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June 5, 2011

Nokia Shorts: Finalist 6 (of 8): Pearls (of Wisdom)

39 year old award winning Jason Van Genderen is our 6th Nokia Shorts finalist. His interests include design, cooking, lomography and discovering things with his two children. Let’s find out a bit more about what makes Jason tick…
What inspired your short-story pitch?

In 2008 I made a short film with Shane Emmett on a Nokia N95 titled ‘Mankind is no Island’. This film was fortunate enough to win many awards around the world, and was a (filmmaker’s) personal reflection on our sense of disconnect with homeless communities. What I’m looking forward to doing with this film (Pearls) is to actually give those homeless their own voice through the power of this film, share their lessons and stories of life to hopefully inspire and teach us some new perspectives



Who inspires you?



My children – seeing the world through their eyes is magical.



Why are you passionate about films?


Films allow us to magnetize a story with an audience, it’s an amazing way to connect and share perspectives, to grow.


What is your favourite film of all time? Why did it leave such an impression on you?

It would have to be ET. It was the first movie I remember seeing in a cinema, and it made such an incredible impact on me. I laughed, I cried, I freaked out. For 90 minutes I forgot where I was and was immersed in another world…. any film that does gets my vote!


Who is your favourite director?


I have several, Tarantino for his brash style, Baz Luhrmann for his intense visual styling, Spielberg for his escapism and craft.


What was the first film you’d ever seen?




Have you ever met a film star?




Yes, bumped into Harvey Keitel on the streets of Tribecca in NYC, TWICE in one day!


Described the best scene ever committed to film




One that jumps to mind for me, because of its intense visual mood,
is in Romeo & Juliet, in the gas station scene where the Tybalt drops a lit match beside his spurred boot. It’s so spaghetti-western yet so delicately beautiful. It reminds me that there’s two ways to look at everything.


Name a memorable moment in your life?

Travelling to Ethiopia last year to visit my fiancé who was volunteering, and then shooting a video for her NGO.
It’s the 100th anniversary of the first Hollywood studio, what are your thoughts on its legacy?
Hollywood is symbolic with a film-maker’s Mecca. It’s brought us stories on film the size of which we could never imagine. Those towering studios and back lots have allowed millions and millions of audiences globally escape their parking fines, their loads of washing, their credit card debts.

What else in this world has the power to do that?


Thanks for your time Jason – Some great true to life answers in there. In case you missed it, you can see Jason’s pitch below again.

Pearls from jasonvangenderen on Vimeo.