Behind the Scenes at the Cannes Film Festival


Chantal, a chubby girl of twelve, is having a hard time finding her way through life. She doesn’t have a lot of friends, and at home she can only turn to her stepfather for support as she doesn’t get along with her mother or stepbrother. Only in the local pool, where she is training intensively for an upcoming swimming competition, does she truly feel at home. But when she needs a new pair of goggles, things don’t go as smoothly as planned and she uses every means to get hold of them.

You also have the writer’s credit on your short film. What inspired you to make this film?

I wanted to do something about teenagers and the difficulties of puberty. I specially wanted to tell the story of a teenager, who is not like every other teenager, and who has problems concerning her weight. I read a lot about teenagers who have weight problems and one day, I found a story on a forum about a girl who went shopping with her mom. She had problems to fit in a pair of pants she tried on and her mom said really mean things to her, such as “Look at you, you’re too fat and you’re only 14”. I was very touched by this little scene and I really wanted to do something with it. So this was the foundation of the story.

What was the production like for the film? How long did it take you, how did you fund it, etc.?

Badpakje 46 is a student film and I had to finance the film (€16000) all by myself. Because of that I had to find a cast and crew who were willing to work for free, otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible to make the film. I had a wonderful cast and crew who worked for 6 days, totally for free, because they really believed in the project. The shooting was a very intense period, but also a very inspiring experience. I was really blown away by seeing Janis Vercaempst (playing the main character: Chantal) acting in a way that was so natural and ‘real’.

What do you expect from the Cannes Film Festival?

I guess it will be an extraordinary experience. I’m very excited to present my short film in Cannes. I’m very curious to know what the reactions of the press and public will be. Besides the parties and dinners that everyone is talking about, I think in the first place it will be hard work (interviews, promotions etc.)

What are your plans for the future?

I really want to do something about teenagers again. I would love to work with some non-actors and write the story based on the improvisations I do with the teenagers themselves.

Find more interviews and articles about the World of Shorts in our Cannes 2011 Special Edition!