As I promised last week, here is the Q & A with the lovely Filmmaker and Writer, Daniela Cupse Apostoaei! Find out more about her journey and children’s book – Chopi and King Samovar – below:
EC: You are a storyteller at heart. What do you enjoy about it?
DCA: I have always loved stories. As a child, I used to read a lot: books, magazines, newspapers – anything that had letters, words, and sentences. Sometimes, it did not even matter the subject I was reading about, but just the pleasure of turning pages and enjoying the journey of exploring the world of the words: it was enough for me at that time.
I believe that my love for stories has been a milestone, which I later built on during my career working as a lawyer, a journalist and a filmmaker. From the outside, it might look like I have worn many shoes on this journey, but I think these shoes only have different colors but have the same shape. I am deeply in my heart and will always be an incurable storyteller.
Stories are not only read, if you are turning a book’s pages or scrolling on your device’s screen, nowadays. They do not need to be called stories because they have a certain shape, a length or they are using a certain type of vocabulary.
Our lives are built upon stories, everyday stories. Any human being has a story to tell, to share with others. It is his/her own life story that is unique and has enough power to change, encourage, and make a difference. We are our own storytellers.
EC: Recently, you released your first children’s book. Tell us all the details!
DCA: Ever since I was a kid back in Romania, where I was born, I grew up with all sorts of stories: some about loneliness and others about the abuse. These stories were about people’s real-life experiences – certainly not the typical bedtime stories.
In time, I developed a sensitivity to the enormous variety of experiences one could have in life. So, you could say my ‘lens’ had a clear focus on the most vulnerable individuals, predominately children and seniors.
The idea of ‘Chopi and King Samovar’ is based on an ancient Japanese art called Kintsugi, where the broken, cracked, or chipped vessels are restored through a process of gluing together the broken pieces. This glue, is in fact, gold thread. Through this, the vessel becomes more precious overnight and the cracks and dents tell a story that would not have been told otherwise.
This technique inspired me to write the story of little Chopi, a child with dents and cracks whose parents are believed to have passed away. His childhood is touched by ‘dents’ and ‘cracks’ of loneliness, marginalization, and injustice.
These experiences are part of many children’s realities today. By the time pain becomes a scar of the past, there is a sense of shame that becomes imprinted as an adult. The past cannot be changed, but one can learn how to better live in the present, and create a brighter future.
This story targets both children and adults, regardless of their physical appearance, or personal failures. Together we are in this amazing experience called life, with or without our emotional wounds, talents, and everything that is ‘us’. We are all valuable the way we are and are certainly loved by the Giver of Life.