Review Fix chats with “Fauve” director Jeremy Comte, who lets us know the creative process behind the film and why it’s a special one.
Review Fix: How has all of the attention this film has gotten affected you?
Jeremy Comte: I feel so lucky and honoured. It’s pretty unbelievable all the love that Fauve has received so far. My goal with this project was always to make the best film within my capacities and the repercussions from it are beyond my expectations. What amazed me the most is that the film has received awards from almost every continent around the world, from professional juries to young student juries and the public. It means a lot to me that it can reach a wide audience. All this love really pushes me to write and direct my first feature, as soon as I can.
Review Fix: Was it difficult to direct this film?
Comte: I guess the biggest challenge was the unpredictable location of the quarry because the weather was constantly changing. We had no choice to adapt all the time because it could go from a very clear sky to rainy clouds to sunny again in a couple hours. It was a very bipolar kind of weather. We would constantly change the shooting schedule to take advantage of the type of sky. For example, at one point, it was very foggy and we couldn’t shoot the main scene, so we decided to shoot the scene when the boy wander, lost in nature. It turned out to be an advantage because it made the shot even more magical.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?
Comte: There was so much love and excitement. I’ve been writing this film for three years, so it was satisfying to finally see the story unfold in front of my eyes.
Review Fix: What stands out the most about your cast?
Comte: Growing up in the countryside, I wanted kids that are used to playing in the outdoors, with a “rough around the edges” kind of energy. We reached out to many schools around the area where we were shooting and auditioned 50 boys. Felix and Alexandre had both a natural charisma and transparency that struck me. Their own personality and their suggestions on the project brought the script to another level and certainly to a more genuine one. They are both non-actors and they were able to deliver amazing performances.
Review Fix: What makes this film special?
Comte: I guess the core emotion of the story and the genuine acting from the two boys makes it an immersive and compelling film. It was important for me to make the film rich in every aspect and I guess people are able to connect with it on many levels. But it’s always hard to judge your own film.
Review Fix: Who will enjoy it the most?
Comte: I hope everybody! There’s no limit to enjoy “Fauve”
Review Fix: Why is the subject matter of this film important?
Comte: I guess there’s a great misconception about the way adults look at children. I tried to put myself back at that age, and I could feel the frustration I was experiencing when my opinions where not considered by adults because I was too young to them. By exploring a child’s perspective in a genuine way, representing how the boys would really communicate together, even if it was crude at time, you can better sense their frustrations and how they repeat the actions of adults around them. Their behaviour reflects the teachings of their parents and we can imagine how these two boys will grow and can get stuck with trauma at a young age. In my opinion, mental health all starts with childhood.
Review Fix: Do you connect with it in any way?
Comte: I read many psychology books about children as I was writing the story. I got close to the young actors, to make sure I understood their perspective as much as I could. Like I mentioned before, this film comes from nightmares I had as a boy, so it is definitely an exploration my own fears.
Review Fix: Bottom Line: Why must someone see this film?
Comte: Watch it if you want to be challenged.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Comte: I’m co-writing my first feature, with a Ghanaian writer, Will Niava, at the moment. We are still writing right now. I can say that it’s a coming of age story that parallel two boys, one from Ghana and the other one from Quebec. It will have the same tone and energy from Fauve.