Katia Café-Fébrissy has always been a writer. Writing is the medium that comes most naturally to her to express herself. She never imagined that it would lead her to film directing, but this path was destined for her. After winning the "Prix tremplin", an award from the National Film Board of Canada, to direct her first documentary film "Mes réseaux sociaux et moi / Social Me", she decided to pursue a Master's degree in documentary filmmaking in order to acquire the theoretical knowledge of the craft.
In 2016, she began her second documentary film "À la racine / Root up". To do so, she travels to Guadeloupe to meet Joselie who left everything to dedicate herself to agriculture when she just learned that her land was contaminated with chlordecone, an extremely toxic and carcinogenic pesticide used in the French West Indies until 1993 despite its ban in 1990 in mainland France. She visited her every Saturday for two months without a camera in order to get to know her well and to establish a mutual trust.
Influenced by Godard's approach, who said that a film is above all a relationship between a filmer and a filmed person, she takes the time to get to know the person she describes as "a warrior who cultivates her garden like Voltaire's Candide, armed with a cutlass to apprehend her three hectares of land". Katia and Joselie discover each other, get to know each other and tell each other stories. Katia has a principle: she doesn't make films about people but with them, so she makes sure that Joselie is comfortable throughout the process. When Joselie asks her not to show her crying on screen, Katia gives her that promise. In addition, once the film is completed, she makes sure that Joselie and her daughter put their seal of approval on it before the first screening.
Her relationship with the characters and respect for her subjects and the people in front of the camera are her first priority. It is probably for this reason that Katia's approach and work echo the work of director and artist Marjorie Beaucage. The latter says she positions herself "in the middle of stories, where there is no beginning, no middle, no end." Similarly, Katia places herself in the center of the action to capture the authentic voice behind each story and draw viewers into the character's mind.
Since then, "À la racine" has toured the world. In addition, Katia multiplies her productions and leads several projects at once. She is now prolific in her cinematographic and theatrical creations. Today, she fully assumes her role behind the camera, concerned with composition and textures in the image. Always in search of the essence and humanity of the story, her works are marked by a maturity and a voice that is both unique, universal and easily identifiable. This is probably one of the reasons her work is internationally recognized.
To learn more about Katia Café-Fébrissy: https://www.cafe-febrissy.com/
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