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Ahead of our Prague launch we talk to one of our featured directors, Slovak filmmaker Martina Buchelova

GiF is excited to present a short clip from Martina Buchelova's film Magic Moments, currently competing at TIFF.

Director Martina Buchelova, student at Slovak film university VSMU, has a down-to-earth outlook on life and its ups and downs. In her film Magic Moments which has been selected to compete in Toronto International Film Festival, she sketches out a life of two sisters trying to make the best out of their circumstances with the confidence and perseverance reserved for adults.

Martina's film is part of the screening for the launch of GiF Prague, we are proud to have representation in this region that breeds so many great local as well as international filmmakers. Read our interview with Martina below:

Magic Moments, Martina Buchelova, 2017

What is Magic Moments about in your opinion? What should the viewers take away from it?

The film is about two sisters who have quite a shit life but instead of feeling sorry for themselves, they try and make the best of it. I don’t really feel sorry for the girls in the film, but I am rooting for them to make it. 

I wanted to make a film about kids that live in circumstances that make them vulnerable (not by their own making) and in the same time, a film about perseverance and ability to stand up for yourself and others. 

I was thinking about what gives a human the strength to carry on and figured that most importantly it is to have someone to live for. 

It’s hard to say what viewers should take away from it. Hope is I guess the best I can wish for. I’d also be really pleased if it made them laugh. But on the other hand - it’s only a movie - and movie is not life or manual on how to live it.

How do you find ideas for your movies, what inspires you? 

I am constantly thinking about the fact that film is not just my fiction and result of subjective fantasy therefore I try for it to makes sense to other people too, since they’re giving their time to my thoughts. So I’m definitely inspired by the responsibility to not waste anyone’s time and tell them something that is meaningful to them. 

On the other hand I like the playful side of filmmaking, the freedom in all the things you can do and say. I’m mostly inspired by people and situations thanks to which life is bearable.

What is your favourite scene from Magic Moments?

Probably my most favourite is the first scene - Dominika is running after her father - although she is a teenager, she’s simply sad he’s leaving - in that moment she doesn’t care if she’s cool or if it’s embarrassing and she’s running after him, after what is important to her. The posing and cynicism are trumped by love, love for a parent. 

And her father is not some kind of idiot who left her behind, simply a person who doesn’t have many other options. He’s strict with her but it’s clear their bond is strong and that they have to carry on. 

What does ‘Girls in Film’ mean to you? Do you think there’s a lack of women in film? 

This platform is definitely helpful and interesting and most importantly you can find a lot of talented filmmakers and good films which is great. 

I think that in filmmaking, as well as other industries, you have certain, maybe mainly conscious bias and expectations on what type of women work in it, what they can or can’t do, or what function they should or shouldn’t have within the crew, which can be really unpleasant. 

On the other hand, there are a lot of talented women in audiovisual production that have proven that the deciding factor is talent not the prejudice and they are very sought-after regardless of their gender. In my opinion, gender preconception is a silly thing that only dictates decisions of a very confused people, who are not worth working with at the end of the day. It’s best not to feel too victimised and just focus on the good work and quality projects.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

The university bubble gives me a pleasant creative freedom but I’m starting to worry what will be after. Ideally I’d like to make my own movies or direct a high end series. One project like that is currently in development so hopefully 10 years from now it will be done and we’ll be preparing second series or a new one. I’d like to have a family and hopefully in 10 years I’ll figure out how to marry work and personal life so my family doesn’t suffer and I can also have a productive creative life.