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Interview with Kristina Schippling about her short film "Findings“

“Findings” is a short film that deals with the theme of femininity in a special way. It is reminiscent of "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen, as stated by the director and producer. The theme is the social structures women can find themselves in and which might break down due to personal development. But what happens if women fall out of the social structure? Can a woman build a new structure, does she find a new home, or does she simply sink mercilessly? What does this new home look like? These are the questions this remarkable film poses, yet it cleverly leaves the answers open for each woman must find her own answers on her journey through life. A masterpiece that is highly recommended.

After successfully completing her studies in german language and literature, philosophy, education, psychology and performing arts at MLU Halle-Wittenberg, HBK Braunschweig and UDK Berlin, Kristina Schippling successfully completed her dissertation at MLU Halle-Wittenberg with the interdisciplinary topic "On the mediation of film in textbooks". She also attended two years of courses for Meisner-Acting (Method Acting) with Hendrik Martz. Her first documentary feature film, "The Sound of Cologne," which she directed and shot, is released and currently in the festivals, and she participated in the Masterschool at Documentary Campus e.V. for one year (2020) as a film director with another documentary project. Her own film and theater projects, including 7 short films, 3 music videos, and the experimental feature-length film "Ungleich," for which she was one of the five directors, explore the tension between film, theatrical staging, and improvisation, among other things. Schippling publishes short stories in anthologies and magazines; her novella "Drei Gesichter" was published by Mitteldeutscher Verlag. This was followed by "Meine Wut ist weiß und rein!", a collection of short texts, and her first novel: "Handbuch der Angewandten Vampirpsychologie Band I", published in 2021 by Exaiphnes Editionen. In addition, two philosophical books have been published in dialogue with Prof. Harald Seubert. Schippling has been a university lecturer for the subjects of philosophy, pedagogy and psychology, among others, at the Academy for Performing Arts Bavaria in Regensburg since 2014 and works for various film festivals (BIFF Braunschweig, SoundTrack_Cologne, etc.) She lives in Berlin.

How did you start making films and what was the first film you directed?

Following my theater career, I started to focus more on film in 2010 and made my first short film "This is my body", which was also shown in the ShortfilmCorner at the Festival de Cannes. Even earlier, my longtime good friend Nico Sentner asked me after a theater performance in Brussels in 2006 whether I would like to play the lead in his short film, which I did. That's when my work in film began. My short film "This is my body" is about a failed love and a fling, a love triangle in which all protagonists suffer.

What was the inspiration behind the making of your latest short film, "Findings"?

I'm basically always inspired, have hundreds of ideas in my head that just come to me. I like to think about femininity. With this film I wanted to show that emancipation wants to change the current conditions and poses criticism - which is necessary, but alternative proposals are often lacking. Where can women who have evolved and no longer fit into the old patterns or want to fit in find a connection? What can the new life look like, how can it be found?

What was the most challenging aspect of producing the film?

The biggest challenge was actually to keep the team together over the duration of the project and to consider and perceive all wishes. Of course, there are many challenges in film projects, such as financing, technical skills, acting skills. Everyone performs highly concentrated and gives their best under high pressure. But often the human component is very crucial in projects. A project can connect people in a very special way and make them become a family, which is wonderful, but it can also cause people to separate forever. I have experienced both.

Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?

There are always films that I like. I can't commit myself to that. Basically, I don't have any role models, and I've never had any. I also don't consciously orient myself to well-known directors. In fact, I'm interested in topics that often affect me personally or philosophical topics that I've read about and think about. Often friends also come to me, suggest a topic that excites me and want to work with me on it. That's how projects come about.

Which genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and why?

My short films have often been arthouse, but I basically don't think in genres. I'm open to any genre if I like the project. I just collaborated on a feature, a horror film comedy. Before that, I did a music documentary about electronic music in Cologne. My own films emerge from themes that I think about, where images, situations and scenes grow inside my head. Often, I also get inspired by places. Themes are simply there, and I process them through my art.

How did "Findings" go into production and how did you finalize the cast and the crew?

Findings was born out of a friendship. Marie, who also plays the lead role, and I really wanted to do a project together. We did most of it alone in the beginning and only gradually others joined the team. The film grew slowly. We conceived it together and kept meeting and filming for a few days. I didn't cast. I never cast. I have actors recommended to me or just write to actors when I've seen a film I liked. This film came out of conversations and an exploration of femininity.

What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?

Currently, as I mentioned before, I am collaborating on a feature film, a horror comedy. It's about a monster that gets smuggled onto an airplane and kills almost all the passengers. Something new! I have several ideas, a documentary about the dark side of motherhood, for which we've been looking for financing for a while, a short film on a historical theme from the Stone Age, maybe a thriller together with another director. I feel very free and do what peaks my interest.


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