Short films are seen as a training ground for feature films and it is unfair, believes the director and screenwriter Andrei Epure. Because some stories work better in short format. An example is “Intercom 15”, his second short film, which was selected this year in the competition of the Semaine de la Critique section of the Cannes Film Festival.
I think it’s nice to see someone’s first searches. Short films have a freedom and naivety that I think is necessary, says Andrei Epure
Andrei was born in 1989, he graduated from the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest, a wrote screenplays for “Honeymoon”, “Interwar Apartment, beautiful area, ultra-central” and “Dog Man” (which is in post-production) and began directing with the short “Maybe the darkness will cover me.”
His short films can also be seen at the festival anonymity, which takes place between August 9-15, 2021, in Sfântu Gheorghe. “Maybe the darkness will cover me” will be screened in the Romanian short film competition, and Interphone 15 out of competition. Until then, we talk to Andrei about the landscape of short films in Romania, how he filmed the pandemic and what is the public’s attitude towards short films.
The beginning in directing
I don’t think there’s a fixed point when I started thinking seriously about directing or film in general. Things have accumulated over time. Maybe because I was taking pictures of the animals in the yard when I was a kid, or maybe I liked recording my grandparents with a tape recorder. It’s easy to find connections looking back, but the first thought about the movie probably appeared in high school.
For me, UNATC was a meeting place for people who love film. There I met my colleagues with whom I still work. Furthermore, film classes with Andrei Gorzo and Andrei Rus mattered, where I discovered other ways of seeing a film. A few years ago, I participated in a screenwriting workshop, Sequences, with Răzvan Rădulescu and Alex Baciu. As far as I can remember, Răzvan Rădulescu encouraged me to direct the feature film I had written. He said that the story had an inner tempo that was difficult to convey to someone outside, that is, to a director. And I started thinking seriously about it.
I thought about this story a few years ago when Ana, who is the film’s producer and friend, told it to me. It was a memory from her childhood. I wrote it down on a notebook and came back to it quite recently. I tinkered with other moments collected from my parents, from the tram and from things I read during that period. Basically, I updated the story to areas of the film that interest me now.
The hardest part
Probably the biggest fear was the pandemic. I filmed in February, I tested every person on the team. A positive test would have been very bad. Especially for a short film when you only have a few days. In addition, I had in the film a mix of professional actors and people who have never played before. In the end, things went unexpectedly well.
Frame from “Intercom 15”, directed by Andrei Epure
The first short film you saw
I don’t remember my first short film, but I remember the first time I saw Gasman, Lynne Ramsay’s short film. For me it was a reference short film for a long time.
What is special and unique about short films
I think it’s nice to see someone’s first searches. Short films have a freedom and naivete that I think is necessary.
Frame from “Maybe the Dark”, directed by Andrei Epure
The attitude of Romanians towards short films
I think short films are only seen in relation to feature films and that seems wrong to me. There are certain stories that work better in a shorter format. It should not be seen only as training for feature films. Of course, there is this side, but there are others.
The landscape of short films in Romania
Short films are quite inaccessible. It’s hard to see. There is no longer Next, for example, which brought short films to the public in Bucharest. Short films have a short life in cinemas. That’s if they’re lucky. Otherwise, they may be seen on a streaming platform in not necessarily good conditions.
At the Anonymous
I’m happy to show movies to an audience. I’m maybe happier for Maybe Darkness Will Cover Me, a short film that hasn’t seen much viewers.
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