Filmmaker Lili Zahavi made her documentary ME MYSELF ANDI about her best friend Andi, whose struggles in academia, hindered by her own lack of self-confidence, may strike a familiar chord. The film made it into the 2022 Festival Max Ophüls Preis, among other festivals.
We caught up with the filmmaker, who is currently making her thesis film at Filmakademie Baden Württemberg, about friendship, dogs, and putting the passion into a passion project.
Tell us about yourself
I like dogs and movies. I’m currently working on my diploma feature film.
If you had to summarise your film in three words, what would they be?
Summer. Friendship. Self-discovery.
While working on the film, where did you draw your inspiration from?
For ME MYSELF ANDI specifically my best friend, our friends, our present time, our struggles, our desires and the structures that shape our reality have been the main source of inspiration.
What sparked the idea for Me Myself AndI?
I’ve watched my best friend struggling with finishing her studies for years and she was not the only one. I could relate to her situation myself as film studies can keep you busy forever as well. In Germany studying doesn’t cost money, so taking your time is a privilege and, at the same time, a shortcut to get obsessed by everything you’re not good at.
What were the biggest challenges you encountered during making your film?
The film is a fluid combination of documentary and fiction and the lines between the one and the other were very blurry so I had to develop a language with my protagonist where we address each other as the real people we are and also as the characters in the film. It was a challenge in the beginning but we found a way and it started to flow.
How was it to collaborate with your cast and crew?
The whole project was very special and meaningful to me. I did this film with my friends and for my friends. The connections to all of the heads were precious and we continue to share friendships today. The protagonist started as one of my best friends and we got only closer through the film. The DOP, the editor, the composer and the Production Designer are all very dear people in my life and colleagues I worked with again afterwards or will work with again.
Tell us about the sound choices in your film?
Due to the magical work of Fred Hellmann – the composer and sound designer – our main character had her own Soundtrack that was composed passionately to bring out all of her facets and (make the audience) feel connected to her.
What were your main goals and techniques in creating the visual style of your film?
Maciej Rolbiecki – the DoP- and I combined 3 different visual layers in the film. There was the clear documentary view on the main character and her surroundings, that was merging with the fictional parts where actors showed up, and then there was a third perspective that we shot with a different camera that was more to express the protagonists inside world, her feelings and her desires.
What would you like people to take away from your film?
In a world full of self portrayal it’s empowering to be authentic just like Andi
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