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Interview with director Adi Nagar

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

Since I learned to write I learned how to tell stories. From the imagination, or from real life. The main thing was to create a story and for a long time it was mainly to myself. Over the years as a child and teenager it was a place of refuge. To vent, to say what I failed to do. I wrote, I even published a book, I sang and played, but the cinema and the ability to tell a story in person activated a different way of healing for me And I realized that I needed to create, write and direct. Yuvlo tells my story and that of many others like me, to whom I had to give a voice and stage. I need to tell my story out loud, a place for creativity and art as a way to heal myself and others. I did not come from a place that encourages creation, but I realized that I need it and that today I see no other way to live my  life without creating.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

I recently heard someone say that directing is 70% management and 30% knowledge. Both things must exist in my eyes together, each of them separately will not last. I personally studied in various one-year courses but did not study in a large and impressive film school. I  believe in art education, and that everyone can create, something. Learning is always necessary and worthwhile but school is only the beginning, the experience and experiment is on you.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

That’s a good question. Over the years I have created inspiring and accessible workspaces that will allow me to write and create with joy. But if it comes down to it and I have a deadline, I sit with the  computer on the couch with my legs folded, and the main thing is to write. To start and  decide what story you are telling and how it will look is a frustrating stage  that you have to get over. There were also moments during the development of the script, also on set and certainly in the editing room,  that were not easy and I had to make decisions that I didn’t always know the consequences of since this is my first film. Time was a perfect factor that had to be won but at the same time not to give up the quality of the film and the things we were required to dwell on. I have often said that this film is an excellent Lesson that I did not dare to miss.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

I think the  lesson learned is modesty. I had an excellent team around me, from the actors to the sound man and the photographers. I wanted to listen to the comments that were on set and even more so in pre-production so that this brainstorming and the connection of the team would lead to a common, high-quality and professional artistic result. I knew how I wanted the film to look, yet I was flexible to the changes and opportunities that came in the creative process from all the partners.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

The editing stage was perhaps the most challenging stage that took almost the longest time since time was a serious factor of the film. For example There was a scene that takes place in a car that I had to give up because of the time since I had to meet the 5 minute criterion that we had to overcome artistically in the transitions between scenes. I had to choose my battles, what to give up and what to fight for.

6. What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

Exposing it. To decide that this is the movie, that’s the subject, and I’m running with it. I needed a lot of courage to talk about the issue and understand that it is even more critical that it needs to be made. The production phase and the making of the film were parallel to the real life struggle I had with a Psychiatric patient close to me And I decided that I do not want to compromise on dialogues, on the great love that exists with all the difficulty, that everyone is a victim in this story- and tell it like it is. Plus, Since the film talks about a sensitive topic of mental struggles, we shot 2 possible endings because I wanted to play with them in the edit and decide. We chose to give up a scene that could have been too triggering that didn’t justify the end of the film enough, so I chose the ending that we currently have.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

Through friends of friends and mutual acquaintances we created a stunning and sensitive team with an emotional connection to each other and to such a sensitive subject. The joint work was like therapy to  everyone on set and it continued in conversations behind the scenes. It was important to help expose the struggle that the subject brings with it, from the actors. I had a production assistant who is also a personal trainer in her profession, her job was often to help the actors and all members of the production emotionally.  In addition, the film took place in the framework of impro-action, so the combination with the foster director, the selection of the actors in the casting and the formation of everyone was critical to the team dynamics. I know there are quite a few cast members that I will take with me to the next projects. We made a wonderful bunch.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

I think the audience wants to feel normal. To see what he is dealing with on the screen and realize that he is not alone The role of the creator and director is to be honest and real, only there the magic happens Be brave and be exposed.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

This is my first festival so it’s definitely exciting and fun to be recognized like this And I am always grateful for the ability to create. I can say that it increased my creative hunger, and I will continue to bring my art to expression and wish it to be distributed as much as possible. Fortunately, festivals like this exist to provide a meaningful platform for creation and specifically for initial works. They are the place to test and challenge yourself creatively. Art is our way to bring about change, to express identification, to inspire, and the festivals are the tool through which we creators can convey our messages.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

Original and fresh. To tell an untold story, from a different angle. It’s important not to worry about being liked And playing safe by going for acceptable cinematic approaches especially in  a drama. The opportunity to create something at my own bit gave me the space and the confidence to play with the way I got my message across. It was important to me to create a different pace for the film. Unusually I didn’t use a tripod so the camera wouldn’t be static in most scenes. The fast pace was a tool to convey the message of stress, emotions. Throughout the process I learned that My story is bigger than me and the ability to break the accepted patterns allowed me to create what you see in front of you.