WE DANCE FOR LIFE, 11min., UK
Directed by Ian George Sciacaluga
A community comes together to express the many affectations of living with cancer and to herald the science that will one day find a cure.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I've been wanting to get involved in community film projects for a while but I hadn't found something worth contributing to, until this Cancer Research project came along. And it's all thanks to the funding from the London Borough of Sutton. This was a film production that embraced all humankind, at a time when we were all breaking out of the isolation invoked by the COVID pandemic. Strangely, the subject matter, came second to my thoughts when undertaking this film, although only because of the sensitivity in handling a topic as affecting as cancer.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
"We Dance for Life" took 8 months from inception to the first screening. It was a lengthy process because of the detail the film required and the number of participants (200 dancers and volunteers in all). It required reaching out to community groups in the region, scientific research and working with the institute of cancer in Sutton to obtain cell imagery. The you have the customary location recces, sourcing costumes and props and a hefty filming schedule over the summer months of 2022. It was a largely voluntary project produced in our spare time, between work hours. The whole operation was conducted by myself and my Producing partner, Mark Krycki, with no production company back up. Quite exhausting... but rewarding.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
The human bond.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
I decided to use 2 main dance choreographers with utterly conflicting styles because I wanted to be inclusive and I wanted the project to be organic with its heart filled by a multitude of creative voices. That was a tough challenge – certainly in terms of managing the music's rhythms and making the film fluent.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Relief. I don't know if anyone has made a musical about cancer. It could have gone so badly wrong!
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
After I saw the film below....
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind". I saw it as a boy and it was both a spiritual experience and cinematic awakening.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
A little prize, as in a small trophy, would be a nice, tangible thing to keep.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's simple and great and such an improvement from the old days of laborious festival applications.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I love all food from all corners of the globe. I'd either go for an English Sunday roast or an authentic Mexican Chilaquile or supper.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm editing a feature I started as a hobby a few years back, called "HIDE". It's a psychodrama about a woman's rebuilding her life after after the death of her mother. .. Though.... after being awarded 'Best Dance Experimental' at your festival, I would love to write and make a Charlie Kauffman-esque musical folk tale about mental health.