A new perspective
Timeless Awards: Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Emanuela Ponzano: Hello, very happy to meet you through this interview. I was born in Bruxelles. My family is Italian and I live now in Brussels after 20 years of ROME, Italy. I started as an actress in national drama school, but very soon I did in parallel “direction” in theatre. One year while I was preparing a tribute to Bergman (the year he died) I felt that I needed some images for the play…and this is where it all started. With Bergman, with Persona.
TA: Your film has been awarded for Best of Time category. Can you guess, why?
EP: Yes, the film is based on a surprising change of period, of time, but it is also linked to the memory because the film invites us to not forget what we’ve learned from the past. Time and memory are linked in a strong way and make us think about today about history.
TA: How does the theme of Time translate into your film?
EP: Well, I was thinking how to do a film about memory, and so I found that time could be the “key”. A passage in the forest, boys are running and suddenly the film format changes and become larger, more colored, and it is today.
TA: It is hard for me not to see in your film the reflection on migration crises on the Polish – Belarus border… But not only that – it’s like you wanted us to look at the humanity through the prism of the endless flow of migration, rejection, and intolerance and this was the main reason for you to make this film.
EP: Absolutely. The film is first of all in Hungarian. Why? Because Orbán in Hungary reflects one of the first wall builder against migrants. He is not the only one, we can think of Poland Belarus, Greece, Turkey, Israel, USA-Mexico… and then suddenly we see those migrants behind this wall, and it reminded me of World War II. It’s a cycle, the story is repeating, and we are living in a dangerous moment.
TA: But this is one side of the story… Second side, in my opinion, would be the ability to see the ghosts. Is such talent a rare thing these days? Or am I missing the point completely?
EP: Well, the main character sees things from the past as it was reality. But it’s not about this ability. It’s really a travel between time and when he meets the little girl he is really in the past. Of course, that character is more sensitive than the others. The two others are more concentrated on their game of finding treasures in the woods… This is the way in life you have persons who can see and understand, and others can’t…
TA: I feel like I need to ask you about inspirations.
EP: Everything started with what happened in 2015-16 in Hungary. Police was haunting and shoot migrants in the forest and all those people who tried to run without many clothes. Then I talked to my cinematographer, Daniele Cipri, (who made an incredible work) and I asked him to start with a dark light and color, getting inspiration in Tarkovsky to go through time to find more cold colors in the present.
TA: What equipment did you use for filming? Or, better to say, for shooting?
EP: Mini ARRI ALEXA and wonderful anamorphic lens.
TA: And postproduction? What tools did you use?
EP: A big work with VFX (objects scene) and color correction. Sound editing was very important as well. Not many dialogues, so the sound of the forest had to be very present. A sensorial work.
TA: Can we see your films somewhere?
EP: The pasts ones (Reflections; The Sled) are on Vimeo, on myreload and on we short (platforms). Thank you!!! Emanuela