Review Fix chats with Guaxuma director Nara Normande, who discusses the film and what makes it so unique.
Review Fix: What inspired this film?
Nara Normande: I already wanted to make a film to talk about the place I was born, this beach in the northeast of Brazil called Guaxuma that inspires me a lot in my projects. After my best friend that spent theses joyful years with me had an accident, the will became a necessity. I wanted to show the world this beautiful friendship and the relation I have with this beach.
Review Fix: How difficult was this film to put together?
Normande: Mixing three different artisanal techniques of animation in a film, it’s not easy, it demands lots of patience and perseverance. I also had to coordinate an international team coming from 4 different countries (Brazil, France, Portugal, and Canada) and it was a big challenge.
Review Fix: What films have inspired it the most?
Normande: For this particular film, I would say the way Agnès Varda talks about her childhood at “Les Plages d’Agnès. An animated short “This Could Be Me” by Czech Michaela Pávlatova also inspired me with her simple and touching voice over. The polish Aleksandra Korejwo and her amazing work on sand was a good stimulation for me.
Review Fix: What have you learned about yourself through this entire process?
Normande: The most important thing I’ve learned through this process was to deal with loss in a beautiful way.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?
Normande: Directing an animation like Guaxuma means many months on set and discover little by little the images getting a life. When we were outside the studio to shoot the puppets, I had this strong feeling of connection with nature: we had to animate dealing with the tides, winds, clouds and hot sun, it sounded almost like a symphony to me.
Review Fix: Why is the topic of this film important today to you?
Normande: These subjects – childhood, growth, friendship, and loss are universal themes that will always be present and important in my life.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Normande: I’m developing my first feature film “The Heron,” co-written and co-directed by Brazilian filmmaker Tião, with whom I’ve collaborated in the short “Heartless”. The film will be produced by Emilie Lesclaux from Cinemascopio, producer of “Bacurau” and “Aquarius” (Cannes Oficial Selection), and co-produced by French production company Les Valseurs, that co-produced Guaxuma.