BLOOD BUDDIES, 12min., Canada, Drama
Directed by Suzanne Marie Moreau
A friend in need is a friend indeed – or are they? Two best childhood friends go to their first summer camp together – and it tears them apart.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I felt motivated to tell the female experience of puberty including that momentous occasion, a first period, since it seemed to be missing from the screen. I looked into ‘first period’ stories and discovered an online trend was shaping up among today’s generation. It made sense emotionally and theoretically to try to capture the experience and how it coincided with friendships in a sensitive, vulnerable way with a mature perspective that drew from my own remembered feelings.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
My first draft of the screenplay was in October 2019 and, after receiving valuable input from a filmmaking mentorship program, I submitted it to two contests – in one it made the top 5. I pitched it in May 2021 for a production prize and, in the process, met and built my key creative team. When we didn’t win, we went ahead and shot the film in late August, and it was edited by January 2022.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Finding the confidence to approach and join up with willing collaborators. As a naive first-time writer anything seems possible. But when facing the administrative, strategic, financial and physical – not to mention artistic and technical – requirements, the prospect of creating an independent, ultra-low budget film seemed unsurmountable. I very fortunately found Mia Golden and Kelly Conlin as two key creatives to join me in this adventure, and we continue to work together on current and future projects.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was blown away by the audience’s responses, which brought me to tears. They discovered and appreciated every nuance of the film – its setting, characters, themes, issues and acting. It was incredibly rewarding to hear them talk about all the things I’d hoped to convey. I feel so fortunate to have collaborated with such a diversity of creatives on the film, who’s work individually and collectively shines through in the finished product. What a brilliant feature for a film festival!
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I needed a creative outlet after retiring and, while revisiting visual art photography, I was also exploring creative writing. The two mediums came together when I found a filmmaking mentorship program offered locally which encompassed everything from screenwriting through directing, cinematography, production design, marketing and distribution – with everything else in between. I realised this was something I actually could do!
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
“The Wizard of Oz”. That film shaped me in so many ways from the time I was about 10. It terrified me, enthralled me, and awakened me. After seeing it on black and white TV many times throughout my childhood I was especially shocked to discover, when I watched the 1989, 50th anniversary DVD, that Oz was in full technicolor!
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 the Toronto Female Feedback Festival is so innovative in its offerings, I daresay I could not come up with any more creative ideas beyond what they offer! My first film is my calling card for future films I hope to make. I need to establish myself as a credible ‘investment’ for would-be funders – so the positive feedback and award, with opportunities to talk about the film in a podcast, are all wonderful options to convince the powers-that-be that I am a solid bet.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is a really well-functioning site, is very easy to use and offers great options for organizing and filing all the applications and standings with any number of festivals. It makes navigating the festival circuit straightforward.
10. What is your favorite meal?
One spent with family and friends! Oh, and foodwise, a roast of any kind with all the trimmings – at this time of year, turkey with giblet stuffing, cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, Yorkshire Pudding, roasted potatoes and gravy.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Just over the Thanksgiving weekend (October 7-10), with my two key creatives, Mia Golden (Producer/Actor) and Kelly Conlin (Cinematographer/Editor), we shot my second short film, “Ginny’s Enterprise”. This short drama explores a loss of innocence story set in 1967 in the context of Cold War nuclear tensions. It looks at how the ‘hangover’ of WW2 xenophobic and patriarchal attitudes shape the sense-of-self for a 10-year old girl, and how she copes with the double standards of the day through fantasy play in her own version of Star Trek.