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Interview with director Lyn Ben-Ari

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

I first realized Filmmaking was my way of storytelling is with this short film Acting Stupid when for the first time I say a story I’ve imagined come to life.

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

I personally didn’t go to a film school but I believe it can be helpful if you are aiming for a professional career. Making movies require collaboration and surrounding yourself with people with the same passion is a great way to get started but it isn’t the only way. Some of my favorite directors didn’t go to film schools and now a days there’s access to all the information needed online. I think it’s personal and different journey’s fit different people.

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

They’re both hard! but if I had to pick one it would be to keep going. There’s no doubt that getting started is a challenge but after I start putting things together on a paper I get emotionally attached and it’s a long ride with more chances to fail than to succeed getting to the finish line. I was lucky to meet the right people in the right time to get this movie happen. I definitely didn’t have the confidence I could make a movie so if it wasn’t for this bunch of people listed in the credits I wouldn’t be writing these answer.

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

Prior to this film I wanted to make movies. I wrote a couple of scripts but didn’t know how to make them happen. With this script I was lucky to get some friends on board to push me when things got hard. There were moments I felt this was all too big for me but it was too late to look
back. I had to face the challenges and it made me realize I can do it. I did it.

  • 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 film was low budget and I wrote the script with that in mind. Writing the script that way helped me get the best out of the budget I had but who knows with a different budget it could have been a completely different film.

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

When we got to edit the film I realized we were missing some crucial moments I had to make up for. It’s a hard decision to make adjustments in your story but the story takes were it need to be taken.

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

Israel is a small country so that makes it easier to meet people and with a little help of social media and good friends we had a great team pretty quickly. I knew that every single one of the members was a professional and had more experience than I did. I had to clearly share my vision and luckily they knew what to do to make it happen.

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

That is a big question and I’m still working on answering it for myself but I am sure it’s our job as filmmakers to have an answer for ourselves. We make movies for the audience to watch so we have to take them in consideration but it can’t be the main thing that drives us. we have to know what we want to say and think how we’re going to show it so the audience will get our message.

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

In the independent short film world I fell like the festivals are the way to make the movie official. It’s a way to get audiences from all over the world and get more feedback. If not for our global crises I would have loved to attend and meet filmmakers and audiences in person.

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

I think a combination and a balance of both would be my answer. You should know and understand classic cinematic story telling but at the same time find your own and unique way to tell it. There must be a structure to help your creativity blossom.