Interview with Filmmaker Chantal Caron (Clémentine)

CLEMENTINE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the September 2020 Experimental Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I would say that it’s my artistic approach, which is deeply connected to nature. I always start to create a new piece doing research with my performer.s outdoors, in situ – St. Lawrence riverfront might be the most inspiring space for me. Afterwards, the show is adapted to be performed as well in nature, on stage in theaters, and in front of a camera. That’s how the choreographic research I did for Clémentine has led me to many others projects beyond the movie.

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

Two years (2017-2019). It went very fast from the moment we decided to produce it on our own. We had a very low budget, but there were other benefits.

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

Deep nature

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

The short amount of time to shoot it : a day and a half.

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

It’s one of the most incredible gifts you can give to a filmmaker. The video is a priceless feedback on our hardwork. I remember thinking how generous and nourishing it was. All these points of view, coming from so many different persons. This is definitely how your festival stands out.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Since I was a little girl playing with mud, I’ve been inspired by my environment. I wanted to create something from that child’s game. In the process with my performer, I started to study the soil. I was obsessed with mud! My performer, Clémentine Schindler, was also very committed to the project and abandoned herself to nature so instinctively during the creation process. This is how Clémentine was born.

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

La mélodie du bonheur (The Sound of Music)

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

As a newcomer in that field, I can tell it’s very helpful. First, it’s bilingual. And it’s very user friendly.

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

In french : J’aurais voulu être un artiste, Claude Dubois. In english : Staying alive, Bee Gees.

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

Not just one, but two! After Clémentine, we shot another short movie on the St. Lawrence riverfront, with twelve performers, in july 2019. This film (Prendre le Nord) tells the story of Snow Gooses and their migration, and should be released in 2021. Then, in february 2020, we also shot a film in the heart of winter on a frozen river. Both films are currently in post production.

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