ECHO, 15min., UK, Family/Fantasy
Directed by Jo Southwell
Echo, tells the story of Alice, a young woman so traumatized by the loss of her baby that she shuts herself off emotionally from her partner and retreats into a fantasy world where she is able to connect with the essence of the child she lost, who we call Echo. After an elaborate underwater game of hide and seek, which clearly fills her with joy, Alice comes to the realization that she must make a choice; sink down into the dark water with Echo, or come up for air where Tom is desperately searching for her.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film? Echo is the story of loss. My journey began after I had a miscarriage..many years later when I was writing, the story of Alice appeared on the page!
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film? I have written Echo in many different versions - originally as a short story but from the moment Sara at Troy TV agreed to produce the screenplay - about a year until we were in production. Post production then took place over an additional four months. Creating Echo was no easy task and we had so many super talented people on board who all wanted to be part of the journey but it took time.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!? Beautiful. Fantasy.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film? Finance. Unfortunately Echo was not only a passion project but a film that I wanted to direct in a very specific way - using an underwater tank - beautiful beach scenes and then creating the character of Echo through VFX... it is difficult being an ambitious filmmaker and wanting to work in high end film...but we did it...thanks to Sara.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video? They all made me smile because they really got the film..as a fantasy piece - not everyone allows themselves to be drawn in -- some audiences prefer to be handheld through a film..I had always hoped that Echo would allow the audience to choose - what is this about -- why has this film been made and then drown in the experience with Alice.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films? Ever since I was a child. I fell in love with the magic of cinema before I even realised I had. Watching a movie with my Dad at our local cinema was the biggest treat ever...it never really mattered what I watched I just knew I wanted to be in the world on screen...
7. What film have you seen the most in your life? Star Wars -
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career? Film makers need to network and meet other producers, investors, creators etc other creatives they can collaborate with in the future.
As a director | Writer, I need to grow my audience and I think this festival does that really well - so any other tools, connections that can support that is always appreciated.
Feedback - from festival judges, producers is always helpful - to gain an insight into the audience for each film..
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site? It is easy to use. Some festivals communicate better than others but generally I like it.
10. What is your favorite meal? I love shellfish and most things that contain aubergines!
11. What is next for you? A new film? Running Out - a new feature film I am currently writing. "In a not too distant dystopian future, Julianna seeks a soul mate in a VR simulation all the while being stalked by a deadly predator in real time."