Interview with filmmaker Linnea Ritland (VIOLET AND JUNE)

VIOLET AND JUNE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival on Valentine’s Day.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Linnea Ritland: Whenever I look up at the stars I’m flat out terrified. The idea that we’re tiny in comparison to the universe (and that we’re all gonna die one day) doesn’t bring me any comfort (yet)—so I thought I’d harness this terror to try to make people laugh. Plus, I’m extremely bisexual so I’m always interested in exploring and celebrating queer narratives, and just wanted to make a film about lesbians where they don’t die at the end.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

From the idea, 3 years, but from the first serious draft, about 1.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Quirky romcom!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

We had to re-shoot the entire last two scenes in pickups, which was not only logistically tough but hard to deal with on a personal psychological level—when you need to do pickups it usually feels like you failed, since you didn’t get it right the first time.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was so glad that people seemed to really like quirkiness of it! And proud of the work my collaborators did on the film—especially the music (Patrick Fiore) and production design (Courtney Verwold)!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It started from the visual of a girl having an existential crisis about a chocolate bar (i.e., realizing that it would rot just like everyone she’d ever known and loved), who then goes to take a bus, and a girl sits next to her and starts sobbing. I wanted to explore the idea of someone very analytical and books-based dealing with a crisis colliding with someone emotion-based also mid-crisis.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

When I was a toddler I used to compulsively watch A Bug’s Life multiple times a day, to the point where my siblings memorized the entire film. I must have seen it more than a thousand times—I don’t even remember the plot or the characters’ names now.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s so easy and simple! Would recommend to any first-time filmmakers looking to submit to festivals.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

You know how the old nokia ringtone is based on a Bach song? Probably that one. Or Happy Birthday.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently working on a comedy-drama about a young woman dealing with her father’s alcoholism, who bounces between her unstable home life and a very unstable relationship and eventually finds stability within herself. It’s called “Everything’s Great!” and should be making its festival rounds within the next year. For updates visit linnearitland.wordpress.com!

violet_and_june

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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