The Road To Digispaa 08 - Kristian Moliere Interview
Author: Philippa Wherrett
Monday, 28 April 2008
When Adelaide producer Kristian Moliere entered his first feature film, Boxing Day, into DigiSPAA - the Screen Producers Association of Australia's (SPAA) digital film competition - in 2007, he wanted to win as much as the next filmmaker. He had plans for the $15,000 prize money and $20,000 worth of post-production. But it wasn't to be. John L Simpson won for Men's Group and Moliere was runner up. So was it worthwhile entering the competition-
'Definitely,' Moliere says. 'A lot of people were talking about the film [at the SPAA Conference dinner], which can only help for the next project. Boxing Day was a film that helped us enormously in terms of raising our own profile as filmmakers, as well as that of the film itself.'
Boxing Day, a 90-minute feature film directed by Australian filmmaker Kriv Stenders, was conceived as a one shot experimental film. There are in fact 12 jump cuts in the final film. The story focuses on Chris, an ex-con who is trying to go straight. It's Boxing Day and he's looking forward to seeing his granddaughter. When Chris discovers his daughter's partner is a paedophile, he has to battle for control not to kill him and lose his chance of leading a normal life with his family.
Almost a year on and the accolades and rewards are flowing thick and fast. Boxing Day was most recently nominated by audiences for two Inside Film awards - best actor for Richard Green and best director for Stenders. Not bad considering Boxing Day had only a brief release in Melbourne at Cinema Nova in Carlton and the competition included nationally released films like The Jammed and The Home Song Stories.
Boxing Day didn't win an IF award either, but it has won local and international critical acclaim, including four star reviews from Melbourne newspapers The Age and The Herald Sun and a rave review from The Hollywood Reporter after Boxing Day screened at the Pusan International Film Festival (Korea) in 2007. Now there's also the potential for a cable TV screening.
As part of the prize for an Australian Directors Guild award Stenders recently won for Boxing Day, the film will play in Los Angeles and New York in May and June this year. Three years after Stenders first conceived the film it's gained a life of its own.
'I haven't entered anything that I haven't been asked to [since Pusan],' he says. 'We don't need to any more. People contact us.'
Stenders and Moliere have also had the opportunity to participate in seminars on low budget features and talk about low budget filmmaking. 'What happened with digital technology is that filmmaking has become a lot cheaper and anyone can pick up a camera and make a film,' Moliere says. 'Anyone can do the digital computer editing system.' But when it comes to filmmaking there's one thing that hasn't changed. 'You still have to have a great story and interesting characters and something for an audience to get engaged by. Irrespective of what's happened with technology, story telling is still as important now as it was 100 years ago in film making.'
For your chance to enter competition at DigiSPAA 2008 visit spaa.org.au. Entries must be received by 19 September.
WHAT: DigiSPAA 2008
WHEN: November (specific dates TBA)