Aleksandra Podziewska

Director of The End of the World nominated for 2022/23 Edition

What is your project about?
"The End of the World" is a story about an elderly couple who, due to an unexpected course of events, end up completely changing their life and opening up to new adventures and possibilities. The basic message of the film is that it's never too late to change your routine, try something new, make your dreams come true - to live.

What are your ambitions with your project?
The project has already one a couple of festivals and has been a part of official selection for others. While I'm still submitting it to some more festivals and waiting for the decisions from others, I focus mostly on what I have learned in the process of making this film and how greatly it advanced my skills and experience is crucial for working on my present and future projects.

Tell us something about your shooting. What pleasantly surprised you?
The shooting of "The End of the World" was pure joy. It was a student project, yet the shoot was highly professional. I was incredibly lucky with casting - the minute I saw my main actors, Eva and Ladislav, I knew they were exactly who I was looking for. Furthermore, the location, the children playing angels, even the hen were all arranged by Eva, which only confirmed how lucky I was to find her. She even baked a plum cake for us in between the scenes :) All of this contributed to an extremely positive, wholesome atmosphere on set, which created space for all of us - the crew and the cast - to give our best.

Why should distributors buy your film?
I think "The End of the World" is both interesting and important, because it concentrates on giving agency to elderly people - which is something that our society very often fails to do. It also gives an insight into a daily life of a typical Czech household (quite universal for this part of Europe in general - I, being Polish, drew a lot of inspiration from observing my own Grandparents and the life and day-to-day reality of my home country), which can be interesting for viewers from different parts of the world.

Which topics interest you the most?
I'm particularly interested in showing realistic stories but giving them a twist, especially by placing characters in situations that are typically not associated with their age - for example, elderly couple starting a new chapter in their life (like in "The End of the World") or a 35-year-old being a protagonist of a coming-of-age film (as in a project I've most recently shot). I think that an approach like that allows us to give thought to the fact that there is no one correct "recipe" for life and that each individual way can be the right way to do it. I also think that the best way to deliver any story is with a hint of comedy and absurd :)

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