to festivals. Part of the crew is the same as The Package’s and the film is a co-production between Klaxon Cultura Audiovisual and Vermelho Filmes. I am also working on my first feature-length script.
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RAFAEL AIDAR – Director BIO
Rafael Villa Nova Aidar was born in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May 2nd,1978.
As a teenager, he took part in a variety of drama courses for theatre and for television that comprises 4 years of acting lessons. Such experience is of great importance due to the fact that it gave him the opportunity to focus on an essential area for film production: directing actors.
Rafael Aidar currently works as a free-lancer (director and scriptwriter) in the film/video industry. Also, he’s developing new personal projects, including new films and a photography book.
Matthew Toffolo, Interviewer BIO
Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.
Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes. Took over full reins of the WILDsound Festival in May 2013. From then to the end of 2014, he’s presented over 90 movies at the monthly FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto, plus has had over 60 screenplays and stories performed by professional actors at the bi-monthly Writing Festival.
Go to http://www.wildsound.ca and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.
Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.