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Filminute @ Filmmaker: Stijn Ghijsen and Tara Fallaux’s Sarina

Throughout the month of September, Filmmaker is partnering with the online short film competition Filminute, hosting five of its nominated titles and running interviews with the director’s of these one-minute movies.

Tell us who you are (where you’re from, background, previous credits as a filmmaker)
We are Stijn Ghijsen and Tara Fallaux. Both independent photographers based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Being (sort of) new to filming we decided to team up and venture in to this media together. This resulted in the One Minute Portraits project.

Here’s a little bit about ourselves:

Tara Fallaux studied at several art schools in Amsterdam and Pittsburgh (U.S.A), focusing on film installations and photography. After her studies at Carnegie Mellon University, she moved to New York where she started her career as a photographer. Since 1999 Tara works as a freelance photographer combining personal projects for exhibitions and commissioned work.

Like most kids (that grew up before the PlayStation), Stijn Ghijsen’s love for images started with comic books and television. His first proper job was filming for a local TV station (aside from doing washing dishes at the local restaurant). After an audiovisual course Stijn decided he wanted to focus on the single frame. He promptly got himself accepted at the art school in Utrecht and studied photography for five years during which he started doing commissioned assignments. He lived in L.A. from 2002 until 2008 and has recently started directing commercials. Thus coming back to his first proper work; moving images, film.

Describe your film in 100 words or less (plot, style, influences)
One Minute Portraits is an ongoing project of short (one minute) films about a person, one minute documentaries in which the viewer get’s an emotional connection with the subject. Sarina’s real name is Ineke van Zweden. Ineke is an ex ballerina of the Dutch National Ballet. She started dancing at age 13 and danced passionately her whole career and life. Now at age 81 she reflects on her life. Still very graciously she dances in her living room.

What were the biggest challenges of making a one-minute film?
Kill your darlings! Getting it down to one minute was the biggest challenge. Spending wonderful inspiring hours with someone and getting all this amazing material. We interviewed Ineke about her fascinating life. She had so much to tell about her time as a young girl during the Second World War and her life after that as a ballerina and mingling with famous Dutch artists. And then concentrating on making one minute of film. All this together was ultimately what made it very intense and rewarding and leaves us tempted to revisit our material and Sarina herself.

To rate and vote for Sarina, visit the Filminute site.

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