Sylvie Pialat - Love exists
“Production is an encounter with the director”. It is her first time in Argentina. And the Festival is honored that one of the most renowned French directors is attending it. Yesterday, at afternoon, a warm encounter with the public took place as part of the Master Classes. Today, she will be presenting The Guardians, by Xavier Beauvois, a film running in the International Competition.
After a comprehensive revisit of her work in charge of the Festival's artistic director, Peter Scarlet, Sylvie expressed her gratitude for the glorious review of her professional career: “On the one hand I’m sad that we can mention so many films because that makes me realize time actually goes by, but on the other hand it is a great compliment”.
“In life, as in cinema, there are always unpredictable things.” From this premise, Peter Scarlet started a nice dialogue with the French producer. From the beginning of her career as assistant in the film À nos amours, by whom would then become her husband, Maurice Pialat, until her years as screenwriter for four of her films, Le Garçu, Police, Under the Sun of Satán and Van Gogh -the last two will be screened in this edition of the Festival -everything was revisited by Sylvie from the passion of that who loves what she does. However, she confessed that “when you're a producer, you never have the feeling you've truly accomplished what you wanted”.
In the last 20 years, Sylvie Pialat have produced over 40 films for several filmmakers. From Abderrahmane Sissako -Timbuktu, 2014- to Lisandro Alonso -Jauja, 2014- and Alain Guiraudie, -Rester Vertical, 2016, Stranger by the lake, 2013-, among many others. “I like working with directors that share my enthusiasm and will to work”, said Pialat about the hard work of production. “I can go on the adventure with them but it has to be a fun adventure”, she added.
The producer emphasized the importance of listening to your instincts. When addressing her introduction to the world of cinema, she talked about working in an Argentine restaurant in Paris, where she met many people involved in the audience, including Olivier Assayas. We were both 20 and I was studying Latin and Greek to make my father happy. Then she added: “I finally abandoned it all and I told people in the industry: Here I am, with all of you! And nobody cared”, she joked.
“We made the film and then she married me”, she said about her early work in cinema and the love story that was born during the shooting of À nos amours, by Maurice Pialat. “There were 20 wonderful years of life-sharing”. Regarding the enriching experience of working next to her husband, who passed in 2003, she added: “There's a difference between those who want to make films and those that are touched by God's finger and actually need to make films in a very vital way”, towards the end of the talk, she commented on working with Xavier Beauvois in The Guardians, a film running in the International Competition and focusing on the consequences of the First World War. “Nowadays in France is very expensive to reflect everything that happened in the battles. This film has a different approach. It is set in the countryside in a several years’ period during the war and I think it was this new narrative idea the one to attract the investors. For Pialat, the fact that the film focuses in a group of women who are left alone in a farm when the men are sent to war, does not mean it a feminist film. Quite the opposite. “It is a film made to pay homage to women, who were heroines and survived pain. If we think about it, we're the children of those women”, Sylvie concluded.
The French producer first visit to Argentina has been a luxury for this edition. And the adventure is not over!