Festival Director

May 2023

Bringing to light… that’s what always comes to mind when I think of Luminous Frames.

Luminous Frames, does this name evoke something in your mind?

Permanent jury member of the Luminous Frames Film Festival

Interview with Cleola Eayrs

At the end of each edition, the contestants and many of the festival followers, eagerly wait for the results of jury’s judgment, and after the winners are announced, some are positively surprised, and some are disappointed.
How do you evaluate the judging method of the films at the Luminous Frames Festival? Is there an unbiased and open environment where you can independently judge the films?
What do you do if you have a completely different opinion from the rest of the judging panel?

Has there been a film or filmmaker in the past editions of the festival whose film or sequence from the film stood out for you?

What advice do you have for the younger filmmakers and new starters, as well as the professional filmmakers in the field of short films?

Considering the experience of judging in several editions of the festival, how is the general atmosphere of short films in today's world?

As you might have known, each edition of the festival was held in a new country for more than a year. What do you think this prominence will help the films and the filmmakers?

How would you rate the diversity of films and filmmakers taking part in the festival during the past few years?

How do you evaluate the policies of the Luminous Frames in the world of short film festivals?

Luminous Frames allows for a variety of short films to be submitted, conventional or unconventional. This is exceptional as it doesn’t put filmmakers in boxes but allows for creative freedom and acknowledgment. 

It has been beautiful to watch this grow. At the beginning we could see where the films predominantly originated from but as the years have gone by, we are now seeing more films from different countries, cultures, and languages; similar stories but seen from different perspectives due to our differences as people. 

I believe this has been a great initiative not only for our festival but in terms of our films and filmmakers that take part in the festival. This allows for the films to reach a larger audience in a different country from where it originated. Speaking from experience, it has always been difficult to get your work to reach an audience outside of your borders and the festival has removed those borders for the filmmakers.

What I want to applaud in the short films I have judged in last couple of years is the ability and bravery to push boundaries. The desire to express yourself and inform others has been pulpable in the work of the filmmakers taking part in the festival. 

For the younger filmmakers, I would say just do it, pick up that camera, start writing, stop talking yourself out of it, take that chance. For professional filmmakers, remember why you started this journey to begin with and what you were trying to say with your work. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd and forget how important our individual voices are. 

I have 3 films/documentaries that have stuck with me over the years. Number 1 is A Letter To My Mother by Amina Maher; beautiful and unsettling all at the same time, left me covered in goosebumps. Number 2 is Hunger Ward by Skye Fitzgerald; this documentary left me broken and in order to pick up the pieces I had to research what was happening in Yemen and find out what I could do to help. That’s how I knew that this documentary was successful because it had sparked that reaction from me. Number 3 is the animation Audition In Hell by George Port and Mark Blum; I really enjoyed this production, maybe because I am an actress, but I found the concept really interesting and still talk about it till this day.

This is an interesting question and one that I have thought about before. Most of the judges have distinctly different taste in films, which is great because that is the reality in the industry, some people love your film and others just don’t. What is also great is that we all come from different backgrounds within the film industry and as well as countries, which makes for an interesting finalists list. I judge the films when I am completely alone at home so that there are no distractions, I can simply enjoy and assess the films fairly. I do think my background as a lecturer has assisted me with the skills to judge the films fairly on their own merit.

I always voice my opinions when I don’t necessarily agree with the choices; this allows for a discussion to take place between the judges and after a while we come to an agreement which usually allows us to look at other possible productions again.

I believe we are making the necessary strides in this creative sector, but I do believe there is a lot still falling under the radar due to the lack of support, economically and socially, in various countries. Choosing is a bit difficult for me because I don’t feel I’ve watched enough to decide but from what I’ve seen so far, I would choose Germany and Japan. The work from there always stands out for me.

What is your opinion about today's independent filmmaking? What countries and styles of filmmaking do you consider leading in this field?

A successful film festival requires an elite group of film experts to judge films without bias. 

Due to her acting background, Cleola Eayrs pays particular attention to the content of the films so that she can measure the authenticity of the narrative that happens to the characters in the film.

What I admire most about her is that she is passionate about finding a ray of light in all films. Even if there is only a single valid point in a film, she finds it and shares it with the other judges.