“We speak a lot about the freedom of the director to make films they way he wants,” says Audrius Stonys, “but do we speak about the freedom of the audience to understand films the way they want to understand?”
For the prolific Lithuanian filmmaker, documentary is not about patronising viewers or playing a God-like truth teller. Rather, as Stonys explained during his IDFA 2018 Filmmaker Talk, documentary filmmaking must be a conversation—one which reflects mutual respect between the director and cinema-goers. According to Stonys, that’s part of the beauty of seeking out, recording, and collecting real-life stories. In this sense, “you actually don’t need to invent anything,” Stonys notes. “It’s absolutely magical.”
Watch the complete Filmmaker Talk moderated by journalist Pamela Cohn below. Recorded during IDFA 2018.
Photo by Corinne de Korver.