Filmmaker's Name: Alison Zatta
Film Title: Girl Meets Roach (Mississippi Premiere)
In 50 words or less, what is your film about?
Reeling from a sudden pre-Christmas breakup, Maggie hides herself away from the outside world, avoiding work, friends, and a persistent delivery guy. When a cockroach appears in her apartment, Maggie’s initial disgust slowly turns to affection. Could her newfound friendship with the roach help her move on?
What was your motivation to make this film… why this film, and why now?
I grew up watching the romantic comedies of the 90s, those classic “girl meets boy” films starring Sandra Bullock and Meg Ryan. When I got to be a little older, and experienced romance and heartbreak for myself, it wasn’t quite the same as what I’d seen on the screen as a kid. Girl Meets Roach is, to me, a slightly more realistic portrait of the down-and-dirty side of getting over a relationship: lots of pizza, not a lot of showers, and some bizarre behavior along the way. It’s also my first narrative short as writer/producer, and initially I wrote the script to give my actor friends and myself something fun to work on. It’s been a wonderful surprise to discover that so many other people have enjoyed and related to the story.
Was there anything strange, funny, interesting, sad, scary, or otherwise unusual about making this film?
Having a cockroach as my co-star was certainly unusual! And there’s also the fact that it was a family production - my brother, Christopher Zatta, directed Girl Meets Roach. But for me the most interesting part was figuring out how to balance writing, acting, and producing. The key was surrounding myself with talented, passionate people who were very good at their jobs, starting with Christopher, who is a fantastic director, and including everyone from our DP (the amazing Ryan Jacob Morgan) to our first-time Production Assistant. We had a very small crew, and in the end, the group’s enthusiasm and positive attitude mattered much more than having a large budget.
What is your connection to Mississippi? If you don’t have one, why did you choose to enter your film into a Mississippi festival?
I don’t have a Mississippi connection myself, but I chose to enter Crossroads specifically because it kept popping up in my research as a highly recommended festival made up of friendly, dedicated people and quality programming. We are thrilled to have been selected, and so excited for the chance to bring Girl Meets Roach to Mississippi.
Anything else you’d like the audience to know about your film?
Despite the breakup backstory, Girl Meets Roach is very much a comedy. (And kind of a Christmas movie!)