ASHES, 10min., Canada
Directed by Charles-Antoine Thériault
Over time, nature wilfully and circumstantially adapts to its environment, but when the cyclical clash between evolution and cataclysm occurs, nature’s fight to reclaim its place often leaves scars that endure for many seasons. “Ashes” recounts the tale of a Heron and the 62 Lakes under his watchful eye, of the creation of these watery masses that now encompass the region of Saint-Hippolyte – a tragic tale of self-sacrifice that has become an eternal legend.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film ?
The city of Saint-Hippolyte had a project about the 62 lakes in the region, and when I was asked to create something for it, I saw an opportunity to go beyond a traditional visual video. I wanted to offer something more to the people of Saint-Hippolyte and create their own legend. So, I developed a myth around the creation of the unique 62 lakes and proposed to the city's cultural director to make a movie about it. And here it is!
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take to make this film?
It took us almost a year. We had a lot of pre-production, faced some setbacks with the timing of the shoot, and spent time composing the soundtrack, finding the perfect voice, and recreating all the sound design from scratch.
3. How would you describe your film in two words?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The first obstacle was definitely the Heron. We didn't want to create the heron in post-production and aimed to let people imagine the mystical animal through the light in the sky. So, I had to direct the drone and the dancer simultaneously, without them being able to communicate verbally but still sharing a connection. The Heron was the biggest challenge.
The second obstacle was the lack of budget for visual effects (VFX). We had many great ideas, including playing with fire and controlling it realistically. We had to be creative in portraying fire scenes in the water and the forest, and it was a fun process.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience's feedback video about your film?
I felt proud. Proud of my team because Graham did an amazing job with the cinematography. Miranda was truly a warrior for enduring the cold for so long. September is not a warm month in the Laurentides. And Simon composed an incredible musical universe. All these artists made the film what it is, and people recognized that, which made me proud.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I've wanted to create a short film for a long time, and when I saw the opportunity with this project, I jumped right into it.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I think it would be "The Intouchables" (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1675434/).
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help further your filmmaking career?
I believe you already do a lot, and I hope to receive some love from where I come from.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experience been working with the festival platform site?
It's been great. It's my first time using the platform, so I'm learning to work with it, but it has been easy so far.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I could eat a good New York-style pizza every day.
11. What's next for you? A new film?
I hope so! I would like to work on a more traditional narrative short film. I already have 6-7 different projects waiting on my computer; I just need to find a way to make them happen!