Interview with Filmmaker Rachel Trudeau (ANGELE)

ANGELE was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the January 2021 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

A couple of things inspired me to make this film. First of all, my mother. I have witnessed her during the entire climbing season here in Quebec, learning all the knots and outdoor climbing techniques and pushing through this sport with passion and devotion. When the season was prime, she wanted to push herself a little further by leading her first climb and setting the clips herself on the wall. It’s a pretty big step into a climber’s life. I just thought it would be very fun to document the experience. Our parents are usually those recording “our first times”. I thought it was interesting to have her daughter’s perspective on her challenge. It was also my way to show her how proud I was. Prime climbing season in Quebec rhymes with prime fall season. Autumn is just a lovely moment of the year for shooting in terms of colors and lighting. That was very inspiring too. Finally, I had recently acquired at that time my new Sony FS5. I wanted for my first film recorded with this camera to be important and meaningful to me. I wanted to set the tone for the next pieces I would create. It was like setting an intention.

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

It took me about a month. Shooting the movie took me a day and a half : one day at the crag, and a morning back home for the interview. My mother was just incredibly generous with her interview. She had alot to say and she was just… beautiful and inspiring! It was difficult to select the content and the movie could have gone in many directions. That’s why I took my time with the editing. I would work a couple of hours, then let go for a couple of days. I needed a lot of time between work sessions because it was so personal. I wanted her to shine as bright as she could, as she is. I wanted to give her the recognition and the tribute she deserves.

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

Family roots.

Family is a tricky theme… We are born with it. We don’t choose it. However, whether we care and cherish our mother, our father, our sisters and brothers, that choice is our own. Sometimes we don’t get along. Sometimes we are far away… That is the case for me and my brothers for the past few months. This project was an attempt to bring us back together.

Our roots are what ground us to our past. They kind of take us back to where we come from when we really need to go there. If there are roots, somehow it also means that something is growing, regardless of many things like age. Witnessing my mother grow as a person is a privilege I am very grateful of. It shows her opening and humility. Roots for me is also an image of the true self. No matter what grows on top, it’s kind of something unshakable. And I can see myself in my mother’s caracter of always pushing, fighting, never giving up. It’s just deep down in us.

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

I thought that the sound from the interview was not so good. I had a poor microphone for the shooting. I bought a new microphone right away when I started the edit of the movie. I struggled through tutorials and found a way to make it okay. I added sounds of wind and actually amplified the fact that it was imperfect. Turns out to be not so bad since I won Best Sound & Music – FEEDBACK Under 5 Minute Film and Smartphone Festival.

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

I was really touched to see all these people take time to do this review. They all seemed to have put their heart into their feedback. It was also very refreshing to see new faces! The actual pandemic situation is not very suitable to meet new people. I was overwhelmed with motivation and the will to keep telling stories of my own, stories that are meaningful to me and that turn out to touch others as well.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I saw an opportunity in a real life context. I am always looking for a story to tell, a “true story”. Documentary is my favorite way of expressing myself. It gives me the strength to believe I can give a voice to others. It takes me in various contexts, it brings me to meet unique and incredible humans or to reconnect with others and it nourishes my insatiable curiosity.

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

Happy Gilmore. It’s one of those “family movie” that you would watch over and over with your siblings. I recognise that it’s not the typical kid movie… I don’t think I really understood what was going on the screen. But I knew it brought us together and it’s all that really mattered then and now.

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

The platform is super user friendly. I would recommend the platform to any cineast who wants to showcase their film internationally and make new connections.

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

Actually, there is not one song but many ; the album I have listened to the most times in my life is Abbey Road by The Beatles. From a very early age, The Beatles were part of my everyday life. I remember my mother cleaning the floors with the sound playing super loud in the apartment. Or our piano nights, playing the whole Beatles partition book.

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

I am softly making a transition from graphic design et web design to cinema. My goal is to only work as a filmmaker by the end of 2021. I am currently working on a new movie “Ode au Nord”, that connects an artist from the North of Quebec to the territory. It’s a very exciting project. I am also working on the portrait of two artists from Quebec city. I always keep myself very busy and out of the comfort zone. I try, although it’s not so easy these days, to connect with refreshing and inspiring people. I am very excited about 2021 and reaching my goals.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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