THICK SKIN, 3min., Columbia, Dance
Directed by Laura Steiner
To be able to live in Bogotá, you need a skin than can adapt, that can turn reptilian when it doesn't stop raining for weeks and that can go soft when the woman in the corner shop gives you a free morning coffee. Thick Skin is a dance film that takes the viewer through the Colombian capital high above the Andes with stylized movement that speaks of life in the bustling city.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
A few things motivated me to make this film: 1. My new found love for my home. A new relationship I have with Bogotá which has allowed me to see it as the vibrant, sexy, dynamic, insanely stressful but insanely wonderful city it is. I wanted to encapsulate that feeling, make sure next time I end up living somewhere else I don't forget how much I adore this place and how much it has inspired me. 2. I've been writing for a long time and for the past few years I've been more and more interested in the cadence of words, the tempo of the written word when it's read out loud. I am fascinated by rhythm and of course, by movement. I wanted to marry those two in something that sounded like my home. 3. A yearning to collaborate with friends I admire deeply and whose crafts profoundly move me. 2. Wanting to create something about Bogotá which doesn't tell the usual story line.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I've been crafting an Ode to Bogotá in different genres and formats since I arrived in 2019: poems, Instagram posts, prose, spoken word, etc. So in a way the running through line of Bogotá as narrative has been cooking for a while. But specifically for Thick Skin, I probably wrote in November, we shot the film in December and all the editing and sound design took place in January. So around three months total.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
It was actually a very smooth process. Since the very beginning when I told Soren Nielsen the DP, "listen, I have this idea" it was always a very "yes and" kind of process. The momentum never died. I guess the only obstacle is you can't really shoot in a lot of public places here but for that we had the wonderful producer Juana Fernández who made sure we could do everything we needed.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was so glad she focused on the words. It's a dance / movement film but what instigated were the words, I like when words dance, I like when prose has rythym. I was thrilled that the comment had to do with the writing itself.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
As soon as I wrote the text whilst stuck in traffic on a rainy night in Bogotá.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I would like to say "Blue is the warmest color" but a more honest answer if we're talking numbers, would probably have to be "Look who's talking".
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 really appreciate the audience's feedback. It's a shame not being able to physically go to the festival so knowing and having evidence that people actually watched the film is very fulfilling.
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?
Spicy green curry.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
More dancing. More writing. And a new dance film in the making, less about city more about heartbreak.