Gabrielle is a 22-year-old woman with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that often slows cognitive skills while increasing sociability and musical talent. She sings in a Montreal choir with other disabled adults, where she meets and falls in love with the dashingly handsome Martin. The bliss of first love is interrupted, however, by Martin’s interfering mother, who worries that special needs individuals aren’t sufficiently fit for romantic relationships. What emerges in Louise Archambault’s sweet, unassuming and confidently directed film is a portrait of a young woman fighting, in her own way, for acceptance and independence, and for her right to experience life’s highs and lows – with joy, pain, confusion and eventual understanding.
Date: Saturday, February 7, 6PM
Location: Held Auditorium, 304 Barnard Hall
Louise Archambault holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montréal. Her first film, Atomic Saké (1999), attracted attention and toured the international festival circuit, earning the 2000 Jutra for Best Short Film as well as Best Film at the Festival delle Donne in Turin, Italy. Her first feature film, Familia made its international debut in official competition at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival. Following her first feature, Louise directed Lock, a portrait of the choreographer Édouard Lock produced by the NFB, and participated in the collective film National Parks Project, which brought together 13 Canadian directors. Louise is currently developing a feature entitled After the End, scripted by Paul Gross and co-produced by Rhombus Media and Item7, as well as Tarmac, cowritten with François Archambault and also produced by Item 7. Gabrielle, her second feature film, premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival where it won the Audience Award. The film, Canada’s 2013 entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar® and Golden Globe Award, has already won several international awards in addition to being sold in more than twenty territories.