In a few days, The big slaps, new short film from director Annie St-Pierre, will have its world premiere at theSundance Film Festival. Metro spoke to this passionate filmmaker about her film and the obstacles of the pandemic.
“December 24, 1983, 10:50 p.m. Julie and her cousins have eaten too much sugar, Santa Claus is late and Denis, alone in his car, is afraid at the idea of setting foot in his ex-beauty’s house again -family to pick up their children. “
In The big slaps, Annie St-Pierre revisits the Christmases of yesteryear, their excessively magical atmosphere, the collective euphoria and the wonder of children, to plant the contrast of a realistic scenario: the tribulations of a freshly divorced father, disenchantment of his daughter in the face of the vulnerability of her father and the solidarity which spontaneously springs from her young heart.
“I was inspired by emotions experienced to tell about this moment when the child loses his naivety and must acquire a new empathy in order to support his parent. It is also a coming of age for her father, who courageously deepened the bond with his daughter, at the risk of being humiliated, ”says Annie St-Pierre.
The director, already celebrated for her previous achievements such as Love migration (2007) and Farm women (2013), says she is extremely privileged to have been selected by the Sundance Film Festival for the launch of her film, at a time unfortunately complicated for the film industry.
“I was lucky enough to be able to film just before the start of the pandemic,” she says. But I stand in solidarity with all the other directors who have to wait, because there is nothing more frustrating when you are a filmmaker than not being able to shoot. “
Annie St-Pierre has a filming project on hold for a year. This feature film titled Full potential, a documentary on coaches life, is already written and funded but still has to wait to go into production.
“I don’t want to film people with masks, to talk about the end of the world or the pandemic, but this situation makes me want to review my way of filming: smaller teams, more intimate shoots…” Annie St-Pierre, filmmaker
New ways of doing things
“Like everyone else, I can’t hear the word“ reinvent ”anymore, jokes the filmmaker. But at the same time, I tell myself that it’s something artists are already used to doing, adapting to constraints. “
She says that the situation certainly does not inspire her with a pandemic scenario, end-of-the-world atmospheres and masked protagonists… But why not more intimate shoots, smaller teams and a new way of showing her films?
“What I miss most is seeing the face of the audience and their reaction when they watch a movie,” she admits. But, in the meantime, we are looking for ways to distribute online, because nothing can prevent those who want to create, since it must continue while waiting to meet physically! “
The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 28 to February 3. The public who register will be able to view The big slaps on its online platform. Other film festival selections will be announced shortly.