The Culture Trip had the amazing opportunity to catch up with Cedric Godin and learn more about his work.
How has it been receiving such excellent acclaim for your work?
Great and unexpected. PTSD is such a humble film that I don’t think anybody expected this. Winning two awards (Best Film and Best Actor) at the Chelsea Film Festival is and will stay our first big event. We now want to use this to move forward with PTSD. Get more attention, screen it as much as we can to also bring more awareness to the PTSD cause. Also develop other projects. I’m now filming a feature documentary on street art and Jason Lopez (the lead actor from PTSD) is reading several scripts.
How has your experience been with the Chelsea Film Festival?
What else could I say but ‘perfect?’ Ingrid Jean Baptiste’s team is just incredibly enthusiastic, generous, energetic and open-minded regarding the work of filmmakers. You feel that this is ‘really,’ as they say, made to help the work of first-time filmmakers. Every social meeting, panel, Q and A, screening, red carpet, even party was sharply organized, and they magnified every short or feature film that we attended.
Of course, winning two awards helps to have a positive vision, but I would definitely recommend to every first-time filmmaker like me and also more accomplished filmmakers to submit their work to the Chelsea Film Festival. It is an incredible window opened on the cinema world.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to break into the film industry?
Make films… but not only to shoot films. I suffered for a long time not being in a position to film projects that I had developed, but when the time came to make my first feature film, surprisingly it took me a while to decide what was the right subject to be filmed. We certainly make films for the love of it, but I think we have to consider who we are making them for. So, for me, the subject that you choose because you absolutely want to depict it has also to be a subject that will talk to the most people. That’s how I see a ‘debut’ in the film industry.
I’m currently filming a feature documentary called ‘Street 3.0.’ This film will be a 2015-16 ‘stand point’ on why street art became so popular, the work and techniques of some of the most recognizable artists on the planet, and also the relationship between the ‘art world’ and the ‘street art world’ today. I also have a script ready to go into the hands of a scriptwriter to be polished, and I’m writing a new film that if produced will be shot in NY. You might be interested in knowing that the greatest pop artist of all times isn’t dead…
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
Stanley Kubrick. Treva Etienne, who was in PTSD among a dozen of important films including Steven Spielberg’s production Falling Skies, had a week shoot with Stanley Kubrick on Eyes Wide Shut. I remember we were in LA, and I was asking Treva questions for almost the entire night.
If you weren’t in the film industry, what would you be doing?
To be honest, I don’t know what else I could do. I should maybe try a few things just in case…
How would you describe your work in 80 characters?
When you reach the extreme chance to make it for a living, filmmaking is for me the most exciting profession that I could think of. As a filmmaker you research, you create, you share, you collaborate, you are alone and you are also surrounded by others, you reach out to people once the film is born, you exchange with them, maybe you help them or make them smile, etc. I’m not far into my career, but everything that I have loved in the ‘filmmaking’ just condemned me to do this for the rest of my life.
Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock?
George Orwell or Ernest Hemingway?
I couldn’t tell… not enough culture.
Leonard da Vinci or Jackson Pollock?
São Paulo or Cape Town?
São Paulo, twice. You have to see this.
Ice cream or gelato?
Gelato of course… the taste.
35mm or digital camera?
Terrible question for me. I’m from the generation who knew both. For financial reasons, I had to go towards the digital way of filming. Digital filming offers so much. It’s a super exciting medium and I want to improve on it. That said, since the first day I’m frustrated to not ‘know’ which one I prefer and work on film. I hope I will one day.
Interview conducted by Sean Scarisbrick
Sean is a graduate student at Hunter College where he studies Middle Eastern history. He is particularly interested in cultural history and language’s contribution to culture. He loves Shakespeare, Malala Yousafzai, Game of Thrones, foreign languages (Arabic, Spanish, and French), and Arabic street art.