MASTER SENSEI, 20min., Denmark
Directed by Theis Gavnbo Holmstrup
The world-famous elite soldier Master Sensei decides to blow himself up after a series of public scandals have destroyed his career. However, his plan is put on hold when he meets the young boy scout "Piggy", who is in desperate need of help. Piggy is harassed by the excentric bully and influencer, Lanky Lenny, who has stolen Piggy's braces in an attempt to shake him down. Master Sensei must now go on one last mission, so he can help Piggy retrieve his braces and stand up against the evil tormentor Lanky Lenny.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I really wanted to make an action comedy that I would have liked to see as a kid.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
We started planting the seeds for this film back in the summer of 2021. Back then we were brainstorming on a tv show, about a boy who was training to become a local justice warrior, through an online YouTube course. That course was held by Master Sensei, and he was supposed to be a side character on the show. The show didn’t get picked up (who knows what might happen in the future), and we retooled it into a short film that incidentally sort of works as a prequel. We wrote a synopsis for the short film in April 2022, then we got the funding and started shooting in September 2022. The film was completed in February 2023.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Big ambitions and a small budget don't always go hand in hand. We had a lot of stunts with kids flying through the air on wires, and safety was of course a top priority. Wasn’t easy to achieve on a tight schedule and small budget, and we had to cut down on some of our ideas, but I’m happy with what we managed to get.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was happy to see that the film's main themes and story didn’t disappear behind all the quirkiness and effects. And it was also nice to see that they found it funny. That is always the biggest challenge with making comedy - it is always fun to write, but by the end of writing the third draft, you start questioning all the jokes and whether you have even made a comedy.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I remember watching Saving Private Ryan when I was seven. Made a real impact.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The films I have seen the most, are not necessarily the films I like the most. I was a kid in the VHS era, and my family had a lot of James Bond movies, so despite not finding them all that great, I watched them on repeat.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
10. What is your favorite meal?
Anything that’s fried.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
At the moment I'm working on a proof of concept, for a tv-series, which we got funded by The Danish Filmværksted and Netflix .It is also a comedy, but has a more grounded and mature side to it.