Interview with Carolina Petro

As part of the Encounters Festival 20th anniversary, a series of short interviews with previous filmmakers who have screened at Encounters will be published on our website blog from now until the beginning of the festival in September.

1.   Where did the inspiration for your short film ‘Rosemary Jane’ originate?carolina_petro

The idea came from an anecdote a friend shared with me. She told me how she got into the habit of smoking pot sometimes during weekends with her mother. When my friend went away for six months, her mother suddenly felt a craving to smoke a joint. Not having any knowledge of how to get it, she decided to walk into an estate building and ask people to help her. I thought it was an interesting premise to explore the possible assumptions created by class, race and culture in London. A middle-class elderly lady walks into an estate building with her own assumptions about whom to ask for pot. The film is about overcoming the stereotypes we build around each other.

2.What was the most important professional lesson you learned during making the film? How did that lesson happen?

Rosemary Jane was the first short film I worked on with experienced actors and such a professional crew, in making Rosemary Jane I learned pretty much everything I know about being on a professional set. It was inspiring and a fast learning curve in so many ways.

3. What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

When I come to my own process of filmmaking, I have a mental catalogue of films I have watched since childhood. Depending on the particular things I need when I’m writing or creating a shot list, certain films come to mind. I wouldn’t like to say that there is a particular group of films I love more than others. As I change through the years my relationship with film evolves and progresses; I prefer not to define myself as a particular type of filmmaker yet.

4.Do filmmakers have any responsibility to society? Do you feel that being a creative person requires that you give back or tell a particular story?

Successful filmmaking, for me, lies in the capacity to convey personal or particular stories that transcend into a universal commentary about the world we live in. As filmmakers have the capacity to reach large audiences, I believe that we should strive to tell stories that create understanding, or at least question the world we live in.

5.What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am working on a short film set in a prison cell in London, shared by three different women from different nationalities and predicaments. I am using the money I won at Encounters to partly finance this new challenging project.