Wednesday, August 8, 2018


LA International Shortfest / HollyShorts 2018 - Gerry

When her husband dies, Hilda discovers a long buried secret that drastically changes the course of her twilight years.
Interview with Writer/Director Victoria Hollup
Congratulations! Why did you make your film? 
Thank you. Why does anyone embark on any artistic endeavour? For us, it’s in the hope that our work somehow resonates with somebody. Even if that’s just with one person, it makes you feel a little less alone in the world. And one of the main themes in our film is loneliness.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
You should watch this film because hopefully it will highlight that life is very short. Our protagonist, Hilda, lived in an unhappy marriage for 60 odd years. In the time we are given we should try to overcome our fear and live our best lives. Hopefully this film can inspire people. You should also watch this film to see Joan Collins like you’ve never seen her before. It’s a very brave and moving performance.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
As cliché as it might sound, we all want to give and feel love. We all desire companionship. These are primal instincts no matter what age you are. Loneliness is a killer. We are all going to grow old, that’s inescapable. When you are lucky enough to have lived a long life you’ll normally have regrets. Our protagonist, Hilda, has major regrets.
Stephen Grief 
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The original script was 20 pages, but we had to be economic and condense it to 13. The fundamental story really didn’t change much but some characters, like Hilda’s self obsessed estranged son had to go. What did happen in the process was we quickly realised the only way to tell this story visually would be in B&W. Even though it’s set in the present time, it’s a story that’s very much about the past. To highlight the melancholy and nostalgia, the only way was to go monochrome. Direct influences are Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. We also wanted to hint-tonally-to the British new wave films from the 50s and 60s.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
LA Int'l Shortfest and Hollyshorts are the first times Gerry will be screened properly. It was in Cannes, but only a rough cut without proper sound, so we are impatiently waiting to hear about its reception in LA. We have only showed it to some entrusted contacts, friends and family members so far. People have laughed in the right places and got teary-eyed, and there’s really no better reward for a writer than that. People think it looks stunning, much thanks to our genius DOP Jaime Ackroyd, Arri and Goldcrest.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on
We naturally want Gerry to have as big an audience as possible. This helping hand from you guys is very much appreciated.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Our super trooper producer, Hester Ruoff, as I write this, is in LA dealing with all the aforementioned people. We are looking for investors to develop Gerry into a feature.
Oliver Ford Davies
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
If people love or hate Gerry, it’s almost a bit irrelevant. Haha, ok – the first would be 'preferable'. But as long as they have an emotional response to the film, that’s the main thing. Without revealing the twist, there are some important issues we want to highlight with this film.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The film does raise a very important question. However, if we were to go into the details it would be a massive spoiler to the plot.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Hester Ruoff is currently developing a feature, an American war film, and looking to shoot next year. Jaime Ackroyd was Assisting DOP on Outlaw King and is just back from Mosul where he shot a documentary. I (Victoria) am producing and directing a short written by an award winning Swedish writer, about a difficult daughter-mother relationship. Paul is producing a short with the two great British actors Louise Ford and Eileen Davies. Paul and I are developing the feature length version of Gerry.
When her husband dies, Hilda discovers a long buried secret that drastically changes the course of her twilight years.
Length: 16 mins
Director: Victoria Hollup & Paul Agar
Producer: Hester Ruoff
Writer: Victoria Hollup & Paul Agar
Key cast: Joan Collins, Oliver Ford Davies, Stephen Greif, Lynne Verrall
Facebook: Gerry the Film
Twitter: @gerry_film
Instagram: @gerry_film
Funders: Stefan Allesch-Taylor, Angus Henderson, Esther Paterson
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month: at Hollyshorts 10th of August at 2.30 PM at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.