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Take 5 with “Die Like an Egyptian”

We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Matt Mamula, director of Die Like an Egyptian. This film will be screening Friday, Feb. 7 at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m.

#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

DIE LIKE AN EGYPTIAN is a short doc about a 90 year old who built his own Egyptian coffin. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t anyone who has built their own coffin, much less an Egyptian coffin…I mean really, who does that? So come check out the short, it’s only 9 minutes long! The coffin is certainly something to see and Fred’s story is fascinating as well!

#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

Out of necessity, I did everything on this film, shot, edited, directed, music, etc. And it was really cool that with current technology, it’s possible to do that. But I don’t recommend it and in retrospect it would have been better to have waited for other people to come on board. That way you don’t have to split your personality so you can be objective to what you’re doing. But I was afraid that if I waited, Fred would die and I wouldn’t have a film, I mean he was 89 when I shot it, you never know at that age! Either way, sometimes you gotta do, what you gotta do.

#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

I never thought I’d make documentaries coming out of film school, in fact, I rarely even watched them, but strangely enough, that is what I’ve been making. I co-directed a short doc about celebrity impersonators called JUST ABOUT FAMOUS which is now a feature and produced a feature about a female football team called GRIDIRON GIRLS. I guess life is stranger than fiction to me at the present time, but I’m hoping to get back to the made up world of narratives very soon…

#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?

It may appear that the short is about death and to a certain degree, it is, but I’ve always seen it as being more about life or living life. Here’s a guy who all his life wanted to built this coffin and now he has done it. I think everyone wants to “do” certain things in their life and Fred is someone who did exactly what he wanted and now he can rest…in his coffin…when he dies.

#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

I hope to sell a few DVDs to help cover this “low cost” filmmaking endeavor (wink, a copy today!). But, I’ll have the film online sooner than later so that everyone can see it (cough, cough…vimeo donate button anyone?). The coffin really is a sight to see and I look forward to having Fred’s story shared with as many people as possible (Owell, I’ll make money one day, right?)

To learn more, visit the Die Like and Egyptian Facebook page.

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