Interview with ASFF 2013 Director Laurence Arcadias

ASFF 2014 is currently open for submissions. An established and dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit, the event is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for championing and supporting short filmmaking. Filmmakers are invited to submit films in the following genres: advertising, animation, artists’ film, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental, fashion, music video and thriller. In 2013 Laurence Arcadias and Juliette Marchand’s Tempest in a Bedroom featured in the animation strand. Arcadias speaks to us about the experience and the ideas behind the short.

ASFF: Where did the original inspiration for Tempest in a Bedroom come from?
LA: Myself and co-director Juliette Marchand were two expats from France teaching in an Art College in Baltimore and we wanted to do an animation together. We started to observe the population around us through a French perspective and we noticed how people like to identify themselves by being part of a community. So you have the African American community, the Hispannic community, the Gay community, and so on. Those communities live close to each other but don’t really mix. We also wanted to explore female sexuality and female pleasure which is still a bit taboo in films.

ASFF: What do you think the benefits of short film are over feature length?
LA: They are two different animals, especially in animation. But, obviously, short films belong more to the experimental side because they are cheaper with less commercial challenges. Which means you have more freedom to do and say what you want and to try new things without the anxiety of knowing if it’s going to reach its financial goal with the box-office.

ASFF: For filmmakers starting out, what advice would you give?
LA: I would say, take risks, have fun and don’t be afraid of being different. Also, look for grants and residencies, any sort of finical help is very good. Make an effort to meet other animators or filmmakers from different part of the globe and cultivate your own voice and integrity.

ASFF: Which directors have inspired you?
LA: There are so many… Jan Svankmajer and Michel Gondry, for being a 12 year old boy trapped into the body of a 50 year old man. More specifically for Tempest in a Bedroom, Shohei Imamura with his amazing film Warm Water Under a Red Bridge. We were also influenced by David Hockney collages, and we use a similar approach for the design of our sets to create a fragmented impression of the objects and surroundings.

ASFF: What do you have planned for the future?
LA: We are working on a TV series project using the same technique for the characters, but it is still at a very early stage.

To find out more about Tempest in a Bedroom visit www.en.unifrance.org. To enter ASFF 2014 visit www.asff.co.uk.