Finding the story in the truest form

Victoria Fistes impressed the jury with her brave way of giving a hint how Ernest sees the world. The short documentary only uses the sound of a blind ten year old and follows his mind in a naive animation. Alica Humm had some time with Victoria in the gipsy camp.

Photography: Niklas Doka

Alica: Hi Victoria, we are glad to have you here. Let's get into inspiration and start with what we love. What do you enjoy most in filmmaking?

Victoria: I just really like telling stories about people and I'm trying to tell people‘s stories in the best way possible. To tell the story in the truest form, which is very difficult because you want it to be as accurate as possible, to be respectful to the other person. I think documentaries are something that's increasingly becoming interesting to me although I don't want to stay confined into one type of genre.

I think films are something that connect people. No matter you are poor or rich or from different religions or countries. You still have the same reactions to certain things and you feel the same feelings. We all have suffering, love in our life, we all go through difficult times and I think filmmaking is a really good way to connect people and make us feel more empathy for one another. It‘s really important nowadays to show this more and more in our films. You can instantly make someone laugh or cry within a few minutes. I think that's something that we should do more: to connect people - as we do at film festivals!

Alica: It's a high claim to tell story in the truest form. Let's get right into the core. How do you get the idea?

Victoria: It can be really out of nowhere. Sometimes I'm having a thought and I'm like: „Oh, that's quite interesting!“ and I note it down, for example something that I see outside or something that happens to someone. Or a story that happens to me. Usually I write it down and try not to forget about these things. I'm trying to incorporate them into stories that I might want to tell. For the first film that I made „Being Ernest“ it was out of curiosity about things that I was asking myself about. I didn't know much about blind people and how they experience things and it was something that I always wanted to figure out. What do they dream about or how do they understand what a colour is?

Alica: Can you introduce yourself and tell what you are presenting here?

Victoria: I'm Viktoria Fistes and I'm a Greek filmmaker based in London and Monaco. I'm here at the Arc Film Festival to present „Being Earnest“ which is a short animated Doc and it's about a boy - Ernest - who was born blind. I just wanted to experiment and see how he experiences things being blind but also from the perspective of a young boy. Children usually have very much imaginative ways of talking about things, so I wanted to see how that would turn out. And I really wanted it to be about his voice and what he's saying. So I decided not to shoot him but to use motion graphics and try and imitate what he was saying about the different intangible concepts such as memories and colours.

Alica: And how was it to work with Ernest?

Victoria: It was really great, actually. And easy going. At first I was really worried working with children. Everyone kept on telling me that it's really difficult and something to avoid. But actually Ernest was so great and so happy to be involved in the project that it was really easy to work with him. I went to visit him a couple of times just to get to know him and I tried to keep him casual and not stress him out by the reporting. So I basically just sat with him and I told the sound recordist to press play and leave the room. And then we had a normal conversation between the two of us.

Find the short synopsis to the film, here: