Earlier this festival season at the Palm Springs International Film Fest I had the pleasure of interviewing Canadian Director Anne Émond. We chatted all things Nelly (her newest film), staying focused and healthy in the festival circuit, and what being a women in the film industry means today.
Anne is a 35 year old female director who's most recent film was short listed for best foreign film at the Oscars... kind of a big huge deal! Not only is she a Quebec native (and absolutely adorable may I add) but she is also a young female in an industry of directors which previously has been very male dominant.
In addition to this, being a Canadian in the international film industry is a whole other quest to conquer. Anne told me that being a Canadian director in 2017 was a great asset. There is a huge hype behind the Canadian film industry and the up and coming gang. If you're smart you are able to ride on that wave and let everyone else watch in curiousity.
Adding a whole other dimention to that, she is a Canadian female director. She wrote a film about Nelly Arcan the canadian writer who lived a short and troubled life as a female. "Women are artist and lovers by nature" Anne explained to me. It meant that to understand and to write the story of Nelly she naturally had to feel the suffering. We as women do this.... and in reality for both the story of Nelly and the career of Anne, what ever you produce as a women must be strong... good, great... no really great. Because as much as we try and think otherwise, women are still treated differently.
Anne told me, after writing this film she has critics constantly asking her, is this women you who you wrote about? How do you see this character in your life struggles? She told me, a man wouldnt have to face these questions... they write about a complexe character, great character or not. Thats all it comes down to.
Anne told me she was so proud to have taken her film Nelly around the world to different film fest. At each one viewers were curious but for different reasons. Everyone sees themselves in the story based on their own lives. There is a level of craziness that is sensible in the story line. Anne loved showing in the German film fest. She also showed in Bordeaux and India. Women have been crying and touched in each place. "People approached me saying I didnt know Nelly and yet this girl was me. Shes in hell and living it." Anne says.
I wanted to get to the nitty gritty lifestyle habits of the adorable Ann Emond though, so I switched up the topic from her nominated film to her.... what I was also super curious about!
So you have a pre festival ritual?
" I Drink a lot" - she giggled as she said this. We both know nerves and wine! "I party a lot to celebrate. Its a ritual, but really just being able to enjoy that its out and done!"
What has been your biggest career achievement?
"Being invited to festivals.... and coming to the festivals. Traveling the world. In reality I just started. I have three films and I'm 34! "
What is your biggest moment of happines each day?
"For sure waking up and having my coffee" .... I loved this part of the answer because it is totally one of mine as well. "I run on Mount Royal in Montreal 4 times a week. It brings me a lot of happiness and equilibrium" ... I couldnt agree more with Anne. Loved this answer. She continued "I live in the mile end so its close for me. Montreal is so scenic, but I also run as I travel. I'll run the street and I get to see each city I visit for the festivals. You see the real city, no one showing it to you but rather the experience through your own discovering."
She also added, "The children in my life bring big happiness to me as well... thats a major silver lining."
Anne finished out chat by sharing something a little more personal with me which I loved.
She doesnt have instagram and she actually felt that social media was giving her anxiety so she deleted it. I use social for my job, but I did love this part of what she shared. It's really important to disconnect as much as possible if you start feeling insecure or questioning yourself in any way. OR if you use it for business. Remember , it's business not real life. We had a good chat about this! She's an amazing woman with a successful career ahead of her!