TIFF Women Directors: Meet Claire Blanchet

by Melissa Silverstein
September 11, 2013 10:00 AM
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The End of Pinky

Claire Blanchet studied animation at Concordia University. She has co-directed Trash and No Star! (08) and The Wobble Incident (09). The End of Pinky (13) is her latest short film.

The End of Pinky premieres on Sept. 11 in Short Cuts Canada Programme 5.

Women and Hollywood: Please give us your description of your film playing at TIFF:

Claire Blanchet: An adaptation of Heather O'Neill's original short story, The End of Pinky is an eight-minute, stereoscopic, animated film noir set in a dream-like version of Montreal's Red Light District.

WaH: What drew you to this story?

CB: I love everything of Heather's that I've read. Something about this story's poetry and humor, its roots in the Noir genre, and its Montreal setting all conjured a lot in me. I immediately fell in love with the characters, their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Also the story evokes the light at night in Montreal, a very moody, dark, and sensual universe.

WaH: What was the biggest challenge?

CB: I think the fact that I love the original story so much. I was always conscious of what a dream it was to have the opportunity to adapt Heather's story, so the drive to make the film as good as possible pushed me, and everyone on our team, to pretty incredible places.

WaH: What advice do you have for other female directors?

CB: I think the best I could do is just listen to yourself, follow your vision and nourish whatever it is that's driving you to do this in the first place. Balance that with the joy of taking in the brilliance of as many talented, generous, passionate people as possible.

WaH: What's the biggest misconception about you and your work?

CB: I guess I've noticed an assumption that my work will be always very happy and cheerful. I think this is because I generally smile a lot when communicating with people. I spend a lot of time in the dark and my imagination is quite dark, this makes me value kind interactions with people all the more.

WaH: What are the biggest challenges and or opportunities for the future with the changing distribution mechanisms for films?

CB: The future of film distribution strikes me as very exciting. Gathering together in theatres to watch films is an irreplaceable experience and one I value deeply. I also adore the richness offered by these relatively new experiences, being able to access countless films at any time. I wish I had had so many films at my fingertips growing up!

WaH: Name your favorite female directed movie and why?

CB: It is tough to name one favorite film. I am going to say Elise Simard's My Little Underground. It is deeply moving in its honesty, intimacy, darkness and beauty. She is one of the most innovative and original filmmakers around.

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