It’s safe to say that young and talented Montrealer Chloe Bellande is rising to the top of the film-making industry one step at a time. She has already been nominated and awarded for her films and has had them featured in various film festivals. Recently, I had the chance to talk to Chloe about the struggles she has overcome, her latest film Will Of Fortune, and her production company Blue Infinity Films.
Debra Heather (DH): I would imagine that being a Canadian filmmaker must be an exciting and rewarding experience, When did you know film-making was your calling?
Chloe Bellande (CB): Actually, I started writing around 12. At the time, I thought I grew up to write books or screenplays. But at 16 when I attended Dawson College in Creative Arts, that’s when I started editing and filming, and I knew from that moment that visual arts was the reason I was born.
DH: What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to overcome in your career, so far?
CB: MONEY! Of course I could say rejections from film festivals or film programs in the University. But money has always been an issue in film-making since it’s the starting point of any production. You want quality: you got to pay for it! And it’s not just about producing movies, it’s also about touring the World to get your story sold and make a name for yourself. In the end, it all comes down to who you know and how much money you’re willing to invest.
DH: For those that don’t know, you funded your own production company a while back called Blue Infinity Films, what has it been like to make films under your own production company rather than others?
CB: I feel like I have the total creative control of my work. For once, I get to be the one to hire the key people, plan the production from A to Z and see my own stories evolve from screenplay to big screen…it’s a nice feeling! It’s also cool to work on other productions because you get to meet new people and potential future collaborators, but it’s not as rewarding as the feeling of accomplishment you get when you release your own movie.
DH: I’d like to talk a bit about your short film, Will Of Fortune the 17 minute, controversial true-crime drama, based on Guy Turcotte (who has been all over the news most recently, especially here in Montreal) what influenced you to make this film? What message do you hope your fans can take away from Will Of Fortune?
CB: I think it’s one of my most personal piece because the views expressed by some of the characters are really mine. I wanted to arise debates among the audience with this controversial and thought-provocative story, by showing them that there are many ways to interpret a criminal’s motive. I chose Susan Wright’s story because of the controversy around her case, but also the Guy Turcotte case which was very recent and one the most discussed topics in the news.
DH: Where do you see yourself professionally five years from now?
CB: I see myself collaborating with US producers and get recognition as a screenwriter. My little pride and joy was when I won 1st place Best International Screenplay at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2012 for my movie While The Village Sleeps. And Will Of Fortune was also a finalist at the Beverly Hills Film Festival this year. In 5 years, I want to walk up that stage and give an acceptance speech for the Academy Awards, for Best Screenplay. That would certainly be my greatest accomplishment!
DH: Famous last words for Montreal Rampage readers?
CB: Never give up on something that you really want. Dare to dream. That’s what makes life worth living!