Falls Cry – Joshua Wann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A story about one boy, living on one block, in one world. 2023; 6 min.
Here is my interview with Falls Cry Director Joshua Wann:
Nigrin: Your quirky short film Falls Cry focuses on a young boy’s small world in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tell us what motivated you to make this film and how you made it.
Wann: Falls Cry is essentially a pandemic film. At the onset of the 2020 lockdown, like so many others, I was going stir crazy just sitting around my house. I had lots of time, but my world was so small. Because of this, I wanted to make something without needing a cast or crew. I slowly started to put some ideas together and eventually Falls Cry is what came out. This is the first film I wrote and directed in the narrative world.
Nigrin: The voice over in your film reminds me of Wes Anderson. Are you a fan of his work and was he an influence on this film?
Wann: I'm a big fan of Wes Anderson and I can see how the comparison is made. However, I actually took the largest source of inspiration from Peter Greenaway's The Falls (my assumption is that he's a big influence on Wes). During the pandemic I went down a rabbit hole on him and started watching as many of his films as I could. That's why I titled it Falls Cry, to give a nod to the Greenaway film. I also like the play on words, where falls cry sounds like "false cry", and that is somewhat of a motif of the film. It seems like there's an impending doom, but in the end we all made it out (not trying to downplay the reality of what we've experienced, because in the context of the film it's not a direct parallel to the pandemic).
Nigrin: Who plays young Simon Sope? He is terrific. How did you come to have him act in your film?
Wann: Actually the young boy is my oldest son, who is also named Simon. This was my solution to making something within the means of what I had access to during the height of the pandemic. Of course I am bias, but I do think he did an excellent job and has no formal training in acting. My assumption is that because we had fun making it, that came out in the performance.
Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to us?
Wann: Of course, all of the times creating with my son (and other children) featured in the film were priceless. I'll always have fond memories of those times. On another level though, I remember the time of filming my "neighbor" doing his monologue/interview. That was the first dialogue of mine that I had written and had the chance to film. As we were filming him I had a moment of extreme sublimity. It was one of the greatest pleasures I had felt and has inspired me to keep writing, to keep creating.
Falls Cry is screening as part of Shorts Program #1 on the opening day of the 2023 New Jersey International Film Festival. It will screen online for 24 hours and in-person at 7PM on Friday, June 2 in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Get more info and buy tickets here.
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