Noa is a lonely single mother looking for a job. She hopes Yair, a family man and the vice president of a successful company, could help. But sometimes interests turn into feelings.
Hi Dekel thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts about my work.
These days I'm mostly trying to understand and adapt to the changes happening in our lives due to COVID-19. I keep asking myself where the future of cinema and filmmaking is heading?
Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?
At the moment we're under a strict lockdown (throughout Israel) and I have a two-year-old at home, so the daily routine is exhausting and not very inspirational for me. But I can say that being taken out of my comfort zone, eventually allowed me to examine creative opportunities and partnerships concerning future projects.
Congratulations on having Noa selected for this year's Ca' Foscari Short Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of films?
I am thrilled and honoured with the selection of "Noa".
I am familiar with some of the films in the festival's line up and judging by their standards, I believe "Noa" is in good company. Generally, examining the festival's programme, I feel that a lot of thought has been given to the curating.
Noa is in the International Competition, does this add any additional pressure on you?
I wouldn't say pressure but rather excitement. I think screening "Noa" alongside great short films from all over the world is very special and I hope it would be well-received by the jury and the festival's audience.
"...I feared it would be hard to make, but luckily, I found the incredible producer..."
Can you tell me a little bit about Noa and how this film came about?
During my studies I wrote a scene about a couple meeting at a hotel room and each one has a secret interest. Later, I decided to explore their relationship but mostly the character of the woman - Noa. Through her, I wanted to deal with the theme of loneliness and the need to belong, so by placing her in this small settlement (which I am well-familiar with from my childhood) it brought the film closer to what it is today.
What inspired this screenplay?
The essence of the screenplay is its protagonist, Noa. She was shaped based on characters connected to my personal life along with cinematic ones, from films that inspired me, such as "Woman Under the Influence", "Rosetta" and "Fish Tank". Needless to say, the final inspiration came about when Sharon Tal, who plays Noa, joined the film and helped shape this character and bring her to life.
Did you face many challenges bringing this film to life?
A major challenge was producing the film. There were many locations and relatively a lot of shooting days. At first, I feared it would be hard to make, but luckily, I found the incredible producer, Ayelet Marciano-Sack along with an amazing cast and crew who made it possible to make the film what it is.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently on this film?
I think that generally, when I look back at films I've made from a certain distance, my sense of self-judgment clouds everything. So, putting it aside, I can say I'm very proud of this film and happy with the result, even if I notice some "flaws".
Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?
I've always loved films as a child, but in junior high I had a bible teacher who used the cinematic medium to interpret and exemplify biblical narratives. She introduced me to art-house cinema and foreign films and opened my mind to the connection between narrative and form. Lacking a conventional framework, I bought a camera and practiced filming and editing, knowing this is what I want to do.
What has been some of the best advice you’ve been given?
Be prepared for success, you never know when and how opportunities will show up.
Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?
In general, yes. But I guess there are filmmakers that push the boundaries by default until it becomes a force of habit or even an agenda. So, I think it's more about finding your "truth" and being willing to work hard and fight in order to make it into a film.
"...questions, discussions, and even doubts about the film are important and necessary for me as a filmmaker. "
Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
The one I keep telling myself; don't think too much, just sit down and write your film, then go out and shoot it.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Noa?
I hope people will take different things from it.
In the live screenings "Noa" had before COVID19, I discovered that what "freed" me the most from wanting the audience to be pleased was being exposed to the diversity of opinions, thoughts and mostly feelings arising from the film. Of course, compliments are always nice. But questions, discussions, and even doubts about the film are important and necessary for me as a filmmaker.