Anna Axster directed the Imogen Poots lead independent drama A Country Called Home. Seeped in melancholy with strong performances throughout, it’s a self-assured film for the director, this marking her first full length feature film. Take a look at some of the highlights of our discussion below and check out our review of the film.
Inspiration for the film
“A lot of this film was inspired by traveling through the U.S. with my husband and I saw so many different aspects of the U.S. that you don’t see when you’re a tourist…the loss of a parent is something I’ve experienced personally and it’s a universal feeling.”
“Imogen [Poots] was attached very early on. I thought she’d be really great as the lead. She really brought a lot to the character…once we found each other it was a very quick and easy dynamic.”
On music in the film
“Music is just a big part of my life-I’m around music a lot. I’ve always thought-and this is a cliche-that music can speak when you don’t really have the words.It creates emotion in ways that other things can’t. It’s Reno’s (Mackenzie Davis’s character) way of expression and survival.
Music itself in films-it’s important it doesn’t get in the way-but compliments it.”
“I knew that I needed to be prepared-it had a small budget and no time. I knew that going it but it was an experience. Getting it financed, getting an independent film financed, was difficult.
“I’ve always been interested in making movies, especially since I was a teen and exposed to theater. I kind of thought that the smaller moments could get lost in theaters. From an early age I was interest in cameras because cameras could catch those moments.”
Being a female director
“It’s still more difficult. Hopefully that will change with the conversation changed. It’s unfortunate that half of the population isn’t represented.”
Writing women characters
“It was important to me in telling this story and not resorting to the more obvious direction…people would have thought it would end up as a love story…I wanted to make a point to go against that..
Amanda (Mary McCormack is a good example of this. Everything she does, that she is where she is, is for a reason. She didn’t set out to be there. There’s so much pain underneath. She isn’t just a brash alcoholic.”
On getting to write and direct the film
“I’d love to do it again. I’ve be open to directing something someone else wrote as well. I’m not the type of writer who gets super attached to my stuff. So it would be easy to collaborate. I’m open to actors and what they bring to their character.
“The highlight was the shoot itself-as a filmmaker it’s what I love…it was a great, communal experience.
Working with the actors was a dream come true.”