Here at Plymouth Film Festival, we want you to be fully prepared to receive all the fantastic films coming your way this year. So with that in mind, we caught up with the teams behind a few of this years Official Selection.
First up, we met with Director Simon Lex. Based in Exeter, Simon has worked alongside Plymouth based writer Richard Gosling to produce IT GIRL – the story of a young man, who’s chance encounter with a missing girl launches him towards the internet stardom he craves. Selected to feature in the Obsession category of the festival, IT GIRL is a darkly comical satire of our modern obsession with social media that may make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
“self-absorbed, comical, terrifying” – Simon Lex, on how to describe IT GIRL
When asked about the production of the short film, Simon told us about the complications that arose from only having one single weekend to film, “We had planned to do all the outdoor shots on the Saturday but the weather changed, and it just rained all day Saturday. So at the last minute we had to reorganise the whole shoot schedule in the hope that it would stop raining on the Sunday. This involved getting a whole new cast of background actors at the very last minute! But everyone on the shoot was absolutely incredible, they worked so hard to make it happen and thankfully the weather finally decided to be kind to us so we could get all the shots we needed just before the sun went down.”
Before making films, Simon was working as a doctor in Malawi, Africa. Shocked by the extreme levels of poverty he encountered and disillusioned by the impact he felt he could have in the field of medicine, he sought other means of producing change in the real world.
“I watched two documentaries called: ‘We feed the World’ and ‘Let’s Make Money’ by the Austrian director Erwin Wagenhofer. These were such hard hitting documentaries. It was from this that I started making films. Since then I have become interested in telling stories that expose some flaw or quirk in our societies but in a way that is entertaining and accessible to a wider audience than those inclined towards slow subtitled documentaries about international financial markets. The humanism that motivated me to work as a doctor still fuels my filmmaking but I see film as having a greater ability to produce real change.”
“I attended Plymouth Film Festival with Richard Gosling (the writer of IT GIRL) who’s film Baby Bird was screened at PFF2016. I was really impressed by the quality of the festival which made me determined to make a film that would get selected. So, while I have submitted IT GIRL to festivals across the globe, PFF was the one that I really wanted to get into. It’s really great to have such a well run, innovative film festival in the south west. I am feeling extremely excited about having IT GIRL screened at the festival and can’t wait for the PFF audience to watch it and to hear what they think.”
For more information on IT GIRL head to the film’s website, and to catch the screening at PFF2017 book your Saturday ticket for Obsession.