Thursday, October 27, 2011

Angelus Student Film Festival 2011 - Interview with Max Zahle 'Raju'

Interview with Max Zahle -Hamburg Media School
Writer, Director & Editor of Raju which won the 2011 Excellence in Filmmaking Award



Interview by Jasmina Nevada

Max studied and graduated in Audio and Visual Communication at the HAMM in Hamburg, Germany in 2002, meanwhile had various jobs as a video operator, location manager, and first assistant director on various sets. Then, he completed an apprenticeship as a film editor at the Handelskammer, Hamburg. He graduated also in a Film Directing graduate program in 2010.

This film documents a true to life issue that came to the attention of Max Zahle and immediately touched his heart, prompting him to research, and make a film highlighting and bringing to life the circumstances in today's world of the international illegal adoption of children

The story centers on a German couple who adopt a young Indian boy in Calcutta, and then without warning the boy disappears without trace...... with complicated and ethical issues and resulting consequences for the couple to consider..sparking many debates on the issue..

-'Raju' -Why did you choose this for the title of your film?

It is a West Bengal name, from Calcutta, India. It's about the boy.

-Could you elaborate a little on the boy?

The film is about international adoption, illegal international adoption and specifically about children. Also the specific way in which I told that story. Raju is a boy who is getting into a foreign legal adoption , so for me I don't think that the film could have been called anything different.

-What inspired you to write such a story?

Its a global thing the 'international foreign adoption theme'. Last year there was this big earthquake in Haiti and children were 'stolen' from that country. They were illegally put into an international foreign adoption system. I read about this and I started to do research, there was so much information on this that I literally had to do a film about it.

-This issue you wanted to bring more public attention and awareness to?

After a while when you put so much effort into the research, suddenly one is personally connected to it. You never know how good the film will be and how the audience will react with the film. The aim was to bring it out to the world and show and highlight this serious present topic. The more that it will be shown, and seen the better it is, meaning that people will talk about it, due to the serious nature of the topic.

-What are you hoping for from your audiences that will see your final finished product?

I just hope that people talk and discuss the topic. If you see the film you will see that I don't give a final answer on the topic, that depends on the persons that watch and want to talk about it and find their own subjective opinion. That was my biggest aim literally to talk about it and find out if it is right or wrong to adopt a child from a foreign country..in that way.

-Essentially it is a Human Rights issue that you are trying to bring forward?

Absolutely it is a Human Rights topic and nothing else

-How long did it take you from the initial information & ideas about the topic to the finished film that you have now?

Almost a year

-Are you happy with the film result?

Yes definitely I had fantastic actors & crew, I think the topic has been told as it deserves and people do talk about it. We actually made people talk about it in Calcutta as they found out about orphanages that do proceed in that way. It came up in their politics and I feel that we really achieved something with the film.

Thank you for your time

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