“This film is about a man with a gorilla arm. This man, who also happens to play Jesus in a TV series, is in possession of a singing bone. All this is mysterious, I grant you, but that’s why Detective Haffigan is on the case. This policewoman, an enemy of gentleness and a strong believer in vulgarity, tries to get closer to the singing bone in order to understand the mystery behind all this. Fortunately, understanding is not everything ! You also have to laugh, sing and cry. Yeah…” Director Olivier Godin very much selling me on WAITING FOR APRIL, which screens at VIFF 2018.
Congratulations on your film playing and welcome to VIFF! Is your first time here and are you planning to attend your screenings?
First time at VIFF, first time in Vancouver. I will attend both screenings with Tatiana Zinga Botao, one of the lead actresses.
So how did you get into this business? Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and what you have worked on in the past.
This is my fourth feature. I started by making short films. I am still not sure I can say I am in this business.
How did this project come together for you? Give me a rundown from the preparation, to shooting, to post-production to now!
Johanna, the actress who plays Detective Haffigan, got drunk with me one night. We managed to convince ourselves that we had to make this film without any grant. The film was shot in eight days. Everything was shot in my small apartment, even the coffee scene and hair salon scenes. It was part of the challenge. Thanks to the energies of friendship, we managed to create something original and unique and that did not look so much like what we envisioned. The filming constraints happily forced us to rethink the scenario. It was very stimulating.
What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?
What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you?
To do a film without money is challenging. But when the film was selected at the Berlin Critics’ Week, I was very happy and everything made sense. And now I’m here, so it makes even more sense.
I’m about to get technical, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie; what camera did you film with, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed.
We shot with the Black Magic. The camera is always still. We did mess around with the shutter speed, imagining we were shooting an action film in a strange way, it kind of is an action film. But mostly, I wanted vivid colors. And focus on the acting.
What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Vancouver?
I come with an open mind.
After the film screens at Vancouver, where is the film going to show next? Theatrical, online, more festivals?
A few days after VIFF, I’ll return to Montreal to present it at the New Cinema Festival, a festival that has supported me since my beginnings. It will then be online at Ladistributrice.ca!
What would you say to someone who was being disruptive through a movie?
I stare and I shush aggressively.
We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies or get into the industry somehow. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business?
Wherever you go, always bring a book with you.
And final question: what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?
TROPICAL MALADY by Weerasethakul. In 2004, I was 19. I have such a strong memory of that screening. The theater was packed. And it was a beautiful experience that left me speechless.
For more information on the film screenings at VIFF, point your browser to www.viff.org!