One-on-one with Filmmaker Jesper Isaksen - "Film festivals play a huge role."
Jesper Isaksen is a self-educated D.I.Y. film director, writer, editor, color grader and producer and the founder & owner of the independent Danish film company Bleed For This Picture. In the fall of 2019 Jesper finished his first feature film 'Victim of Love', a dense psychological and bloody yet stylish horror-thriller starring Danish powerhouse actor Rudi Køhnke. After premiering at the biggest feature film festival in Denmark, CPH PIX, receiving a Robert nomination by the Danish Film Academy for "Best Original Song" by Julian Winding at The Danish Film Awards 2020, the film has been having a pretty strong festival run so far.
iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.
Isaksen: "My very first directorial debut feature film VICTIM OF LOVE."
iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?
Isaksen: "To make a Refn, Lars Von Trier, Lynch and Cronenberg inspired film with a mere 65.000 USD budget."
iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?
Isaksen: "The overall look and sound. It's been highly praised along with a stunning and intense lead performance."
Trailer: Victim of Love (2019)
iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?
Isaksen: "After playing music from the age of 13 till I was around 25 I still needed a creative outlet and films were always my second passion, which has now become my number one passion."
iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?
Isaksen: "I'm actually writing on 12-13 different projects at the moment, even though I've managed to find 2-3 projects I'll shop around to producers and production companies."
iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?
Isaksen: "A HUGE role. They can provide exposure, nominations, awards and new friendships along with new great contacts. They can also be the reason you get a distribution deal. It can also boost your confidence and generate reviews. Festivals are highly important."
iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?
Isaksen: "Read about every single festival you consider submitting your film to and see if it fits your film. Do NOT just send it to every festival out there. If in doubt write the festival programmers."
iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?
Isaksen: "Hmm... great question. I think everything comes in waves. In the mid 90ties only one factory in Europe made vinyl records, every other company was out of business. And now - for 15 years consecutive years straight the sales of vinyl have been on the rise. My point being - what currently seems to be the downfall of traditional cinemas, may not be the case in the long run. People do not ONLY want cheaper solutions, they also - at some point - want quality from companies that show integrity, curated quality and business models that also benefits the people who make the content they deliver."
iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?
Isaksen: "I admire a LOT of filmmakers for different reasons, but the ones who inspire me the most and the very reason I make films are Lars Von Trier, Nicolas Winding Refn, David Lynch, Gareth Evans, David and Brandon Cronenberg, Robert Eggers to name a few."
iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?
Isaksen: "I just saw 'Antichrist' by Lars Von Trier (again), love that film, but also 'Luz: The Flower Of Evil' from my Colombian brother-in-horror. Very beautiful and poetic film. I desperately want to see 'Brandons Possessor' a.s.a.p. - it really looks stunning!"