interview: Mara Castilho

Mara Castilho
is a video artist living in London.

artist biography

mara_castilho  Her video “Process 5703/2000” is part of the selection “on totalitarism“.

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Interview:10 questions

1.
Question:
Tell me something about your life and the educational background:
Answer:
I was born in London from Portuguese parents in exile form the Portuguese Right Wing dictatorship. When I was 6 years old my mother marry a Brazilian and we moved to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro where I studied Photography, Theatre (BA) and Dance (Diploma). Later I moved to London where I took by BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre from The Laban Centre for Movement and Dance and a MA in Fine Arts (visual Arts).

2.
Question:
When, how and why you started filming?
Answer:
I always photographed since I was very young (my family comes for art background). I always saw my grandfather filming us, my mother taking pictures, and my grandmother always took me to see films, plays and exhibitions since I was very little. Then I stated to work with Theatre. Soon I was directing and creating pieces with video images, as I wanted my photographs to move. I just started to experiment and learned by my self.

3.
Question:
What kind of subjects have your films/videos?
Answer:
A lot to deal with the solitude of the “urban man” and I also work around human rights issues.

4.
Question:
How do you develop your films/videos, do you follow certain principles,
styles etc?
Answer:
Not really. I like to experiment, but a lot of my work is very fragmented. I do have a story in mind but I do not do story boards. I film some sequences and then I edit as a collage of images. I like to experiment with Digital video and Super-8. I also work with photography images (stills) on my films. I also try to work with other artists in collaboration to share ideas. I think one learns a lot with it.

5.
Question:
Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Answer:
I have a Cannon wide angle Super-8, a Russian Super-8 (small), a cannon X-L 1 Digital, a JVC digital portable, a Nikon FM 2 manual photographic camera, a Pentax manual photographic camera and a Cannon digital photographic camera.

6.
Question:
What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?
Answer:
I think that nothing will substitute the film 35 mm (it has so much depth), but digital is On because is much cheaper. I would love to film 35mm, but I can not afford. But I also love some aspects of the digital technology, like the colour (in a different way) and the way you can film unpredictable scenes wile you are travelling. My work deals a lot with the unpredictability, so I like to have small cameras and go every where without been noticed and film, and only with a small digital camera you can do that.

7.
Question:
How do you finance your films/videos?
Answer:
Public funds, fundraising and funds from other works that I do.

8.
Question:
Do you work individually as a videoartist/film maker or do you work in a
team?
Answer:
Mostly as an individually video artist/film maker, but some times the collective MO.TIV works with different artists in collaboration.

Question:
If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
Answer:
I do not really know what I prefer. I like to work alone, but I also love to work in collaboration. I think there are moments for everything. The only problem that sometimes people face working with me is that I have very strong ideas and I’m putting them on the “melting pot” all the time and first then everyone else. I’m a fast worker …Hi! Hi! Hi! But I’m quite open to change them, but only for the better ones..Ha! Ha! Ha! But in general I work well in a team.

9.
Question:
Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Answer:
How..so many people…. Hitchcock, Wong Kar Way, Tarantino, Win Wenders, Godard, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, Pina Baush…and so on…

10.
Question:
What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Answer:
To be more recognized…and live full time as a video artist/film-maker.
But at the moment, I’m working on a series of Video-Installations, Photographic work and a short film all about Bosnia & Herzegovina.

  • Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel?
  • Yes. List some links & resources
    www.maracastilho.com