Describe your film in just one sentence.
Milou Gevers: In WHY DIDN'T YOU STAY FOR ME? four children who each lost a parent to suicide during primary school talk about their journey from the moment they heard the news. The documentary maker, who experienced the same, asks the questions that no one dared to ask her at the time. (Whoops! That’s two sentences.)
Semih Korhan Güner: He spies with his little eye something that is ... you. FACING THE SCREEN.
Bar Cohen: In HER DANCE, Aya, a trans woman, shows up unexpectedly one Shabbat evening at the Orthodox Jewish community where her family lives, without an invitation to her sister’s wedding.
If your film were an animal, what animal would it be?
Milou Gevers: If the film were an animal, it would be a skunk. At first you think: what is this? I don’t want to hear or see anything about this subject; it makes me too uncomfortable. But while watching the film, the viewer’s initial discomfort turns into compassion and understanding. Don’t judge it too soon. A skunk stinks at first, but it’s actually a funny and interesting animal. Talking about suicide with kids is just like that: at first it feels strange, but it’s actually very comforting and bonding to discuss such a difficult subject.
Semih Korhan Güner: A squirrel.
Bar Cohen: A lioness.
What was the best / funniest / worst thing that happened while shooting this movie?
Milou Gevers: We were shooting a movie with children about losing a parent to suicide — a serious and very emotional subject. So in between shooting, we wanted to make things as lighthearted and as much fun as possible. We gave all the children a disposable camera and held a competition among them of who could take the best photo on our documentary set. This way they also had a camera themselves and they were more equal to the crew.
Semih Korhan Güner: I’m not sure if it was the best or worst thing, but we had just three hours each day to shoot FACING THE SCREEN. And we had to finish it in a week! It was quite an interesting experience for us. :)
Bar Cohen: The film is about a family meal, so the art director brought food to the table. There were a lot of actors and extras in the shoot behind the table. During filming we realized that they were eating even after we’d said “Cut!” and that the food was about to run out in the middle of the day! Luckily, we stopped it in time.
What is your favorite movie quote of all time?
Milou Gevers: I mostly watch documentaries. Regrettably, they are less famous for memorable quotes than fiction films. If I did have to name one, then it would be from DIRTY DANCING (1987), my favorite fiction film during puberty: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”
Which filmmaker would you like to have a beer with?
Milou Gevers: I’d like to have a beer with Louis Theroux. It would be interesting to meet such a great interviewer. Normally I ask a lot of questions, so it would probably become a battle of who interviews whom.
Semih Korhan Güner: I would like to have a raki with Ingmar Bergman.
Bar Cohen: Xavier Dolan or Andrea Arnold.
What was the first film you remember seeing at a movie theater?
Milou Gevers: I remember going to Cinekid, a Dutch film festival for children that was held every year during autumn break. Most children just went there for an afternoon, but I stayed the whole week from dusk till dawn and almost wanted to sleep there. I don’t remember the first film I saw, but I do remember that it was at Cinekid and I remember that my fascination with film grew here. I was also part of a film club, where we would meet every week with a group of children to shoot our own films with Handycams. We made our own decor and dressed up to play the roles ourselves, but also went onto the street to film on location. This is where I learned that film can be so much fun, and that it’s a great way to express yourself.
Semih Korhan Güner: THE LION KING (1994).
Bar Cohen: SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON (2002).
What is your favorite party song?
Milou Gevers: I always go wild on “Born this way” by Lady Gaga.
Semih Korhan Güner: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.
Bar Cohen: “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé.
If you weren’t a filmmaker, you’d be a ...?
Milou Gevers: Psychologist. I’m all about human interest and love to listen to personal stories with an open mind.
Semih Korhan Güner: If I weren’t a filmmaker, I’d be an animator at an all-inclusive hotel.
Bar Cohen: Psychologist — but I’m already doing psychological treatments in my films. :)
Is this your first visit to Munich? What do you expect from the festival?
Milou Gevers: I’m not going to be there, because I’m expecting my first child anytime now.
Semih Korhan Güner: Yes. I expect to watch good films, meet new people, and have some fun.
Bar Cohen: This is my first visit. I hope it’s going to be a lot of fun! And that I’ll meet some other young and talented filmmakers.