Interview with director Alon Daniel

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

The thing that really made me realize that I wanted to tell stories through cinema was the moment when I first screened my short film, “Time”. The moment I saw how the audience was reacting to the movie and experiencing my own on-screen story I realized that was what I wanted to do forever.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Not really, but once you go to watch a movie we experience the “cinema” in every sense. When the sound surrounds you and makes you feel like you and the players are in the same room, it’s a feeling that can’t be achieved and replaced for nothing.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

Personally, it’s very hard for me to sit on my ass. I always have to drink coffee and then it makes me every few minutes to get up from my chair to make it and then again I’m out of the loop of writing. I just write at night and then nothing bothers me. It’s just me and the silence.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

Take advantage of every moment of life. This movie was born from the moment I and Mohammed realized that we had an extra day of photography equipment that we rented for a film directed by Muhammad that I shot and decided together to create this film. We had two weeks of work on this film and one lone photo day. Me and Mohammed have been friends for 14 years, which has contributed to my multiple acquaintance with his life.

  • How do you find or generate ideas for documentaries or is it a different process for every project?

For each movie I make I appeal differently and try not to pressure myself to create but to let it flow. If I have an idea at that moment to create something I just go into it to the end.

  • Can you describe your approach to writing treatments?

Usually I try to understand the overall story of the character and what she’s going through. Beyond that, I just flow.

  • Do you ever use the camera yourself?

I staged and filmed this film as well. I felt that if I filmed this movie, I would be able to get close to Mohammed.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

There is no telling what the audience wants. Sometimes he wants romance, sometimes political things, and sometimes just a bunch of stalks. The audience is broad and not reachable to everyone, but the director’s job is to explain the story to the viewer in the best possible way and like the moment you come to imagine it.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

My first short film “Time” spun around for a year at many festivals and even won. Unfortunately, I have not yet been to a film festival to really experience it, but film festivals can contribute to the acquaintance of directors, photographers and producers from other countries and thus can collaborate to make films together and also promote the film you came to the festival with.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

I believe a filmmaker can approach and create whatever style he wants. But preserve a kind of style, between his films.