Fabienne Berthaud was born in Gap, France, and is an actor, photographer, novelist and filmmaker. She co-directed the short "Noël en famille." Her debut feature, "Frankie," played at TIFF and was followed by "Lily Sometimes." (Press materials)
"Sky" will premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 16.
W&H: Please give us your description of the film playing.
FB "Sky" is the story of a woman who decides to cut off her ties to a life that has become alienating and throws herself into the unexpected without making any plans. Abandoning herself to her intuitions in foreign lands, she opens herself to new encounters, to love. She is brave enough to embrace freedom without having a clue about where it will lead her.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
FB: I had this dream to shoot in the U.S., in the Californian high desert, with my friend and muse Diane Kruger. I wanted to offer her a beautiful part in a film shot in English with American actors. My distinctive taste for freedom is also linked to the idea of traveling — traveling from home, traveling in the film and inside these human adventures.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
FB: The whole idea of this dream I had to make a film in the U.S. was challenging. A French film shot entirely in the U.S. and in English made the financing extremely difficult.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
FB: I would like people to praise and long for freedom and for love when they come out of the theater. I’d like them to appreciate and hold onto these emotions that they felt during the screening.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
FB: It doesn’t really make a difference whether a filmmaker is female or male. For me, only the resulting films count. But my advice to any director would be to try to never make concessions.
W&H: What’s the biggest misconception about you and your work?
FB: The biggest misconception about my work would be to think that I don’t love men.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
FB: "Sky" is an independent, low-budget, French-German co-production. Shot in the U.S. in English, "Sky" could not be financed as a regular European film: No soft money could be involved on the French side, for example. We ended up gathering very few but solid private partners and just enough money to make "Sky" happen. I also have to admit that I like the idea of fighting to get my films done.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
FB: Alice Guy-Blaché’s films because she was one of the first female pioneers in early French cinema — a great woman and amazingly visionary. And Jane Campion remains one of my favorite directors.