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Sheffield Shorts 2020
Interview with director Lyn Goldfarb
Firstly, tell us about the film and what inspired you to make it?
Eddy’s World is a documentary short about my 98 year old toy inventor father, and celebrates toys, creativity and ageing. I have been a documentary filmmaker for over 40 years, telling compelling stories about extraordinary people whose life and work provides insights into our history and ourselves. Three years ago, I started Eddy’s World as a family legacy project. As I started interviewing my father, I realized that his life and work would resonate with people of all generations. And Eddy’s World was born.
Your father has had an extraordinary life, what is it about his story that you would like the audience to take away from the film?
My father is the child of immigrants who fled oppression and Antisemitism in Europe and survived the Great Depression. He volunteered for the submarine service during World War II, and chose the uncertain life of an independent toy inventor to fulfil his dreams.
While Eddy achieved success as a toy inventor, I admire him as much for his grace in ageing. He was 97 years old when we began filming and he is now 99. He is creative and curious, embracing new technologies, writing stories that capture the memories of his life, and is still inventing.
Eddy’s World is a story is about ideas and vision, creativity and independence, and the fortitude to challenge obstacles and succeed. It is a story of the importance of play and how toys help bring families together. And it is story of ageing and the power of optimism
As Eddy’s daughter, did this make producing the film a more challenging, or perhaps, enjoyable experience?
Producing Eddy’s World proved to be a very enjoyable experience. Filming my father enabled me to see him in a very different, deeper way. When I visited my father as his daughter, I would only see him in family settings. My father would stop work when family arrived, so I rarely had opportunity to see my father at work. He would show us new ideas, but we rarely saw him doing the work. Witnessing the precision of his work, the focus, the details—that was a real privilege. Being a filmmaker, I also had the opportunity of seeing my father engaged with his friends, separate from his family. So I was able to see my father in a more multi-dimensional way. But it was also challenging because I was always navigating the borders of filmmaker and daughter, testing the limits as a filmmaker as well as protecting the subject, my father.
Finally, what are you working on next? Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?
I am currently working with my father on a book of his 100 word stories. It has always been a dream of his to publish his stories, and I am helping him edit and produce the book of one hundred 100 word stories. And then, I am not sure of what my next project will be, but I’m definitely interested in producing short films in the arenas of ageing and innovation.