Meeting with Daniel Montanarini (English article)

Meeting with Daniel Montanarini

Daniel Montanarini won the Gender equality Prize in 2016 for his short film The Arrival.

Daniel Montanarini, director

You did not have the opportunity to watch The Arrival or you want to watch it again?

Here is the film ūüôā

In Le Temps Presse team we love his work, so we met him to talk about his movies and share his news!

The question of maternity seems to be very important for you (Seahorse, The Arrival…). Why?

It hasn’t been conscious decision to make films about maternity, but the theme keeps coming back so there must be something underneath there.¬†Seahorse¬†came from a dream (a dream in which I was pregnant and terrified about where the baby would come out) and¬†The Arrival¬†was inspired by a photograph and a commissioned documentary about Motherhood. My mum was young when she had me and she has been a single parent for a long time so she’s my closest reference to being a parent. It must come from her. Parenthood is also something that scares me a little. The decision to bring someone into the world and then the responsibility you need to be a good parent. It might also be my age.

What did you do since your Le Temps Presse award in 2016 for The Arrival? Are your working on other projects? Maybe a feature film? If so, can you tell us about it?

I have just finished a short film called¬†The Departure. It’s a follow up to The Arrival in form – one character in a cafe all captured in a single shot, but the tone and themes are very different.¬†The Departure¬†is about debt, isolation and the mental strain financial problems can create. The action is inspired by a real event that happened in my hometown and the emotional side is taken from my own experiences being in a bad financial situation. It stars Neil Maskell who is one of my favourite British actors.¬†

I am working on two feature films.The Cargo is a surreal crime film about a young father who is scared of his baby. He reconnects with his dad to get advice but instead gets dragged into a strange drug operation by the sea. Growth a science fiction film about three generations of women who work in a botanical garden.There are themes of parenthood and responsibility in both. Hopefully I get to make one of them in the next couple of years.

Still from "The Departure"

Do you think that directors always give a point of view in their films? Why do directors make films actually?

There is always a point of view, but sometimes working on a film can be more of an exploration of a certain area rather than a direct expression of an argument. There are some great directors that have a clear point of view, like Hanake and Ken Loach. I am not sure I am like them, maybe as i get older my point of view will get clearer. 

Why do I make films is a question I ask myself all the time and it changes depending on my mood. I like doing something from beginning to end, the sense of control and completion. It’s also wanting to be part of something, a history of film and see if you can push it a little bit. Then there is the practical side of exploring many different subjects, characters and places. One of the most exciting parts of the job is working with extremely talented people and giving them space to do what they do best. It can also be scary, in the moment it seems like a lot of responsibility and what you are doing can fail, but in the end you are just making a movie.

Why have you decided to make movies?

When I was fourteen I saw Martin Scorsese talk about making Raging Bull on a documentary and it blew me away. His passion, the craft and his love of the characters. I was also lucky enough to have some good teachers at my secondary school who gave me lots of European films from Bunuel, Bergmann, Hitchcock, Truffaut and Fellini. When I saw 8 1/2 it felt like I had been stabbed in the chest РIt was the first time I saw a film that looked and felt like my dreams.

According to you, what can make a better world?

More empathy, better communication and understanding. I don’t have any specific strategies though.

If you are also interested, you can find all Daniel’s news on his vimeo account.

We can’t wait to see his new projects on screen!

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