THE DARK SIDE OF BRIGHT NIGHTS, 50min., Germany
Directed by Sander van Iersel, Tim Visser
When light pollution causes the night to disappear, a fundamental clock for life on earth is thrown out of balance.
Get to know filmmakers Sander van Iersel & Tim Visser:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Answer: Many nature films tell a fairytale story where all is well and everything is splendid.
We want to tell stories about the natural world that are real and therefore complex. With this specific film we wanted to highlight a part, or actually a time of the natural world we as humans are not privy to. The night is in a sense half of the natural world and our influence is actually making it look more like day each and every year. We got the chance to make this film because of the guidance of the people at Marco Polo Film which really gave us the opportunity to give life to our concept.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?
Answer: So we produced this film actually at breakneck speed. We got the call that we could make this film by March 2022 and we were ready for delivery by the end of September 2022 because of TV scheduling. So from ideation and scripting all the way to editing and finalizing the film took us only half a year.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Answer: Blinding Brightness
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Answer: Because of the timing we had our production period during the summer which of course means shorter nights. That combined with extremely hot temperatures during the day would sometimes make it hard to get your sleep in. But we found a solution, some gaffer tape and bin liners to black out the windows.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
Answer: It was great to see and hear that it really struck home for many of the people. We have changed their perspective and in that sense also the night for them. It was really great to hear that one of the people wants to even use the film in their education efforts so that even more people can see and readjust their perspective towards the natural night.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Answer: Tim: by accident really, I got rolled into a video internship which I actually didn’t like, but it gave me the basis to later on find my passion to show the beauty of the world around me. By that point I started to create the short videos I would like to see and from then on .. the rest is history.
Sander: I was always a big wildlife doc fan. I used to watch marathons on these BBC nature doc dvd boxes when I was younger. For me, what those people were making was like ‘god-status’ filmmaking, impossible for the mere mortal. At some point the BBC created this ‘game show’ in which they were looking for ‘the next wildlife filmmaker’ to join their ‘Natural History Unit’. I saw amateurs with passion take the first steps on this show. That’s when it hit me, ‘if they can do it, so can I’ and that made me think, what then would I make?
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Answer: Space Jam / Once upon a time in the west / the prestige / LOTR
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other
festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking
Answer: We make films with which we hope to change perspectives and in that way the world. For us it is really important that the right people in the right place see our films so that change can happen. Film festivals have a big role to invite or connect those key decision makers.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Answer: FilmFreeway is great. No feedback.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Answer: Sander: Stamppot Andijvie, Tim: Andijvie Stamppot
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Answer: We are always creating new projects together with our conservation and science partners. Currently we are working on a couple of projects that will hopefully spin out into successful documentaries in the next few years.