Interview with Filmmakers Mica Daniels & Sise Drummond (414 DUPONT)

414 DUPONT was the winner of BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM at the February 2022 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

Film also playing at the WILDsound TV app next month. You can sign up for the 7 day free trial at http://www.wildsound.ca (available on your streaming services and APPS). There is a DAILY film festival to watch, plus a selection of award winning films on the platform. Then it’s only $3.99 per month.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

We were given the opportunity to apply to a new filmmaking grant program which focuses on the connection between people and places in Toronto. Specifically, we were asked to look at the Annex neighborhood. The ethos of this grant spoke deeply to us, having both grown up in Toronto with fond memories of the communities and places that established our personal experiences of the city.

In the research phase of this piece, we spoke to Anthony Rose, the chef featured in our documentary, and he happened to briefly tell us an inspiring story about the previous tenants at 414 Dupont – the Patel family. They had owned and operated their own restaurant, Indian Rice Factory for over 40 years, under the vision of a powerful female chef and mother. We were intrigued not only by this anecdote, but also by the relationship Anthony had formed with Aman Patel, the current landlord to this day. We thought it would be interesting to hear their perspectives on this transition, and in turn, the transition of an iconic neighborhood.

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

Roughly 6 months.

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

Intergenerational Community

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

Our biggest challenge occurred in the offline phase of the project. We learned through this process, with all of the hours spent scrubbing footage and listening to interviews, that your editor must feel a personal connection to the story, and be just as invested as the director.

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

It was really touching to hear from viewers we don’t know! As emerging filmmakers, a lot of our support comes from our personal community so it was exciting to know that people we have never met actually watched the film – and enjoyed it! It was interesting to hear their various interpretations of the story and incredibly affirmative that the ways we wanted to portray family as a main theme came across.

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

We realized that we wanted to make films together nearly a decade ago. We made our very first short film together in high school. Mica studied Film and Television Production in university, and Sise pursued freelance Production and Photography after her undergraduate degree. After that, we founded Good Luck, as a space to bring our skills and passions together. We both have a love for the creative chaos that is filmmaking and want to tell stories that express our shared interests and aesthetics.

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

Sise: Titanic
Mica: Into The Wild

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

We feel it is really special that this festival makes an effort to promote the film after the selections have been made, whether that be through a written interview, podcast or even email blast to their network. It would be helpful if selected filmmakers could receive a bit more information about the connection between WildSound and Toronto Doc Film Fest, as well as who is invited to the online screening.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

As new festival applicants, we learned so much about the diverse range of festivals that exist all over the world. The experience applying through FilmFreeway has been really positive and organized overall.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Sise: An Italian feast

Mica: Japanese fusion

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

Right now we are working on building our creative portfolio with musicians and artists, but intend to make another short documentary in 2022.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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