‘Each film is like a bird, all we need to do is make it fly’
Since his breakout role as violent yet tender replicate Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s 1982 urban sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer has carved a name for himself in American films throughout a career that has spanned forty years. He has gone from playing romantic heroes such as the brooding knight in Richard Donner’s 1985 Ladyhawke to villains like the psychotic John Ryder terrorizing C. Thomas Howell in 1986′ The Hitcher and 2005’s Cardinal O’Rourke in the big-screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s neo-noir Sin City.
Now, as the President of the I’ve Seen Films festival, the 65-year-old international star is giving aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to show him ‘things never seen before’ with the purpose of not only telling a story, but also with the ability to have a message that is uplifting and hopeful. The international short film festival will be in Milan, Italy from September 29 to October 3 of this year. The setting will be at the downtown Gnomo Milano Cinema, recently renovated with Digital Cinema equipment, set at the festival’s disposal by the Milano Muncipality. More on this can be found at www.icfilms.org.
Pier Paolo (director of the festival): ‘I’ve Seen Films’ is at its second edition this year, therefore it’s a brand-new Film Festival that is developing and growing right now.
It has been founded by Rutger Hauer with the aim of promoting, in an independent way, on a world-wide basis and also through the internet streaming medium, the works of filmmakers desiring powerful exposure and visibility to their films. ‘I’ve Seen Films’ provides therefore a unique platform for up-and-coming filmmakers to demonstrate their artistic capabilities and for the public to recognize their talent. A prestigious Jury of internationally-known film experts enhances the complexity and uniqueness of this Festival.
GG: Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Robert Rodriguez (Sin City), and Paul Verhoven (Blood & Flesh) are among the directors that we have worked with Rutger Hauer over the years as well as members of last year’s International Jury. Are they going to be there this year? Who else?
PP: As per our yesterday’s Press Release, Ridley Scott and Robert Rodriguez kindly accepted to be again International Jury members. In addition, other members are Lech Majewski, Eugenio Cappuccio (a well-known Italian director), Bill Bristow, Daniela Catelli, Jeremy Eynon. Mr. Hauer is of course a member of the Jury, too. He is approaching right now other colleagues to involve them in the Jury; therefore most probably other artists will join it in the next few weeks. We noticed how important it is for up-and-coming filmmakers to have their works judged and commented on by very experienced filmmakers such as Sir Ridley Scott, or Mr. Rodriguez, or similar. A judgment from them is much more important, for young filmmakers, than any money prize they could get. To this purposes, together with the trophy awards, we also give the winners an official statement quoting those artists’ comments about their works. This is something that young filmmakers really value a lot, because they see it as a unique opportunity to have their works seen by people who have gained an enormous, unmatched experience in the filmmaking field.
GG: Onscreen, Rutger Hauer seems intense, menacing, dangerous and scary yet charming, romantic, soulful and heroic. What he’s like in real life?
PP: Mr. Hauer is a thorough artist with a very charismatic personality. To have the opportunity to work with him is a very inspirational experience; he is very devoted to the short film genre and to the development of young filmmakers, and he is expressing this passion through the setting up of the Rutger Hauer Film Factory (based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands) where he shares his life-long film experience with young filmmakers, as well as through the setting up of his own Festival, called ‘I’ve Seen Films – International Short Film Festival’. The launching pad for this will be an Internet contest, organized with Cotoweb’s technical expertise.
GG: I heard that he’s shooting a movie over in Europe. Can you tell me what it’s about, and will it be released domestically in the States?
PP: Right now he is busy on a set in the UK, shooting ‘The Letters’, directed by William Riead, also starring Max von Sydow. It’s a movie about Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Due to its very early production stage, no precise news is available yet about release dates and places.
Here are the weblinks from last year: