Peter Grunwald: “We stood together as some crazy unity”

In May we again present films from regional talents. One of the films that is going to be shown is Haute Cuisine from a group young filmmakers from Germany. Earlier this year, the film won the big Prize for Best Fiction Film in the category 14-18 years old during the Euregional Youth Film Festival in Genk (B).

Can you tell us something about yourself?

“We are young and passioned filmmakers trying to find our way of expressing ourselves through film as an entertaining art. Since a few years, we formed ourselves to a close community called HandheldCinema. A name that does not imply a shaky camera-style or a dominant use of handheld camera, but is supposed to underline our love in film as a selfmade medium, as an art form created by our own hands.”

What is your film about?

“Our film is about a poor lady who tries to become part of high society after finding money between a restaurant’s leftovers in the garbage. Unfortunately, the lovely created but pretty small food portions in the restaurant leave her hungry and unsatisfied after having spent all the money. That’s why she decides to take matters in her own hands. Unintentionally or not, she starts a little revolution.”

“It’s not a film demonizing good food (we love it!). It is a short, metaphorical tale about the mask of high society, about the equal value of every human and his or her claim to be accepted. And this simple message is packed in a stylistic tribute to masters of silent comedy movies, also combining those classic elements with modern an own ideas of staging. Why this story? As we consider our film completely as a little metaphor, it’s message is a simple, but nevertheless very personal one to us.”

What was the biggest challenge during shooting the film?

“Writing, pre-producing and shooting our film was a real challenge due to the strict limit of time (all in two months!) and our imagination of a nice starred restaurant that we wanted to realise by ourselves. In a tight and intense workflow, we designed our set in a music class room in our former school. Additionally, we got help by a professional chef who lent us his great kitchen and supported us by being a hand double for our actor in the kitchen montage.”

What’s the most valuable thing you learned while making the film?

“The most valuable message we kept in mind as a result of our project might be: “If we’re absolutely keen on making the film, we can do it!”. We had never worked with professional actors or this huge amount of extras in the background, and we had never worked aon such a big and professional set. But we learned from our mistakes, stood together as some crazy unity and realised our script word by word and step by step.”

Who is your biggest example as a director?

“Sergio Leone, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Tykwer, Stanley Kubrick (and many more).”

Are you currently developping new projects?

“As always, we are currently developping new projects. On the one hand, we’ve got another short silent film we already shot that is now going through post production (we love to tell our messages through pictures instead of long dialogues!). On the other hand, we are working on a crazy idea already for a long time: who says that Germans can’t make a real gritty western movie?!”

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