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The 2022 Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 20 - 30, in Park City, Utah

Sundance and other Park City Festivals news, past and future.   #sundance @sundancefest


Sundance 2022 BABYSITTER: Interview with director: Monia Chokri

BABYSITTER: Interview by Emmanuel Itier with director: Monia Chokri


Q: Where does this film come from?


Monia: It all started when I met with Catherine Léger, the screenwriter. She also was the writer of the play that inspired this film. For many years we had mutual friends who were telling us to get together and work together. Actually, I went to check out her play, “Baby-Sitter”, one week before meeting her. I loved it and I thought it was a very strong play that could make a great movie.  It’s interesting because this was five years ago before the emergence of the ”Me Too” movement. Like every great writer Catherine was ahead of her time. When we met, we immediately agreed to start working on making her play into a film. This is the origin of this project.


Q: Tell me about the challenges to turn the play into a script and into a movie?


Monia: In fact, the film is quite similar to the play. I didn’t work at first on the script and Catherine did the adaptation. I came after to polish the final version. But it’s Catherine’s vision and structure of the project. For me the challenge was to make the story cinematic. It had to become visual. As the universe of a play and of a movie are different. We are talking about images in motion, with different locations. I also added some moment of silence, some transitions, and some shots that could evoke what the play was about. It wasn’t a real challenge but an opportunity to expend the universe of the play.


Q: What are the themes explored in this film?


Monia: I’m not sure we can talk about real messages as this is about art and not politics or social medias. I’m not trying to convey a specific message with my movie. It’s a just a look at the world, a presentation of a story without being judgemental. Of course, some of the themes are about the nonconsensual act. But the “me too” aspect is just an aspect of my film. For me the movie talks about the notion of “desire”. How does our deep desires are in tune with the social construct we live in. Finally, it’s a film that talks about the notion of “power”, our relationship with that notion. It’s about the notion of power between human beings, between men and women but, also, between people of the same sex. My film is studying how this couple is going to evolve when they meet this babysitter who is the real “power” of the relation, the drive of the evolution of their relationship.


Q: What does Sundance mean to you?


Monia: It’s huge and it’s such an honor to be part of Sundance. It’s a big opportunity for the film to be seen by so many people. It’s also another human dialogue for me who is used to work mainly in France and Canada. I’m therefore connecting to another wide community of filmmakers from the U.S and around the World.


Q: Any envy to film in the U.S, next?


Monia: For me it’s not so much about filming in particular country or another but it’s about the opportunity of the right project and the right story. If tomorrow some German producers are coming to me with an amazing project, I would probably take it. It’s really about my envy to work and tell such or such story. In any case, my next film will be shot in Quebec and it’s co-produced with France.



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