"Deja Vu"

Co-Producer & CO-Director Anna Morawska

“Deja Vu” - Best Acting Feature Film

Directed by Anna Morawska

As a director, Please introduce yourself.

My name is Anna Morawska. I was born and raised in Poland, but I have been living abroad for over 22 years now. Currently, I made the Netherlands my home, Haarlem. I identify as, what you might call, a ‘Modern Nomad’ and I don’t know my next destination and what the life has in store for me. I guess I like a thrill of adventure and the excitement of unknown. After graduating from the Film Academy in Amsterdam, my classmate, Astrid, and I decided to make a film, but unlike other beginner filmmakers, we didn't want to spend time making another short film, we wanted something big, more spectacular! Despite the lack of funds, we decided to go all the way and make a full-length feature film.

Why did you became a director?

One day, a friend of mine asked me to make a video to promote his music classes so he could attract more students. I prepared the script and shot everything as planned. Finding a cheap editor wasn't an easy task, so I downloaded Davinchi Resolve, a free editing software, and did it myself. After finishing the project, I looked at the end result, and although my friend liked it, I discovered that I still have a long way to go before I can call myself a filmmaker.

Let us know more about your experience in this project?

Deja Vu was a fun project to do, because it was our first full length feature film, but at the same time it was quite demanding, because of limited budget, lack of sponsors and very little experience in making films. But as they say, no pain, no gain. We had to do everything from scratch, using all the available resources. We were lucky to be based in the proximity of great locations like Haarlem, Amsterdam, Zandvoort beach, and other attractive locations. First, while still at Film Academy, we used their facilities to conduct casting. We invited a lot of English speaking actors from Drama Theatre, and some Theatre schools. Getting all the cast and making sure everyone stays committed to the project was a lot of work, but once we had it ticked off, we started filming. We looked for the locations a month or two before the shooting day and continues that way even throughout the corona time. Half way through one of the actresses, got super busy with her paid project and left the production. That, of course, caused some problems regarding script rewriting and reshooting some of the scenes, but we persevered and pushed on. Despite of many other setbacks, we managed to complete Deja Vu, and today we are receiving a lot of ice recognitions from Film Festivals.

What were some of the challenges you faced in this project?

The Deja Vu project was fa lot of fun to do, because it was our first feature film. At the same time it was quite demanding due to the limited budget, lack of sponsors and very little filmmaking experience. But as they say, no pain, no gain. We had to do everything from scratch, using all available resources. We are very lucky to live close to Haarlem, Amsterdam, Zandvoort beach and other attractive cities, so at least we didn’t have to travel long distances to find a good location. When still students at the Film Academy, we used their facilities to conduct castings. We invited many English-speaking actors from English Theatre and some Drama School. It was a lot of work to put the entire cast together and make sure everyone can committed to the project. Once we had all the basics covered, we started shooting.

 Halfway through, one of our actresses got very busy with her paid projects and left the production. This ,of course, was a stressful moment for our team, as we had to rewrite some parts of the script and re-shoot a few scenes. Nevertheless, we persevered and kept going. Despite many challenges and setbacks  we managed to finish Deja Vu and today we receive awards at many Film Festivals.

Angela watches David
Angela at the pub counter
Angela and David at the bar
Anna Morawska at work
Shooting process
During filming

Are you happy with the final result?

An artist should never be satisfied with his last work. Each work of art is in some way like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, in the process of being created, recreated and improved. From this perspective, every work of art is unfinished. However, given our circumstances and limited resources, it's fair to say we've done a good job. We did what we could to the best of our abilities. However, we hope that with each new project we will develop and improve as filmmakers.

Mr. Goldbaum walking with Angela
David and Rosie having a romantic lunch
Rosie sees her husband leaving hotel with a lover

Tell us more about the projects you've been involved in, about your experiences?

Before we started our Deja Vu project, my Film School teachers often asked me for help with various film projects. So sometimes I worked as a camera operator, other times I helped with the lights or prepared costumes for the actors. That way I had the opportunity to try out different roles in the film industry. One of my favorite roles on set was taking photos and videos behind the scenes. It's a very interesting role, a bit like a journalist, who is observing and gathering information. You can see things from a different perspective, more like an outsider. And of course, it's always good to have great content to use as promotional material later (social media posts, etc.)

Angela singing
Angela sees David and Rosie
Angela tryin on a wig

Do you have any advice for newbies?

If you're very young, you probably still don't know what career path you want to pursue, so it's worth trying out many different roles and seeing which one suits you best. The entertainment industry, and in particular the film industry, is very demanding and competitive, so achieving success requires a lot of effort and perseverance.

Most filmmakers tend to have side jobs to pay the bills, and that is quite normal, especially at the beginning. However, if you want to have any significant achievements, you must be extremely determined, disciplined, proactive and hungry for "success". Luck also plays an important in life and success. And as we all know, only a few reach the top. My piece of advice is to give it a try, see if filmmaking is really your calling, and if so, go for it and try to make the most of your talent.

Anna Morawska