13 STROKES...., 7min., Greece
Directed by Ioulia Lymperopoulou
To write and create the short art experimental film “13 Strokes…” [Dark Traces (Collective), Publishing House Iliaxtida, Athens, September 2022] i was inspired by my short story “Thirteen Strokes”, concentrating on the heart of the narrative, the uncured trauma that keeps on taking up space in the thoughts and ends up consuming vital energy. Sometimes by appearing in the dreams in different or repetitive forms, even in an evolving way, in time. Time was an essential element in my short film. Time that people spend on important relationships creating deep bonds, from which stems a thread that goes beyond our dimension, beyond death and inevitably determines our lives. Another important element, as a different facet of the conception of the idea of time, was the internalization of the experience and the subjectivity in which the experience is kept in the memory and maybe mentally revived or relived.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I love to play with my material in every way possible as much as i like to experiment and to explore the boundaries in the various forms of art. I enjoy, as well, the steps of the creative procedure of recreating and transforming from one thing into another, like the transformations we go through the circles of life, a non stop flow where life and death coexist simultaneously in every second of every here & now. All this, naturally, stems from a deeper need to express my deeper artistic and creative corcerns, which are also existencial in their core. More specifically, "13 Strokes..." is the evolution and transformation in short film of a short story of mine which examines the powerful haunting a trauma can impose by surviving in dreams in time and distorting reality, to the point of questioning the very existence of the individual.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Not very long. I already had written the story. And it took me about two months, maybe, to write the script, to put on paper in detail the découpage, finish my storyboard and find the people i wanted to work with. I was very lucky with my collaborators, they were all my first choice, and it's been a real pleasure working with them. Note that at the same time i did the same with another short, including the shooting, inspired by the same short story, which examines in a different way another nuance of its meaning – this is still in the editing stage. I think the important thing, technically and practically, is to have the text, the idea in words put together on paper, and the rest comes naturally, it just flows if you let it. Last but not least, the most important thing is to know what you want to say and then you'll find the way.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Time. I wanted to finish it in early summer, so to start submissions in festivals on time.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Oh, my God! I triggered something! People out there watch, listen, feel, can get it. The participation in something in common that you can share with others it's the most important thing, i think. And the most exciting. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to experience that!
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I can tell with certainty when i felt that i wanted to make others feel the way i felt and it's when i watched for the 1st time "One Hundred and One Dalmatians" (Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman, Bill Peet, Dodie Smith, 1961) on the big screen. A film that i watched 6 times in the movies, 5 of them with my mom when i was 9 or 10 years old, and we played truant together from school to make it on time for the screening in english, not the dubbed in Greek version, which even then i didn't prefer. I felt like flying every time we left the cinema, it felt like magic. I was mesmerized. I think right there and then the seed was planted.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Too many. But most probably 3 stand out: "I Soliti Ignoti" (Big Deal on Madonna Street, Director: Mario Monicelli, Writers: Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Suso Cecchi D'Amico, 1958), "Natale in casa Cupiello" (Director & Writer: Eduardo De Filippo, 1977), "Scrooge" (Director: Ronald Neame, Writers: Charles Dickens, Leslie Bricusse, 1970).
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I think what you are already doing is very important! Giving us the opportunity to communicate the effort we put on paper and screen. One big problem of filmmaking is always how to raise funds to keep ongoing and that i don't know how in due course of time could be solved.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's easy to use and convenient.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Legumes, salads and fruits.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
An animation, i think, inspired by another short story of mine, most probably with experimental elements integrated in it.