Istoria Lit jumped at the chance to interview director, Alexa Bakony about the film Colours of Tobi that has been featured as part of the BFI Flare Film festival 2021
Can you tell us a little bit about what your movie is about?
The film is a portrait of a loving family who is very supportive towards their gender non-conforming teenager, yet suffer from all the difficulties that comes with it and follows their journey.
Who is the film for? Who do you hope it will reach?
The film is for parents and family members who have someone in their own families who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community. And of course it is for teenagers who want to come out or came out already and would like to process the experience.
What message do you want audiences to receive from watching The Colours of Tobi?
Be supportive of your family because it is the best thing you can do. Love wins the day
Why was it so important to make The Colours of Tobi now?
To show how similar Tobi and their family’s lives are to any other family going through difficulties.
Hungary has become increasingly politically and anti-lgbtq+, did this affect your approach to filming in any way?
This is not a political movie, rather we focus on emotions and real people’s lives. I’m devastated by the news I’m hearing but I didn’t let these circumstances influence us while shooting.
In the movie we see Tobi’s journey of gender exploration, how important is it for lgbtq+ people to see themselves on screen?
I think it is really important, and I really like that Tobi is not a “classical” member if the LGBTQ community, their situation is very complex and special. This acceptance, that there are no right or wrong ways of exploring yourselves, as long as you give yourself time and self-respect is really important when thinking about personal identity.
How important is it to see the parents journey too?
I think it was crucial! And this film wouldn’t be the same without them. I think their experience will help a lot of cis-heterosexual people to connect with them, to learn how to accept their child. I hope the movie will help other families to accept their loved ones and their own lives.
What were the challenges making The Colours of Tobi?
I think it was the time it took. It was more than four years all together. I like to make a film like I’m in love with it, so I would compare it to a long-term relationship, you need to find what gives you the fire in it again and again.
What is your favourite moment in the movie?
There are many, but I love the whole birthday scene, It’s very raw, dramatic and also gives a very human moment to connect with.
What is your favourite memory of filming?
Huh, hard to answer, I really loved all the off-camera bonding moments with the family and the crew chilling in the garden, eating watermelon, talking about the big questions of life and laughing a lot.