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Directed by: Adi Wojaczek
Synopsis: Rejected by a famed dance school, Malou gets a chance to prove that she's destined for a career as a dancer despite the odds seemingly stacked against her.
What inspired the Malou story?
Five years ago, I made a 99-second short film about a female dancer who performs on the stage and which has the same twist at the end. People who watched the film never saw the twist coming and were deeply moved by it. The story grew on me over the years. We never knew what she has endured, what kind of performance it was, how she felt and how she got onto that stage. So I wanted to tell how she struggled, and that it was a little push from someone else who didn't achieve her dreams that helped her to show what she can do.
You captured the behind-the-scenes dance world very well. How did you gain such insight?
I'm fortunate to have a lot of friends that are dancers. They gave me insights into their world, their struggles and their passion. Eray Gülay, who choreographed the dance part, also supervised so that everything is correct on set and that we simulated a real audition. Our location for the dance university is an actual renowned university for modern dance in Germany (Folkwang University). Pina Bausch became a famous icon for modern dance in Europe. Malou's performance fits into modern dance, which is very expressive and emotional.
What was the most difficult challenge in the making of Malou?
Financing and a tight schedule were the most difficult parts. We financed it ourselves and had no institution behind us. Costs exploded in the end and we are still in the process of paying for everything. We shot for only four days at the end of May 2019 and on our last day we had to exceed our time at the auditorium. We had to rush everything, much to our discomfort.
The editing process must have been key to the film's effectiveness. How did you approach it?
I like editing and that's why I always do it myself. I basically went from scene to scene. The challenging part was the dance. I wanted to shoot in one take but it wasn't possible in the end. We shot it in several sequences. There were some difficulties with the timing on set so it took some effort to make the edit feel smooth.
What message do you hope people will take away from this film?
I really hope that people get the idea that anyone can achieve their dreams when they put time, energy and willpower into it. We must strive and struggle to be more than we are. "Yes, I can" is the message.