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CIRCLE Interviews: Meet Patricia Drati, CIRCLE 2020 Participant

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Patricia Drati is a filmmaker working with both documentary and fiction. She is the creative producer behind the youth documentary Don’t Give a Fox. She is also the executive producer of the current theatrical success Photographer of War, produced by Good Company Pictures. She has been collaborating with a number of renowned international

artists on their film projects, including Jesper Just and Superflex. Becoming Ema is her directorial debut.

Q: Please introduce yourself and your project briefly.

A: My name is Patricia Drati and I am the director of Becoming Ema.

Patricia Drati, photo from private archive

It is a project about motherhood, womanhood, the necessity to redefine ourselves after we become mothers and the need to resolve intergenerational trauma in order to become who we really are.

Q: Why this film? What is your most important motivation?

A: This is the only film I had to make as my debut film. There are many parallels between my main protagonist Ema and myself. Even though our lives are not identical, certain issues that arose after we became mothers are very similar. Also, Ema comes from the same small town in Slovakia, where I was born. And last, but not least, even though I have been living most of my life abroad, making a film in my mother tongue is the most fantastic emotional journey.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in making this film?

A: It is, as it often is, building the trust with the main protagonist and establishing some sort of balance between “give and take” between us. Ema is in front of the camera, somehow translating emotions that I want the audience to experience. She is the brush with which I am painting this picture and it requires a lot of trust between us.

Q: What would be the most frustrating/troubling part of filmmaking (as a woman)?

A: There are many frustrating things in filmmaking and I don’t think it is so different for men and women. Perhaps it is more difficult for us women to convince the gatekeepers to let us in, because those who decide are still, in the majority of cases, men.

Q: And the most rewarding one?

A: Filmmaking is the most fantastic job in the world. You get to dig deeper into subjects and themes that move and interest you, all the while you are trying to transform them into a visual story that, ideally, is understandable for people that you don’t know, but who can recognize themselves in it.

Q: How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your work as a filmmaker?

A: We had to change our time schedule and are now on hold with all further shooting. I hope this situation will change soon and we will be able to shoot in the spring again, so we keep the continuity. Also, we are, as pretty much everyone else, facing the financial challenges too.

Q: What inspires you the most in your creative journeys?

A: Anything can be an inspiration, really. I am just observing life and taking it all in. I get inspired by traveling, meeting people, tasting new food, looking at art, listening to music… the list goes on.

Q: Can you compare your experience at CIRCLE with other similar platforms that you have been part of?

A: From all the other training programmes I have ever participated in, this one feels like the most safe space.

Q: What were the most important benefits from being part of CIRCLE program?

A: Having a completely new circle of trust.

Q: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

A: I admire the Italian directress Alice Rohrwacher, because she is able to capture life’s magic on film.

Q: Do you have a favorite documentary film? Why is it one of your favorites?

I don’t like the notion of having a favorite film, because it somehow excludes so many other great films. But if I had to mention one name, I am moved by the documentary films of Victor Kossakovsky.

Q: What is the most important thing for you as a spectator? What do you search/expect to find in films?

A: I am looking for the moments of surprise and enlightenment.

Q: What advice do you have for other (female) directors?

A: Just do it, don’t wait for permission.

Film still from Drati's project Becoming Ema

Tune in next Friday to find out more about Maja Prelog from Slovenia and her project Cent'anni!

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