Gabriel Galand is an award-winning writer/director from France with experience in commercial and narrative filmmaking in various countries, including the United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland and now Canada. Coming from a background of cinematography, Gabriel’s films mix different genres with cross cultural issues such as death, dealing with loss and other social subjects. After more than a hundred and forty selections in the festival circuit, Gabriel’s work landed distribution deals in North America, Europe and East Asia. Now pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production at the University of British Columbia, Gabriel is conducting research on the feature-length screenplay he’s currently developing.
Written by Aaron Gomez, and made in a day, the short is a visceral found-footage film which deals with filicide, which is to say, when parents murder their own children. On the one hand, it borrows from the found footage sub-genre with the grizzly confession of a guilt-ridden mother. On the other hand, it uses a kind of high-key investigative journalism style to project the alternate reality. As the film plays out, the audience must decide whether they believe in what she has to say or the alternate reality in which she is a cold-blooded murderer. The short is also our team’s first film made in North America and in English, but with hidden tones from a culturally diverse crew and cast, from Mexico and France to Colombia and Saudi Arabia.
What makes the project stand out is its VHS effect. The idea came in several stages. At first, we discussed with the writer the idea to set it in a different time, late 90s or early 00s. His script was already a found-footage and I noticed that there were no internet or smartphones so I thought that it was a good opportunity. Our budget was tight (1k) but the writer was adamant that he felt we shouldn’t need to show the actual camera in the film so pretending it was a VHS didn’t require extra production design so it was a good option. Last but not least, one of our producers, Fernando Flores, is an animator, and offered to work on FX for free and that was just too good an opportunity to pass!
Aside from its retro VHS aesthetic, the film benefits from its genre approach into the difficult subject that is filicide. Focusing on the grim reality of a mother confessing to having killed her only child, the narrative also offers a daunting prospect where the child returns to life to haunt her. With her child back and alive, and the community believing all is well, she must now face the consequence of her actions and this time decide whether to kill her son again. Finally, The film was made as part of our studies at VFS, the Vancouver Film School. Although the writer, animator and myself have made shorts before, the other two producers, Celia Villanueva and Adrian Valmonte are first time filmmakers and we are all eager to have the film selected and screened around the world!
Director of I’m Sorry