15th BFI FUTURE FILM FESTIVAL 2022 
17-20 February 
Interview

Jáchym Bouzek 
Nudity 

Section: In My Skin
jachymbouzek.com

In a fabric society, a young figure diverges from rigid gender binaries to explore where their identity lies.

Hey Jáchym thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?

Thank you for having me. It's been quite a peculiar and difficult journey. But hardships and obstacles make us grow, hopefully. 

Has this time offering you any new creative inspiration or opportunities?

Absolutely, despite the oppressive nature of the circumstances, having restrictions is offering new creative perspectives. I think that by embracing the limitations we can explore new possibilities that wouldn't normally occur. Obstructions drive the narrative in the story world as well as in our personal lives.

What does it mean to be screening Nudity at the 15th BFI Future Film Festival?

BFI Southbank has become one of my favourite places over the past years. I had a chance to watch some incredible works of cinema as well as to see in person some of the most incredible creators in this field. It's an honour being able to watch Nudity at such a fantastic venue.

Nudity is going to be in the In My Skin Section of the festival, will there be any nerves ahead of the festival?

Rather than nervous, I am extremely excited to see all the films and events that are part of the festival.

Can you tell me a little bit about how Nudity came about, what was the inspiration behind your animation?

Before making the film, the pivotal idea had been on my mind for quite a while: When we shed the restrictions of the human form, we are left with just the clothes we wear. In 2018 I made an abstract illustrated book with the same title in Czech “Nahota” that won the “Czech National Award for Student Design 2018”. 

Since then I was trying to find the right film approach to the idea. Making an animated film is quite a challenge due to the limitless possibilities. After a few years of occasional thinking, I knew that it must be a stop-frame film and it must use real fabrics and materials. Step by step the idea came along and I started the production processes in early 2020. The process of making this film has completely changed due to the pandemic. Right, when the animation production was supposed to happen, the first lockdown emerged. That meant improvising and finding ways to film this challenging project with limited resources. As a result, most of the equipment has been manufactured, with found pieces of wood and other materials. Due to the numerous obstacles, the film took over a year to finish.

When working on a stop-motion animation film like this how close were you able to keep to your screenplay once you started, are you able to be flexible?

Before animating, I tried to make a compelling storyboard. I found that to be quite a challenge since I wanted the whole film to feel quite realistic and fluid. I came up with the main story beats and the transitions from point A to B left open. During the animation process itself, I knew where I want to get with the character and the camera, but I had the space to improvise and change things on the go. It is quite rare to approach animation this way since it's an extremely time-consuming process everything has to be usually well planned ahead. For the purpose of the story, I went in this direction that proved to be quite demanding and it meant reshooting many scenes, but as long as it serves the purpose it was worth it.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced bringing Nudity to life?

The biggest challenge was to be motivated enough to finish. The film was created at such a traumatising time over many months. There were moments I didn't touch the film for weeks and almost thought that that was the end of it. It was important to realise that it is a project worth finishing and finding the right steps to reach that goal. 

Since making Nudity what has been the most valuable lesson you have taken from making this film?

The most essential lesson I have taken from making this film was to be patient. Patience is necessary for anyone who spends days making something move for a few seconds.

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

I have been always creating something or playing music, I realised that filmmaking combines all of those things. The spectrum of limitless possibilities, especially in animation is fascinating. The process of coming up with ideas inspires and drives the sometimes difficult process. 

"I love to experiment on my own or collaborate on silly little projects with people who share my passion for creativity."

Do you think filmmakers should continue to push the boundaries of the stories they want to tell?

There are always new stories and new ways of telling stories and filmmakers should be encouraged to tell them unrestricted. 

For anyone out there thinking about directing their first film do you have any tips or advice you would offer them? 

We live in a time where anyone can be a filmmaker, and it's not about the equipment or experience. These things will come along with more films you make. It is important to keep on making things, it could be just a short clip or a still frame. I love to experiment on my own or collaborate on silly little projects with people who share my passion for creativity. This way, we came up with an idea for a short film I am collaborating on right now with Karina Casañas Invernon. Most of the time, big ideas come from the small ones.

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Nudity?

I hope, that the film will stay with them for a while and I hope to plant a seed that will question the sometimes rigid binaries and borders and certitudes of our surroundings. 

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