Stephen Gibbs had a stroke two years ago, and developed aphasia as a result. The neurological condition affects a person’s ability to communicate, and left the Wellingtonian essentially mute. A musician and music teacher – amongst other things – by trade, Stephen turned to music therapy and writing as part of his recovery. Doing so has made a big impact on his capacity to communicate and create, and he is now also the Wellington Community Aphasia Advisor for Aphasia NZ.
Florian Habicht’s unconventional approach to filmmaking has won him critical acclaim and kept discerning film fans entertained for more than a decade. His films Love Story (2011), Kaikohe Demolition (2004) and most recently Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets (2014) all break with the rule book, and hit home because of it. For his latest project, the Berlin-born New Zealander ventures into the creepy, freaky world of Spookers, a “scream park” located in a former pyschiatric hospital in Auckland, NZ. Described as being about “the transformative and paradoxically lifesaving power of belonging to a community that celebrates fear”, Spookers is one of five finalists in the Illuminate Award for innovative documentaries at next week’s Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017.
Sarah asked Florian how he ended up working on the doco, and what was surprising about the experience.