By Salih Seref and Beyza Binnur Donmez
ISTANBUL (AA) - Spanish director Oliver Laxe said Thursday he sees the secret of his success in cinema is his ability to maintain the innocence of a child in his work.
Laxe's remarks came during the 7th Mercy to Universe film festival in Istanbul where he heads the gala’s international jury.
"When people ask me the secret of success, I answer: I haven't changed. Because I still keep my original innocence inside me like in early days," he said during his master class for industry professionals.
"I still go on as a boy, a boy who doesn't have too many fears, who doesn't calculate. And when you are like that, you have faith, you become optimistic," he said. "My advice is if you can connect with your inner child it will be very helpful.”
He said he is afraid when a path is "so easy, I don't like that" and he becomes afraid.
Referring to his work in cinema, he said he questions if the things are coming from the heart or ego when he needs to make a decision, adding, "one of the keys to knowing that it is coming from the heart -- it will not disappear in time."
Laxe noted that innocence always has a role in his films, especially feature-length projects.
In his first feature-length film, You All Are Captains, he saw himself as a child.
"One of the good things of trying to be a child as an adult is living things like a first time," he said.
"In my second feature-length film, Mimosas, you see that innocence again which we don’t have nowadays," he said. "There is an almost angelic innocence there."
He added that his last one, Fire Will Come, also has a character that symbolizes innocence but fails to express it.
Laxe has received three awards at the Cannes Film Festival for his feature-length films.
- Image-based cinema
"There are many types of cinema directors. I am an image cinematographer," said Laxe. "The ontology of my cinema is image-based."
He said he feels content when there are two to three images that affect the audience in the movie.
"I want these images to impress the audience during and after the movie. I am working for this," he said.
The director called his latest film, Fire Will Come, the "most mature" work he has done.
He said the film not only affected those who follow cinema closely but those who have been away for 30 years.
"It was the first time I felt that my work, my film, served the community this good," he said.
- 'My motivation is less egoist today'
Underlining that his motivation right now is "less egoist" compared to his motivation for his first film, Laxe said: I think after Mimosas, I realized that the service I will give to the audience is more important than my work."
"I don't have a tendency to make as many films as I used to, but now I'm doing them to serve the cinema a little more," he said, adding that he questions if his current work and service are sufficient.
The project he is working on now takes place in Morocco and "it will be an instinctive movie like Mimosas."
On Turkey, the director said it is a country "with a lot of tradition, with great excellence and a beautiful image"
- 7th Mercy to Universe film festival
The week-long festival, which kicked off on Monday at Atlas Cinema is being organized in cooperation with the Siyer Foundation and the Fidan Art Foundation and is supported by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, with Anadolu Agency as its global communication partner.
The festival aims to introduce the teachings of Prophet Muhammad to the world.