Sat Feb 22, 2020 – 12:00 pm | Bushel & Peck’s
A film location finder is shown around a repossessed, crumbling French château. Over the course of the afternoon, he slowly falls for both the place and the owner’s flirtatious representative, as she recounts the story of a famous book set there. But is their present-day connection for real, or just a projection of the book’s 17th Century characters?
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
Oliver was born in London to Greek and British parents, and raised in London and Athens. He received a degree from Bristol University and a Master’s in Film from Boston University.
His film career began as an office assistant to producer Jeremy Thomas on the productions of The Sheltering Sky and Naked Lunch. He subsequently produced commercials and music videos in Los Angeles before basing himself permanently in London from 1997, where he has directed (and often also produced) commercials, corporate films, and short films.
Oliver’s four short fiction films have been shown at more than fifty international festivals, and the latest, Ghost in the Machine, has garnered 10 awards. He recently cut his teeth in TV drama, directing nine episodes of the BBC drama Doctors.
Around the Sun is his first feature film, on which he serves as director, producer and editor.