Can one find their place and fall in love while kicking someone’s ass?
We weren’t sure about it either. Well, not before seeing Spar anyway.

Anthony Vander, the writer, director and producer behind this powerful short opened up to us about his thoughts and dreams.

There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Filmmaker on a mission. Join the revolution.

When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
There is something rewarding about about finishing a film that has involved been blood sweat and tears. Every process has challenges in their own varied ways from scheduling and time to budget and post production but that is all part of the process. We as a filmmakers create because we believe in the project and the story and willing to get the job done because of this belief. I remember when i was making my self funded film Sweetboy. I couldn’t afford to hire a driver to take us to North Devon to film one of our scenes so one of the actors (Kwame) kindly offered to be a driver. During the four hour drive we stopped at a service station for coffee’s and after tens minutes of being there Kwame rushed out of the toilet with his hands wet screaming. He had dropped the keys of the rented van down the toilet and flushed them. I had to get a driver to come two hours from Heathrow to replace the lost keys which cost nearly thousand pounds. It was one of the most stressful days ever and it was only day three of a fourteen day shoot. I did think about quitting at the time on the day but we overcame that huge difficulty along with many more on that project and the film went on to screen not only at The American black Film Festival but also on television.

Why this film?
I love boxing and boxing films but they always seem to have a similar character arc and usually more than often it is from the male perspective. I wanted to look at the challenges and adversity training to be a boxer and also gender orientation within the sport. Spar main antagonist is Isabel, an amateur boxer, who is training for the day in an East London gym while her usual facility is under construction. She has to deal with the frustration and struggles of not only finding sparring but also experience prejudice in a male orientated boxing gym. I wanted to pose many questions…Will Isabel get sparring in the male oriented boxing gym? Will one of the stable mates from Left Hook boxing gym help Isabel in her goal to progress as a fighter?  I wanted the landscape to become a character in the film in terms of the way it is shot.

You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
Would be my film i have in development called The Tutor. I would cast Michael Fassbinder alongside relatively unknown actors that i know. Although the spaces and landscape in this film are condensed, the unlimited budget i would allow me to cheat it in terms of a bigger set.

What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
I have a feature film in development called The Tutor which i want to shoot this year. The film deals with themes of education and adversity. As well as being an filmmaker, actor and producer I have also worked in teaching for many years. They always say "write what you know best." These themes that are present within the film are themes that not only inspire me but also need to be talked and acted upon. The theme of adversity is something that is universal and provides inspiration. All of us on some form or level have had to face adversity so it inspired me hugely. I want the film to feel as honest and true as possible. I'm influenced by “social realist” filmmakers among many others so I will take inspiration from their works of art.

Anthony Vander

Anthony Vander

And if this fired up your interest - which it should - feel free to grab a ticket HERE and join us 11.6. at 19.30 for our 5th CineShots at the Streatham Space Project where we will screen Spar among five other shorts and have Anthony over for Q&A and regular chit chat.
If you won’t be with us you will most defenitely be somewere else!