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Interview – Marianne Farley – ‘Marguerite’ – A Short Film


Posted October 7, 2018 by

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Interview – Marianne Farley – ‘Marguerite’ – A Short Film

Marianne Farley’s heartfelt film Marguerite shares a long forgotten love story and stars Béatrice Picard (Les Jeunes Loups), alongside Sandrine Bisson (1991). This wonderful film has won twenty prestigious film awards, been selected for seventy film festivals and can soon be seen at San Diego Film Festival and Miami Short Film Festival.

An ageing woman and her nurse develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.

Canadian director Marianne Farley has appeared as an actress in many popular TV shows including Heroes Reborn (NBC), This Life (CBC) and The Dead Zone, as well as many well-known films. As a lover of the arts, Marianne has produced four shorts and recently co-produced the feature film Les Nôtres directed by Jeanne Leblanc, which is presently in post-production. Her directorial debut Ransack was selected for numerous film festivals around the world and she is currently developing two features which she will be directing. Farley’s experience as an actress drives every decision she makes as a director. This talented lady wrote and directed the award-winning film Marguerite.

Just some of the films awards include the Oscar-qualifying Best Live Action Short Award at Rhode Island International Film Festival, Best International Actress at Short Shorts Japan, the Jury Award for Best Short Film at Long Beach QFilm Festival, the Jury award at Filmout San Diego Film Festival, Best Women’s Short Audience Award at Wicked Queer, Best LGBTQ film at Rhode Island International Film Festival and more.

The film’s beautiful cinematography was created by Marc Simpson-Threlford and the music by Julien Knafo. Marguerite was produced by Marie-Hélène Panisset and is represented by H264 Distribution.

Marguerite can be seen at San Diego International Film Festival in October and Miami Short Film Festival in November.

Marianne Farley - ‘Marguerite’


To begin with, tell us about your latest film ‘Marguerite’…

Marguerite is a story about an unwanted friendship that develops between two women of different generations. Marguerite is an aging woman who suffers from diabetes and Rachel is the nurse who drops by every day to care for her. Although these two women have had polar opposite life experiences, they find a way to connect deeply and learn from each other. Marguerite opens herself up to Rachel who finds a way to help her make peace with her past. It is a film about love, kindness, desire and changing times.

Where did the idea come from? How did you get involved with the film?

In all of my projects, the thing that always ignites my creativity is stories about human connection. The idea that two people can inspire each other and make a difference in each other’s lives moves me deeply.

The idea behind Marguerite came to me when I realized how fortunate I was to have been born at a time (and in a country) that allows me to be who I am and love who I want. I have never had any taboos about sexuality because I wasn’t raised that way. But for women of my grandmother’s generation it wasn’t so. They had to marry and have children. Most of them didn’t work and their primary focus was to make their husband happy. It was never about the women’s needs and aspirations.

When it comes to love, desire and sexuality, society had very rigid rules back then. And unfortunately in many countries that is still the case. In my film the character of Rachel (the nurse) is able to express herself in a way that shocks Marguerite at first but in the end, it opens her up to a much more inclusive view of the world. That moment of vulnerability is what I wanted to bring to the screen.

Tell us about the cast, who is starring?

I was fortunate enough to work with one of Quebec’s greatest actresses, Béatrice Picard. I was incredibly flattered when she read my script and agreed to work on the film. Because Béatrice is most known for her work in theatre and in comedy, I saw it as an exciting challenge to explore this particular character (Marguerite) with her. We worked on various subtleties of emotions, which is what I love doing most with actors. Béatrice was generous beyond belief and created a Marguerite that is genuine, intriguing and moving.

I wrote the role of Rachel for my close friend Sandrine Bisson. Sandrine is also a renowned Quebec actress who does a lot of comedic work. I longed to see her play a more delicate and subdued character which is why I wrote this part for her. Sandrine’s natural empathy and genuine qualities come out in her performance and she was such a pleasure to work with!

What are your influences as a filmmaker?

Many filmmakers have influenced me for various reasons. The filmmakers who have moved me the most are Frank Capra, Roberto Benigni and Paul T. Anderson. The filmmakers who have influenced me most storywise are Andrea Arnold and Charlie Chaplin. And as for the cinematography and storytelling aspects, the filmmakers who have had the greatest impact on my sensibilities are Ingmar Bergman, Paul T. Anderson and Tom Tykwer.

Where there any significant issues throughout the films production? How did you overcome these difficulties?

We were blessed on this project because eveything went very smoothly. The difficult part is often trying to get financing for projects but in this case, it only took about six months to get the funding we needed to make the film. I had to write many different versions along the way but in the end, it only made for a stronger script. Because I was surrounded by an incredibly talented and generous group of people, the shoot went brilliantly. Couldn’t have asked for a better support team and crew!

What advice would you give any up-and-coming filmmakers, trying to crack the industry?

I would say to up-and-coming filmmakers to get creative in regards to how they get their projects made. Find ways of shooting them with or without financing! The first films I produced and directed were self-financed. It forces you to be hands-on which teaches you about every facet of filmmaking. And that prepares you for much bigger projects. It also teaches you to face your fear and resistance. It pushes you to break through your blocks. Because the reality is that those blocks are what prevent us from moving forward. So don’t think too much. Just do it!

When and where can we expect to see ‘Marguerite’?

Marguerite is going to be at quite a few festivals in the next few months namely :

  • ImageOut: Rochester LGBT Film Festival, USA, 2018 (oct 4th – oct 14th 2018)
  • QCinema Fort Worth, USA, 2018 (oct 4th – oct 6th 2018)
  • Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival, UK (oct 5th – oct 7th 2018)
  • Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, USA, 2018 (oct 5th – oct 13th 2018)
  • San Diego International Film Festival, USA (oct 10th – oct 14th 2018)
  • VisuElles Film Festival, Canada (oct 11th – oct 14th 2018)
  • Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival (oct 11th – oct 21st 2018)
  • BENT : Sacramento LGBT Film Festival, USA (oct 12th – oct 14th 2018)
  • Louisville LGBT Film Festival, USA (oct 12th – oct 14th 2018)
  • OUTshine – Fort Lauderdale, USA, 2018 (oct 18th – oct 28th 2018)
  • Thessaloniki Short Film Festival, Greece (oct 19th – oct 21th 2018)
  • PERLEN – Queer Film Festival Hannover (oct 20th – oct 27th 2018)
  • ‘Sexual Diversity Programme’ @ Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico, 2018 (oct 20th – oct 28th2018)
  • Queer Film Fest Weiterstadt, Germany, 2018 (oct 24th – nov 7th 2018)
  • LesGaiCineMad, Madrid International LGBTIQ Film Festival, Spain, 2018 (oct 25th – nov 10th 2018)
  • MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ Film Festival, Denmark (oct 26th – nov 4th 2018)
  • Cineffable : Festival International du Film Lesbien et Féministe de Paris, France (oct 31st -nov 4th2018)
  • Reel Affirmations 2018: DC’s LGBTQ Film Festival, USA (nov 1st – nov 4th 2018)
  • Leeds International Film Festival, UK (nov 1st – nov 15th 2018)
  • Big Water Film Festival, UK, 2018 (nov 7th – nov 11th 2018)
  • Bremen Queer Film Festival, Germany (nov 8th – nov 11th 2018)
  • Miami Short Film Festival, USA (nov 8th – nov 11th 2018)
  • QUEERSICHT Queer Film Festival, Switzerland (nov 8th – nov 14th 2018)
  • Queer Film Festival MEZIPATRA, Czech Republic (nov 8th – nov 23rd 2018)

What is the next step for you, do you have any other films or projects in production?

I am in the post-production stage of a film I co-produced (with Benoit Beaulieu – Turbo Kid) and co-starred in – LES NÔTRES directed by Jeanne Leblanc. The film is set to come out in 2019. I also have a feature film in development WARRIORS as a director/producer (written by Celeste Parr – Gurov and Anna). We are in the financing stage and plan on shooting in the spring of 2019.


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