Whistler Film Festival 2018 Interview – ACQUAINTED director Natty Zavitz

“ACQUAINTED is about how two people in committed relationships fall for each other and how that drips through the rest of their lives.”

Congratulations on your film playing and welcome to the wonder that is Whistler Film Festival! So is this your first time here and are you planning to attend your show?

Yes I’ll be at both screenings!

So how did ACQUAINTED come together?

I wrote the first draft while my last major relationship was ending. I always knew Laysla would play Emma. Jonathan Keltz was the first producer attached and he suggested Giacomo for Drew. He asked me to give him a year to put together some money and it took a bit longer but not much. Another producer, Stephanie Sonny Hooker and I made our first film EDGING while we waited for it to come together and we shot in the summer of 2017. Post has been a blur of tests and now here we are.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What is your drive?

Faith in the story’s meaning for someone else. Knowing how telling the story was helpful for myself and hoping that it could mean as much to someone in an audience one day.

So if you were to pick one moment that you would consider the biggest challenge of making the movie, along with the “a-ha, we GOT it” moment, what would each of those be?

There’s never an a-ha moment. The biggest challenge is approaching each day of making it, in writing, shooting and post with fresh eyes and trying not to lose the emotional arc after the two hundredth time you’ve seen it.

Could we get technical for a second? For my tech-savvy and filmmaking readers, I would love to know about the visual design of the movie and how it was photographed.

Ian MacMillan, the cinematographer, led so much of the visual language. He and I sat in a cafe for days in a row talking about each beat and decided we wanted to ground the camera in each moment. Relying on long shots to be able to get as many pages shot in as little time we had meant we had to bring a lot of intentions and storytelling into the construction of the shots. Ian taught me a lot. I’m tremendously grateful for his eye and brain and heart.

After your WFF screening, where is the movie going to go next? Theatrical? Online? Any dream screenings or exact theatre in mind?

We don’t know! We’re happy to share the film with whichever audiences will have it!

We do have a lot of people out there looking to be inspired and work in the industry in one way or another. What is a piece of advice that you would give to anyone looking to get into the motion picture business?

Write. Great films start on the page and you only need time to get better, rather than any money.

And finally, what is the single greatest movie you have ever seen?

Ever? Yo. that’s a big question. for *this* film I looked a lot to Linklater’s Before Series and Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales as inspiration, especially. Before Sunset and  L’Amour l’après-midi.


This is one of the many movies playing at this year’s Whistler Film Festival. For more showtime information and on the festival itself, point your browser to www.whistlerfilmfestival.com!

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