Intersection - True/False Filmmaker Conversations on Shirkers, Three Identical Strangers, Primas

Credit File Photo / KBIA

Today, we're looking back at a few popular films from the True/False film festival. We spoke with six filmmakers about the process behind their films and what they hope audiences gain from their work. 

The films cover a range of topics, from the father-son relationship within a radical jihadist group, the nature-nurture debate and the loss of Singapore's first independent film. 

Our producers talked with the directors of Primas, Shirkers, Black Mother, Antonio e Catrina, Three Identical Strangers and Of Fathers and Sons. 

Director of "Primas" Laura Bari

Bari: "These girls--they both had this experience, you have survived this, and you have survived this, and you're a person, you're an amazing person, and I also know that it's a lot to have been through this. Then, I am a filmmaker, and we need to share this. So I opened my camera, and I asked my team not to interrupt... But the pain, as Aldana says in the film, the pain always comes back, and we understand it, it's maybe little but it always comes back, and it's in each one of us."

Director of "Shirkers" Sandi Tan

Tan: "I think the process of going through 25 years and then, you know, just the process of making the film was kind of therapeutic in a way. I have a much better sense of humor about the whole thing. Probably because, you know, we got the negatives back, and it was kind of a happy story. Our lives weren't completely destroyed by this mess. Things moved in a more interesting angle, I think — in a different direction than it might have gone, say, if the film had been made, and our lives would have been different, and everyone was involved in it might have chosen different paths in the last 25 years."

Director of "Black Mother" Khalik Allah

Allah: "When I was editing the audio, I said let me just break it into three parts. That naturally manifested into the idea of three trimesters and then that helped structure the film. And to me, there is that fourth element too which is the birth, which is like the four quadrants of the heart, you know the four chambers. And that’s where the film came from, it’s really from the heart, the whole film. Also, I’m coming with the good news. There’s a lot of good news in this film. Also, in this era now… this kid shot up a school, you got all this crazy news every day. This film is really positive. It’s just something I felt had to happen."

Director of "Antonio e Catrina" Cristina Hanes

Hanes: "This film was born out of a very powerful drive to represent this character and represent our relationship that came suddenly, unexpected and it’s also happened in an unexpected scenario and with unexpected people. Because him being 70 year old, mostly trapped in his room, not really open to the world anymore, and me that have I have just came in a new city, open to discovery, and us two we have met and the solitude of both of us is brought forward because we are together. And for me it was part of my cinematic journey, let’s say, of learning cinema, of learning how to deal with filmmaker relationships and of basically exploring sudden magical encounter that one has at one point of his time, I can't look away from it. "

Director of "Of Fathers and Sons" Talal Derki

Derki: "All the time day and night you are really afraid that something can happen. You are not in the front line but you hear the bombing around, you hear the airstrike, you see the jihadists all the time, you see the bombs, you see everything and you are just a filmmaker with a camera capturing moments and trying to find his direction and try to find the story."

Director of "Three Identical Strangers" Tim Wardle

Wardle: "One of the things they said was 'Oh the film explores the nature, nurture debate and no film or documentary tackles it, certainly not one recently. And I kept thinking, oh that must be wrong, because nature-nurture is such a massive theme, but I still can't think of ones that really tackle it sort of tangentially. But this is on one level quite explicitly about that about whether your genetics or environment make you the person you are."

Assistant Producers for this show are Haley Broughton, Aviva Okeson-Haberman and Hannah Rodriguez.