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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

You Won't Be Alone

by writer/director Goran Stolevski

I grew up in a tiny Eastern European town without a cinema.

But the first time I fell in love with movies was in 1993, when I was eight years old and—already a chronic insomniac—forced to suffer the horrific injustice of a 9pm bedtime.

One typically sleepless night, with my parents distracted by guests, I snuck into their bedroom and hid under a blanket with my dad's portable 8-inch TV set. It had only one channel playing a late night movie.

I missed the opening titles so I didn't know what I was watching—something Italian about a sweet-faced girl following a scary strongman around with a circus. I didn't even realise that the movie was black and white on purpose—I just assumed I couldn't see any colour because my dad's portable was super cheap.

But for two hours I gaped at the screen transfixed. Until the very end—when the girl was gone, the man was crying, and my soul and my chest were thumping with a completely new feeling of "Wow. This? Is what a movie can do?"

I found out later it was someone called Federico Fellini that gave me that feeling and this movie was called La Strada.

Months later I remember watching the Oscars and hearing the names of all these other people who could maybe give me this feeling. Someone called Jane Campion made a movie called The Piano. Someone called Steven Spielberg made Schindler’s List. Their movies were playing all around the world, but only in cities that had cinemas.

This is how my parents convinced me to move to the Australian city of Melbourne: they told me it had a cinema.

The next couple of years I was stuck in state housing in a place where I had no friends. But I was living the life of dreams! Because finally I was living somewhere with a cinema.

My mind boggles that making movies is something I now actually do.

For the life of me I cannot quite believe that the cinemas that once played Fellini—and still play Campion and Spielberg—now also play a movie that I wrote and directed.

It's called You Won't Be Alone and it was made with a lot of feeling—not just by me, but by my cinematographer Matthew Chuang, my production designer Bethany Ryan, my producers Kristina Ceyton and Sam Jennings, and a small army of gorgeous, glorious people. When you see it on the big screen, we hope that the feeling comes through.

Posted March 29, 2022

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