WIDENING THE LENS COMPETITION Q&A with Grant Gulczynski

ON THE SHORTLIST

Grant Gulczynski, filmmaker

From: New Malden

  1. How do you feel to have been shortlisted for the Widening The Lens competition?

Being shortlisted was a nice surprise, competitions like these are vital for young filmmakers like myself to gain insight into the competitive market, meet future collaborators and network with industry professionals that are not readily available to contact.

  1. What story idea did you pitch?

The story idea I pitched is a single shot short tackling the theme of revenge porn and social media in the gay dating scene. For three minutes we observe a young man’s face, sitting across from a date, oblivious to the fact that intimate images he had shared with a former partner are being shared amongst his friends.

  1. What inspired the theme?

Being a young gay man I readily use applications such as Grindr to meet and date other men. When using applications like this explicit images automatically come with the territory, and caution must be used to protect not just my safety but pride, as what I share with a potential partner is not particular something I would like my parents to see. Reading more and more stories about revenge porn in the press I thought it would make for an interesting theme to address in film.

  1. How does it address diversity and the idea of challenging limitations of character and story development?

The film is purely character, for the duration of the short all we see is the protagonist’s face. This challenges the conventions of story development as there is no beginning, middle and end, just one shot with developing information – much like a newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter. By being so focused on character, and in particular their sexuality, the film is constantly addressing diversity.

  1. Does your film stimulate audience debate?

By not offering any clear answers, or trying to provoke sympathy, I hope the film pushes the audience to form their own opinion on the character’s predicament. When leaving the film I want the audience to debate where, and to whom, the guilt and blame falls in revenge porn.

  1. How did you get into filmmaking?

Like most filmmakers I got into filmmaking through a deep love of cinema. Fortunately through hard work, supportive parents and circumstance I have been able to pursue it as a more than a mere passion but a career.

  1. What’s your top tip for other new and emerging filmmakers?

Life is unpredictable and a lot of the time society has no logic, take risks and let your films go to surprising places.

  1. What’s your experience and thoughts regarding a lack of diversity within the film industry, both on and off screen?

It is getting better, slowly, as the quota system of how many niche films by minority filmmakers are allowed to be shown at festivals and in cinemas. But, the industry still has a long way to go in order to truly reflect society.

  1. What are your ambitions for the film concept after the festival?

To be made and to be seen, a concept is nice but unless it is on the screen in front of an audience how can it stimulate debate?