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#fourriverfriday – sam leslie, canada

For this week's Four River Friday section we're bringing you a chat we had with Sam Leslie, the director of the film The sun sets in my rearview mirror. This film won the award for the best experimental film at last year's edition of the Four River Film Festival. It explores the concept of memories, how we interpret them, and how we see them.

Our film critic and selection committee member Boško Picula had these thoughts about the film: „Everything that happens to us turns into a memory, a sort of internal film that unfolds in front of our inner eye as needed. That film is ever-changing. Frames, images, sounds and feelings that it evokes evolve. This refined film, free in style as well as in spirit, looks exactly like that: visualized memories.”

Read more about what Sam thinks is the most important aspect to creating a film, what he is planning for this year and what he thinks, which yellow motive will dominate this year's Four River Film Festival! Follow our conversations with young filmmakers every Friday in our Four River Friday section.

1. How did you fall in love with filmmaking?
I started making films with my twin brother when I was 10 years old. We decided to do some LEGOS stop motion because we saw some similar videos on YouTube. We eventually found out it took a long time to do stop motion, so we decided to create stories and film them live-action. I discovered a love for creating your own world, where anything you want can happen. Since then, I never grew bored of it, and to this day I love to create videos, and push myself to go past my limits creatively.

2. Where do you find ideas and inspiration for your films?
It really depends. I tend to look at making movies as a craft, so a good film doesn’t necessarily come from inspiration or a good idea, but rather the mastery of film elements. If you can get good at using technical elements to hook your audience, you can tell any story you want.

3. How did you like our last year's online edition of the Four River Film Festival?
I was very impressed with the way the festival converted everything to online and put on a great livestream. As a Canadian, and a student it would have been hard for me to come to the festival, so it was almost a blessing that I could watch it from my home and still feel involved.

4. How do you manage with planning filmmaking during the pandemic? If you're making any new films, which stage of production are they now in?
Right now, I am doing commercial work for companies who need an online presence because of the pandemic. Making films with a full cast and crew is very hard for me right now, but hopefully soon in the future I will be able to be a part of a crew!

5. Do you plan to join the FRFF this year as well and what do you expect from the festival in Karlovac?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any films to submit for this year. I will however be paying attention to all the creative people who do enter!

6. Last year's festival theme was rubber ducks. What do you think, which yellow theme will FRFF have this year?
The ducks theme was awesome, I still have my rubber ducks from the prize I received on my desk! I think yellow bananas might be a funny theme!

Oh, dear Sam, but we already went bananas quite some time ago! Is it time to consider repeating a theme so great? :)

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