MY GIRLS, 2min., Canada
Directed by Veronika Marsland
This is a story of how my daughters taught me to be more present.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
It started as one of my ideas for a film school project. I wanted to tell a short and sweet story that would be both meaningful to me and others. I quickly realized that if I wanted to achieve that I had to let myself be open to share some vulnerable moments of my life.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Roughly a month. I spent a long time searching for the topic that would feel right and then refining the idea so that it would become a coherent story with a strong theme.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Apart from time being a constraint, the biggest obstacle was keeping the idea simple. I had so many things to say. Hence the first few rough drafts were a bit "all over the place". My husband helped me a lot when I was getting lost in the webs of my thoughts. He'd help me simplify my message by asking clarifying questions and encouraging me to develop a one word name for the film. Once I've done that my work became anchored by the idea of "presence" and how I can tell a story about that.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was smiling from ear to ear, buzzing with excitement that people would be delighted to watch my story. Be moved by it. That they would get what I was trying to say. I was amazed by things they would notice and saw my artwork in a different light. Most of all, I felt immensely inspired to continue my work.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I think deep down I always knew I wanted to tell stories. I was drawn to it from a young age. My dad told me that I used to record myself on cassettes making up stories as a little kid. That transformed into my love for reading and my modest teenager dream of becoming a famous writer. Later I pursued a degree in literature and history. Then life pulled me into working in technology and business. It wasn't until my 30's when I realized that filmmaking allows me to marry my passion for storytelling, creativity and technology at the same time. So, I guess I just realized recently.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
The Neverending Story as a kid and Ridley Scott's Alien as an adult.
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 love everything you've done. One suggestion would be to facilitate networking between the artists/film professionals.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Extremely easy and intuitive. I felt informed throughout the process. It was a great experience overall.
10. What is your favorite meal?
That keeps changing as I appreciate trying new things in my life. However, the two constants I'd say would be a good authentic Italian style pizza and sushi. Not at the same time, of course.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am working on a short film about a young dancer who is facing a difficult diagnosis and has to reinvent herself. I wanted to write a film that would honor my mother who suffers from complex regional pain syndrome and do so in an artistic way. I have the script locked and will be looking for a building budget and hiring a crew. While My Girls was a totally one-woman project, I would love to work with other talented people in the field because nothing great is ever achieved alone.