Floris Parlevliet on taking risks as a filmmaker

Floris Parlevliet talks about saving missed opportunities in the current film climate.

Floris Parlevliet is Artistic Director at CineCrowd, a non-profit organisation that provides an opportunity for filmmakers to present and pitch their ideas to the public. Anyone – individuals as well as companies – can safely contribute to a film and thus make its realisation possible. CineCrowd wants to provide a platform for the makers of powerful and original films. Both well-known filmmakers and filmmakers who are at the start of their career have been able to make films partly due to CineCrowd.

“Please let your next film be as uncompromised and as rough as life can be.”

In the past six years I’ve seen over 500 film projects, who presented their idea to the crowd through the platform I started: CineCrowd. These projects ranged from short films and documentaries, to webseries, experimental films and features. What all these filmmakers had in common, is that they were not afraid to share their dreams and stories with the audience, sometimes even before they knew exactly how everything would look on the silver screen. More than 40.000 people and companies took the chance with the stories these filmmakers where sharing and made them possible.

Raw urgency

I don’t remember all 500 films, but I do have some who stayed with me. Because they were bravely presented or where heartbraking or very funny. But the ones that will make a change in our industry and in the heads of the audience members, are the ones that were made uncompromisingly. The raw urgency which sometimes screams through a movie or through a filmmaker is what makes the difference. Of course, you can learn how to make films, you can arrange enough budget to actually make your dreams come to life and to give them production value. But you have decide to have the balls to make your film.

In the Dutch filmmaking landscape there’s been a tendency over the past years to reward succes. This is being done in the form of more money from broadcasters and filmfund to filmmakers who have shown a succes in previous films. Ofcourse succes should be rewarded, I totally agree. But this also brings a problem: there is a large part of filmmakers (and their stories) who are being overlooked. And this is not only a problem for filmmakers; if you look at the demographics of broadcaster audience and moviegoers, you can see a giant gap. A gap for new stories and therefore new filmmakers.

Stay yourself

I don’t want to waste your time talking about filmfunding politics, and this is (mind you) also not something that can be ‘solved’ completely by the crowd. I think there is one common solution, or goal if you will, where we can all make a difference: we should take more risks. We should not be afraid to fail. Please let your next film be as uncompromised and as rough as life can be. Learn from the big storytellers, learn from the blockbusters, learn from all the feedback. But stay yourself and make the film only you can make.

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