Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Andreas Kessler Is Helping To Change Our…

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Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Andreas Kessler Is Helping To Change Our World

Generally it is very important to try things out and make things. I think that this is the way how you can learn the most and also create something you can judge on your personal standard.

As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing Andreas Kessler, Director: Sinkende Schiffe.

Andreas Kessler is known for Sinking Ships (2020), Nakam (2022) and Blind Audition (2017).

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

Andreas Kessler: I started making stop-motion short films at the age of 12 during a vacation with the camera from my father. The idea of changing the perspective and angle on people through a camera lens caught my attention immediately. I was fascinated by how I was able to tell a story through images and put several shots next to each other that would eventually create a story.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Looking back it was very funny that I actually wanted to create a fight scene with my two sisters. As you can imagine the fighting was mostly behind the camera between my sisters and me. We barely shot anything.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

At film school, we met many interesting teachers who would give advice or challenge us by having an opposite opinion to yours. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker Maren Ade gave very interesting seminars. When we had a course with the filmmaker Béla Tarr we were challenged with somebody who both created great films and had a very strong opinion about everything. I think those encounters always make you understand your work in a more profound way because you have to defend it to somebody whom you admire.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

People like young Motele Schlein from my Oscar Qualifying short film NAKAM ( inspire me. At the age of 12, he became an orphan but he didn’t give up. He survived the massacre of his family and became a Jewish partisan fighting against the Nazis. The courage and belief it takes to become a resistance fighter after the tragedy of losing your family is very impressive and touching to me. Furthermore, it shows that children are the strongest members of our society.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

As a filmmaker, you always try to make people be aware of something that could open their eyes. Or to make them understand something from a different point of view than they would normally take. Always is the question if films can change people or the world. However, I believe that it already is a great achievement if my film NAKAM can open the eyes of somebody and realise that almost a century ago Ukraine was suffering from WW2 and it now is a war again. Not only adults but also children become victims of those tragedies. It often helps to look back into the past to try to understand the present better in order to pursue a more peaceful life.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

I knew I wanted to make something challenging for my diploma film at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. When I talked to my teacher about the idea and also quickly got financial support for it I knew I would be able to tell the story of NAKAM in the way I would imagine it.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

The assistant director Marina Gerber shared a very personal story about when she joined the crew. She comes from Ukraine and told me that her ancestors were partisans who fought in Ukraine against the Nazis during World War 2. They might have even encountered the main character of my short film NAKAM, Motele Schlein, since they were from the same region. When I met her I was very touched by that story and I wanted her to take part in the making of our film as much as possible.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

I would be very happy if governments would support filmmakers even more. The more funding the easier it gets to realise challenging ideas.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Do things that you love and which touch you.

2. Make something personal.

3. Do it.

4. Find partners who are as enthusiastic as you.

5. Always try to connect to your feelings no matter what you do.

Generally it is very important to try things out and make things. I think that this is the way how you can learn the most and also create something you can judge on your personal standard.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

They should do it because it will fulfil them with joy and passion because they know why they are doing it. And eventually they might grow from it.

We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I would love to meet Alfonso Cuarón. I think his approach to telling stories is so unique and artistically challenging at the same time that I would love to know more about his approach to visual narration and get to know all the secrets. If he really reads this I would be completely thrilled.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Do something that you can relate to. One of my first shorts was about somebody I could relate to very well. When I made it and showed it to other people I realised that my film touched them.

How can our readers follow you online?

Insta: @andreaskesslerdirector



This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Andreas Kessler Is Helping To Change Our… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.