Kingston Canadian Film Festival | Chatting with the directors of SPICE IT UP
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Chatting with the directors of SPICE IT UP

Chatting with the directors of SPICE IT UP

You may remember these directors from their previous films AMY GEORGE (KCFF’12), THE OXBOW CURE (KCFF’13), and THE INTESTINE (KCFF’17) but this year they are back with something remarkably different! Learn more about Lev Lewis, Yonah Lewis and Calvin Tomas’s inspiration behind their latest film, SPICE IT UP.

By: Jesenia Silva

1. What was your inspiration behind the Spice It Up?

We wanted to make a dance film like Bring It On or Step Up. We were also watching a lot of De Palma’s early essay films (such as Greetings and Hi, Mom!). We wanted to combine these two wildly different styles and also do something altogether different than our previous outing, The Oxbow Cure. We’re not certain the final film shows any of the influences, but that’s where we began.

2. I read that you guys have done many low-budget films, how has working with smaller budgets contributed to your development as filmmakers and storytellers?

We’ve produced seven very low-budget features to date and working with limited resources is hard, but not being able to throw money at your problems forces you to be more creative. We’ve worn a lot of hats on set and you’re able to learn a great deal about different departments that way. We’re just starting to work with larger budgets now, but starting small has given us a great appreciation for what can be done with little means.

3. Spice It Up is your newest film — how does it differ from your others?

It’s funny?

4. You’ve attended KCFF a number of times – what is your favourite part of KCFF?

People show up. It’s a treat to frequent a community-based festival where there’s a strong cinema following. It’s been nice to see the attendance grow over the years; we often find ourselves going to screenings with sold-out audiences (last year we had to sit on fold out chairs the theatre was so packed). You get the sense that people look forward to the festival every year.