Today we bring you an interview with Britt Raes, the author of the award-winning animated film “Catherine“, which also received Star Film Fest Best Animated Film Award last year. The animator participates this year in the Festival as well, but not as a contestant. This year she’ll be Star Film Fest Jury member. Below you will find out more about the young Belgian whose animated films have won the world over.
Last year you won Star Film Fest prize for your animated film “Catherine”. What does this award mean to you? Do you think an award like this can make a difference?
Britt: Each award is a validation of your work, so on a personal level it is great support to receive an award! “Catherine” is my first professional short film, so an award is a great encouragement in my ambition of being a director. It helps me push forward to new projects!
You come from Belgium, why did you decide to submit your film in a festival in Croatia?
Britt: I have sent the film to festivals worldwide, and I am so happy it has screened at so many different places. Like Croatia, but also Australia, Japan, USA, Brazil, Russia, … I hoped that my film and my story could appeal to an international audience, and sending it to festivals in different countries was a great way to test that out!
Have you seen some other movies that participated in Star Film Fest? Is there any movie you would like to single out and why?
Britt: I saw the documentary winner After Party at a festival in Taiwan! And the director Viktor Zahtila and his producer Marin Janković were in Taiwan as well, so I met them! But I only realized afterwards that we both won at Star Film Fest in 2017! I really enjoyed After Party, it’s such a personal story yet so relatable because we have all had a broken heart at one point in our lives.
This year you are with us again, but in a slightly different role. How does it feel to be the judge on the festival that you once participated in and ended up as a winner?
Britt: It’s a real pleasure and honor to be invited as a jury member! An award can make a difference for a director and a film, so I will take my task very seriously! I didn’t have the opportunity to attend the festival last year when I won, so it’s also very exciting that I will be able to get a sense of the vibe of the festival this year as I will be part of the event!
Have you already been a judge in a contest? How do you see your role?
Britt: This year I was invited to two other festivals as a jury member, at both of them my short film Catherine had screened the year before. But I think every jury experience is different, because each festival has its own vibe, and dynamic with the other jury members also has an impact. I see the judging as an opportunity to send a sign support and encouragement to a film/filmmaker!
What will be your guidelines, which elements do you think are most important for a movie to stand out from the other?
Britt: I personally like well grounded, believable characters and story driven films that still succeed to surprise me. I like it if a filmmaker succeeds in living up to the potential of their concept. Sometimes films have a great concept, and you can feel so much potential and great promise in the beginning, but as the film carries on, it falls flat. And in the end, as a viewer, you just feel hungry and dissatisfied! So I hope to find a film that has great promise from the start, and succeeds to exceed the expectations it sets up! But I won’t be ticking boxes. Sometimes a film that ticks all the boxes, just doesn’t work. And a film that doesn’t fit any boxes, can blow your mind. I’ll just wait and see for the movies!
What message would you send to young people planning to participate in this year’s Star Film Fest?
Britt: Keep creating! And watch lots of film! Not to copy someone else’s work (please don’t) but to discover why a film works for you as a viewer, and to discover what it is that you like. Analyse someone else’s work, and apply what you learn from it to your own projects! What aspect are you impressed by in films your like? Is it the camera movements, the characters, the story, the colours,…? Whatever it is that excites you, push that to the best level you can in your own work!