“If they are not progressive leaders in what they keep, the green light and the support, then they fail”
The past two years have prompted a lot of thinking and reconsideration about why we make our films as well as how we make them. What aspect of your filmmaking – whether in your creative process, the way you finance your films, your production methodology, or the way you relate to your audience – did you have to reinvent to make and complete the film you you bring to the festival? This year?
We finished principal photography in Rwanda on March 4, 2020, just days before the world shut down, and began editing in the US just as the unprecedented Black Lives Matter protests began. At that time, we really felt that the social dialogue tipped the scales towards the topics we were already exploring in our film and that maybe the world was conspiring to cultivate consciousness and prepare global audiences to receive this film more broadly and more intimately. and open way. We were in the studio working with our sound designer on January 6, 2021, just as the second wave of global shutdowns had begun, and then it became clear that while social dialogue could help pave the way, we don’t wouldn’t. to be able to go to the end of a film like ours without a fight. The mechanical defenses put in place to prevent change had been clarified, yet here we were, ready to share an African sci-fi musical speaking directly about the toxicity of “norms” with the world.
Our wish has been to see the industry catch up with art, artists and global audiences and realize that if they are not progressive leaders in what they keep, green light and support, they fail in not reinventing itself. As artists, we were very aware of what our film was about. Every choice made along the way was geared toward a conscientious desire to build and create pathways beyond existing norms – whether it be performance standards, popular entertainment standards, or funding and production models or so-called “target audience” standards. “One thing is clear: Sundance understands this, and we are grateful for the unique opportunity to share Neptune Frost with their audience.
See all the answers to our annual Sundance question here.