Arielle Apfel is a director and editor whose work is comprised of surreal quirky comedies and avant-garde thrillers, stories which aim to capture the quandaries of her generation infused with humor and grit.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Apfel studied film theory and direction at the American University of Paris, earning her BA in Film Studies in 2009. Continuing her studies abroad, she obtained her Masters in filmmaking from the London Film School in the United Kingdom.
Arielle's thesis film, 'A Chick Called Wanda', won best comedy at NY SHORTS and won audience favorite at Iron Mule Comedy Festival. Her films have been mentioned in The Washington Post and Brooklyn Vegan.
Currently Apfel is working with Johnna Scrabis, the lead actress in 'A Chick Called Wanda, who is also a writer, performer and teacher at UCB. They have written their first feature comedy, a satire called 'A Tiny Perfect World.
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A Q&A WITH FILMSHOP BREAKTHROUGH SERIES 2018 FEATURED ARTIST ARIELLE APFEL...
What was the inspiration for your project?
A few years back, at guitar workshop, I was talking to my old friend Gary and found out that he happens to be a state champion miniaturist. He shared with me how he uses old guitar parts to create beautiful 1/12th scale workman’s tables. Lovingly laid out on those tables are tiny functional tools like saws and clamps. Another one of his award-winning miniatures is an exact replica of his living room, and hanging on the walls are tiny black and white photos of himself and his family. Through his miniatures I felt like I got to know a side of Gary that is hidden from most people. This inspired me to create a fictional film world where our character’s deepest secrets, desires and dreams are revealed through their tiny creations.
What do you feel is your greatest challenge moving forward?
A big part of our script is when all of our characters descend on the miniature competition. Ideally these scenes will take place in a large ballroom with hundreds of miniatures. We’d like to feature real miniaturists and their work, so planning out and orchestrating these scenes will be a challenge.
How has the Filmshop community contributed to your project's development?
Over three seasons of Filmshop the writer Johnna Scrabis and I workshopped our script and proof-of-concept film. With the advice and oversight of the Filmshop community we were able to make our goals, refine our pitch and trim our script from 120 pages to a lean 100.
What might Filmmaker Magazine say about your project?
A Tiny Perfect World draws you into the magical and hilarious realm of the miniature. These tiny crafts both reveal and expose their creators, showing what they cherish, what they fear, and, above all, what they long for. Be warned, you might find yourself wanting to eat mini apple strudels and collect tiny spatulas after watching this film.
Upon finishing post production we will hold a teeny tiny parade. I’m also working on writing a feature script about a troubled actress who falls in love with the anonymity of her special effects make-up.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
People might be shocked to know that I am not a mermaid.
What keeps you up at night?
Garbage trucks. And the thought that someone will make a miniature comedy before me.