Als die Welle brach ... / As the wave broke ... won Best Screenplay, Best Performance (Male) & Best Performance (Female) Award in the 8th Season of MP Film Award Alexandra Bekiou the Director, Writer & Producer of the film Als die Welle brach ... / As the wave broke ... agree to interview with us.
Alexandra Bekiou: I am a scriptwriter and a new filmmaker, based in Cologne Germany. My origins are from Greece and the former Yugoslavia. I was born in Germany, in the 70s, moved to Greece when I was 20 and came back to Germany 8 years ago. I started to write stories since I was 6 years old. After 33 years I found myself on a film set, working together with professionals, giving me the chance to watch, learn and work for many films as a set runner, an assistant director and as many more. With learning by doing, I have managed it after8 years of working on different film sets, to make my own debut film called „Als die Welle brach…/As the wave broke…“ as writer, director and producer. I am still working with young filmmakers on their own debut film as a co-writer or a second director as on different professional film sets, when I have the time to. I am writing my script now for the feature regarding the true story behind my main character of Julia in the short film AS THE WAVE BROKE. But my origin profession is actually in the medical department as a saleswoman for about 22 years now. I am doing film in my private life.
About The Film: Synopsis: Als die Welle brach ... / As the wave broke ... Film Synopsis:
The odyssey of a woman (40 years old) on the almost hopeless search for a life that does not seem like hell, after suffering the most terrible abuse and loss of her only consolation. She finds the answer for a life-affirming path beyond all clichés, until the wave breaks. Her key of success: unconditional love and freedom.
What was your drive behind making this film?
Alexandra Bekiou: Through a biography of a woman, as my own experiences, I wanted to have the content filmed in a way, that abused people can see that inner freedom and the hope for finding the unconditional and true love is more important than to put themselves into the role of “a victim”. My goal was to show emotions, feelings and facial expressions combined with words of wisdom using the story of a sexual abused woman. A woman who was still afterwards mentally as physically abused for many years but managed it by herself to raise through her own ashes as a phoenix, only using her strong will to LIVE and to LOVE
How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?
Alexandra Bekiou: It was an enormous surprise, pleasure, and honor to be chosen for the very first time in the Best Screenplay category of your film festival. As a freelance screenwriter, getting your ideas across is not always easy, and if you get rewarded for it, I'm prouder that I co-wrote the script with my co-writer as actor, Michael Marwitz.
Furthermore, it makes me very proud that my main actress, Katerina Giannakopoulouand the supporting actor, Micky Jukovic have received their awards, as best performances of my film.
Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?
Alexandra Bekiou: The most exciting thing during the shoot was a special day. It was the day we filmed the scene in the forest with Julia. It was a ONE SHOT, and everyone was very excited. I was rather excited if my DOP, Lukas Herbrand, who didn't know that Julia was going to scream out loud, would hold the camera upright during the shoot or if the camera would fall. I stood right behind him and saw how his hands were shaking at that moment and tears running down his cheeks. That was when I thought it was a good thing, I didn't tell him about it. It was my (our) greatest moment for sure.
How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?
Alexandra Bekiou: That is a very good question. It is good to have a written script, that is for sure, but on set, you need to see as a director, that somethings or dialogues aren´t working, as you have written. So it was very important for me, giving the actors the chance to express themselves as they thought it would be right for the film, and working with them together as a team and not make a difference between Cast and Crew, as many directors or filmmakers do.
Where there any onset problems during the filming of the film &how did you deal with it?
Alexandra Bekiou: Sure, there were differences or understanding problems from time to time during some scenes, but the good thing was that we all discussed everything at one table in the evening to be better prepared for the next day. In short, I will never forget our cooperation in a positive sense. That was the best filming I've seen so far. We were one unit and we talked about everything.
Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?
Alexandra Bekiou: Just be who you are, listen to every body from which you can learn from and stay focus on what you want to achieve. That was my motto anyway from day one.
When people see that you are true to yourself, they will respect it anyway. So, just be true and free.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
Alexandra Bekiou: No, I do not think so. This profession should be viewed as a “calling” and all talented people / filmmakers, should have get a chance to show their talents. Sure, you get to know technical things at school, but there is a special subject that is missing in most film schools. And that subject is called COLLABORATION and RESPECT. Art should be free, free from dependency and above all free from prejudice against others who make a film differently than the mainstream demands. One reason why independent artists will always find it difficult to have a film professionally produced and to find a distributor who does not think how to make millions out of it. It's a topic I've been dealing with for years and I could talk about it for days. But there are just as many lobbies in this area as in any other profession. Especially when it comes to power and money. Is that art? No. Many people just want to see something “different” than they already do.
Which film has inspired you the most?
Alexandra Bekiou: It was one particular INDIPENDENT FILM called ZOO STATION (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo-the story about Christiane F.). It is a film from 1981, and I watched it probably, when I was 10 years old. It is a biographical book that describes the situation of drug addict’s children and adolescents using the example of Christiane Felscherinow (born 1962) from Gropiusstadt in the Berlin district of Neukölln in Germany. It was one of the first independent films that became so famous through the novella that there is hardly anyone who does not know it. Simple made, with a strong biographically story with simple but strong scenes. David Bowie was also a big part of it, with his song HEROES and a small station to station scene in the film.
Which particular filmmaker has influenced you the most?
Alexandra Bekiou: This is extremely easy to answer. It was Quentin Tarantino who inspired me. I cantellyouwhy. He oncesaid: “Whenpeopleaskmeif I wentto film school, I tellthem, ‘No, I wenttofilms’”.
I have also nevervisited a film school, but in eightyears I havelearnedmorethan I couldhavepossiblylearned in a school. I am a practicalperson, whowatchedthetechniquesduringworking on set. And I cansaythat I am incrediblygratefulfor all thehelp and opportunities I gotfromfilmmakerswhoaredoingthisjobforover 25 years.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
Alexandra Bekiou: THE VIOLINIST, a Book from Mechtild Borrmann. In her novel “The Violinist”, bestselling author MechtildBorrmann tells a deeply moving family story that takes the reader's breath away. A gifted violinist who is sentenced to twenty years in a prison camp, a ruthless regime and a lost Stradivarius will decide the fate of the Grenko family for generations to come. If I could do a film out of it… one of my biggest dreams would have come true.
If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?
Alexandra Bekiou: I wouldn't change anything about my short film. The film has had incredible success so far and it continues. Why change something if it works that way? The only thing I would possibly change, if at all, is to make it longer by adding an additional scene or two. But honestly, no, I'm glad I shot it the way it is.
If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?
Alexandra Bekiou: Nothing. Nothing at all.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Alexandra Bekiou: My greatest achievement was the sole organization of this production. I organized, financed, and continue to do everything by myself by submitting my film to various film festivals around the world. That makes me proud. To have done it alone with the help of my entire team in front of and behind the camera, in the end. Because without everyone I wouldn't be here where I am now.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?
Alexandra Bekiou: I haven't had one yet, but I would say lift the crown up, stand up and carry on.
Where our viewers can catch you (share your social media)?
Alexandra Bekiou: Every one can find me on Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook, using my full name Alexandra Bekiou. Thank you very much.
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