To celebrate the release of Zola, the new film from acclaimed director Janicza Bravo, we had the pleasure of chatting to the filmmaker and her extraordinary cast about this equally extraordinary social media tale.
Based on the infamous 148-tweet strong Twitter thread, the film tells the wild story of Zola (Taylour Paige) and a weekend in Florida that changed her life in many different ways. Taken on the craziest of road trips with new acquaintance Stefani (Riley Keough), her boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun), and pimp X (Colman Domingo), Zola experiences prostitution, murder, social media madness, and attempted suicide, all over a single weekend.
The film is by turns a hilariously uneasy about a strange friendship and cautionary tale of the dangers of social media, and under Bravo’s unique, kaleidoscopic direction – which plays out in parts as if happening ON Twitter – it’s one of the best films of the year. We chatted to Bravo about the lure of the story and finding the humanity in even the darkest of characters; whilst cast members Paige, Keough, Domingo, and Braun tell us about working with the filmmaker, their own experiences in reading the story on Twitter for the first time and why, despite the film looking like one thing, will surprise everyone with its pathos and thoughtfulness.
You can view the full interviews below:
Zola opens in US cinemas on June 30th. The film also plays as part of the Sundance London Film Festival at the end of July.