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Stephen Graham, Hannah Walters and Philip Barantini sit in a cinema on a panel discussion
Stephen Graham, Hannah Walters and Philip Barantini, Boiling Point TV Preview, Square Eyes Festival Credit: Will Pace 2023

Meet Eden Limchawalit-Smith; a passionate filmmaker, enthusiastic MAC Supporter, and recent seat adopter. Eden is a true MAC success story, who nurtured his unique creative voice during film courses with us. Eden's generous contribution towards naming a Cinema seat will be a joyful reminder of his journey, in the venue that means so much to him, for the next decade to come.

Man sits in cinema seat smiling at the camera
Eden Limchawalit-Smith
Plaque on cinema chair reading 'film is anything you want it to be'
Eden Limchawalit-Smith, Name a Seat Plaque

What made you want to name a seat?

I wanted to give back to the very thing my life is built on: films. I’ve quoted on my plaque 'film is anything you want it to be.' Because films have been there for me, and helped me overcome a lot of challenges: like fallouts with friends/relationships, dealing with difficult situations in my life, and helping me make sense of it all. Sometimes, films have helped me simply to escape all that is troubling me. So I feel like I have a special connection to films, more than I do with people, to be honest. I am so dedicated to this artform (both as a viewer and a filmmaker), and want to express my love for it. And show people that you can overcome your troubles in life too, by believing in and sticking by what you love, whatever that passion may be.

What is your favourite memory at MAC?

Definitely my Young Filmmakers Club days; that's where I developed my own identity and discovered what I wanted my films to feel and look like. That took the form of my film “Zombe”, which dealt with some dark subject matter, but did so in a way that was original and metaphorical. I used the idea of zombies as a metaphor on feeling nothing/emptiness. That stemmed from my love of arthouse cinema - a style of storytelling which relies on metaphorical imagery, rather than exposition and explanation. But it’s also got excessive flashes of gore in there too, which stems from my love of extreme cinema (and zombie films too). So, I was able to take from my inspirations, and make them my own.

What do you think is special about MAC’s cinema programme?

I love MAC’s selection of independent films, that don’t tend to get picked up by the mainstream cinemas. I believe Hollywood films have become very repetitive, mundane, and corporate. Most Hollywood films, nowadays, feel like they’ve been made by a committee or a machine, and not by filmmakers. They often feel recycled and calculated, in order to generate income, rather than generate an interesting film, made by a filmmaker with their own vision. So, it’s great to see MAC pick up films with minimal studio involvement, by filmmakers with their own set of ideologies and voices who have been allowed to craft the films they want. And tell the stories in the way they want to tell them. That’s very refreshing in this day and age.

What would your advice be for young and aspiring filmmakers?

I think the whole point of what I’ve been trying to say is expressed in the quote on my seat plaque: 'film is anything you want it to be'. To me, that means: be yourself. People in the industry will tell you to follow a structure, or that you should stick to the rules of how films should be made. In reality, they’re telling you to make films like everyone else. So, it is important to discover how you (and only you) would like to make your films and create your own identity within them. Because if we all make films like everyone else, then what’s the point in being our own unique selves? We are all our own unique selves, with our own unique traits, and if we just chose to be ourselves when making films, and not let anyone else dictate our voices, then I guarantee we would have a lot of unique stories and visions out there right now.