“Firecrackers” director Jasmin Mozaffari and “Skate Kitchen” helmer Crystal Moselle, who won Stockholm Film Festival’s best film and debut, respectively, sat with Variety after the awards ceremony on Friday to discuss their next projects.
Moselle is an up-and-coming filmmaker who already boasts an impressive track record, having won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize with her 2015 documentary “The Wolfpack,” and this year’s Sundance Audience Prize with her narrative debut “Skate Kitchen,” a vibrant, naturalistic portrait of an all-female, multiracial skater crew in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
After “The Wolfpack” which revolved around six brothers who lived confined in a New York housing project, Moselle continued to work with non-professionals for “Skate Kitchen,” leading them to deliver performances that felt completely authentic. “I’m obsessed with authentic realism and when I work with non-actors I feel that I can make them virgins of themselves,” said Moselle, who is based in New York.
Moselle, who has her hands full with exciting projects, said her next feature — which is in early development — will take her into a new direction (not only geographically) and will likely be headlined by well-known actors. The project, which she has started writing with her father, takes place in the ’70s in the Bay Area and is set in the hippie community. “My dad was a crazy hippie,” said Moselle, who is a San Francisco native.
Moselle is also developing a high-profile TV series and a documentary which she teased as being “about the future but set now.”
Another promising North American helmer, Mozaffari made her feature debut with “Firecrackers,” which world premiered at Toronto and won Stockholm Festival’s best film and best actress for Michaela Kurimsky. The timely coming-of-age drama follows two best friends who plot a revenge against an abusive ex who violated one of them and cross a point of no return.
Although “Firecrackers” is not directly inspired by her life, Mozaffari said the film was “grounded in something that’s real” and reflects the “overt oppression” and “internalized misogyny” that many women experience.
For her next feature, Mozaffari, who is half Iranian and half Canadian, will be tackling her dual identity. “I want to touch on my experience as a half Iranian teenage girl growing up in (a small town in Ontario),” said Mozaffari.
The director said she was interested in making films exploring “the intersection of race, gender and sexuality.” Like “Firecrackers,” her project will portray teenagers. “I like that age because there is an inherent conflict,” she added.
Moselle and Mozaffari were two of the many women who nabbed awards at this year’s Stockholm Film Festival, which is headed by Git Scheynius. Other Stockholm festival winners included Lebanese helmer Nadine Labaki who picked up the best screenplay prize with “Caparnaum”; German filmmaker Eva Trobisch who won best director with “All Good”; and Brazilian writer-director Beatriz Seigner who won the Impact Award with “Los Silencios.”