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TIFF Women Directors: Meet Marie-Ève Juste – ‘The Sands’

TIFF Women Directors: Meet Marie-Ève Juste - 'The Sands'

Based in Montreal, Marie-Ève Juste worked at the Cinémathèque Québécoise between 2003 and 2007, where she first got familiar with cinema history and practice. In 2011, she co-directed her first short film, Summer Day, with Félix Dufour-Laperrière. With Jeff, her second short film, premiered at Cannes’ 2012 Director’s Fortnight. The Sands is her third film. (TIFF official site)

The 21-minute short The Sands will play at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8. 

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

MEJ: A group of friends retreat to a cottage for a weekend in the woods, and tensions rise when the presence of a newcomer — the black, much younger boyfriend of one of the group — elicits unthinking acts of deprecation.

WaH: What drew you to this story?

MEJ: I wanted to write a film about two strange yet terrible feelings: fear and humiliation. Also, I wanted to write a film about how difficult it is to escape from social roles and archetypes.

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

MEJ: I’d say that writing the script was probably the biggest challenge because I wanted to stay on the thin line where the characters could be mean but not grotesque.

WaH: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theatre?

MEJ: If the film can only bring people to think about it when they are leaving the theatre, I’ll be happy.

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

MEJ: Don’t be afraid.

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

MEJ: That female films are autobiographical.

WaH: How did you get your film funded? 

MEJ: I had the tremendous chance to be funded by two Quebecois public institutions: SODEC and Québec Arts Council.

WaH: Name your favorite women directed film and why.

MEJ: Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum is not only one of my favorite women-directed films, but one of my favorite films because of the intelligence of the simple storytelling and the sensual poetry of everyday life.

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