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Nyima Cartier: Writer/Director, WHITE LIE

February 21, 2013

Nyima11Q: Tell us a little about the origins of WHITE LIE, from concept to financing.

I was on my last year of Met Film School in London when I decided to write ‘White Lie’ as my graduation project. I was studying the thriller genre and researched on the classic murder mystery writers such as Agatha Christie.

Very soon, I got more interested in Christie’s personality as a writer than in her actual books; her incredibly dark sense of humor, her house full of deadly weapons as decoration, she could have been a character in one of her own stories! I immediately decided to write a thriller about murder mystery writers, all set in the house of one of them. Because it was a single-location and felt achievable on a shoe-string budget, I thought I’d be able to film it myself, with a few actors’ friends. It turned out to be much more complicated than what I thought and I talked about it to a friend of mine Thomas Triboit, who worked for Heska Productions in France, and he asked to read my script. Then everything happened very quickly: within a week, Heska read it too, decided to come on board and invested money to make it. We started shooting the day after my graduation screening, and you know the rest of the story!

2Q: Cinequest is proud to host the World Premiere of WHITE LIE. Explain to the audience how you feel about bringing this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film?

I feel very honored to screen White Lie for the first time in Cinequest, it is incredibly exciting and I look forward to seeing the audience’s reaction, but it’s also terrifying! From my point of view, a film becomes a film the second it gets shown to other people. Everyone worked really hard on it, we’re all very proud and now we just have to let it live its life of its own.

(Obviously, I’ll still be around spying through the keyhole to see the reactions, I can’t help myself!)

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making WHITE LIE?

We mainly shot in this huge manor house in Wales and we also lived there. It was the strangest feeling because it felt like being trapped in the story itself!

We would make tea for the crew in the kitchen and the second later we’d film the character making tea in the same room! This was both the best and worst experience, because it allowed the actors to immerse themselves in the world the film was set in, but on the other hand we were all going a bit crazy stuck with each other 24/7. There was no phone signal and we joked about being on the cover of the local newspapers a couple of weeks later: ’25 people found dead: film crew go insane and kill each other after a month shooting in mansion house’.

On the day off, we all drove to the seaside and I’m convinced it’s the breathe of fresh air that allowed us to carry on making the film.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

It’s a tough question for me to answer, but I think ‘White Lie’ has a unique tone and atmosphere that hopefully gives an original take on the thriller genre. It can look like we’re inside a Cluedo game trying to work out who’s doing what, only to let us to focus on the relationship between the characters and their feelings.

The beautiful music composed by Rael Jones and the Film Noir look achieved by Pierre Edelmann (Director of Photography) made the mansion house a world of its own, and allowed the actors to give the subtle and ambiguous performance needed in this role-reversing story.

5Q: The current market for independent films is fractured, to put it lightly, and existing distribution models grow more ineffective with each passing moment. What are your hopes or plans for distribution?

My opinion is biased, as the market for independent films is slightly different in Europe than in America. I am lucky enough to live in Paris where indie films are given a chance to get theatrical release. Thanks to our French distributor Franck Llopis (Les films à fleur de peau), ‘White Lie’ will be in cinemas on July 3rd 2013.

However, because the film is in English and is therefore aimed at the international market, we are now seeking Worldwide Sales representation.

Buy tickets to see WHITE LIE at Cinequest!

From → Interviews

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