"It seems as if sometimes he doesn't want to talk about dementia"
Despite his young age (Valls, 1998) he already knows what it's like to receive awards for getting behind the camera to direct a film. Júlia Coldwell Serra will premiere today in her hometown the short film The little death. It will be at eight in the afternoon at JCA Cinemas within the programming of the Santa Úrsula Fair. The film has already been awarded at two festivals: the Escac Award for best short film at the BCN Film Fest, and the Curtmiratges Award for best short film directed by a young director at the Cerdanya Film Festival.
Júlia Coldwell studied ESO and Social Baccalaureate at the Joan Huguet Institute in Valls. She confesses that when she finished she was lost and studied a year of Business Administration and Management. But she left him because he saw that this was not for her, that what she liked was the world of cinema. And she signed up for the Higher School of Cinema and Audiovisuals of Catalonia (ESCAC) in Terrassa.
Did you want to be a director since you were little or did you only think about watching movies?
As a child I discovered the cinema from an artisan part. I really liked recording with my grandfather's camera and riding. But he was not a particularly cinephile person. I liked to watch some movies but I wasn't one of the typical girls who really liked movies. I did not know what the figure of a director was.
Before entering university, I had planned to do editing. But later I saw that the direction gave me many opportunities.
When was it that you passed more to that part of direction?
Editing and directing go a lot hand in hand. They say that the editor is like the second director, who ends up shaping the film. I realized that I was more interested in creating stories and not so much montage, which you find at the end.
The history of the short has taken him out of his family environment...
It is a story that comes from many things but it is very much part of the family image, a case that happened with my great-grandmother, who had dementia and, as happens with many people who suffer from it, she used to run away. I had in mind that image of an older woman walking down the road, super fragile, not knowing where to go.
Do you think that dementia has been or is a forgotten pathology?
Actually dementia is found in most houses, just like Alzheimer's. And from the outside it seems that the person is fine but as if it were turning off. It is a disease that is somewhat hidden in society. Talking to most people on the team, almost everyone in their house has a grandfather or an uncle who is suffering from it. But sometimes it's like he doesn't want to talk too much.
It is rare to see a young woman talking about the difficulty of accepting that the people around her are getting older...
I guess it's a subject that has always obsessed me a lot. It can be like a kind of personal fear that I have. He is no longer in death so much. I've always been afraid of getting older and the loneliness that sometimes comes with it, but not always.
When writing the script and directing the film, what was clear that you wanted to convey?
In the end, what was most clear to me was to tell a story through the point of view of the protagonist, that no matter what happens, always be with him and see how we are living it. It is a short in which one of the most important issues is family isolation and how sometimes it is easier to deny that something is happening around us, because accepting it is profoundly more painful.
The main character will not finish accepting what happens to his mother, because it will take a long time, but at least there will be a small hint: I open my eyes and do not pretend that nothing is happening and I listen even if it is what my mother says.
Is it a sad story to make people think?
My intention was not to make a sad story or make people think, but a story that interested me. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't usually think much about how people will receive it, but rather I focus on what is the story I would like to do and put all my energies into doing this.
When attendees leave the screening, what would you like them to be left with or reflect on?
Beyond history, I would like you to think that it is possible to make films in spaces like these. Not everything should happen in big cities or in more beautiful spaces, such as the Costa Brava. In Valls it is possible to shoot stories with the heart and that can be heard. How we are used to seeing these spaces every day we do not look at the beauty they have.
Where was the short filmed?
What the houses are have been recorded between Bosques de Valls, the Verneda path and towards Nulles; the factories in the Polígono de Valls and the gas station is one going towards Vila-rodona.
After the premiere, is it planned to screen the short in theaters?
December I go to a festival in France, in Poitiers, despite not being in the official section.
Are you working on any project?
Two weeks ago I finished recording an hour and a half long film, but it was a collective project in which we were four directors, four directors of photography, etc. I've been recording for a month. And on Monday of last week I submitted the idea for my master's thesis, which is once again like a short film. It's an awkward comedy.