Faces of Slamdance: HEAVY GIRLS

"Heavy Girls" Slamdance Filmmakers

By Chris J. Russo (doddleNEWS)

One of the great things about coming to Park City is meeting all of the interesting filmmakers who have traveled from all over the world to screen their films. While attending Outfest’s 16th Annual Queer Brunch at the Grubsteak on Sunday, I met the director, producer and star of “Heavy Girls,” (Dicke Mädchen German title) a feature film screening at the Slamdance Film Festival this week. Hailing from Berlin and bubbling with excitement and nervous energy, I asked them to tell me what their film was about. “It’s a tragic comedy about love, family, and gay relationships,” says director Axel Ranisch. The movie poster features two large, naked, men caught in an embrace, and is definitely one of the more curious and funnier images I’ve seen this week.

Born out of improvisation, the filmmakers claim there was no script just an outline of 2 pages. They shot chronologically in 10 days on a miniDV camera, with only 3 actors, including the director’s 90-year old grandmother. There was no crew on the film — the director did all the camera and sound work and said they had a lot of fun, because they were able to be flexible and do whatever they wanted to do. I had to ask them where their incredibly original idea came from. “I was a bit depressed about writing a screenplay for 5 years. Film and television professionals tell you to make a new version, and after 4 years, the script was shit. With this project, we needed no money, no one to tell us what to do, so we just made what we want. I saw the great actors, Heiko Pinkowski and Peter Trabner — two ‘heavy girls’ — and I thought I must make a love story between them.”

“Heavy Girls” plays SLAMDANCE tomorrow, Tuesday at 7pm, at the Treasure Mountain Inn.

About Chris J Russo

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