An Interview With “Tapestry” Director Kurt Leitner And His Inspirations Behind Filmmaking | Girls Mag

An Interview With “Tapestry” Director Kurt Leitner And His Inspirations Behind Filmmaking

What inspired Tapestry to come about and did the name happen to be inspired by the incredible album by Carole King “Tapestry”?

Kurt: I love that album. Amazing of course, but no. Our title did not come from her album. It came from the concept of many small stories tied into one, cohesive feature-length film. Just like a tapestry. I was inspired to make this film because I was looking to find a concept that connects important stories from all over the world. Sounds daunting right? I didn’t know if I could do it. Travel to 20 different countries and find amazing actors along the way, BUT where there is a will there is a way! And we are doing it! I was so excited to not only discover stories that deserved to be told, but to find many, many actors that could bring them to life!

The concept of the film is about the diverse backgrounds of women from all around the world and their inspiring stories. Please give us more insight into that?

Kurt: I have chosen the life of a storyteller. I have stories from my own life, but there are so many others that need to be told. They need to be shared with the world. So going international seemed like that would be the richest field to mine. With this thinking, I thought of focusing on stories of women, because growing up the very best stories came from my mother and sisters and the women in my life, so I wanted to gather as many as I could find. As a filmmaker, I value collaborations and have realized that true inspiration rises from listening. And so, our journey began!

What did you find was the most common denominator with all of the women’s stories? I know resilience would had to have been one of them?

Kurt: Yes, absolutely! Resilience. Inner strength and inspiration. Hard to pick just one. Ha. We, as humans on this planet, must be at our strongest each day to survive. We were quickly reminded that different women have different challenges depending on their ethnicity or social circumstances. Their resilience is certainly key. Learning this, we created a shared experience that not only threads their personal journeys, but also honors their diverse perspectives.

What stood out to you the most when casting across the globe?

Kurt: When we started casting and reached out to over 20 countries, we were looking to assemble a magnificent ensemble. During this process, we wanted the women to authentically bring themselves to each story and even encouraged them to add their native languages to the script. It was a delightful surprise that the stories we researched and developed were far beyond what we could have hoped for. We ended up developing bilingual monologues in Hindi, French, German, Japanese, Hebrew, Korean and many more. Our actors are not only ethnically diverse but also diverse in age and experience. One of the women that inspired me the most was Maysie Hoy, who is not only a celebrated actor but also, one of the preeminent editors in the industry. We are lucky to have her talents in two categories because we are also having her join the team as our film editor. Another actor who stood out was Vidushi Chadha (India) who jumped out off the screen and fully brought her unique self to the words. Her performance was so moving and she understood the material so deeply. We invited her to join us as a writer as well. Actors Natalie Berger (Russia), Carola Di Franco (Brazil) and Kristina Yaneva (Bulgaria) really impressed me with their engaging performances. Federica Sinopoli (Italy), Whitney Touré (France) and Ángela del Salto (Spain) also really stood out. I could go on and on about each one of the cast members, but now the world will have to see it for themselves.

What have you learned the most while working on this movie?

Kurt: I learned so much about knowing what I don’t know. And I quickly discovered that the level of talent out there in our world is a bit overwhelming. I am so thrilled to be able to work with these amazing actors from all over the globe and actually humbled by it all. I would also like to add how fortunate I am to be supported by talented females behind the camera and in the writing process. I believe that is truly necessary in bringing the female perspective to life.

When can we expect to see this movie being shown and what would you like audiences to take away from it?

Kurt: We will officially be in production early next year and should be finished by the summer of 2023. Lots of travelling and logistics ahead of us. A bit daunting, but we have a great team to accomplish it all! I hope audiences will be moved emotionally, stimulated intellectually and inspired spiritually. And that they seek to find and share their own personal stories with the world. There are so many out there. I think we will have to create a trilogy!

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