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How I Made It: Nobody Is Crazy (2019)

Nobody is Crazy (2019) is a story about a lonely teenager with OCD, Rafa, whose overwhelmed mother insists on getting him professional help or he might end up in a military school. Facing the situation, he agrees to visit a self-help group where he meets a somewhat eccentric masked man who claims to be a time traveler. Rafa starts investigating to figure out whether the young guy is who he claims to be and if he has really come from the past or is he just a mentally ill person who has escaped from an asylum.

143 mins | Spanish with English subtitles | Drama, Fantasy | 2019 | Argentina

In its persistent mission and zeal to promote good cinema, the Indian Film Institute brings you the experience of the Director of the film - Federico J. Arioni

Why this subject matter for your film?

I'm interested in stories where a character's arc is important and grows as the story progresses as well. I like psychologically interesting characters. That's why having Rafa, a boy with obsessive-compulsive disorders, who befriends a guy who wears a mask and says that he's a time traveler, seemed to me something that could be entertaining and that could leave some interesting ideas. I like when movies, besides being entertaining, which is very important, connect emotionally with the viewer and can teach them something like culture, history, psychology, philosophy; that they show them another way of seeing the world; and what better way than through a boy who has no friends because everyone thinks he's crazy and a guy who seems crazy because he says he's a time traveler.

Where did you find the story for this film?

I had two stories that I wanted to tell and I put them together to make the story of this film. One of them was the story of a boy with a mild madness, the socially acceptable one, who must deal with the fact of being different, with not having friends, with not wanting to go to school and with a mother who, trying to help him, forces him to go to a self-help group where he meets a guy crazier than him who shows him that there are many things to enjoy outside the books and that we are all crazy in some way. And on the other hand, I had a story of a guy who claims to be a time traveler but could be a crazy guy who makes up all the stories.

What were the challenges you faced in making the film?

The challenges we encountered making the film were very varied, but all due to the fact that it was a film that was made without money. If we had had a budget to pay all the collaborators and to be able to carry out a working full days schedule in a timely manner, we would have finished shooting much faster. In any case, with the collaboration of the few who were, we were able to finish the film with a lot of work. There were times when we didn't have the necessary people so filming had to be postponed. And especially as the days were postponed, the weather brought us problems, 70% of the film was filmed outdoors so we needed the weather to be constant, so if it rained, there was fog, wind, was very cold or something like that we couldn't shoot because it had to be like an autumn afternoon all the time to be constant with the continuity of the film.

Did you face any problems in releasing the film?

We had problems getting the film to the theater, since the local cinema, where we were going to present it, could not screen it if it was not endorsed by the Argentine film Institute (INCAA). We had to request some permits that took a long time to be able to premiere it, but luckily we were able to do it and then we were able to screen it again a few months later in the same cinema, a historical cinema in our city that has existed since 1938, with a capacity for 650 people, Cine Teatro Español de Neuquén.

What was your background before making your first film?

This was my second film, before I'd made another feature film that had taken me longer to complete because it still had fewer people behind the camera, but thanks to my family and friends I was able to finish it. Before that I'd made fiction short films, which I've been making for a decade. My training was investigative and practical; I learned by watching movies, videos, reading books and reading information from the internet. And also filming, especially filming my projects, first with short films and then with feature films, which are what I'm really interested in filming.

How do you think filmmakers like you can overcome common challenges like finance and distribution?

It's hard. It's the most difficult part of making a movie for the cinema. With dedication and enthusiasm, you can create a story, develop a project and convince some people to help you. But getting financing and distribution is the most difficult, something that's not taught anywhere and difficult to achieve when you are unknown. I would say that you have to be persistent but many times that's not enough either. But hey, there are times that not even directors with experience like Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppolla, Adrian Lyne or Richard Donner can get financing for their films or they end up distributing their films in the home market bypassing the cinemas. The wrong answer, the hidden one, the one that should not be said is that the easiest way is to have friends with power or to be in favor of the government of the moment. Those who have this always manage to film and distribute their films, even if they are not up to a certain mark.

Interesting facts about Nobody is Crazy

Filming took us, with breaks, from March to December, in total, we filmed for 39 days, some half journal and a few of them a whole journal. We filmed in the real reception of the mental patient section of a hospital. There are many shots and costumes or commentaries that pay tributes to films such as Back to the Future, Career Opportunities, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Don Juan de Marco, Fight Club, For a Few Dollars More, Indiana Jones, etc. The film shows the most characteristic places in the city of Neuquén, from the river in the south, to the sierras in the north, passing through the monument of San Martín in downtown and the Central Park, with its museums, squares, avenues and main diagonals.

How to Reach the Director

Federico J. Arioni






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