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“We’re Gathered Here” mourns loss with honest compassion

From Director Brock Lewandowski comes the story of a former jock who spends the day of his step-father’s funeral eulogizing his childhood pets, dragging his sister along to relive some memorable stories.

Lewandowski is an up-and-coming entertainment industry professional specializing in post-production. He is currently working in theatrical marketing in Los Angeles after working as a digital asset manager. When he’s not working, Brock has directed, edited and produced an number of short films and video projects in his free time. He has a diverse background prior to earning his degree in Media & Information including work in the fields of athletics and fine arts performance.

If you’d like to learn more about “We’re Gathered Here” or Lewandowski’s other projects, visit his website.

Check out the film’s trailer:

Q/A with Brock Lewandowski

1. What first drew you to making this specific film project?

This project grew out of a single scene  I imagined driving through my hometown one day. In the film, it’s the scene where the former football teammates eulogize a dog in the middle of a stadium. From there, I started to imagine what other unique pet funerals might look like and what stories or memories we might have about each of our childhood pets. While I was writing and later directing this project, I lost both of my grandfathers within a week of each other and that is where I started to draw out the heart of the two main characters. This film for me is a tribute to how each of us deal with grief in our own way, that we take the good with the bad, but even more so, I wanted to highlight the idea that these memories don’t have to be tarnished or tainted by grief and instead can be celebrated.

2. What is your favorite part of the filmmaking process and why? Any examples of this from your project screening at the MWFF?

One of my favorite parts of the filmmaking process is working with actors, especially actors of varying ability. In “We’re Gathered Here”, we see actors with a wide range of experience. Helping the lead, played by Tim Roarty who had done some acting, to find all the awkward spaces in the opening monologue was a moment where I felt like he had a lot of growth and really found a good amount of sensitivity in the comedy. Then getting to sit back and watch Rosie Sullivan, who plays the lead’s sister, do a single long take of raw emotion where she cries and mourns and then pulls herself together that we cut to during that opening sequence was a treat with her much more extensive experience. I even make a director’s cameo on the football field as “Pipes” along with my real-life brother and a bunch of his high school teammates where we got to just play around and be ourselves. This film is about capturing all of those moments as they happen.

3. What were some influences for you on this project and/or as a filmmaker in general?

One of our main aesthetic influences for this film was Napoleon Dynamite. We liked the still frames and the realistic landscapes and backgrounds that play against this very dry sense of humor. On another end of the spectrum, I think this film also has some influences from J.J. Abrams’ Super 8. I like the way that film deals with grief in a small town setting, contrasting the grief of the main character and the father, and that it maintains its sense of humor throughout its emotional narrative.

4. What is your favorite film?

My favorite film is a tie between “Memento” and “The Lion King.”

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“We’re Gathered Here” is the ninth short film in the short film lineup of Friday, August 25, starting at 11am.

2017 MWFF TICKET INFORMATION

Fest tickets can be purchased online below or at mosaicfilmfest.com/attend for $10.

These are all screening/all weekend VIP tickets. They will also be available on Friday, August 25th at the Nordlof Center box office during the event. Single day tickets will be available at the box office on both Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th. They cost $5. Those tickets are only available on August 26th and 27th and are good for a full day of screenings on the day purchased.

For more information about the 2017 Mosaic World Film Festival as well as a list of all the films being featured visit mosaicfilmfest.com.

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