Florenc Papas was successfully touring international film festivals with his debut film OPEN DOOR when the pandemic broke and stopped everything. Goethe-Institut’s FIRST FILMS FIRST fellow alumnus shares his feelings about the sudden change, explains the importance of exteriors in films, and recommends what to watch, including two Albanian classics.
- What do you recommend to watch these days?
I highly recommend movies in which exteriors play a big role. I\’m avoiding films that take place mostly in interiors or deal with pandemics or apocalyptic stories. Here is a list of films I watch and recommend watching: PARIS, TEXAS, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE FLORIDA PROJECT, AMERICAN HONEY, LEVIATHAN, FISH TANK, THELMA & LOUISE, HONEYLAND.
- Nice that you are recommending HONEYLAND from your fellow FFF alumna Tamara Kotevska. Now that we all have time, what classic film from your country would you recommend everyone to see?
I recommend two films, one film before the 90s and one after: WHITE ROADS (1974) by Viktor Gjika and SLOGANS (2001) by Gjergj Xhuvani.
WHITE ROADS is one of my favorite neorealist Albanian films. The strongest point of the film is its realism combined with a religious metaphor of self-sacrifice that is so fulfilling and emotional.
- How are you dealing with the current pandemic situation? What are your thoughts?
I’m trying to take advantage of this situation, but sometimes I feel bored and at times I am afraid of not knowing when all this is going to end. I’m watching a lot of films and writing at the same time. As I\’m developing my second feature LUNA PARK, I use this time mostly for the project and it is actually going pretty well. As I work from home, I don’t have to be stressed to catch any appointments and the phone does not ring for any type of work, so I’m taking advantage and trying to finish the screenplay with my co-writer in Greece. We work online, of course. The writing phase is a lonely process, so I believe everyone in the same situation can manage now.
- The upcoming festivals that were supposed to show OPEN DOOR were canceled. How do you feel about that? Do you have any information when the film will be available to the audience again?
Many festivals that invited OPEN DOOR have been canceled or postponed. This includes our premiere in Italy, Sofia Film Festival, Crossing Europe in Linz, and others that I cannot mention. I was supposed to travel to these festivals as well, so of course, I feel very sad that I could not share the film with the festival audiences. We hope that this situation will finish as soon as possible, so we can have the possibility to screen the film again at some festivals during 2020.
More about FIRST FILMS FIRST project OPEN DOOR you can find here.