Festival Interview: Award Winner Eric Latek
Filmmaker Eric Latek talks about his award-winning personal documentary Anna.
Eric Latek’s film began with the noble and ambitious goal of ‘capturing the soul’ of his godmother Anna after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Ultimately, what Latek accomplishes is so much more.
Eric Latek’s film began with the noble and ambitious goal of ‘capturing the soul’ of his godmother Anna after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Ultimately, what Latek accomplishes is so much more. In this moving short documentary, we not only gain access to Anna’s life and dreams, but we recognize the fragility and beauty of life in a larger way.
Anna has screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Phoenix International Film Festival, NewBury Documentary Film Festival, Living with Alzheimers Film Festival. Most recently, it has been awarded Best Documentary for the 2015 Online New England Film Festival. Learn more or watch Anna online.
NewEnglandFilm.com: When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Eric Latek: I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a child. I started in Make-up VFX classes when I was 10, and thought I would go into the world of artists like Tom Savini. However, I decided to go to Emerson College for acting and moved into the technical realm of pure film: 8mm, 16mm 35mm.
However, when I graduated, and really had a solid foundation of film production and editing, the digital revolution exploded, and I had to literally re-educate myself in the world of production and post-production.
NEF: What inspired you to make your film?
Latek: Anna, who was my late Godmother, was an amazing woman, who had an amazing life and amazing story. However, she was suffering from a crippling disease. I felt I needed to capture what was left of her soul.
NEF: What has your most memorable experience been with an audience?
Latek: As far as my most memorable experience of the film, as well as my life, would be the first and last time Anna viewed the film. You can learn more at https://instagram.com/p/2zQcr8irtg/?taken-by=ericlatek
NEF: What are you working on now?
Latek: Besides the world of commercial filmmaking, I have been working on a film for 13 years called “TIGER”. So, always working on that. A few years to go on that film. I am finishing a short film that I wrote and directed entitled “Branch”, in pre-production for two short films (writer/director) that will be shot in the fall, and two feature narratives (writer/director) to be shot in 2016.
NEF: Any advice on making films you want to share – about fundraising, working with actors, distributing, sending to festivals, etc?
Latek: Simply, make the films that speak to you.
Leave your ego at the door. Always be humble. Make your film!