FAIRY TALE by director Shira Yermiyahu, is a short film about 3 teenage girls on summer vacation, who are searching for adventure to relieve the boredom of a typical night in Yavne: A desperate quest for vodka ends in a dark warehouse where the town hunk ruins one of their lives.
We caught up with Yermiyahu, who made her film as part of her studies at Israel’s Minshar School of Art, to find out about her deeply collaborative filmmaking process, and how she found herself in love with cinema.
Hi Shira, please tell us something about yourself
I love making dramas with humour.
I’m currently working on two projects; a short film and a documentary based on my grandfather’s photographs and films.
While working on the film, where did you draw your inspiration from?
Life itself, being a woman, my girlfriends’ stories. Watching films by women directors, including Chantal Akerman, Eliza Hittman, Keren Yedaya, and Céline Sciamma.
Can you tell us about your first encounter with cinema – do you recall your first memory from watching a film?
The first time that cinema changed my world was when I was 24 years old. I was a university student, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary fine arts. I had one course in cinema and the truth is, I didn’t really enjoy it and wanted to drop it.
I was about to drop the course when my lecturer asked me to give one more chance. He told me, “I think there is a reason you chose to enrol in this course, so give it one more try and if it doesn’t work out, then drop it”.
So I entered the class and he screened Godard’s “BREATHLESS”. All of the other students walked out while I remained glued to the screen, with my mouth open and tears in my eyes. I’m not sure I even understood what I was seeing at that moment, I just felt such a sense of freedom in my whole body, and I said to myself “if this is cinema – then I want to make cinema.”
How did you first start working on this film? What was the process like and what first sparked the idea to make this film?
My friend and colleague Gaya Kolman and I sat in her apartment several times for many hours of conversations and meditations to discover a story to tell. We brought up memories together, visual images, colours and feelings.
In an associative way we wrote all the words that came to our mind.
Once we found what we wanted to tell, we met with Yul, the main actress of the film, and the process was simply fun, deep, exciting, and painful. We shared many stories, both different and similar. Then Yul’s friends Ori and Michal joined us and together the film got a new magical life.
Tell us a bit about your film and the filmmaking process – what were your main insights?
To not be afraid, take risks and have fun!
What were the biggest challenges you encountered during making your film?
Each stage had its own challenge. For me the two main ones were finding the actresses, and the rhythm of the film.
What do feel young film talents lack the most today, after graduating from film school? Where are the gaps in the film industry?
Time. Time to think, try, invent, explore, and discover passions. There’s a sense that everything should happen quickly, and as quickly as possible.
If you were to have infinite resources – walk us through your fantasy film project
Wow. If I had infinite resources… I would like to make a film that can be smelled.
What are your plans and dreams for the future?
To be happy.
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