Behind the Scenes at the Cannes Film Festival

Girl and Boy take a long path that leads them to the point where their lives will change for ever.

How would you describe your short film?

Duelo Antes da Noite is a 20 minutes short fiction film and my graduation project at Universidade Federal Fluminense. Based on a short story by the Brazilian writer João Gilberto Noll, the film shows the journey of a boy and a girl, with a cloudy past and a strained relationship, who will have to deal with a big change in their young lives. As this moment comes near, they have to face their doubts and ambivalent feelings. Their internal instability ends up contaminating the world around them, which they seem to be no longer able to understand.

What kind of approach to the story was important for you as a director?

What did interest me in the original story, besides the characters, was its atmosphere of ambiguity and strangeness, which I thought I could explore in the adaptation process. It was important for me to place this story on a limit between reality and fantasy, showing the uneasy way the characters felt the world, interfering with its reality. The idea was to keep the spectator close to the characters experience of growing uncertainty, working specially with the sound and the shots lengths.

What kind of difficulties did you have to face while shooting?

The biggest challenge to me was to prepare and direct the actors. At that point, I had no experience whatsoever, and the two actors, besides being very young at the time, were also acting in their first film. However, from our first rehearsal on, I realized that they were quite special and that we could understand each other really well. Then we had months of preparation, doing a lot of different exercises. At the end, it was clear that they had both understood their characters deeply. It was a great experience after all.

What do you expect from the Cannes Film Festival?

This will be my first experience as a director in an international film festival abroad. I’m curious about what people will think of the film, people that talk different languages than mine, coming from different cultures. It will be great, too, to meet young directors from other countries and hear about their experiences in filming in these other places. I’m also keen to see the new works of directors I admire such as Terrence Mallick, Hong Sangsoo and Naomi Kawase.

Are you planning your first feature film or do you want to keep on doing shorts?

For sure, it would be great to do other shorts, but for the moment I have a project on a feature film.