Meet the Film Maker Interview
The Last Babushka Doll – Georgina Luck
“…there is nothing more exciting than bringing together a team of talented, passionate people with the common objective of bringing a story to life.”
Meet Georgina Luck, Screenwriter/ Producer of the captivating film “The last Babushka Doll”. An inspiring story of a paramedic who is faced with a life-altering decision; prolong a patient’s suffering or risk his career to end their pain?
Georgina is an award-winning writer whose creative vision and passion has allowed her story, “The Last Babushka Doll”, to transform into a thought-provoking and uplifting dramatic short film selected for this year’s Byron Bay International Film Festival.
Joined by a highly experienced crew including director, Angelo Salamanca, and starring some of Australia’s most loved film and tv stars including Anne-Louise Lambert (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Tiriel Mora (The Castle), Joanne Samuel (Mad Max), and Chris Gabardi (The Secret Life of Us).
We recently had the opportunity to interview Georgina about her experiences as a filmmaker, here is what we learned.
What was your biggest inspiration to make this film/How did you get involved or attached to the project?
I had been writing short fiction for many years and loved the idea of writing a short film script but felt I hadn’t quite found the right story. The director, Angelo Salamanca read ‘The Last Babushka Doll’ as a short fiction piece and immediately encouraged me to turn it into a script because he felt the story was so visual, dramatic and ‘filmic’. The fiction work was very ‘interior’ and I very much enjoyed the challenge of using film techniques and language to make the story a more ‘exterior’ one that audiences could connect with.
As a filmmaker there are many ups and downs in the process, what was your absolute favourite and/ or funniest part in producing this film?
The film shoot was truly magical – my absolute favourite part was the way the Blue Mountains community came together to support the film. Local individuals and businesses supplied equipment, catering, accommodation, rehearsal space, transport, publicity, artwork and even donated a pair of work pants when we discovered an actor’s costume was too small! The funniest part was some actors literally getting lost in the labyrinthine corridors of the Hydro Majestic Hotel and having to be “rescued”.
What was the most challenging part of the filmmaking process?
I think raising funds is always the most challenging part of the filmmaking process – it can be very time-consuming and exhausting. At the same time, our crowdfunding campaign was wonderful because it introduced the project to the cast, crew, and community and made it possible for the film to be made entirely in the Blue Mountains with a ‘dream team’.
Our stellar cast and crew generously volunteered their time, expertise and equipment virtually for free, because they were passionate about the film and filmmaking in general. Having originally wrote the story as a short fiction work it had been published by Margaret River Press – who also sponsored the film.
Any upcoming projects for you, your team or key creatives involved in your film?
Yes, the Director and I are working on several exciting projects with many of the people who were involved with this film, as well as other amazing cast and crew. The projects include a TV series of which ‘The Last Babushka Doll’ is a “teaser” episode; a comedy web-series; and another short film the Director has co-written with a refugee from Iran.
What drives you as a filmmaker?
My life has been greatly enhanced by storytelling in many forms including books, theatre, and films; stories help me make sense of the world, gain insights into the deep complexities of others, help me understand and face my fears and provide entertainment and joy. I love the idea of creating stories that help me connect with others. To me, there is nothing more exciting than bringing together a team of talented, passionate people with the common objective of bringing a story to life.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to future independent filmmakers?
Be bold, aim high and most importantly don’t be afraid to ask the best of the best to be involved in your film. Which actors and crew do you dream of working with but feel you could never approach in a million years? Put away your fears, reach out and ask them if they’d do you the honour of being in your film; you might be surprised at how many people say “yes”.
What does a film festival like the Byron Bay Film Festival mean to you and your work?
It means everything. As a first-time screenwriter, it’s so challenging to find audiences for your work and festivals like Byron Bay make this possible; they give filmmakers the chance to showcase work, network and make invaluable career connections.
This film was a labour of love for the cast and crew; everyone gave so much to it and having it screen at such a prestigious festival as The Byron Bay International Film Festival makes the effort worthwhile.
Byron Bay Film Festival showcases an array of entertaining, inspiring and thought-provoking films. Do you feel that your film helps people ‘open their aperture’? And if so how?
Yes, I believe so. The very topical issues of euthanasia and the right to die with dignity affect so many people in both Australian and around the world. The film allows viewers to follow the story of characters who have to face these issues in the moment, without being prompted to judge any of the characters’ actions or decisions.
Georgina Luck and Director Angelo Salamanca have confirmed their attendance at the festival and are very excited to meet their audience and fellow filmmakers. Catch the official screening “The Last Babushka Doll” Sunday 14 October, at the Byron Bay Community Center.