What film or filmmaker had the greatest influence on you? At what age did you decide to pursue film and what advice would you give your 18-year old self?
These were some of the secrets revealed by six of today’s top international filmmakers when they joined Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2022/2023 awards contenders: Edward Berger (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), Santiago Mitre (“Argentina, 1985”), Stacy Perskie Kaniss (“Bardo”), Colm Bairéad (“The Quiet Girl”) and Toufik Ayadi & Christophe Barral (‘Saint Omer’). Watch our lively group discussion above and click on each name to view their solo chat.
“Apocalypse Now,” responds Berger when asked which film had a profound impact on his career. “I liked that it wasn’t a story. It’s a story, but it was more of a collage, I guess. It tried to capture more of the essence about war rather than telling a story about it, so I really enjoyed that. I could immerse myself in that film and just drift around in it. I watched it and I didn’t really understand it, so I watched it again, and didn’t understand it again. I probably still don’t understand it, so that’s a great thing, that you can keep rewatching it.”
Mitre shares, “The filmmaker in history that I love the most is Roberto Rossellini. I think his approach to cinema is really unique. The political, mystical and social aspects of his cinema. As a child, I suppose it was Steven Spielberg. I was born in the 80s and grew up in that period where he made all those magnificent films. And then he keeps being one of the best filmmakers in history today.”
Perskie Kaniss says the film “Pulp Fiction” had a major impact on him. “Quentin Tarantino, and the way it was written, and the performances and how everything was intertwined together. For me, that was a huge inspiration. From a child I always wanted to become a filmmaker, but that was a huge inspiration for sure.”
“My most watched film when I was young was actually a Charlie Chaplin film, ‘Modern Times,'” Bairead reveals. “My dad hated us watching TV. My dad hated television, so our exposure to that box in the corner, he tried to control that. He sort of gave us our film education and started from the beginning with silent film and all the VHSs that he would buy. ‘Modern Times’ I watched over and over and over. It’s a masterpiece.”
For Ayadi, working in the film industry was not a choice he made. “I didn’t ever decide to start working in cinema,” he explains. “I was looking for work at the age of 20 and I started working as an intern on film sets. It is while working on these films that I discovered the existence of more personal kinds of films than the ones I was exposed to. If there was a decision, it was a decision to help these kinds of films exist.”
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