Actress, scriptwriter, content creator, Youtube artist... Maud Bettina Marie wears many hats. Her short film Olive has had a successful festival career and tackles an important subject. Meet the artist and look back on her career.
Could you summarise your career for those who don't know you yet?
Born in Dunkerque, I went to Lille to study theatre. I then went to the Cours Florent and trained as a scriptwriter for series. After that, I started working as a writer on television, where I did a children's show for three years, which gave me experience in this profession.
In 2017, I set up two YouTube channels, "Parlons peu parlons cul", which was later called Parlons peu mais parlons and Maud Bettina Marie. It's a great space to create.
Afterwards, and with the birth of the CNC Talent, we could imagine more ambitious projects. At that time, there was still a fictional dimension on YouTube, which is much less present today.
Can you tell us about the Family collection and the short film Olive, selected at the L.A. Shorts International Film Festival?
I've always loved writing about family; it's my favourite subject. It's both ultra-common and ultra-rich, whether in terms of human relationships, emotions or backgrounds. It's full of possibilities. I had already made two short films: Merci maman and Paparfait, which were successful and had millions of views.
The CNC talent was an opportunity to make a collection around the subject of the family, something I have wanted to do for a long time with my producer, Keyvan Khojandi. So I took the most important subjects to me, such as mourning, guilt over a divorce, family toxicity, or the lack of communication. In the beginning, there was no question of Olive, but then I experienced a miscarriage. After ten months of therapy, working on myself and reconstruction, I told myself that starting from this personal story was essential to make a universal message.
It can't have been easy to transcribe such a trauma to the screen.
It was possible because of the work I did on myself before. When I started writing Olive, it was already more natural to be able to talk about it, and the idea was, above all, not to fall into pathos, to leave hope and light. I had to be cured, even if I don't think we'll ever recover, to be able to talk about it as calmly as possible.
Of course, this requires that I immerse myself in this experience, as we are currently making a feature film from Olive! It puts me back in the situation, but I could feel the same emotion when we were writing Dernière valse and talking about grief.
A lot is going on, but Olive was undoubtedly not my therapy. I did it long before I could make my short film. But I needed to talk about it because, having lived through it, I could see everything that was absurd and what was wrong, everything that still needed to be done. We don't talk enough about miscarriage and its consequences. It's almost taboo when you watch series, feature films, etc. We need to talk about it more significantly.
Olive was available on Youtube, and you had to remove it so that it could be selected for the festival. Cinema and streaming platforms are often put in confrontation. As professionals, we have the impression that we have to "choose sides". How do you live with this duality?
Youtube allows me to have a space to publish what I wrote the day before. It's a great freedom! Unfortunately, platforms are more hierarchical (there are production companies, distribution companies, etc.).
What I miss with platforms, and we realized it during the screening of Olive and Dernière valse at the Festival de la Rochelle, is the energy and the global feeling that there can be in a room with a hundred people! Cinema calls for large spaces, beautiful images, accurate work on sound... like the heartbeat in Olive. For all these characteristics, this film was predestined to be on the big screen.
These new media, like platforms, are extraordinary, but I think some projects are destined for the big screen as others will be better on the smaller one. But, for me, these remain mediums of expression, so I'll take it!
Can you tell us about your other current projects?
I'm writing family as a feature film, and we wrote a pure comedy with my producer to get out of the sadness a little bit, but I'm going to get back into it soon! I have another feature film topic I'd like to work on, but I'm keeping it a secret for now. It will also be about a subject we do not talk about enough. We're also writing a book, which has nothing to do with film or my usual projects, but which tells, among other things, about my miscarriage and the path I took to find the light again. These are the closest things, but there will be many more to come!