OCanFilmFest2020 Ottawa Canadian Film Festival

Saint-Tite tells the story of a family living their last weekend together at the rodeos of the Festival Western de Saint-Tite.

photo credit: Sam Trudelle
Elizabeth Marcoux-BĂ©lair and Florence Pelletier

Florence Pelletier and Elizabeth Marcoux-BĂ©lair, directors

Florence Pelletier has had the chance to write and direct several short films and documentaries that have appeared at festivals in Québec and overseas. In 2013, alongside Juliette Gosselin, Florence co-directed the fiction short film MES ANGES À TÊTE NOIRE, which won the Horizon Award at Sundance Film Festival. Recently, she completed her first feature documentary, PASSAGES, coming to theaters in Quebec on December 4th, 2020.

Elizabeth Marcoux-BĂ©lair is an actress, screenwriter and director. She starred and co-scripted the short film FOX LAKE with Florence Pelletier in 2016. In 2019, Florence and Elizabeth co-directed their first short film together, SAINT-TITE.

Florence Pelletier answered a few questions.

What inspired your film?

The film SAINT-TITE was inspired by spending a few summers working during the rodeos in villages in Quebec for a television documentary series. At the time, we were following the cowboys’ seasons, as they were participating in bull riding or bareback horses competitions. We got to know the families of those cowboys and started dreaming about the trio of characters that became the protagonists of SAINT-TITE.

What was your biggest challenge in making your film?

One of the biggest challenges was to be filming during the Western Festival of Saint-Tite. As the parade or the competitions were taking place, we were filming our fictional short film with actors Stephane Gagnon, Charlee-Ann Paul, Carmen Ferlan and Alexandre Perreault. There was loud music playing, and thousands of spectators around us, which made it challenging to focus on what we were trying to achieve.

photo credit: Sam Trudelle

What was the best part of the experience for you?

The best experience was to experiment directing non-actors. We asked that two cowboys, Pascal Isabelle and Nicolas Brien, be part of the film and say a few lines. They gave us cues as to how they would say the lines we wrote for them, and helped us to bring more accuracy to the costumes.

What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?

My advice would be not to try to make your best film straight away. Be vulnerable, try new things, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Exploring with genres is the best way to find your niche.

What’s next for you?

Experimenting more with documentary, and find the best way to bring two passions together: Adventure and cinema.

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