INTERVIEW WITH MAGDA OLCHAWSKA, DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER OF ANNA & MODERN DAY SLAVERY (out in 2017)
Seven years ago, I met Magda Olchawska by chance, through our common love for literature. But Magda is not just a Polish writer living in the UK and the proud mother of an 8-year old boy, she is also a talented filmmaker. She moved to London at 19 and graduated from London College of Communication (LCC) in 2004, starting on a career in filmmaking.
At the time we met, she had written the first in what became a series of seven children’s books, and she was busy making an indie micro-budget feature film about sex and human trafficking, called Anna & Modern Day Slavery.
Magda had always been “passionate about making films that make a difference”, as she put it, and this was a subject that deeply moved her, she wanted to do her piece to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery. Her objective was not only to raise awareness about sex and human trafficking but also raise funds to help small charities working on the ground with trafficking victims.
She did the film as an indie, writing the film script, pulling together cast and crew, including some remarkable actors like Paula Preston and Pawel Palcat, and organizing the shooting in Poland in the summer of 2012.
It took four more years of “post-production” and editing to finalize the film and finally bring it into the indie film circuit. To finance her film, Magda resorted several times to crowdfunding and has become something of an expert in this form of financing.
I had a chance to talk to her about her long, tortuous journey in making this, her first feature film.