Sophie van Bree won the Gelderland Film Pitch in 2021. How’s she doing now?
Supporting filmmaking talents is Go Short’s business and in this business, we like to keep in touch with ‘our’ makers. That’s why in this article, we look back on the filmmaking process and filmmaker’s trajectory one of these prodigies Sophie van Bree went through at Go Short.
After winning the Gelderland Film Pitch in 2021 and a premiere at Go Short 2022, Sophie van Bree has now left the Netherlands for Edinburgh, Scotland, where she studies a Master’s degree in Film Directing at the University of Edinburgh. Here, she’s yet again not shying away from big themes; after submerging herself in a big, personal research on grief for her film SYNCHRONOUS, she’s now delved into the world of mental health, which was coincidentally also one of the main topics during Go Short 2022.
Can you tell us what your film SYNCHRONOUS is about?
“I take the viewer on a search. A search of a granddaughter who’s looking for answers about her grandfather, while documenting what intense grief does to my grandmother. You see from up-close what it does to someone who, just two months ago, lost the person she shared her entire life with for 60 years.”
What was your grandfather like and how did the film impact your life?
“He was the one keeping the family together and he was always trying to connect all the family members. That’s why the premiere was so special. In his spirit, this film connected the entire family: nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles I barely saw regularly, now came to see my film about my grandfather. Everybody wanted to be a part of this. It’s still a very special moment for my family and occasionally topic of the day when I’m with family.”
It’s been a year since now. How is your grandmother doing these days?
“She’s doing better. It’s obviously still difficult to cope with and it’s a wound that will never heal. Luckily, she’s now starting to plan nice getaways again and rediscovering life.”
How did Go Short guide you during your filmmaking process?
“As soon as I won the Film Pitch competition, Go Short and its professionals greeted me with open arms. Their message was basically: “We don’t know if what you want to make is possible, but we’re here for you to guide you all the way.” They gave me an enormous amount of freedom and their coaching and the workshops were extremely helpful for me.”
“Go Short’s staff treated me as if I was already a renowned name in the film business, which really helped build my self-confidence as a maker. I saw this yearlong trajectory basically as a Master’s degree in film. That’s why I recommended the competition to other filmmakers as well, such as Eva Krol. She actually won the competition and is currently working on a short film that will premiere at Go Short next year.”
In what way did the professionals of Go Short support you with this personal project?
“Making such a film was of course a very emotional experience. However, I could always lean on the professionals of Go Short. They helped me while I walked the fine line between my own emotions and my work as a filmmaker, making sure I wouldn’t dwell on something for too long, but also finding the time and space for feelings of grief. Both as a filmmaker and as a granddaughter I was continuously balancing between those two sides.”
“As a maker, Go Short encourages you to really show yourself to the world.”Sophie van Bree
What did you think of the Industry Days at Go Short 2022 and what did it bring you?
“I still hold fond memories of those days, for it was really fun and educational. I was especially pleased with the roundtables, for this session was a great way to network. I’m usually a sociable person, but at that time, I wasn’t yet very comfortable networking. I discovered that just by sitting down at any of the tables, I could quite easily join the conversation and took away a social threshold.”
“On top of that, the festival itself was such an inspirational bubble to be in. As a maker, you’re being encouraged to really show yourself to the world in all your glory.”
Can we expect any new projects or films from you coming soon?
“Yes! I’m currently working on two new projects I’m very passionate about. One project is about a girl of 24 years old with severe mental health problems and she’s in recovery from substance abuse. The other project is a more experimental one in which I pay a tribute to specifically anxieties of women, mixed with shots of nature.”
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