MOM TOLD YOU SO, 8min., France
Directed by Cécile Cournelle
A girl tries to go home after a party at night ... as a videogame character.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
"Mom told you so" began as a slam, particularly the refrain that I had written for myself when I came home alone at night and felt afraid. Strangely, these written words allowed me to hold onto something and channel my thoughts. Then, in 2020, COVID-19 and lockdown happened, and like many artists, it felt like my horizons were completely blocked... That's when I decided to write the entire slam "Maman t'avait dit" because what's great about slam poetry is that once it's written, you can immediately perform it in front of an audience at an open mic night, without going through the difficulties of production, etc.
When I met the audience, I realized that my slam resonated with many women who could relate to what I was expressing. Even some men approached me, surprised and shocked, saying, "Is this what you experience?". I realized that it allowed those who were not directly affected to feel and understand the daily experiences of others and served as a cathartic release for those who had similar experiences, opening up conversations. So, this motivated me greatly to turn the slam into a musical piece and then create a music video to reach a broader audience.
Ultimately, the idea of making the video look like a video game session struck me as a playful and relevant way to create visuals without overwhelming the already intense slam. Indeed, our experience and perception of the environment as women are strangely akin to a video game, where the protagonist must face dangers to accomplish her mission. In essence, during the night, seemingly ordinary, we become solitary heroines in a hostile terrain... This parallel with a daily life that may seem mundane to most people seemed fun and, rather than victimizing, I hope it highlighted the courage of women. Making this short film also allowed me, through the elements unique to video games, to address other issues related to nighttime harassment and expand the scope of reflection.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Two years. I finished writing the slam in May/June 2020, then I revised it extensively during the year. After that, there was all the work with composer Simon Lauris to create the music (until early 2021), followed by writing the screenplay and preparing for the shoot, which took place in early October 2021... Then it took 7 months of work for the special effects... And the music video was released in June 2022.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
My film immerses us in the life of a woman returning home late at night after a party... in the form of a video game session.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
I would say it was a real marathon, and endurance was key.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Extremely touched. Firstly, I was deeply honored that the audience had voted for it as the best short film !! And it's incredible to receive such valuable feedback from people on the other side of the world who explain in detail what they liked and what resonated with them... It's truly amazing. If I had known while writing it that it would come to this, I would have been shocked !
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
When I was 10 years old, a friend of mine and I would take my father's camera and shoot stories... Since then, I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It's not very original, but the film I've seen the most is Titanic. The first time I watched it, I needed to see it again the next day. It's the film that has touched me and made me dream the most... Since then, I've seen many great films, but in my teenage heart, none surpasses Titanic.
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 what can help me the most in my filmmaking career is networking... Being introduced to professionals who appreciate my work and want to collaborate with me ! If it's within your purview, it would be so great !
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Very good. I liked the description of your festival and everything that is done to connect us with our audience... Excellent !
10. What is your favorite meal?
A very difficult question... I love so many meals. I would say my father's spaghetti with tomato sauce.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Yes! I have co-written a short film of around twenty minutes that I plan to direct soon, most likely in early 2024!