Interview with Filmmaker Katia Sauthier (LET’S PLAY)

LET’S PLAY was the winner of BEST FILM at the March 2022 FEMALE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

A challenge I set myself after attending a film festival in my city. I told my girlfriend who was with me: next year I will screen my film here. I took the challenge and the following year, they were screening my film! There are so many moments in my life where I have found myself in such unbelievable situations that I thought: this is like a movie! So I let my life inspire me… and here we are with « Let’s play » (“Jeux dits” in French)

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

It took almost a year. I wrote the script fairly quickly, but the challenge was to find a team to direct it. The first person I asked was my friend Jerome, a talented director whose work I admire. I asked him if he would be willing to co-direct it with me and he said yes! I will be eternally grateful to him. He is also the cameraman of this short, and the beautiful shots and lights are a reflection of his talent. Then, we had to find the sound engineer, the actors, a make-up artist and an editor… the whole team got involved with enthusiasm in this project, but everyone was also solicited in other projects, and the realization had to adapt to their availabilities.

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

Sensual and playful

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

The budget! Financing films, and more specifically short films, is complicated. The biggest challenge for me was to motivate a team of professionals to embark on a zero-budget project, and to find a balance between my requirements and what I could decently ask from a team of volunteer professionals! In the end, this obstacle was swept away with a masterful hand by my amazing crew, who have all my gratitude.

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

It is a great joy to see that my film has been seen, understood and appreciated, especially by people on the other side of the globe! Having an audience is, I think, the most beautiful gift for a director. It’s an achievement, a recognition.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I’m a psychologist and a visual and plastic art therapist. I have always been interested in all forms of art, from dance, to painting, photography and theatre. For 4 years now, I have been particularly interested in the seventh art. For me, art has the power to transcend everyday life, and to transform people. I believe that every individual story can become a universal one. I love life stories and realistic films. They inspire me. So naturally I wanted to create one in my turn, in order to inspire others.

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

I don’t like monotony and there are too many movies I haven’t seen to watch one several times! At the moment I watch a lot of Swiss films and documentaries. I think it is important to know and support local production.

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

I think that festivals could contribute by encouraging more low-budget films, notably by reducing registration fees, which can be a hindrance, or buying the broadcasting rights for the selected and screened films. I’m aware that festivals also have to find ways to cope… it remains to be seen what solutions can be found.
That said, when festivals like yours offer to promote our films, it is very appreciable.

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

It’s not easy as a novice to make a choice among the thousands of festivals present on the platform. I believe in the learning by doing thing, so I will surely be more efficient with my next film! However, it is a real opportunity to distribute your film and give it a chance to be screened all over the world, even virtually during the pandemic.

10. What is your favorite meal?

As a swiss woman I should answer Fondue or Raclette, but I actually prefer discover meals from around the world!

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

I’m actually working on a documentary right now. I’m very excited about this new project and hope I can present it to you next year 🙂

By matthewtoffolo

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

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