5Q's w/Carl Rogers "The Jar" Director

SUNDAY | BLOCK L | 3:00 |
The Jar (20 min) dir: Carl Rodgers

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#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 280 characters?

I think people should see The Jar as it helps highlight issues we all face and can sympathize with on a human level. Namely, how do we overcome our challenges and face them down in order to make our dreams a reality?

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

I want the audience to know that The Jar isn’t necessarily a happy film but one with a heart. Through the film I tried to borrow on things that we all encounter as we grow up, the duality between dreams and reality and the loss of our innocence. As children we often believe in things that are completely at odds with reality but we believe in them anyway because we want something more, something better to exist outside of what we have. Usually, as we grow older and mature this part of us can be lost and that’s a bit of a shame really.

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#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I was raised in west Belfast just as ‘The Troubles’ were ending so when I was growing up there was a great optimism in the air. In 1997 I saw the Star Wars re-releases in the cinema and from that point on I knew I wanted to become a filmmaker. I started off making home movies and shorts and applied to college to study film. My first student short film ‘Junior Trouble’ went on to win the college festival. I decided I would set up my own production company Apex Pictures. My producer and friend Michael Costello and I made a self-funded feature ‘The Old Irish Washerwoman’ in 2014 which premiered at the Belfast Film Festival. We decided to make three shorts in 2016/17 with me directing two of them (The Jar, Sophie’s Christmas Wish) and Michael directing the third. All three are out to festivals and are proving successful. I mean I’m writing about it to a festival in California, I wouldn’t have dreamed that a year ago!

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to work with children. It was very daunting going into a film filled with 8-10 year olds but I learned so much from them just by listening to them and talking things through. Brandon who plays Jake in the movie was great; we would run through the scene together and discuss how we felt about it and how it should play out, we really bonded. The whole cast and crew just came together like one big family. It was quite sad when everything was over and we all had to do the goodbye.

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#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

More shorts, I hope! I make movies to entertain people and so long as they’re entertained I’ll be happy to continue making them. I’m hoping the film will continue to spread; the reaction so far has been amazing. Everyone back home is so pleased with its success especially all of the cast and crew. It’s really neat to be able to think that your movie being screened half way around the world, there’s a bit of you that has a kind of childish giddiness about it all.

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Matthew NothelferComment