Filmmaker Lea Bloch’s film LAST NIGHT is a tense drama based around a group of friends unravelling the non-consensual sex that occurred between two of them the previous night.
The film won the Pardino d’oro Swiss Life award for the Best Swiss Short Film at Locarno Film Festival in 2023.
We caught up with the filmmaker to find out more about how she willed her film into production, reacted to the good news, and what’s next for her career.
This year’s Locarno Film Festival may be over but here at T-Port we have their catalogue of selected shorts and winners here for professional subscribers to enjoy.
Hi Lea! Tell us about yourself
I was born 1995 in Zurich, Switzerland. Graduated with a Bachelor in Communication and Religious Studies from the University of Zurich. I work as a producer at Swiss Broadcasting SRF Impact and direct my own film projects.
Where were you when you found out about LAST NIGHT being selected to Locarno and how did you feel / react?
I was sitting with a friend in a café, giving him feedback on his short film. When I saw the email, I couldn’t believe it, I told him the news and we ordered prosecco.
What are you going to do after this and what are your dreams for the future of the film industry?
I hope that I can make many more films and that women will find it easier to be part of the industry and have enough confidence to make films.
What first sparked the idea to make LAST NIGHT?
I really wanted to make a fiction film. I’ve been interested in this topic since I was a teenager because it’s based on autobiographical events.
What were the biggest challenges you encountered during production? How do you view them now?
Money was a big issue, everyone was working for free and the constant questioning of my film idea and whether it was good enough.
Now that you’ve been through the production process, if you could go back in time and give your former self advice on the process, what would you say?
Keep up the good work, keep up the courage to do things.
Tell us three things you learned from the process of making your film
Give up responsibility, believe in your own ideas and have the courage to make decisions.
Tell us about the visual choices in your film. What were your main goals and techniques in creating the visual style?
I wanted to be as close to the characters as possible. Keep the focus on someone, so that the voices can be heard from the background. The camera should move with them and thus create an authentic documentary character.
How has your win at Locarno made you look at your future career as a filmmaker?
It gave me the feeling that a lot is possible even with few resources. Especially if you implement a project that is important to you, in which you believe and see the sense behind it. That other people see this too and that gives me courage and hope.
Tell us three things you’ve discovered so far while distributing your film.
I am still in the process and slightly overwhelmed by it.
What are the biggest challenges for you, in promoting and distributing your film?
That I don’t have a production company that can take me by the hand.
What do feel young film talents lack the most today? Where are the gaps in the film industry?
There is a lack of trust that new filmmakers also have good ideas and visions, even if they do not yet have a long filmography.
What is your advice to filmmakers who are behind you in the process of making and distributing their films? What do you wish someone had told you?
If you have a project of the heart, believe that what concerns you will also concern other people and that you can reach an extremely large number of people through the medium of film.
If you were to have infinite resources – walk us through your fantasy film project
I would want to make a series based on my experiences as a journalist and filmmaker but told in a fictional way. In each episode you would learn a story through the journalist/filmmaker’s interview partners and at the same time follow her and her problem to distinguish herself from her protagonists.
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