Wednesday, 12 July 2017

NZIFF Q&A - Free Theatre

NZIFF Q&A - Free Theatre


Talking Free Theatre with director Shirley Horrocks.


My film is......
FREE THEATRE: The 37-Year Experiment
Free Theatre

The best thing about being at the NZIFF is......
The NZIFF always has a thoughtful, adventurous audience. Other venues such as mainstream television are become increasingly commercial but the NZIFF has kept the faith.

I’ll answer the next three questions together:
The Moment I'm most proud of in my film is......
The thing that makes me the proudest of my team in my film is.....
The reason I carried on with this film when things got tough was.....
I started the film seven years ago when I was excited to discover Free Theatre, a unique Christchurch group which has been doing adventurous work for nearly four decades. I have been making arts documentaries for a similar period of time and I’ve concentrated on groups that deserve to be better known. (I’ve had nine previous docos in the NZIFF.) Free Theatre is really a hidden treasure and I at once set out to make a film about them – but no one was interested in funding it. I kept filming the group, off and on, over seven years. My “team” consisted purely  of myself and a cameraman, and the shoots were self-funded. Finally I successfully gained some finishing money from Creative NZ and the Film Commission, and thanks to them I could edit a final version for the 2017 Festival.  Why have I “carried on” making docos about the arts (since 1979)” It’s because I know that they are needed, and if they can just get them made there is an interested audience. Once upon a time our television system agreed that arts docos were important but for many years now they have only been interested in reality programmes, cooking programmes, and docos with sensational subject matter. So, “the moment I’m most proud of” is simply getting this film finished!

The moment I think that will resonate most with the audience when they see my film is......
Audiences make up their own minds, and there’s a lovely diversity about that. Since Free Theatre has been doing its dynamic, adventurous performances for 37 years – and I’ve followed that whole story – I think there will be some resonant moments for everyone, whether they’re interested in theatre, music, experiment, or just a lively cast of colourful individuals!

The thing I hope most people will take from watching my film is.....
I’d like people to say, “That was amazing! How come I didn’t know about Free Theatre?”

More on Free Theatre at the NZIFF Website

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