Wednesday, December 13, 2017
With her debut feature film, D-Love winning ten consecutive film festivals, Elena Beuca is a star on the rise.
The Romanian born filmmaker is one of the great female storytellers on the circuit at the moment. Her film is a love letter to the power of saying yes to the opportunities that are presented to us in everyday life. Beuca and her husband, Dave Rogers (who also wrote D-Love) both star in the simple, but inspirational and relatable film that is based on a true story.
With The Big Sick being released earlier this year, film watchers are enjoying watching true stories being played up on the big screen by those who's lives the stories are based on. D-Love presents a different type of true story. It brings to us a situation any of us could find ourselves in and does it with stunning acting, cinematography and a superb score by Billy Howerdel. There is nothing better than being inspired by something that you know could happen to you.
We were lucky to be able to sit down with Elena Beuca to have a chat about her film, which is currently showing at Laemmle 7 North Hollywood in Los Angeles.
Firstly, congratulations on all the success you are experiencing with D-Love! What has been the best part of your journey so far?
Thank you so much, I appreciate it. I think the best part of this journey was the people that I have met during this process, and then things that I have learned about myself that I didn’t know before. I want to believe that I have grown much more in the last few years, because I had to work with a film that challenges people to examine their own life and inevitably it made me examine mine to a much deeper level
What inspired you to make a film about D-love and your experience?
When I met Ditlev a few years back, I was fascinated by the way he lived and that he seemed to live so well in the present without too many worries and that is a beautiful skill. One of my favourite authors, Paulo Coehlo said this:
“…A pilgrimage implies in meeting different people, in talking to
strangers, in paying attention to the omens, and basically being
open to life. And we leave our home to go to work, to go to school,
and we have every single day this possibility,
this chance of discovering something new. So the pilgrimage is not
for the privileged… but for people who are open to life”
With D-Love, I wanted to implement mentality, and to show how much people can affect other people... how each one of us is so connected and has the opportunity to touch others if we are open to life.
It's my understanding that the film is semi-autobiographical. What parts of the story are fictional?
Yes, D-love is inspired by the fact that we met Ditlev at the airport and how we met at LAX is pretty similar to how it happened in real life. In real life, both Dave and I were very happy to help him with whatever we could and to give him shelter for a few days. But we knew that the real story would not make a good film and we needed to add conflict to the story, so we decided to make my character Stefania a very damaged , guarded person who doesn’t let strangers in and sometimes not even close friends, and the sad part is that she doesn’t even realize it. Also, because Dave has been always my best friend, we have a very good relationship and we are good at communicating with each other. Our characters in the film, based on the pain that they have gone through and unresolved issues, are in very dark place and they are definitely not communicating or being open with what’s going on in their lives.
The film is one which many people will find relatable. While the change this couple needed arrived in the form of a human, would you say a D-Love could be any type of thing that can inspire you to say yes to life?
Yes absolutely. We chose to show D-Love as the catalyst who awakens them both to life but that is just one way that can inspire you to say "Yes" to life. I think opportunity to change comes in many forms, not just through people, could be through things, events, miracles.. there are many ways and I truly believe that we are always guided towards change for better. Of course, we have the option to either say "Yes" or completely ignoring it .
D-Love really is so inspirational and uplifting. Does this come from the person you are yourself? Is inspiration a love of yours?
Thank you so much for that... its very kind of you. I grew up in a family surrounded by love. My parents have been married for almost 54 years and they have always been in love. We used to call them” love birds” because they always looked like just got back from their honeymoon. Growing up with that kind of love, I knew that when I’ll grow up , I can’t settle for anything less than that and thank God I have found my soulmate in Dave. My dad, who is a preacher, has always had such a desire for growth, for truth, for love in general and he is my mentor. He instilled in me the same desire of seeing the beauty in people, of loving and learning...always aiming to be a better person and I’m extremely grateful to him for that.
You and your husband, Dave not only star together in the film, but you are the director and he the writer. How has this experience strengthened your relationship?
Working on this film, it made us learn a lot about each other and about ourselves, but overall I think it made us even closer. Definitely it was not easy at times, cause we had to learn new ways to communicate with other professionally and to learn not to take things personally, which is not easy at all at times.
Why do you believe people should go and see your film?
I would love for everyone to go see this film, but the reality is that I don’t think this movie is for everyone. I believe it’s for the people who are not afraid to be challenged to examine their own lives, who are open and who can be inspired by something bigger than themselves. Those who have hope and want to change for the better because the D-Love is vast in its universal themes.
What do you hope people take away from D-Love?
I think at one point in our lives we all encounter a D-Love. Maybe he could be a person, a situation or a thing. I think we are always guided towards change and towards making life better. It’s just a matter of listening and paying attention. Sometimes we have to leave our preconceptions at the door and be open to the unknown and just embrace it. Having the right perspective is what life is all about and believe that sometimes the things we need most show up exactly when they should and sometimes are not necessarily the way we want- but its what we need!