Juliette Cazanave: It is difficult to confront yout past

Cyril Leuthy’s The Night Is Fading is a film-journey throughout family as well as French colonial history. We spoke with film’s producer Juliette Cazanave.

 

The film documents a journey (literally and figuratively speaking). Did the director intend to make a film from the beginning or did he start to shoot as a home movie?

 

He wanted to make a movie. It was not clear how it is going to look like, but he knew it’s going to be a film. For example, they went to Algeria only two years after the beginning of shooting.

 

The story in the film started some eight years ago. Why is the film finished only now?

 

The film takes place throughout the years; it’s not only one jurney. He started to shoot eight years ago and the end of the film takes place about six years later. Also, during these years, Cyril’s brother died (we understand this at the end of the film) so he stoped filming for three years, because it was too difficult. There are a lot of different time levels in the film.

 

Another reason, of course, is that it’s a no budget film. We had a lot of trouble finding the means to make this film.

 

How much was the director interfering with the “reality” during the shooting?

 

He had a team of two or three cameramen that, among other, gave him the possibilities during editing. For example the scene at the end when father goes outside the restaurant: Cyril sent the crew with him and later provoked the translator to go outside, too. He sensed something would happen – that they woul interact, but he stayed inside and let only the crew to film.

 

night_is_fading

 

The film deals with difficult relationship between France and Algeria. How big is the topic in France.

 

Algeria concentrates all the difficulties of France dealing with colonialist past. We were in many African countries, but except for Algeria we are not dealing with it at all. Probably because the ties between the two countries have been the strongest of all the colonies. Many people from France came and stayed there and became Algerians so when France had to go away it was difficult for a lot of people to leave. And of course, there was a war that didn’t take place in other countries.

 

Until the 80s we didn’t deal with the past at all – even now it is a slow process. But you can see something similar in Germany which didn’t deal with World War II for decades. It is difficult to confront yout past in such a way; you need time for that.

 

As a producer, were you with the project from the begining?

 

No, the filmmaker was alone for 8 years; I jumped in only a year ago. He approached a lot of people and many were interested, but nobody was able to accompany him for such a long time. So by the time he was finishing the film he still didn’t have a producer. When he showed me the rough cut I immediatelly fell in love with it and than I entered – but it was at the very end, which is not normal.

 

Did you have time to make some creative input into the film?

 

Not really since the film was almost ready. I was present during some of the post-production process so I had a voice in editing or music or voice-overs, but not as much as usual. My job was maybe more psychological one, because the director was quite desperate.

 

One of the job of producer is to put the film to festivals. How did that go?

 

The premiere was at Visions du réel which is quite a big festival. It won a prize there and since then the film is running on its own. What we are trying to do now is to bring the film to the cinemas in France which is quite difficult because of the finances. And we would also like to show it in schools to young people.

 

Tomáš Hudák

Based on votes cast by the visitors, the Bratislava IFF Viewers’ Choice Award went to Wanuri Kahiu’s second feature film Rafiki (2018) about forbidden love in Kenya.

Awards of the 20th Bratislava IFF 2018

“If you’re lucky enough to make living of something you really love, there is a downside – you don’t do it for fun, it’s a job.”

 

Tomáš Hudák. He studied Film studies (criticism) at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU). He’s a fan of film, music, literature and the art as such. He’s a freelancer, writing film reviews and co-organizing several Slovakian film festivals.

“It’s nice to step out from the bubble of social networks – the binary world of likes/unlikes to be part of the group of totally different people, who are connected only by the skateboards.”

 

Šimon Šafránek. – director, journalist, DJ – multi-genre artist with the sensation of music and word. He’s a freelancer, writing for the Denník N, Hospodářské noviny, Reflex, Magnus etc.

“Films make us better, braver, more romantic and free”

 

Bibiana Ondrejková. A popular theatre and voice actress and presenter. The general public knows her as the Slovak voice of Phoebe Buffay from the TV show Friends. Upon seeing her, viewers will associate her with the Slovak TV series The Defenders (2014), Red Widow (2014), Homicide Old Town (2010) or Block of Flats (2008).

“Actors infuse film with emotion and give it a soul”

Daniel Rihák. A fresh graduate of film directing at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava under the leadership of prof. Martin Šulík. A director of (so far) student films and a number of commercials. His graduation film The Trip recently won the Best Director and Best Sound awards at the Áčko Student Film Festival.

“All women have the power to change things”

 

Ivana Hucíková belongs to the generation of young Slovak filmmakers. She studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, from which she graduated in 2015 with her film Mothers and Daughters. A Bratislava citizen from Orava, living and creating in Slovakia and the USA. So far, she has made several short documentary films: Into My Life (2018), Connie & Corey (2017) and is currently working on the development of several film projects as their director, producer or editor.

“Cinema is a great medium for sharing common European values”

 

Dominika Jarečná was born in 1999 in Bratislava. She currently studies Theory and History of Arts at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). She was a member of the Giornate degli Autori jury at this year’s Venice IFF and is a LUX Prize ambassador for the years 2018 and 2019.

Film festival: “It’s a bit like a vacation full of stories”

Alena Sabuchová is a young Slovak author and screenwriter. For her debut collection of short stories Back rooms, Alena was awarded the Ivan Krasko Prize for the best Slovak-language debut as well as the Tatra banka Foundation Young Artist Award in the category of literature. She writes scripts for television and radio, and is currently working on her second book, which will be published next year.

“These films were among the most awarded debut films at this year’s leading festivals”

 

Nenad Dukić. Serbian film critic, who has been collaborating with the team of people preparing The Bratislava International Film Festival for 8 years now. This year (the 20th anniversary of the festival’s existence), he is again the compiler of the Fiction Competition and co-compiler of the section Cinema Now.

The popular section Cinema Now brings an overview of the most remarkable films of the season. Its curators, Nenad Dukid and Tomáš Hudák, have assembled the most interesting movies that have stirred the waters of world’s major festivals. For 20 years, the Bratislava IFF has been supplying the Slovak film public with names, which often become stars of the screen.

The curators of the section Lexicon: Female gaze, festival programmer Tomáš Hudák and the director of this year’s festival spot Ivana Hucíková, have focused on the status of women in cinema, their portrayal in film, and the uniqueness of a woman’s experience.