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Hot Docs 2024: Qs à la mode with… Josephine Anderson (Curl Power)

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In Curl Power, director Josephine Anderson follows the 4KGIRL$, five teenaged best friends in British Columbia in pursuit of a junior curling championship title. We posed our Qs à la mode to Josephine, and here’s what she shared!

 

If I had to describe my film using only three adjectives, they would be: Tender, ecstatic, imaginative. 

I decided to make this film because: I was curling in a beer league a few years ago. I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved it. At some point, as I watched other newbies like me clumsily tumble all over the place, I was struck by the unmistakeable parallels between the awkward, misunderstood nature of teenagehood and the misunderstood, fringe sport of curling. What a perfect subculture in which to make a coming-of-age film, I thought.

My intention was to dismantle the traditional heroic sports doc, and instead create a funny and tender story about five girls on a curling team, fumbling towards adulthood.

The thing that surprised me most about my film’s subject/topic was: How inclusive and warm the curling community is. If you take up curling — even if you are really terrible at it — you’ll be welcomed with open arms and, probably, a pitcher of beer from a stranger.

The toughest part of the shoot was: Birthing a baby in the middle of our production phase, and raising my little one alongside the making of this film. It was exhilarating and challenging. I am forever grateful to my Director of Photography, Claire Sanford, who went above and beyond as a creative partner through it all — leading a shoot while I was in labour, for example. This film would never have been completed without Claire’s dedication and hard work.

My favorite moment/scene/sequence in my film is: The scene of Sav and her grandma dancing in the front yard makes me tear up. It’s nearly impossible for Sav’s grandma to reach across the generational divide and really understand her teenage granddaughter’s inner struggles. But you can feel her love piercing through the unknowingness.

My most invaluable piece of doc-making equipment was/is: A thorough plan for every shoot day.

One piece of documentary-filmmaking advice I’d like to share with aspiring documentarians is: Don’t be afraid to let down your guard, be open with your participants about your intentions, and create real, vulnerable connections with those involved. The trust this allows will strengthen your film, and enrich your life as a human being.

 

Want to check out Josephine’s film, or just learn more about it?
Get the scoop, and your tickets, here!

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