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TIFF Women Directors: Meet Lone Scherfig – ‘The Riot Club’

TIFF Women Directors: Meet Lone Scherfig - 'The Riot Club'

Lone Scherfig was born in
Copenhagen and graduated from
the National Film School of Denmark.
Her features Italian for Beginners
(2000), Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002),
Just Like Home (2007), and An Education
(2009) all screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. (TIFF official site)

The Riot Club (2014), her latest film, will play at TIFF on September 6, 7, and 13.

WAH: Please give us your description of the film playing.

LS: The Riot Club is a film about a secret dinner society in Oxford, England. Admitted into this privileged, intelligent elite — rather out of control — are two new students, Miles and Alistair. 

WAH: What drew you to this script?

LS: I saw Laura Wade’s play twice. It was dynamic, political, and very witty. I let people know I was interested if it were to be [adapted] into a film. It turned out that Laura had already put me on the top of her list.

WAH: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

LS: The balance, the nuance. And having the courage to not want things to end the way they should, but the way they would. The biggest joy was filming an whole new generation of British actors.

WAH: What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?

LS: I am hoping to expand my range and get new challenges for every film. They do have something tonally in common, but each film will have a different theme and not be a predictable choice.

WAH: How did you get your film funded?

LS: The Riot Club is funded by Film 4, the British Film Institute, Universal UK, and Pinewood. It’s great to work within a not-too-complicated financial [situation].

WAH: Name your favorite women directed film and why.

LS: The German Sisters by Margarete von Trotta had an intimacy and importance I’ll never forget. About terrorism, but also about love. The Selfish Giant from this year by Clio Barnard was truly moving and meaningful as well.

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