Yuni Hadi sits down with our Artist-in-residence, filmmaker Fran Borgia, for a chat about his residency and new work, Black and White and Silence.  

Fran Borgia completed his residency with Objectifs from June to August 2011 as part of the Art Incubator program.  During the residency, he worked with the film students and lecturers from the Puttman School of Film at Lasalle College of the Arts to shoot and edit a 5-channel video installation Black and White and Silence. The work is part of the Art Incubator 3 Group Exhibition at Praxis Space at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Lasalle, from 10 Nov to 6 Dec 2011. 

YH: You’ve produced some award winning films such as “HERE” (dir: Ho Tzu Nyen) and “Sandcastle” (dir: Boo Junfeng) – both of which went to the Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week respectively). What made you want to apply for an artist-in-residence programme?

FB: A friend recommended me to apply for the residency and I did with an idea I had a long time ago. And to my surprise, I was selected. As a producer, I have had the privilege to work with such talented artists and filmmakers that it’s a constant learning experience for me, so I want to keep doing that as it’s my way of growing as filmmaker. The success of those films, in any case, is the merit of the directors – their ideas, their realization and the team they trust to work with.

YH: Tell us about your residency project?

FB: The project is titled: Black and White and Silence. It was conceived almost a decade ago through a strange dream I had one night.  In the dream I saw my mother who was in labor – she was bringing me to life.  I could see a doctor next to my father, asking me to wake up.  My mother took me in her arms, looked into my eyes and told my father that I looked as if I were dreaming… At that moment, I woke up.

YH: Residencies for artists are often focused on the process and have less emphasis on the ‘final product’. Tell us about your process, the things you learnt or realised.

FB: This project was all about the process, so the residency allowed me to make it real. I conceived the project as a collaboration, hence the involvement of the film students from Lasalle, and I learnt trying to materialize the ideas I had with them. I feel residencies are important as they offer time, a pleasurable thing for any artist, as time allows us to think and create.

YH: What’s your advice to aspiring filmmakers who are hoping to get their big break at a festival?

FB: A festival is just the end of a journey, and what is important is precisely that journey – where are you going, why are you going there and who is walking with you. Where the journey takes you is another thing.

YH: What’s one of the best film festival experiences you have had?

FB: The best film festivals are always the smallest ones. For me there have been two which I have really enjoyed – Eshkisehir, in Turkey, and Guanajuato, in Mexico. The big ones are not film festivals, but film business shows.

YH: Now that you’ve had some years of experience in the film business, what is something you wish you knew back then?

FB: I wish I knew that film business would take most of my time because I could have watch many more movies back then! Once I started to make films, I stopped having enough time to watch films, which it is what I really enjoy.

YH: What’s coming up this year for you?

FB: We are now in the post-production of a very special film, Endless Day, something very different and original.  I also have some projects in development, but I never like to talk about them till the films are made.

Black and White and Silence.

Black and White and Silence.