Childhood is full of complicated experiences and instances when adults cannot shield you from reality. Olivia Boudreau illustrates this experience in her latest film, The Swimming Lesson. Boudreau spoke with Toronto Film Scene about what it was like working with a young lead and the wonderful collaborations that took place on set. The Swimming Lesson screens as part of Short Cuts Programme 9 at TIFF 2015.
Describe your film in ten words or less.
A little girl, a pool and a dream.
What inspired you to make this film?
I was inspired by how it can be difficult to integrate into a new social sphere even as an adult and how it all comes down to those first experiences outside the family circle.
What was the best thing about production? Most frustrating?
I am first and foremost a visual artist used to doing everything by myself with very few resources. The generosity and engagement of every collaborator was an amazing boost of energy. The most frustrating? Time was such a rare commodity.
What’s the one thing you want people to know about your film?
That kids experience very complex situations and emotions; they deal with these in their own ways, sometimes under the radar of adults. They have an emotional life and mind of their own.
How was your experience directing a young lead?
It was very fulfilling. My actress, Jasmine Lemée, is a very intelligent and committed person. Watching her being so professional and hardworking was an inspiration for everybody on set.
What will you be working on next?
Experimental fiction based on a text by Evelyne de la Cheneliere, a very talented Quebec playwright.
Your film is screening as part of TIFF. What are you most excited about seeing or doing at this year’s festival?
My priority was to see Chevalier and The Lobster. I am a big fan of Athina Rachel Tsangari and Yorgos Lanthimos. Now that I have seen those, I want to see as many shorts as possible.
With TIFF celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, what has been your best experience with TIFF in the past, personal or professional?
The first time I came to the festival, I was totally overwhelmed by its energy. It’s invigorating to see so many people running to see movies and discussing what they saw.