Karolina Kraus
Screening Session: BLOCK 2  
3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival Online
22-28 Feb 2021 | Tickets £5 / £10 Full 7-Day Pass: bit.ly/PRFF-Tickets
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When shopping arrives to a self-isolating old lady, the delivery guy gets more than he bargained for.

Hi Karolina thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during these very strange times?

I’m holding up very well , I’m lucky to live in a countryside away from big traffic and in the current world it’s an advantage. I find it helps with creativity and widens imagination.

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration?

Definitely yes. At the beginning of the first lockdown here in Ireland, which was at the end of March 2020 I suddenly began to come up with a lot of short film ideas, and “Company” is one of them. It was like a waterfall of inspiration. Spending a lot of the time with the kids at home also had an amazing impact on my creativity as they’re such inspirational little persons with imaginations beyond this world.

Congratulations on having your film selected for the 3rd Papaya Rocks Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be part of such an amazing lineup of short films?

It’s an absolute honour to be a part of Papaya Rocks Film Festival, we’re all very proud and excited about the event. After spending so much time creating a film of any genre or length, it’s very rewarding and heart-warming to have it selected. It’s also reassuring that someone else in the world has liked it and that’s what filmmaking is all about to me - creating a visual story for other people to enjoy.

Can you tell me a little bit about Company, how did this film come about?

The idea for “Company” came to my head while listening to the radio about the elderly people cocooning and that followed with a supermarket ad offering home de- liveries to those in need. And I have a tendency to at least try to find a different way of looking at things, a more optimistic way. That’s when I thought how funny it could be to make an old granny a sweet villain and a helpful delivery guy a victim. It’s all kind of innocent, but Mrs Kelly’s (the granny) actions are really of a criminal nature and it’s unknown how this will end - will she ever let the delivery guy go, will she feed him?

What where the biggest challenges you faced brining your film to life?

The biggest challenge was the production process. During lockdown it was myself, my husband Luke and our two kids at home. To bring this film to life we had to do every single thing ourselves which truly wasn’t easy. Luke was the delivery guy and I was directing, operating the camera and sound all at the same time while our kids were quietly watching “Toy Story” in the sitting room occasionally popping out for a snack. This meant a lot of funny outtakes.

The part of Mrs Kelly was played by myself and filmed by Luke but the most interesting bit is that it was not at all my voice. It was our very good friend, an incredible actor and voice actor Ben Mac Caoilte who has given Mrs Kelly the voice and really made her character exactly as she should be. Ben recorded the voice over in his house and sent it to us to edit it all together. This was definitely one of the most pleasant and full of laughter productions we’ve ever done.

Looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

If it wasn’t for the lockdown this film would have been very different as more options would have been available to us, from cast to crew, but I’m actually delighted with it exactly as it is as it was a one of a kind experience and now “Company” is some- thing that will always remind us of the strange times, but in a good way.

Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?

I always loved to tell stories, ever since I was a toddler. Eventually I began to think how to keep on doing what I love the most while being a grown-up, and filmmaking was the answer. So I studied film and ever since I’ve been making shorts, documentaries, and I never seem to run out of ideas.

What has been some of the best advice you’ve been give?

Never Give Up” is something I’ve been told a lot when feeling down and I believe it is the one advice that makes all other advices actually count. Without “Never give up” it’s easy to get disheartened at an early stage of film career.

I was also told “It’s hard and it doesn’t get any easier” and that helped me realise I’m in this for a long run, this is a commitment, this is a lifestyle. This is what I want.

"Don’t ever get scared and keep on creating."

Should filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of the films and stories they want to tell?

Always! There’s always a new way to tell a story, a new angle, a new twist. The rules need to be broken and boundaries need to be pushed. Otherwise every film would be the same.

Do you have any tips or advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?

Don’t ever get scared and keep on creating. Even if you’re down crew and cast, just try your best with what you’ve got and you could be surprised how much you can do all by yourself. There’s no such thing as “impossible” , Never Give Up.

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

A spark of optimism. If my film makes people feel good for even a moment, or make them giggle, I am happy.

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