So You Want To Be A Film Director

Do you aspire to be a film director?


Director Gabriel Bologna with the Main Actor From African Gothic Damon Shalit

I managed to sit down with Gabriel Bologna, the director of African Gothic and we chatted about film direction.

He shared his knowledge with me about film, direction and making movies.

What drew you to this project?

Damon Chalit, he got the rights to the play.  I was taken by the originality of Reza de Wet.  During the audition process I found that

80% – 90% of actors I auditioned were horrible.  However the South African Actors blew me away.  They were all well trained.

Describe your directing style?

I’m Italian so I have Fellini movies in my blood.  I have a magical realistic take on life.  I make films of a darker milieu.

Do you think film directors should help each other by marketing their films using Facebook?

Yes, I think Indie film directors need all the help they can get.

Tips for would be directors?

Find the story you want to tell don’t get caught up in making something that you think people want to see.  Think of cave drawings.

Practice self-expression.

What’s next for you?

I’m directing a comedy about a Hasidic Jew titled ‘Tango Shalom’

Do you think Directors are going to keep with main screen type films or would you move to YouTube style / Google Hangout type movies? 

I think that creates more outlets for distribution.  There used to be 40 or 50 distribution companies awhile back.  Now there are 4.

What do you think of Vine and Instagram Video style trailers for movies?

Those are great idea’s.

What is your approach at film festivals to get a film sold?

I’m a big fan of them.  You have to take the film all over the world to build awareness.  You need to create a pedigree for a film.

What makes the right music for the right scene?

I was lucky to get SA musicians for this movie.  I managed to get an oil drum and a steel guitar.  Music plays an important part in this piece.

(Gabriel Bologna was interviewed at the Durban International Film Festival)

For more details on African Gothic visit their website –

Interview and Photo by Fred Felton

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