TERATOMA, 21min., France, Experimental
Directed by Pauline Beauchamps, Théo Delarche
At 32, a tormented and incomplete woman learns that to mourn her brother, she must let the mystery of her own existence unfold.
"Teratome" is a 20 minute fictional short film bordering on experimental.
Co-directed by Théo Delarche and myself, Pauline Beauchamps, it was produced by the production company, 449Avenue, of which we are the co-founders.
I wrote this film with the need to understand a personal story, that of discovering at the age of 32 that I should have had a twin. Suffering from the lost twin syndrome without even knowing it, my parents had not realized the importance of transmitting this information to me, which explained the presence of many symptoms.
I have always had physical symptoms such as the discovery of a teratoma* at the age of 4 in the ovary and psychological symptoms (guilt, malaise, nostalgia) without any explanation.
It seems to me that cinema is a way of expressing a lack. It makes it possible to release a word or a buried vision, perhaps to highlight a physical and/or psychological state in a direct or indirect way through countless tools.
This story touched Théo Delarche, co-director of the film, with more experience than me in terms of directing. Also the eldest of a twin brother and sister, we worked on this subject in a complementary way. It allowed me to qualify my remarks, to keep a certain kind of distance to ensure the accuracy of the film.
Get to know the directors:
What motivated you to make this film ?
With Theo, we created our production company, 449Avenue, in February 2022.
In order to promote the company and to present our editorial line and our commitments, we wanted to work on a strong subject, and treated in a singular way.
So I started, perhaps also out of need, by writing about a personal experience, that of discovering at the age of 32 that I should have had a twin and that I was suffering from the lost twin syndrome.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film ?
From the idea to the finalization of the project, we took 6 months.
3. How would you describe your film in two words !?
Powerful and free.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film ?
Generally speaking, the obstacles in a film are often the same, money, time, humans and weather.
We financed Teratome with the money we earned from making commercials, but it wasn't enough.
With Theo, we held several positions at the same time (producers, directors, drivers, stage managers, cooks, stylist, sets, editing) but this is also the price to pay for the first production of an emerging company, to reach the end of our ideas and our ambitions.
That's why it's difficult to talk about obstacles for a short film, because there are basically obstacles everywhere.
I'm originally a production manager and it's my job to find all the solutions to all the obstacles that come up. But what makes the difference is the people you work with, especially on a short film. We worked with the right people who believed in our film, in our story. The film's team is magnificent, they are friends and professional collaborators who have supported us by making a financial effort and involvement throughout the making of the film. Without them, the film would not be what it is and it is very important to us to recognize this.
As for the weather, we were incredibly lucky, snow, rain, sun, wind when we needed it.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video ?
We received the video in the night with the time difference, because we are in France. We watched it several times, we were so moved and proud. I couldn't go back to sleep because I wanted to share it with the whole team. They were also moved and happy for the film. The reactions of the people are incredible. Thank you so much!
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I discover filmmaking when I was 10, when my parents bought me a small digital camera. I started filming my friends and me skateboarding, editing for us video clip of our amazing feats and creating little scenarios. Years later I joined a production company specialized in extreme sports, and the essence of making "real" movies hit me harder as I started to follow athlete for documentaries. My passion for adventures brings me to travel the world learning the process of storytelling with a camera and a laptop in the backpack.
All this years making documentaries for passion and commercials for living gave birth to the will of approaching something bigger : Le Cinéma (in french). So we create our own production company with Pauline and start a new journey crafting features films together. The emotions that we felt during all the production of Teratoma to his first projection in theater was so wonderful it strengthens more and more the desire of making films.
It's hard to say when exactly.
I come from a literary and dance background and I think I've always had a need to share a vision and a creative process, no matter what the form, a ballet, a text, a photo, a play. Film came along during my studies at university. At first I was very interested in theory, especially in the history and criticism of cinema, and then in technique. I didn't imagine myself directing, because I was quite scared and I had this feeling of not having the right to this place. It's not really the case yet.
When I got into the business, I preferred to hide behind the position of production manager and support the film projects of other directors. I learned a lot.
Then, encounters or subjects and the way I imagined them pushed me to express them through cinema, and to say to myself that I had the right to dare and to try the exercise even if it meant making mistakes.
Teratome is perhaps the moment when I realize the pleasure I had in making a film from beginning to end, when I start to feel legitimate.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Théo : « Toy Story » Pixar
Pauline : « L'effrontée » directed by Claude Miller
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
A screening in a movie theater is always a unique experience, and a moment of sharing with the public that we never forget.
Allowing filmmakers, an audience or professionals to exchange, or to connect them to create future collaborations and on the long term could help. But we find that you are already doing it in a way with this interview but also by sending us the feedback. It's important to keep doing it.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It was simple and clear for your festival.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Théo : Raclette
Pauline : Rice and salted butter.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
At the moment, we have some commercials shooting which allows the production company to live.
Two film ideas are emerging. One more experimental, around dance and another one of fiction.
This time, we would like to seek public and private aid to carry out the production of the films.