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San Diego Jewish Film Festival Begins Thursday, Closes Feb. 18 With 'Jungle'

February 6, 2018 1:47 p.m.

San Diego Jewish Film Festival Begins Thursday, Closes Feb. 18 With 'Jungle'

GUESTS:

Greg McLean, 'Jungle' director

Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

Related Story: San Diego Jewish Film Festival Begins Thursday, Closes Feb. 18 With 'Jungle'

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> THE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL OPENS THE EIGHTH WITH A DOCUMENTARY ON SAMMY DAVIS JUNIOR. KPBS REPORTER SPOKE WITH JUNGLE FILMMAKER GREG FROM AUSTRALIA.
>> YOU HAVE A REPUTATION AS A HORROR FILMMAKER AND YOU HAVE BEEN LISTED AS PART OF THE SPLAT PACK. WERE YOU SURPRISED TO HAVE YOUR FILM SELECTED ?
>> I THINK WHEN THE PRODUCERS WERE LOOKING TO TELL THE STORY, IT'S A HORROR FILM THAT SHOWS THE EXPERIENCES. IT'S ABOUT THE BEAUTY AND HORROR AT THE SAME TIME.
>> EXPLAIN HOW YOU DISCOVERED THIS STORY BECAUSE IT IS A TRUE STORY. HOW DID YOU FIRST ENCOUNTER IT ?
>> ABOUT 20 SOMETHING YEARS AGO. I WANTED TO EXPERIENCE THE EXTRAORDINARY WHICH IS WHY ENDED UP IN THE JUNGLE. I GOT A CALL FROM A PRODUCER WHO SENT ME THE SCRIPT AND ULTIMATELY I GOT MOVED BY HE -- HOW HE HAD THE STORY.
>> YOU MENTIONED WOLF CREEK AND THAT USES THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK AS A CHARACTER IN THE FILM. HOW IS THE LOCATION. IT'S SET IN THE JUNGLE SO HOW IS IT WORKING WITH THESE TWO LOCATIONS THAT BECOME CHARACTERS IN SIMILAR AND IN DIFFERENT WAYS BETWEEN THESE TWO FILMS.
>> IT'S CALLED ISOLATION AND IT'S A SCARY THING ITSELF. THE JUNGLE HAS ISOLATION ELEMENT AND YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY WATER AND RIVERS AND ANIMALS. IT'S ALMOST LIKE THE OPPOSITE.
>> YOU SEEM ATTRACTED TO STORIES IN WHICH NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT PLAY A PART. IS THERE A PARTICULAR ATTRACTION TO YOU ?
>> I GUESS I GREW UP IN THE COUNTRY AND I LOVE THE OUTDOORS MYSELF. I WAS ALWAYS DRAWN TO STORIES TO PEOPLE SURVIVING IN NATURE AND I GUESS I'M CURIOUS ABOUT PEOPLE BEING PROTECTED BY THINGS. I AM DRAWN BY THAT AND TALKING ABOUT LIFE BEING BEAUTY AND HORROR IN THE SAME IMAGE. LIFE IS FULL OF BEAUTY AND HORROR EVERY DAY.
>> WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE JUNGLES THAT KEEPS LORING PEOPLE IN EVEN THOUGH THEY SHOULD BE AWARE OF HOW DANGEROUS IT IS.
>> IT'S A METAPHOR FOR TRANSFORMING. IT'S A METAPHOR FOR WANTING TO CHANGE. IT INFORMS YOU -- TRANSFORMS YOU IN A WAY. I FEEL LIKE THE JUNGLE IS A METAPHOR IN OUR WORLD IT CONTAINS TREASURES AND DANGERS. I THINK THE STORY IN THE BOOK AND THE FILM HE MAKES PEOPLE ENGAGE. UNTIL YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND IT BECOMES VERY REAL.
>> IT SEEMS LIKE IT COULD HAVE BEEN A JOURNEY FOR YOUR ACTOR MICHAEL AS WELL.
>> IT WAS A REAL JOURNEY AND I THINK EVERYBODY WAS EXCITED. WE ALL WENT FOR THE ADVENTURE AND WE HAD THE ADVENTURE TOGETHER.
>> WHAT YOU THINK IT WOULD BE LIKE TO HAVE YOUR FILM SHARED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE FESTIVAL ?
>> I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. [ LOW VOLUME ].
>> THAT WAS A GREG SPEAKING WITH KPBS REPORTER. THE FILM WILL BE AT THE FESTIVAL AND YOU CAN HEAR MORE OF THE INTERVIEW ON THE MIDDAY PODCAST.