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Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Palm Springs International ShortFest 2019: 13 Moviemakers On The Joys and Perils of Making Short Films 

Festivals

“Guaxuma”

There are many ways to make a short film. You don’t need necessarily to tell a whole story in a shorter format (not even with a feature). Normally in shorts there is less pressure with the result (it also means less money involved), so you can be freer to experiment and make mistakes. But you have to finance it anyway, and this is the big challenge. There are a few producers interested in making co-productions with shorts.

In Brazil, it’s quite difficult to get the necessary funds to make a short the way it deserves. Besides that, my process of making films—I have only made shorts until now—it’s quite slow. I need time and money to do it the best way I can, to think, and re-think during the process. This can be tiring, because it demands lots of time, and normally I’m not paid enough for all the years of dedication. It’s difficult to survive only making shorts so I have to do other things to pay my bills.  Fortunately, with “Guaxuma,” which was a French co-production, I made the film I wanted to make with the necessary funds. “Guaxuma” is stop motion animation, mostly sand animation, that took almost three years to be ready and demanded lots of patience and persistence. 

It’s important also to understand the prejudice many people still have with the shorter format—if you haven’t done a feature yet, you are not considered a real filmmaker. If you work in animation it’s even worse. In Brazil, Ancine (the national cinema agency) doesn’t take into account the prizes you may have won in festivals with short films, so for them, I’m nobody.  I hope things start to change there, but because of the political situation in Brazil now, unfortunately they are not going to change so soon. —Nara Normande, director MM

Palm Springs International ShortFest ran June 18-24, 2019. All images courtesy of Palms Springs International ShortFest.

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