Cannes Film Festival
Short Film Corner 2021
Romane Garant Chartrand
LOVE-MOI / LOVE ME
Nearly seventeen years old, Laetitia navigates between her attachment disorder and her blatant need for love. In a world where image control is absolute, LOVE ME tells the story of the quest for the love with a capital L, through the various forms of self-representation.
Hi Romane, thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?
It is indeed a very upsetting time. I have remained busy with school and my film. I think that’s what allowed me to try to make sense of what we were going through. We shot the film in Fall 2020, in the middle of the red zone in Montreal, and we spent four months in post-production in Winter 2021, with curfew measures. It was very restrictive, but in hindsight, I realise that we were very lucky to be able to finish this film.
Has this time offered you any new creative opportunities?
I would like to answer both yes and no. The notion of time is strange since the pandemic. In a way, I feel like I’ve missed a year without being able to go to museums, to the cinema or theatre. But at the same time, it feels like it was yesterday. However, the positive aspect would be that it forced me to focus 110% and invest all my time in the creation of the film, which is great.
Congratulations on having Love-Moi part of this year's Short Film Corner, how does it feel to be able to present your short film at Cannes?
It’s kind of unreal. After the biggest year we’ve just had, it’s a great reward for all the work we’ve done and great recognition for me and my team as this project concludes the end of our studies together. A huge thanks to Danny Lennon for his support and for making this happen. I am very grateful.
Will there be any nerves ahead of the festival?
No, not right now. In fact, I think I don’t quite realise that our film is part of the Short Film Corner. But generally, I would say it’s more of an excitement than stress. We’ll see what the future holds.
How did Love-Moi come about?
I think the idea came to me when Laetitia was in her last year of high school. I had in front of my eyes a teenager blossoming, evolving, growing. I recognised myself in several aspects of her life. I wanted to have a project with her, to tell her that my involvement in her life was real and long-term. That I was there to stay. Prove to her that I was going to be there by her side. I was inspired by the courageous, intelligent and brilliant woman she is. With the film, I saw the opportunity and space where she could express herself freely and without judgment. That was really important for me, no judgment at all.
"I included myself in some scenes and in the editing room we surfed many avenues to decide to erase me at the end."
What was the most challenging part of making this film been for you?
Good question! I think the biggest challenge was to understand what my place in the film was. That was one of the biggest questions in writing. The closeness and complicity I have with Laetitia was at the same time my best weapon and the greatest danger. Onset, we gave ourselves the chance to try. I included myself in some scenes and in the editing room we surfed many avenues to decide to erase me at the end. So it was necessary to find the right balance between my place as a cousin and as a filmmaker.
Where did your passion for filmmaking come from?
Probably from my parents. I grew up in the cinema industry - my mother is an actress and my father is a sound engineer. When I was a kid, I was always on sets and behind the scenes, so it was a natural choice to go in that industry I guess. There are magical moments on set and on-screen that you can't find anywhere else and it thrills me every day.
What would you say has been the biggest lessons you've taken from making Love-Moi?
Trust the real. The little moments of truth and magic that arrive on a documentary set will always fascinate me.
Is there any advice you wish you had been given before you started shooting your film?
Editing a documentary is hard as hell. An advice a teacher gave me was: trust the process. I repeated this phrase to myself often in the most difficult moments, when I felt the movie was not taking the right turn or the right angle. It helped me to let go. Trust the process, trust the film- that’s my advice.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Love-Moi?
I hope her story will reach people. I also hope that certain stereotypes or judgments will fall. Because of her striking lucidity and complexity, I have the strong conviction that Laetitia can be the voice of her generation. The universal themes addressed mark time while reinventing themselves in an era of self-representation where the image control is absolute. Her voice allows us to recognise each other there. It’s cheesy, but I hope people leave the room with more openness.