Meet Martin Rieznik, director of Jungle, a raw and unvarnished debut about a man heading deep into the Amazon to find an elusive and potentially nonexistent group of indigenous tribes. You can read more about the Argentinean filmmaker and his work below.
What is your connection to the South?
I really never was on the South but I live in one of the southern countries of the world, Argentina. Jaja. Some films that I really liked were shooted there, like Forrest Gump, The People vs Larry Flynt or Black Snake Moan
Where did you get your inspiration for this work?
I was born in Brazil and I always was fascinated about the amazonas and about the people who choose to live isolated. At the same time, I wanted to do a film about how feelings and thoughts influence our reality. Usually we tend to think that we feel in some way or another because what happens to us, the context and the conditions. Im sad because that or Im happy because that. But a lot of times, I think, it works in the reverse way: what we think determines what happens to us. Thats why I choose the jungle as stage, because nothing change in the jungle, the context is always the same, nothing really happens to the character trow the movie: Is only he and he`s thoughts trying to survive.
How did you start making films?
I always thinked that if some day I had money enough to make a film, I will do it. Well, when I saved the minimum necessary to do it, I started to write. Then it takes me almost a year to write the script and to bring the team together. We were a small team of nine filmmakers, including actors, living one month together in the jungle.
Did anything interesting or funny happen on set during the shooting?
Three people on the team were bitten by a fly that deposits their eggs under your skin and a larva begins to grow inside you. Disgusting. And the last night in the jungle, after almost fifteen hours of shooting in a waterfall in the middle of nothing, we were very tired and we only want to come back to our cabin, eat and sleep… well, our car stop working. We had no phone signal, so we had no choice: we all must walk 15 kilometers in the middle of the night, in the middle of nothing. Exhausting.
What do you look forward to the most during Indie Grits?
Movies are to be seeing, show ”Jungle” to the public is to end a circle that started three years ago. And of course to meet with other artists and filmmakers and see what they are doing is always enriching.
Why should someone see your film?
Because is beautiful! Watching the movie is moving to the jungle for an hour and a quarter, and that is one of the things that I most like on some movies: they make us travel without moving really. Is part of my obsession with the relation about feelings and reality. Sometimes is not necessary to travel to have a travel experience. Is all in our minds.
And of course, for indie filmmakers specially, is interesting to see how we can tell a lot with almost anything. With almost no budget, without stages and lightings, we made, I think, a great history.