fiction, Germany, 2010, 26min.
Hermann is 67 years old and lonely. He does have Gloria – but she is only a budgie. He distracts himself from his solitude with his love for ornithology and rigidly structured days, yet he is still full of desire. Then he meets Jörg. With Jörg, Hermann’s hopes are raised that he may no longer have to be lonesome. However things are not as easy as they first seem, especially with Gloria standing in his way.
Born in London, 1984, Hana was raised in Greece and England, then graduated 2006 with a BSc 1st class degree in Economics from Bristol University. After this she undertook an MFA in Film Directing 2006 – 2008 at the International Film School of Paris (EICAR).
Hana, where did the idea for Hermann come from?
I never had a brainwave, like kaboom – I’ve got it. The idea for the film came a little at a time. I wanted to write something about loneliness and slowly found my way to Hermann and Gloria. It took a lot of drafts to get the script to the stage that I shot it in and it started out as a very different story actually!
The psychoanalisists often describe the sublimation as the only real successful defense mechanism. The passion with which Herman is studying the world of the birds and his love for Gloria - is it a form of defense?
Yes - I think Hermann is unwilling to confront his solitude and in order to avoid this he focuses on his birds and Gloria. It is often a lot easier to distract yourself from problems rather than to deal with them and Hermann does just that. I’m not sure whether it is really a successful form of defense in the long run, but it seems to work for Hermann!
What is the message you want to bring to the audience with the film?
I think everyone sees things differently and I hope the film speaks to people in different ways.
Is this your first short? Were there any unexpected moments and troubles?
Hermann is actually my 3rd short film, but there were still many unexpected problems. Like when it started raining torrentially while we were shooting at the lake. We just had to sit tight and wait till it was over, but we got impatient and you can still see light rain falling on the lake if you look closely…We also lost one of our locations on the day of the shoot which caused a bit of a panic, but my very able production manager sorted that out in no time! I think unexpected problems always arise whilst making a film, but that’s part of the whole process. It keeps you on your toes and often leads to really good things as you have to think outside the box.
And what have you unexpectedly learned about yourself making Hermann?
Not to take your anger out on budgies. Or anyone or anything else for that matter!
Where do you see your career in five years?
I’m not sure – 5 years is a long time away! Although time seems to be speeding up which is scary, so it’ll probably be 2016 before I know it! I am currently trying to get another short film off the ground in the UK and am developing a feature script with the Torino Script and Pitch Workshops - so hopefully those projects will go from script to screen at some point in the next 5 years.
Why did you decide to participate in the festival IN THE PALACE?
My last short film Marion was screened at the festival last year, and although I was unable to attend the festival I have heard a lot of great things about it. So I decided to try my luck with Hermann this year and am very happy that it has been selected for the program.
/ Valentina Bozhichkova