Berlinale Panorama | 2019
& Jonathan Vinel
A blonde-haired boy crashes through the glazed wall of a suburban house and falls to the floor, unconscious.
Hi Caroline & Jonathan thanks for talking to TNC, you all set for the festival?
Yes, we are ready! We are thinking about this moment for a long time. A lot of friends, actors and members of the crew will be there, it will be very cool.
With a festival like Berlinale do you ever get nervous ahead of the screening?
We are always stressed before a screening. We have worked on this film for a long time, and showing your work is always a strange mix of joy and fear.
You’re going to be taking part in Q&A’s during the festival does this add any additional pressure on you?
Yes, for sure. It’s a hard exercise to speak about your movie just after the screening. But it’s also pleasant to be able to answers some questions about your work. We did a lot of things instinctively when we are directing a movie and the Q&A’s helps us to speak about it and to see with another point of view, the public one, with more distance and different sensibilities.
What does it mean to be part of the Panorama strand at Berlinale?
The Berlinale is an important festival for us. Five years ago, our first short film As long as shotgun remains was screened at the Berlinale Shorts and we won the Golden Bear. It has been a very important moment for us, a huge step. It’s like we were born there, at the Berlinale. So yeah, Berlinale is in our heart and we are very happy to present our first feature in the Panorama selection.
Can you tell me a little bit about Jessica Forever, how did the film come about?
We wanted to speak about violence like a disease. The movie tells the story of Jessica, a young woman who decided to take care of violent boys. She rescues them from the enemy who wants to see them dead, and she treats their violence by giving them some love. It’s also a story about an “adopted family” (famille de coeur) who is trying to create a place where they can live; to create their own world.
"When I was little, I was always playing with my parents’ camera."
What was the inspiration behind your screenplay?
A lot of music, video games and especially feelings and memories from our childhood.
What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?
Making a movie without the main character. It’s a story about a group composed by orphans. They don’t come from the same place. They have grown alone and they have different stories, different attitude, different wound. It was a challenge to find a good equilibrium between all the characters to create the identity of this group.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Jonathan: No, I began to like it when I was in high school. In the beginning, it wasn’t exactly a passion it was more something fun to do with friends but after I was in love with the editing and all you can invest in this part of the process.
Caroline: When I was little, I was always playing with my parents’ camera. I was filming some shows in my room with my neighbors, my friends, my cousins. Later, I met someone who has initiated me to the universe of the cinema. I started to watch lot of movies. It was like a hunger. I think I find myself between these two paths: film-loving and the need to record my world, people I loved.
"Use your phone and if you don’t have to use a software edit and internet."
How important is the collaborative process on a film like this?
We are trying to prepare a lot in advance to be sure to get all we wanted. We are speaking a lot of our crew and our actors. Our crew was very involved in the conception of the movie. It was a young team like us, same age. It was for the big part composed of friends who were doing a feature for the first time, like us.
What are you currently working on?
We are working on new screenplays. But we can’t speak about it because we are very superstitious.
Do you have any advice for any up and coming filmmaker?
Make a lot of movies. Try a lot. Don’t wait to get money for making your stuff. Don’t wait to get the biggest camera on earth. Use your phone and if you don’t have to use a software edit and internet. Use all you have next to you.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Jessica Forever?
Jessica Forever is a movie about love. We hope people will find it and catch it to keep it with them.