A Passion for Merging Past and Future: An Interview with Marco Kalantari, writer and director of “The Shaman”

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Writer and Director Marco Kalantari,

By: Vernon Nickerson

Edited By : Colleen Page

As a hardworking  artist and creative it is hard to miss what a true genius  Marco Kalantari is and  how humble he is about his craft. A bridge to many different cultures Marco Kalantari is truly a mirror of cultural diversity. The Art Of Monteque had  a chance to sit down with the writer and director to talk about his premiere at Tribeca and the wonderful work he created “The Shaman”

“The Shaman” is an 18 minute film with the production values and story of a full length feature film. What inspired you to create this film?

 Marco Kalantari: As an aspiring feature film maker I wanted to make the film that looked like any feature length film. It’s all about detailing and having a film making passion — then it doesn’t matter how long the film actually runs,

How did you pull together a team of artists from 11 different countries (Austria, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia, Serbia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom) and such a diverse set of cultures?

MK:  It has a strong connection with my working life. I am Austrian, I was living in Iceland, then I went to Japan, I was living in Asia when I made my fourth film.  So, I just called everybody that I wanted to work with on this project.  Diversity is a mirror of my work life, The great thing is that suddenly you have a team that is spreading all over the globe.

How much scientific fact and recorded history drive your science fiction in general and specifically “The Shaman”?

MK:  Of course I have been dong research on shamanism.  I was not at the end of the day out to create a documentary, but I wanted to achieve a merged balance, or merger between the narrative and certain facts. “The Shaman” has its source not in the future but in the past, and the film merges the future and the past.  Thirty thousand years ago, Shamanism was the the human’s primary source of answers for all the big life questions. I didn’t want to make a high gloss movie , but I did want to depict something (Shamanism) that is existing today in a certain way.

 What were some of the challenges involved in bringing such a technically detailed story from screenplay to film?

MK:  One challenge always is shooting a bunch of sites.  Also, we have been working in different countries with a lot of communication was going through the internet with one team member at from Japan that I have never met.  Without face – to – face meetings, working this way this requires much more communication to ensure people understand each other.

What compelled you to become an artist? Furthermore, what made you want to undertake your particular artist’s journey?

MK:  I started at a young age being intrigued by theater play, writing, drawing, etc. in Austria. there are great films being made in Austria however, there is not as much opportunity as there is in the United States.  After so many years I still have the same drive – storytelling, inspiring people to go for their own dreams and find their own special truth in their lives.

 What does it mean to you to be an artist?

MK:  I would rather call it being a creative hard worker who tells his stories.  It is my mission in life to tell my stories.  I approach it as a job, which for me means hard work, getting up every day, discipline.  If something comes out of it that is considered art, well, that is for others to determine.

 Can we expect a sequel and /or a sequel?

MK:  Who knows?  That’s a question everybody asks. The Shaman is a great story and a great world, but of course their are other interesting stories to tell so I would not limit myself. However, if the opportunity arose, I would consider taking it.

Any final thoughts?

 MK: I am excited about the opportunity to premiere at Tribeca, I am so very thankful for this opportunity because “The Shaman” is not a “typical”  festival type of film.  I am very excited to see the reaction of the people at Tribeca.  [TAOMR]