As part of our East Europe International Film Festival 2020 we are delighted to be connecting with a number of new creative filmmakers. Joining us in The Green Room today is a young talented filmmaker who would have been at home in Warsaw had we made it to Poland this year.
Michał Cywiński thanks so much for joining us.
Hello, thank you for the invitation! That’s a big honor and pleasure to talk with you in these exceptional circumstances, which obviously is a nomination at Fusion International Film Festivals!
Now by your own definition you are a young aspiring filmmaker which is something we always love to see. Your project CADAS is your Directorial debut, tell me more about your interest in cinema and when you began to see this as more than a hobby?
As I remember, I have always been fascinated with cameras of any kind. It somehow attracted me. When I look back at my childhood, every family gathering meant taking some photos by me. And I was so delighted with that! So that’s about my first contact with the camera. I’ve always wanted to have my own. When I grew up a bit, I got one! I immediately started creating some of my first, let’s say, works. At first, they were only photos, but then, I was getting more and more interested in film. And it went that way for a few years. At this point, it was only a hobby, from time to time some small paid works. But with time, I started to want more. I wanted to create something ambitious, something serious.
With regards to CADAS, firstly a massive congratulations on completing the film and the recognition received. The subject matter is one so relevant and important. What was the reason behind this focus?
Observation. Many of my friends experienced some kind of misunderstanding of their mental problems, which are obviously partly connected with adolescence, but this isn’t always the only cause. Problems with parents, unrequited love, domestic and peer violence. These are only a few reasons why young people sometimes make some hard decisions. This is a very fragile topic. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried whether I could manage to tell about this problem properly. Another reason why I decided to make a CADAS movie, are other films about teen mental problems. I feel like there are two types of these films. First are the films that are – from a technical point of view – done very well. Properly directed, recorded, with a good, consistent story… Which was written by the people who know nothing about the problem, who are not young people, who know what the problem really looks like. The other type of films are amateur films made by young people that know what the case is, but do not know how to make a movie. Considering that, I thought “Well, I know something about making films, I also know what the problem looks like. So why not try to do something with it? Who knows, maybe it will help somebody”.
Do you think you made it?
If CADAS helped at least one person – I think yes.
Now to being on set. Producer, Director, Writer, Editor, Sound… you sure were busy!?
You’re right, I was! To this day my friends joke about my availability and my constant lack of time. But at this point, I have to mention that many people engaged with CADAS helped me a lot with spreading its idea, promoting the project, and bringing that movie to its final form. Especially I want to credit Piotr Cieśliński – the main role (Filip) performer, who was my right hand throughout the entire project, from the first day of its existence to this day. He also was the first person who had ever heard about the idea of this film. There was also Tomasz Targosz who did an incredible job with composing a stunning probably the most recognizable thing in the movie. Really, I could list the people for a very long time. They all did an incredible job.
What was your favourite role on set and how did you find the experience?
If you made me choose only one, I’d say directing. Creating a story with emotions, mimics, and human behavior in front of the camera is fascinating. But I also love being behind the camera making the frame and movement look exactly as I want. Writing scripts is fascinating likewise, but this is the thing that I definitely can do the least of all mentioned.
This was a project completed right at the start of 2020, how has the rest of the year been for you? Have you been focusing entirely on spreading the message of CADAS or are you already thinking of your next creative venture?
You’re right, the premiere show took place on February 2nd, so right before the pandemic reached Poland. I’m glad that we could meet with our supporters and other viewers on that day, but I must say that I’m a little disappointed that we couldn’t spread our message more with further shows. Right after the premiere show in February, we were talking with a few cinemas – there were even a few dates initially reserved. Unfortunately, our plans failed due to lockdown. Except that, I’m of course thinking about my next projects. All I can tell is that I have something on my mind, even on paper. Who knows, maybe the year 2021 will bring another exciting experience!
You have a huge passion for cinematography, what is it that fascinates you about this and who would you say your idol in the industry is?
I don’t have any specified group of idols. I’m inspired by many artists in the industry. I’m trying to take the best part from each of them and try to draw some lessons or conclusions from it.
A question I feel I have to ask, by profession you are an IT Technician as well as of course an aspiring filmmaker. Is it possible that you might look to see how you can really take filmmaking to the next level and blend the two?
Thanks for this question! IT has been my passion since my earliest days and I deeply believe, that the future of the film industry is deeply connected with the future of IT. Artificial Intelligence for example – the development of this branch of IT is so rapid, that it’s hard to predict how the world would look like in the next dozen years. No matter what, I am pretty convinced that the film industry will only benefit from it. We’ll see what time will tell.
And finally- what can we expect from you next?
A movie – I’m sure of that. The question is: what and when? I wish I could answer that.
Michał thank you so much for joining us and we hope soon we can meet in person at one of our festivals. Take care for now- you are free to leave The Green Room.
Thank you for this talk! I wish we could meet next year!