We speak to the director of Good Nostalgia, which will be screened at 2nd edition of Papaya Rocks Film Festival taking place on February 27th in London.
What does it mean for you to have your film screened at the festival?
Asif Ken Fernandes: A huge honour, especially after last year's edition – which happened to showcase projects that were also at other important festivals, such as Los Goya and Palm Springs International. Having my micro-short in a festival that has such criteria means a lot to me.
Do you think nerves will set in closer to your screening?
That's for sure. If all goes well and according to plan, I will be attending the festival personally, and this would be my first screening attendance.
How did this film come about?
Not entirely sure if it does come across in the micro-short, but the film is quite personal. Very much based around my own life and experiences. The project was conceptualised in the late summer of 2019, so drawing huge inspiration from what I was going through and the emotions I felt at the time, along with the movies I was watching, I suppose, were essentially how this project came about.
What was the inspiration behind your screenplay?
Nothing specific, and possibly doesn't have any resemblance whatsoever to the micro-short I made. But I remember watching the Three Colours Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski.
What was the hardest scene for you to film?
The very last scene, the only scene that contains dialogue. Since I don't work with a professional cast or crew yet, all actors being friends from high school and/or university, getting the right dialogue delivery was tough.
What were the biggest challenges you faced making this film?
The time constraints I was working with. Due to circumstances out of my control, I was forced to shoot the project in its entirety in the span of 4-5 hours.
Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
As a child, I'd always been drawn to art in general – even though I studied Sciences, Maths, and English for most of my academic life. But then, I had to choose my future university and I realised that filmmaking was the discipline that truly inspired me. I feel like being a creative person allows you to be creative in many more aspects of life. I do indulge in making music, poetry and photography with the same passion that I have for film. Along with being a filmmaker, I'd like to end up being a multi-disciplinary artist.
Do you have any advice or tips for a fellow filmmaker?
I'm not sure if a 19-year-old filmmaker would have any grand word of advice. But I can echo David Lynch's words on "learn by doing", that speaks to me on another level. I've often heard colleagues tell me how they don't feel ready enough to produce/do their own short films, due to reasons such as lack of cinematographic formation, experience, etc. But I really believe in this motto.
What are you currently working on?
I just finished shooting a few sequences for my upcoming short film Every night, my nose bleeds. Apart from the university, work, and other things, of course.
What do you hope people will take away from your film?
I feel like I don't want to influence the audience of the film with my opinion on it. But if I were to say what I took out of it, it is the importance of reflection. Looking back at things, in an attempt to make sense, or possibly learn from mistakes – whatever it may be. So yes, I feel like reflection is the key. The protagonist in this film does exactly that by feeling nostalgic about her past, in a somewhat bittersweet way.
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