"Once you realize nothing is impossible, it becomes clear how to reach the goal"
Igor Sadovski is a Moldovan screenwriter and film director who specializes in psychological thrillers, drama and mystery films. After moving to Italy to study Digital Film Making at The Sae Institute of Milano, Igor has producer, written and directed several short films. His first feature film, Werner Gruber, won LAFA Best Picture award. LAFA Lead judge, Lisa Roumain, described Werner Gruber as "a dark, eerie, and seductive thriller about a young woman's (Alina Stoianov) return to her childhood home, and the secrets that are held there surrounding the traumatic death of her parents... Mr. Sadovski expertly draws you into a very dark path of complicated characters & secrets. He created a film that beautifully shows the disturbing with tenderness & restraint, it was intoxicating and nerve-wracking. Wonderful film!"
We invited Igor to join us for an interview. Here's his story.
Please tell us about yourself. Born in Republic of Moldova, Edinet, what was it like to grow up there, and how did you get into film?
I was born in Edinet, a city in the north of Republic of Moldova, on February 6, 1981. My father was a veterinarian and my mother is an accountant. I am their only child, so I lived in my own reality and my own fantasies. As a child, I used to read adventure books that took me around the world. At that time, I loved Robert Louis Stevenson and James Fenimore Cooper. At 16, I decided to make a career as an actor, at 24 I thought back towards directing, so that I did the SAE Institute in Milan in the period 2008 – 2010. Short films filmography:
- Disturbia (2012) psychological thriller (15 min.)
- Medalion (2013) psychological thriller (20 min.)
- Flutulus (2016) poetical drama (30 min.)
- Canon (2017) social drama (25 min.)
- Spectrum (2018) psychological thriller (20 min.) Feature films filmography:
- Werner Gruber (2019) thriller (90 min.)
- Charlotte (2020) horror (90 min.)
- P ……… M (2021) thriller (120 min.)
Which film directors are you inspired by and what do you like about their work?
My favourite film director is Andrei Tarkovsky. I like his style, rhythm, aesthetics and drama. Unfortunately, his films, being non-commercial, are difficult to achieve. Then there is the list of seven other film directors: Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Terence Malick, Quentin Tarantino, Lars von Trier, Ridley Scott and David Fincher. All these film directors are important to me, from them I learned and I continue to learn how to make films. They are so important to me that I made myself a tattoo with all of them, so they are always with me. This helps me morally.
What is your favorite film?
My favourite movie is Melancholia (2011) by Lars von Trier.
When did you found your production company, Cinemascope Sadovski, and what does the company focus on?
My company - Cinemascope Sadovski - was founded on February 13th, 2017, to support my personal projects. Through my company, I obtained financial support from the National Film Centre of Moldova (CNC). I am opened to production and co-production. For now, the company has made four films.
Werner Gruber (LAFA Best Director, Best Picture, Best Thriller and Best Cinematography) is your directorial feature debut. Why did you decide to tell this story?
Werner Gruber was written in 2014 by Marco Colabraro and myself. It is a story of pure fantasy. I really liked the character of Werner Gruber, for me he is a kind of Tarantinian character.
The story presents complicated characters and many secrets. Really nerve-wracking at times. Tell us about your creative writing process. How did you come up with this screenplay? Where do you draw your inspiration from? Werner Gruber’s characters are complicated; the story itself contains many secrets. I am myself complicated, I would say, with my secrets. As film directors usually do, I presented this story being in love with Werner Gruber, the crazy mayor of Westfield. The mayor makes some mistakes in his life, but then he decides to change, for the sake of ending the Westfield’s drama. My inspiration comes from within me. It is simple.
How did you prepare for the shoot?
The preparation for the film was difficult, but very fast, so that it took me only two months of preparation. I had to work fast and efficiently.
You did a wonderful job with the characters - Nicolae Jelescu (Werner Gruber) in particular. What was the casting process like? Did you have many rehearsals on set? As I said before, the character of Werner Gruber is very curious and complicated, I loved creating it. The casting process was a difficult one, as it was not easy to find the right actor. Nicolae Jelescu was the best candidate, so I started working with him doing a lot of rehearsals of the whole film in our office.
What was the most complicated scene to shoot? The most complicated scene for me was when we burned the car of Mara Kaminski’s parents. For several reasons, it was difficult and fast, so that I had a headache. Another complicated scene was the end of the film, that one with Werner and Mara facing each other. It took three days to shoot it.
Werner Gruber also won Best Cinematography, for Angelo Stramaglia's extraordinary composition work. How did you work together to achieve the right vision for the film?
We are already at our third project with Angelo Stramaglia, we get on very fast and efficiently. For me, the right vision for the film as always comes from within. For me, it is a funny process but also a lot of responsibility.
In your opinion, what are the most important elements of a thriller film? Do you have any tips for young filmmakers?
The right element of the thriller is the suspense, but it is not always like this, because each film director applies his own vision. Therefore, the discourse of suspense it is ambiguous. For young film directors, I would recommend working a lot, they must know the process of production, editing, and have to know how to command on set, not only focus on the direction. The work of the film director is very complex; you must have an answer to any question or problem that appears during the work process. The film director knows everything and sees everything.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
For the question where I see myself in ten years, I answer that in three years I see myself already directing films in the USA. My dream has always been to work in Hollywood. Now, I see myself almost there. My first collaboration with USA is this one with Global Genesis Group, and I really appreciate it.
What can you tell us about your upcoming project, Charlotte? Are you working on anything else these days?
Charlotte is a horror, co-produced by Cinemascope Sadovski, Pascaru Production and Global Genesis Group, with the financial support of the National Film Centre of Moldova (CNC). Charlotte is currently in the post-production phase. I am already preparing for the next film to be a thriller, I would not like to reveal the name, but I can say that it is titled P...... M. It will be a movie that will be released in 2021, in English.
Is there anything you wish to add?
Nothing is impossible, that is what I would like to say, it is very important to understand this thing. Once understood, it becomes clear how to act to reach the goal.