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Academy Award winner conducts symposium in Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya

13 November 2013

  • Academy Award winner conducts symposium in Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya
    The test of friendship. A scene from ‘Toyland’
  • Academy Award winner conducts symposium in Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya
    The German director shares his experience in making his short film ‘Toyland’.
  • Academy Award winner conducts symposium in Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya
    Academy award winning director Jochen Freydank at a special symposium.

With the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2013 comes acclaimed German director Jochen Freydank to Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya for a special symposium conducted by Malaysian based filmmaker, Yasu Tanaka.

With the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2013 comes acclaimed German director Jochen Freydank to Limkokwing University, Cyberjaya for a special symposium conducted by Malaysian based filmmaker, Yasu Tanaka.

Jochen’s short film ‘Toyland’ won the 2009 Academy Award for the Live-Action Short Film Category. The story takes places in Germany when a young German boy becomes jealous of his Jewish neighbours. He hears that they are going to Toyland and decides to go along. Set in the 1940s, viewers will see how a mother searches for her son through racial discrimination and other underlying plots in this gripping short film.

During the start of the symposium, Jochen shared his early years in filmmaking as a production trainee who slowly worked his way up to become an assistant director. He also told the audience that he wasn’t disappointed when he didn’t manage to enter film school as he sees that working in the industry taught him equally important lessons in his craft.

Mr. Tanaka conducted the symposium by breaking down the questions into three different sections which were pre-production, production and post-production in order to simplify the discussion for the audience. Jochen explained that he conceived the idea with a friend while working on a 1940s period drama when they both agreed that making a period drama was expensive. It took three years including five days of shooting to complete the film. Jochen also added that pre-production was tough especially when it came to raising the funds. He also pointed out that creating a non-linear story was not easy, “But I say it creates a miracle that you don’t need to understand everything as at a certain point, the two stories intertwine with each other” says Jochen.

Mr. Tanaka also pointed out that if the film was reedited into a linear story, the main character of the film changes from the mother who is looking for her missing child to the story of her son searching for Toyland.

They later discussed the production process of the film, where it took five days of principal photography to complete the necessary footage for the project. Both filmmakers agreed that choosing the right talents to play the right characters can make or break a film, and that Jochen was lucky to have worked with talented and disciplined actors. The director also pointed out that working with children was a bit of a challenge due to the laws in Germany, but became a reward by itself when the film was completed. Post production process includes the editing process which went smoothly due to proper planning in the initial production stages. Jochen also pointed out that the key to making a good film goes down to the planning. “You can have a good story, a good script but you need proper planning to make a good film,” says Jochen.

The filmmakers also addressed the importance of testing one’s strength and that a film competition is always a good platform to showcase them. Bea Tanaka also pointed out that there are not many short film festivals that share the same level of exposure as Short Shorts Film Festival Asia and the industry values those who participate in them.

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