Speaking at a Monday morning panel dedicated to emerging female talent in the French animation sphere, filmmakers Marine Blin (“What Resonates in Silence”), Mélanie Robert-Tourneur (“Hold Me Tight,” pictured above), and Kajika Aki Ferrazzini (“MOM”) spoke candidly about pet obsessions and shared approaches while breaking news of future projects.
The Belgium-based Robert-Tourneur (who uses they/them pronouns) will build on their previous film’s visually symbolic and narratively oblique 2D animated style in a film that will recontextualize the biblical myth of Lilith — Adam’s first wife, cast out of the garden for disobedience – in a more contemporary form.
“My storytelling doesn’t correspond to a feature format,” they explained. “I don’t know how to express myself in a different manner than with this specific format… You can do things with a short that are impossible with a feature. It’s like a poem; it touches on the subconscious and opens up to discussion.”
Blin, whose “What Resonates in Silence” explores questions of grief through touch and sight, will focus her upcoming short on a different kind of acceptance. “It’s about making peace with who you are,” she said. “And the different version of who you could have become.” Alongside the short, Blin is also co-scripting the family feature “The Bear and the Hermit” for producer Delphine Maury.
When “MOM” director Kajika Aki Ferrazzini mentioned that she had no plan or intention to begin work on a new film project, and that she wasn’t entirely sure if she had the inspiration, Blin chimed in to offer a number of artistic residencies that could help the young director nourish and channel her creativity.
Born of camaraderie, and the shared understanding that all three were veterans of similar struggles, it was a tone struck early and often throughout the one-hour panel, and as Ferrazzini, who spent a full year making her film more or less alone, spoke of her primal artistic drive, the others nodded in agreement.
“I thought it was a question of life or death, and if I didn’t do this I would die,” Ferrazzini explained. “I don’t know what I’m going to when I start a project. It’s only in the end that I know what happened. It’s bit like life — with time you understand.”
Indeed, the emerging filmmakers spoke of the whiplash that comes from having to pitch a project to potential financiers while still allowing the work to evolve on its own terms. Robert-Tourneur likened that process to “giving birth, doing therapy, and looking for financing all at the same time,” while Blin added, “You need to balance justifying and analyzing a film that doesn’t even exist yet. When you propose your subject, it’s still very much alive.”