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Depict ’19 Winner Candice Vallantin talks about her film Six Mothers and the challenge of Depict

We’re getting excited here at Depict HQ as submissions have started rolling in for this year’s Depict competition. Submission deadline is Thu 4 June – but you knew that already, right?.

Depict is Watershed’s free competition for tiny films and each year we’re inundated with fantastic entries from around the world, all 90 seconds long or less. Submissions span every genre and style of filmmaking and come from people at all levels in their careers (or hobbies) and from all over the world. We remain immensely proud of the filmmakers who have entered and found their way onto every year’s shortlist, and subsequently go on to do amazing things – we also love staying in touch with them and finding out what they’re getting up to now.

Spain based Canadian director Candice Vallantin won the Royal Photographic Society Award last year with her multi-national, experimental documentary and dance film Six Mothers. Cinematographer Rachel Morrison A.S.C. (Fruitvale Station, Black Panther) who sat on the Depict Jury on behalf of RPS was impressed by how:

“the film explores a range of flesh tones, experimental imaging, and unique and exciting compositions to highlight the vast range of emotion associated with Motherhood. From a figure short sided and minimized in the frame, to an exploding balloon turned inside out, to an image reversed, duplicated and mirrored, the cinematography in this short film supports the idea that motherhood means different things to every mother, but is always intense and profound in meaning.”

Candice’s £1000 cash prize was courtesy of Depict sponsor the Royal Photographic Society. We caught up with Candice to chat to her about her experience making her winning film and to hear her advice for anyone applying for this year’s competition.

Can you describe your winning Depict film for us and how you came up with the idea?

Six Mothers features six different women trying to describe the ineffable – the process of creating and nurturing a new life. I’m in my mid-30s and I’m at this point where I need to make a decision about whether or not I want to have children. All of my friends are having kids so it’s a topic that’s always on my mind. Making this short film helped me work through some of the thoughts I was having about motherhood.

What drew you to the Depict 90 second format?

I spent about a month doing interviews with women and then two days shooting. I had an idea of what I wanted to make, but I didn’t know how to shape it or structure it, so I put off editing for months. The 90-second format gave me something to work towards – a structure and a goal that was easy to work towards once I had all of the material.

 What challenges did you encounter making your Depict film and what advice would you give to aspiring depict filmmakers?

The hardest part is taking an abstract idea and making something happen. You need to have faith in your own creative process and just commit to seeing things through no matter what.

What was your level of experience before submitting to Depict?

My first short film is called MONDAY, it’s 8 minutes long. Around the time I started working on Six Mothers, I was finishing a feature documentary for Al Jazeera, called Holy Cow. I finished it the summer of 2019.

You can view some of Candice’s other work at: candicevallantin.com/film

What have you been up to since your Depict success? Where did the competition take you?

I have another short film I’m working on with Cecilia, the same dancer who appeared in Six Mothers. I hope to finish it this spring.

Can you sum up why Depict is important to emerging filmmakers?

Filmmaking is so challenging – whether you’re making a 90 second film or a 90 minute one. It takes a lot of courage to create something from scratch – as well as lots of resources and support from family, friends and crew. For those starting out, it can be really challenging to get any validation, recognition and encouragement. Depict helped me realize that I was on the right track and that I should keep at it. The prize money also helped me recover my initial investment, pay my collaborators, and invest in my next project. Competitions like Depict are just so important for emerging filmmakers’ success and perseverance. Thank you to all the organizers and funders of this competition!

What would be your top three tips for this year’s Depict entrants? 

Make something- anything! Don’t forget to have fun.

Check out Candice’s winning Depict film here

Depict ’20 is open for entries until Thu 4 June 2020. We accept films from people at any level in their career or education, from anywhere around the world, and in any genre. Our only rule is that it has to be 90 seconds long or less. There’s up to £2,500 in prize money to be won plus loads of development opportunities, including mentoring from industry professionals and invaluable exposure at Encounters Film Festival.

Get inspired and be entertained and watch previous competition’s Depict Films here.

PS:
With the current global situation around Covid19 we obviously recommend you stay home and safe above all in the making of any films! There are plenty of great shorts from the back catalogue that have been made “safely”. What matters the most is a great idea! Here’s our top 5:

Posted on 19 Mar 2020 at 1:32 pm.

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