LA FABRIQUE AT CANNES – Jiji Gayaneh, “My favorite fabric”

(part of a multi-article series about the 2014 Fabrique des Cinémas program at the Cannes Festival)

THE PITCH: “My favorite fabric” is a portrait of a woman named Nahla, a sort of Venus of Willendorf. Hers is a beauty that falls outside society’s conventions.

Why the Venus of Willendorf ? What sort of symbolism do you attach to her?
The Willendorf Venus is a prehistorical statue that represents a rotund nude woman. She is different from all the statues and paintings that are representative of Venus and her femininity.

As far as I’m concerned she represents a beauty that’s different, and the main character in my movie fights to earn her place in society with her differences, physical as well as psychological ones.  Its symbolism manifests itself through actions and places, rather than through the character herself.

Did you write the screenplay yourself ?
The screenplay is the fruit of personal work. At this stage I haven’t yet collaborated with other writers.

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Is the story based on real facts ?
In my opinion, there’s a sliver of truth in every film, our movies thus allowing our imagination to interpret our realities. The story of my movie is not based on a true story, but it is rooted in reality.

Where does the title of your movie come from ?
The title of the movie comes from the connection between fabric and our body, it’s what we choose to touch and cover our body. On the one hand, this is a commentary about the link between my main character and her body and to say, this is what I chose for my body, I have chosen fulfillment within immorality.

What stage of production are you in now ?
We are developping the screenplay, shooting has not begun yet.

How did you first come into contact with La Fabrique des Films ?
I go to know the Fabrique des Cinemas during the Amiens Festival in 2013, during which I won a financing grant.

WATCH: Gayaneh’s previous movie “Morning, noon, evening and morning” on VIMEO here


A still from Gayaneh’s previous film “Morning, noon, evening … and morning”