It all started with a château: 400 years old and crumbling, set in an overgrown garden, its majesty still shining through the neglect. Its new owners, friends of mine, invited me to make a film there. That was an easy choice – I’d fallen in love with the place. But what film?
Diving into the chateau’s history I found out about a famous book that had been written there in 1686: Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, by Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle. Using this a starting point, and blending it with ideas he’d had for stories we could set at the château, the seed of a story began to reveal itself to Jon Kiefer, which eventually coalesced into Around the Sun.
The script is all Jon’s work but its themes are deeply personal to me: the loss of identity as someone who spans two different cultures; hope and imagination as the kickstarter of broken dreams; and the all-powerful need to connect with someone at the deepest level, whilst sharing a mutual thirst for knowledge. As a kid, spending summer nights gazing up at the crystal-clear night sky in Greece, I was captivated by the limitlessness possibility of the universe. Making this film connected me back to that feeling.
The elements of the script that might give someone pause – a single location, only two characters, and reams of geeky dialogue – are just the things that drove me to make it. I loved the idea of making an intimate film about really big ideas. And our film at its heart explores one of the simplest and biggest: the connection of two souls. As our lead character Maggie reminds us: there are infinite universes, and so infinite possibilities for connection, but by that definition, there are also infinite ways to miss out. In that sense, true connection is both a miracle and an inevitability.
~ Oliver Krimpas