Love Story

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With the Melbourne International Film Festival officially in full swing, we took the chance to catch up with Kiwi director and guest of the festival Florian Habicht.

Florian’s MIFF entry, Love Story, is a documentary set in New York that follows a fictional love story, merging snippets of narrative and actual interviews. We learn a little more.

MB: Could you tell us a little about Love Story?

FH: Well, it’s something that began as an experiment, which ended up being alot of fun for myself and us making it and hopefully for the people watching it. It was pretty much inspired by a psychic in New York. Her advice for me was to never get in front of the camera. So I decided, a year after getting her advice, to do the opposite.

MB: Did you always plan on shooting in New York?

FH: I was actually in NY for a year for a residency. I wrote a script while I was there and I applied for some funding. Just before leaving I got rejected. My life survival instincts kicked in and I thought I had to make something in NY before I left. So I changed my ticket.

MB: So it was made on a sort of guerrilla budget?

FH: Totally. We got some money in the end for post, so we could have that beautiful soundtrack.

MB: The film blurs the line between documentary and fiction. What side of that fence do you think it rests on?

FH: I actually think that when we were making it, it was a real blur for everyone. In the edit I was always like ‘should it be more love story or doco?’ It actually turned out to be more of a 50/50 kinda balance, which is pretty funny it turned out that way, but that’s how I kind of see it.

MB: How do you describe Love Story to people?

FH: I say it’s the greatest love story since Titanic. That’s my sales pitch [laughs].

MB: How has the film been received so far?

FH: Amazing, it opened the NZ film festival last year and that was like the best response ever, people loved it. Then it didn’t get into other festivals straight away, so I was a little bit gutted in the beginning.

MB: Really?

FH: The psychic in the film predicted that in two years time my success would come with a film. It’s been exactly two years and now it’s playing at all these festivals. So its pretty funny actually …and in Poland oh my God they loved it! It was translated into Polish and uh yeah that’s probably the most vocal audience so far.

MB: And in the actual love story in the film… how much of that is fiction?

FH: That’s up to the audience.

MB: One last question: any hot picks for MIFF?

FH: Yeah definitely! I saw 30 films at Poland recently and the thing that stuck with me was called Holy Motors. It’s on at MIFF and my advice is, don’t even read about it, just go and see it!

Love Story is showing at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Thursday 9 August @ 9pm.
Tickets and more info at www.miff.com.au

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