New Directors | New Films
Interview | Franziska M. Hoenisch

For us, a very dear director, whose career has always been linked to FEST. Franziska Hoenisch has participated in previous editions both in Training Ground and in Pitching Forum. Her film, "Club Europa", closes the festival this year.


What brought you to filmmaking?

My parents always told me that you should find out what you really like to do and then you’ll be really good at it and then you will also make money with it. So that’s my premise, which was very lucky, to have parents like that. My mom makes sculpture and my dad plays the cello, and I don’t know why but I like to think I was always surrounded by arts and I always appreciated it. Then I studied Cultural Science, more about Fine Arts and what you can do with art and how you can use it to communicate. And also studied Political Science. So it was always about how to you communicate through art, how can you make it useful and get to people. And then I did an internship at ARTV, an European channel based in France, working in the press and public relations department, writing about other people and what they did. One day I met one director who was working and studying film and told me about it, and I realized “Oh, I really like what she does”. I realized then that I was too young to be jealous and the whole thing started.


How do you met FEST?

I met it when a friend, Nkuli, who is from from South Africa, was coming to Europe for the first time and since she’s also a filmmaker she was interested in the film scene in Europe and I was telling her I didn’t know what to show because there were no festivals happening in Germany and I was still a film student and didn’t know much about film. But then I had got an e-mail, through my school, about FEST, which was happening in that time she was in Europe and I proposed to her to come here and she was like “Yeah, that sounds nice”.


And how do you feel about having your feature screened here?

Yeah, it’s super special. I mean, when I came here for the first time I was still working on another movie and I had a really rough idea about this one. Then the next year I brought my team along, to improve and prepare for the shooting. After the shooting I was here when I was editing and it gave me a little break. And last year I was here when it had just came out in Germany, so the film has really evolved with me through the years with FEST. Also last year I was here at Pitching Forum and pitched my new project and I’m glad I have really grown with the festival and very grateful to be able to show my movie here.


Where did the idea for the film came from?

Well, because I used to be an exchange student in South Africa, when everyone was talking about all those refugees coming to Europe and what they were going do with them I thought, “Well, we can all open up our homes, like people did for me there”. It’s not exactly an idea, but then I thought, “Ok, why not make a movie about that?”. I started researching and I saw that there were people already doing that, that it was happening in real life. The idea was to think about like “How far do you really wanna go?”, and I think that’s a topic I really like to talk about.


As a young filmmaker, how do you go from the idea to the actual film?

For me it’s usually a topic first rather than characters, for some people is the opposite. And then there’s usually a long process, because I know what I want to say but I need to find out who is the right group of people to be part of the story. So usually it’s first interest in the topic and then it’s research. I try to meet people, hear their stories and experiences. You can always meet a lot of people, and that really helps to make it less fictional, make it more real. And then you can make it fictional again. I think that is really important, because you need to know what you are talking about.


Do you ever think about being something else rather than a director?

No, I’m really fighting hard so that this becomes my profession and I would be really happy if I could work as a director until I’m very old, I would like to do that.


Inerview by Filipa Fonseca

Article from Leuk Jornal | Edition 4 | 24 - 25 JUN 2018