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Interview with Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls
By James Whittington, Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls

Grimmfest 2018 kicks off tomorrow and one of the many highlights of the four day event is the blood-splattered shocker Girls With Balls. We chatted to it's director Olivier Afonso about this fab film and his career as an SFX artists.

HC: What inspired you to write Girls With Balls?

OA: My co-writer and I we wanted to write a trash comedy to entertain an audience because we love festivals: the atmosphere, people screaming, laughing... Personally, I'm inspired by the eighties and nineties movies such as of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. We wanted to make a survival movie but with strong women, a girl power movie, with absurd situations. The real subject is not the hunting but how girls can survive and join together in spite of jealousy and personal interests.

HC: Whose idea was it to have a minstrel playing through the movie?

OA: With my co-writer Jean-luc Cano we love the minstrel, and I love the Disney Robin Hood minstrel (the rooster). The idea is to have the worst minstrel possible, he sings not so good, he spoils the movie and he seems to be the character of another movie. Above all he is a magical signal: "Don't worry, enjoy! it's a rollercoaster!"

HC: This is your first feature as director, were you nervous and what did you learn about directing whilst making the movie?

OA: Nervous? Sure! Movies are always an adventure! You never know what can happen, what compromises you will have to do, if the team, actors and technicians will walk in the same direction. In France it's very difficult to do this kind of movie. When I started shooting, I was scared every day that someone would come and tell me; "Sorry, we made a mistake, you have to stop now!" Ha ha ha! Yes, I learnt lot of things, it's difficult to write a list, but for me the most important is the human adventure.

HC: It's an actio-packed movie, did the cast do much training to get into shape?

OA: We didn't have lot of time for training and it was very intense! The team had to learn volleyball and fight in 10 days, the co-ordinator Manu Lanzi and his team did an incredible job, the cast worked hard, and it made the movie! I wanted them to do stunts themselves because the audience can feel when it is true or not. For sure, some times we work with incredible stunt actors but I'm very happy to say all that this is true action!

HC: Did you look after all the SFX or did you have someone else realise these?

OA: I do lot of things but the most part was done by my SFX family: the CLSFX Atelier 69 Workshop.

HC: Many are describing it as a strong, feminist film, did you set out to make such a movie?

OA: To be honest, not really, we started writing this story ten years ago because we were bored with male characters, we wanted a different point of view. For me, female characters are more interesting, and more complex in a good way! But now if someone thinks Girls With Balls is a feminist movie, I say; "Cool! we did good job!"

HC: You've got an incredible reputation as an SFX artist, which movie has been your favourite to work on?

OA: Very difficult question! I love working with directors because each are very different, with his or her own universe, each time is a new experience, I think my favourite is the next movie.

HC: Do you want to direct more?

OA: SURE!

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

OA: I'm working on another women action movie and on a love strange story...

HC: Olivier Afonso, thank you very much.

OA: THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! Sorry for my Anglais!!!


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