He admires Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, but Jaws is his guilty pleasure. Meet Roland Kennedy, the writer and director of Moments of Truth, a new short film commissioned by Jigsaw and the National Film and Television School, influenced by New Wave cinema – the inspiration behind our casualwear collection this season…
Film buff and winner of our latest competition in collaboration with the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Roland was set the challenge to create a film based on our new casualwear collection, inspired by the spirit and spontaneity of New Wave cinema. At Jigsaw’s Duke St Emporium in London, he tells Nakhalar Sterling about the making of the film.
How did this project differ to films you’ve worked on before?
What was unusual is that it was consciously tied to the history of film. The brief was to make a film inspired by French New Wave Cinema on Jigsaw’s New Wave-inspired collection. I had the potential to explore lots of New Wave cinematic techniques, like breaking the 4th wall by talking directly to the audience.
How do you stay true to your values and vision in a partnership with a brand?
Jigsaw granted me a lot of artistic freedom, which I really enjoyed. They were able to think outside of the box with me. That being said, there were constraints, like the budget. It wouldn’t have been possible without calling favours and the talented collaborators who made it happen with their own generosity.
Your knowledge on New Wave cinema must be second to none now. Tell us what makes New Wave cinema so special?
New Wave cinema was constantly rethinking how things can be done. I had fun thinking about the parallels between what the New Wave did for cinema and the trending of jeans in women’s fashion in the 60s. The wearing of trousers in the 60s was still an avant-garde thing to do and women chose it for the liberation it gave them. They are a signifier of freedom from gender constraints.
Are there any modern-day directors or writers that inspire you?
There are lots. I thought Moonlight by Barry Jenkins was sublime.
What’s exciting you about the world of film at the moment?
The social-realism films that we saw coming from America this year. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea; it’s great that they are all getting mass attention.
Are actors a nightmare to work with?
No, they’re the best. They take on the most pressure. When it comes to the crunch they have to make it count and tell the story with feeling and find truthfulness.
If you could have directed any film, which would it have been? And what would you have changed?
One of my all-time favourites is Where is My Friend’s Home. Not many people have seen it. It’s by Abbas Kiarostami, an Iranian director who died last year.
The story is about a boy’s journey travelling through rural Iran to help his friend try and get his homework book back to stop him dropping out of school. It’s a beautiful journey that shows the spirited hope still alive in the child that seems long gone in the adults. I recommend everyone sees it.
Your focus is on indie films – but do you have a guilty, blockbuster pleasure?
Jaws is probably one of my favourite films of all time but I wouldn’t attach any guilt.
Enjoy the film…