POV presents the story of Marcin, a soccer referee in small-town Poland who faces angry players, managers and fans as he yearns for a better job and a better life.

Filmmaker Q&A Banner

rsz_the_whistle_q&a_photo.jpg|"The Whistle" filmmaker Grzegorz Zariczny talks about filming football matches, maintaining automony of a film and and what scenes gave him the most joy.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an independent filmmaker?

You can work with the people you want to work with and not with those imposed by the producer. The final cut is also yours, which is crucial, because a film can be ruined during editing if a third party starts meddling.

Which filmmakers inspired you to get behind the lens?

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.

Could you list three films that all independent film supporters should take the time to see? 

Erick Zonca’s "La vie rêvée des anges" (The Dreamlife of Angels), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ "Rosetta" and Stephen Daldry’s "Billy Elliot."

What do you hope the audience comes away with after seeing your film?

I hope that they won’t leave feeling that they’ve wasted their time. I'd like them to spend a few minutes thinking about the central character whose life they've just been watching.

How much influence did your personal attitudes toward work and finding a companion affect the writing and characterization process?

Before I ever put pen to paper, I have to have the sense that the world I'm intending to tell the story of is as close, as immediate to me as my own world. And the world of each and every one of us is rooted in detail. I don’t sit down to write until I know the detail. Which is why I often reach for central characters whose experiences are similar to mine and who come from a world similar to mine. It means that the story I’m setting out to tell has a chance of being truthful, sincere and close to the audience. Audiences don’t like being deceived. A great many of the films I watch have no truth within them, because they’re based purely on a imagined notion of a world. And in the cinema, that’s not enough. Cinema is not the world in pictures, but a picture of the world.

How were the football matches filmed? Was it was once filmed over a series of days, or was it broken up?

We went to a match every week and filmed the entire thing. In that way, we managed to gather filmed material of around 10 football matches in the lowest division. Altogether, it gave us around 20 hours of material from the pitch alone.

Which scenes were the most rewarding to film?

The most difficult thing was to get Marcin and his mother to stop being stressed by the camera and start talking to each other authentically. After days of recording their life in the kitchen, it finally happened; they began talking to each other genuinely and frankly and it was those scenes that gave me the most joy.

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Final NEA Logo.jpg| PBS Indiesis partially funded by The National Endowment for the Arts.