Hello Alex Tweddle, it’s a pleasure to have you with us for this interview. Congratulations on your award at last season of the “Casablanca Film Factory Awards”.
Q: Your new movie is “The Forgotten Children of Congo”; in a few words, what is it about?
A: The documentary focuses on the plight of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s street children, who were found to be commonly involved in witchcraft, cannibalism and as child soldiers.
Q: When did you plan to do this film?
Q: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
A: I always loved film, a recall watching the likes of Hitchcock, Lean and Anderson growing up in the North of England. After some effort I received a grant to attend the London Film School.
Q: What can you tell us about your film work prior to this film?
A: My aim is to make exciting, innovative, high-quality films. Industry colleagues have described my work as often daring, edgy, distinctive filmmaking that pushes boundaries both in subject matter and content. I always aim to make films that not only entertain but inform and show us a different perspective on life, society and even ourselves. I have filmed in some of the most dangerous countries on the planet. I have received over 95 nominations for my documentary work at international film festivals.
Q: Can you explain or tell us some of the important elements of this film that makes it interesting?
A: It was a very demanding shoot, we filmed across the country from the Angolan border to the volatile Ituri region in the North and the Rwandan Border. We filmed extensively at night and filmed an actual exorcism at midnight. A child witch we interviewed in Goma had been trained to be a witch and to give her supernatural powers was made to eat human meat.
Q: How big was your team and what were the cameras that you used?
A: It was just me and a cameraman who also did the sound. We had a local translator, fixer and driver and the support of a lovely Congolese family in Kinshasa.
Q: Directors (and indeed actors) who inspire you and what are your favourite movies?
A: Andrei Tarkovsk was a big inspiration, he was a true poetic and didn’t need visually effects to make truly beautiful films, Mirror is one of my favorites. Also Michael Haneke who is never afraid to tackle difficult subject matter and always gets amazing performances from his actors.
Q: Where can people see your work?
A: I currently have 5 films doing the festival circuit and more information on them can be found in FilmFreeway.
Q: What are your future projects?
A: As well as Unspeakably Wonderful I have a documentary in pre-production called Offsiders about a migrant football club in El Paso and Son of Syria in development about the first Syrian to get a US scholarship to University to play basketball.
Q: Thank you for this very inspiring interview, Alex Tweddle. Here at the “Casablanca Film Factory Awards” we look forward to seeing and appreciating your new film productions!
A: Thank you. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have a film at your festival.