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Whistler Film Festival 2017 Interview: JUGGERNAUT director Daniel Dimarco

by Jason Whyte

"JUGGERNAUT is about a small town drifter, who after a lengthy absence, returns to his hometown, violently obsessed with the notion that his Mother's death was not a suicide. It's a modern version of Cain and Abel that delves into the darker side of sibling rivalry." Director Daniel Dimarco on JUGGERNAUT which screens at the 2017 edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

Welcome to Whistler Film Festival! Are you planning to attend WFF for your screenings?

Yes! I will be heading there with a lot of my cast and crew.

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and your previous work in the industry.

I made a short film called SPOONMAN for barely any money and it won a few awards and played some great festivals. That opened a ton of doors.

How did this whole project come about for you?

It came from a pretty dark place.I'd been developing a film which died in the eleventh hour after three years of work. So rather than keep trying to get it made I sat down and wrote something new. And it got traction really quickly and here I am!

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee are we talking about here?

My friends call me a robot. I have had battle with insomnia for as long as I can remember. I would say obsession is what keeps me going. I'm not very prolific. I hook onto an idea and it becomes my world for a while. It's a good and bad thing.

All projects are challenging in many ways, some more than others. What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment where you knew you had something?

I guess they were the same pitfalls as most low budget indies. A severe lack of time and money. Film is just such a marathon and you really need stamina, especially when you're writing and directing. It's a long journey. Also working with a crew you have never worked with before. That's fine if you have the time to iron out the kinks, but we didn't have that luxury. Worked at a pretty ridiculous pace. I never know I have something until years later. All I see if what I would do differently. It takes me a while to appreciate the good stuff unfortunately.

I’m about to get on the technical side of things, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed.

We shot on the ARRI ALEXA. All my shorts had been shot on film so digitial was a new thing for me. I love film and if it were my choice I wouldn't shoot digital again. But it definitely has its advantages. Especially when you're working at a fast pace. I had gone through development and locations scouts with a different director of photography that i shot the film with (the original DP had an illness in the family) so it was difficult in the time frame we had to find a common language. But we had similar tastes in films and knew the kind of film we wanted to shoot. The location helped a ton. It was so desolate and beautiful so you could put the camera in a lot of places to get some great stuff.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Whistler?

This is my most local screening. It's a great chance for close friends and the crew and cast to al be there. A lot of the times you're travelling to festivals alone. This should be a great one.

After the film screens here, where is the film going to show next?

I think it's playing the Bahamas International Film Festival and Cinequest. And we're waiting on a bunch of others.

If you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

That's easy. In my home town of Penrith. It's where I grew up and i remember obsessively watching movies in this one theatre. It would feel pretty great to be there with my own film.

What would you say or do to someone who was being disruptive (talking, texting, noise, etc) at a screening you were attending, even if it was your own?

I screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival earlier this year and in China and they always talk during movies. Like it's a pretty normal thing, they actually have long, loud conversations right in the middle of it. I hated it. I have a friend that would have told them to shut the fuck up. But I just tried to block it out. An impossible task.

What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

Be original. We are killing an art form through regurgitation. And just be prepared for how hard you have to work. I don't believe in talent. Just hard work. And don't wait around for a break. Write something and make it, for whatever amount of money. Just do it.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have seen at a film festival?

Back before AMERICAN BEAUTY was released I saw it at the Sydney film festival and there was a Q and A with Sam Mendes after. It's very rare for me to not know everything about a film and director before I see it, but I had not heard a thing about Sam or the film. It was brilliant. I walked out knowing it would win Best Picture that year. I met Sam Mendes after the screening. It was a great night all round.

Read my review of this film and many others playing at WFF this year in my preview article by clicking HERE!

This is one of the many films playing at the 2017 Whistler Film Festival. For showtime information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website at!

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow my festival Instagram Stories at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte,

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 12/02/17 04:10:20
last updated: 12/02/17 04:12:45
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