Review Fix chats with director Ellie Foumbi, who lets us know all about the film and what to expect from it at this year’s festival.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for your film?
Ellie Foumbi: The film is an adaptation of Jeffrey James Keyes’ one-act play of the same name. When we shot this, it was a few months after Angelina Jolie’s daughter, Shiloh, announced that she wanted to be referred to by a masculine pronoun. We felt the timing was ripe to tackle gender identity in children. There was a debate at the time about whether kids should be allowed to experiment at a young age. We decided to dramatize that debate within a lesbian couple mainly to show that they are no different from any other couple.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself while making?
Foumbi: It was a very challenging production and many things went wrong at the last minute but I was surprised in my ability to improvise on the fly. Some of that footage was better than the stuff we planned.
Review Fix: What was the most challenging part of making it?
Foumbi: The most challenging part for me was having a strong-willed producer and a co-director to agree with. We had many challenging moments when we all wanted to go in different directions. Coming to a consensus was hard but we learned to be patient with each other and were able to find the right balance for the film.
Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Foumbi: I want the film to be remembered as a family film because that’s what it is. It about parents who are struggling to raise their son and, like in many families, don’t always agree on what the best way to deal with a perceived problem/challenge.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of the festival?
Foumbi: It feels amazing! This is our NY premiere so it means a lot to us to be able to screen the film for our family and friends and also to be part of such a well-respected festival.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Foumbi: I just shot a new film with my African family because I was very affected by Trump’s comments about Africa. I wanted to make a film about African immigrants in NY. We are now in post-production and excited to share the film with the world when it’s ready.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Foumbi: I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this festival and to meet amazing peers whose work I may not have been aware of otherwise. It’s been a wonderful experience so far and look forward to submitting other films!