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Interview – Anthony Garland – ‘Ophelia’ – A Feature Film


Posted September 25, 2016 by

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Interview – Anthony Garland

‘Ophelia’, the official selection at the 2016 Revelation Perth International Film Festival, has been selected as Best of Fest at this year’s LA Shorts Fest and will screen as part of the official selection at the prestigious Oscar qualifying festival starting September 1st.

Directed by Anthony Garland and featuring a talented cast from both television and film, ‘Ophelia’ tells the story of a young woman arriving at a bizarre job interview and, pressured by an onslaught of questions from an oddball trio, takes a minute to confront her insecurities head on.


Anthony Garland – Director:

To begin with, lets talk about your film ‘Ophelia’, what is the film about?

On the surface, it’s the job interview from hell. We got to have a lot of fun with the aesthetic to create a bizarro setting for it to take place in. But at it’s heart, it’s about perception; who we truly are and how we want to be perceived versus how we’re actually perceived. It’s about a girl trying to be seen.

Where did the idea come from?

I developed the film with Ali Mueller who played Ophelia and produced the film too. Early on there were talks about making something representative of our day to day experience. We met as actors and the routine of that is a lot of auditioning, which is essentially a big interview. From there we asked a lot of questions and tried to get to the bottom of that experience and the emotional and intellectual drive behind it., and that turned into the short film.

Tell us about the cast, who is starring?

So Ali Mueller plays the interviewee. She’s a really extraordinary actress and is going to do great things. An undiscovered gem, so I’m grateful we got to work together so early on in our careers. Then in the Interviewer parts we had Mary Pat Gleason, Larry Cedar and Alan Blumenfeld, who are actors I’ve watched in just about everything for years! They’re such professionals and the most generous actors I’ve met. They were game for anything and brought such variety and specificity to their characters. The way it was written walked a fine line between believable and cartoonish. It ran the risk of being too camp, too silly. In less capable hands it might not have worked.

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

I had a family with completely different tastes. That meant that we didn’t watch a lot of movies together, but individually I got an education that ran the gamut. I watched every Disney movie and Looney Tunes sketch ad infinitum, which was a great way of learning to appreciate frames. Then depending who I was with in the family it would be anything from Steve Martin comedies to four hour Bollywood epics to Terminator 2.

Where can we expect to see ‘Ophelia’?

We’ve just started the festival circuit, which is always hit or miss as it’s an increasingly competitive field. We’re hoping for a great reception and that the film has legs, then from there I expect it will go the Vimeo route and to try and make sure it has some kind of life outside of that.

What is the next step for you? Do you have any other projects in production?

Ophelia started out as a small project that grew into something much bigger. I didn’t know at the time whether directing was something I would want to pursue and I also set the bar very high in terms of production design, talent and collaborators. Ophelia was an incredibly ambitious short, and I only want to build and improve from there. That said, I’m prepping my first feature and very excited!


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