cinema · Interviews · LFF22

Klokkenluider Interview: Neil Maskell – ‘I’m angry, so it’s a way of expressing frustration with my own apathy’.

After an acting career that has spanned almost thirty years, Neil Maskell is finally pursuing his long-time passion to write and direct. His debut feature is black comedy thriller Klokkenluider and centres around a government whistleblower and his wife. Ready to tell their story to the press, they are joined by a pair of eccentric bodyguards to protect from any potential threat. I was fortunate enough to chat with the filmmaker ahead of the film’s premiere at the London Film Festival…

You’ve got a wealth of experience in acting, but this is your first time behind the camera. Have you had the desire to direct for a while, or was there something in particular about this film that meant you needed to give it a go?

Definitely the former. I’ve been really quite desperate to be directing something for a long, long time. I’ve been writing for the last 15 years, trying to get either a TV project or film made. Klokkenluider was actually something I didn’t think would really come to fruition. It’s so fucking weird, you know!? The allusion I keep drawing on is that it was like the car in the garage with an old fella sort of tinkering with it, you know, you never get that thing started again! I really enjoyed working on Klokkenluider so even when I was on another project as an actor or a writer, I was always going back to it because I enjoyed being with the characters. I’d get ideas for it when I was in the supermarket after having not written for weeks and I felt I was always slowly getting somewhere with it. It’s kind of amazing that it ended up being the first thing I’ve directed because it wasn’t what I expected it to be, but I’m really glad that it did end up being that because I’m very proud of the script and felt very close to it as a piece.

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cinema · LFF22

Film review: Klokkenluider

 Known for his menacing portrayals as an actor, Neil Maskell has stepped behind the scenes to write and direct his first feature film. Titled Klokkenluider, which is Dutch for whistleblower, the comedy thriller follows civil servant Ewan (Amit Shah) and his partner Silke (Sura Dohnke) who are sent to a secluded farmhouse in Belgium after the former accidentally uncovers a huge government secret. They await the arrival of a journalist in order to tell their story and are joined by close protection officers Benjamin (Roger Evans) and Kevin (Tom Burke), assigned to provide security from any potential threats of danger or unwanted attention.

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