India Desjardins won’t write any more films

It is with a feeling of lightness that the author India Desjardins recently met the media to talk about December 23, the holiday movie par excellence this year. It took her more than 10 years to produce this choral film starring Virginie Fortin, François Arnaud, Catherine Brunet, Guylaine Tremblay, Michel Barrette and Bianca Gervais. She tells us about it.

• Read also: See the best red carpet looks from the Christmas movie premiere, December 23

India, how are you?
It will be a special Christmas for me because this project, which I have been carrying out for 10 years, is finally seeing the light of day in cinemas. I’ve had both feet in Christmas all year round for 10 years, since I’ve been working on this film for a long time. So it’s special for me to see it finally finished.

How did this desire to make a Christmas film come about?
In 2011, I had a Christmas that was turned upside down by my stepfather’s heart attack. It rocked our day. I witnessed several coincidences and crossovers, and I had the impression that there was a Christmas movie being written before my eyes. I thought to myself that there were almost no Quebec holiday films. I was in Quebec, I saw the Petit Champlain, all the beautiful landscapes, and all that inspired me. I wanted to make a modern Quebec film, with a family that is not nuclear, and that same evening I wrote to Patrick Roy, the producer, and to my friend Guillaume Lespérance, and they believed in my project.

Why did it take 10 years to write this film?
It was long because it’s an ensemble film. There’s a math in there and sometimes I just couldn’t get it. I was lucky to be able to count on people who believed in it very strongly and who encouraged me. Sometimes I lost my confidence and challenged myself a lot. I wanted the stories to have repercussions on each other, but I couldn’t. This is my first original film script that is not based on one of my novels, like the films Aurelie Laflamme, for example. If Guillaume Lespérance had not been there, this film would never have existed.

What is your relationship to Christmas movies?
I love this kind of film, and I just wanted there to be one from Quebec, with our music and our sets. Most of the time, they come from elsewhere and deal with traditions that are not so much ours, like kissing under the mistletoe. No one does that in Quebec. So at some point it became a mission for me to create one. This film is like fudge: it’s sweet, it’s soft, it’s comforting and it’s made with lots of love.

Are you already thinking about doing a sequel?
I keep saying I’m retiring and this is my last movie. So I’m taking full advantage of my promotion day. It’s my last because I lack self-confidence and it seems like it’s such big projects that it’s getting too big for me. I put so much pressure on myself. So I can’t see myself spending another 10 years torturing myself like this. I may change my mind, but for now I want to take a break from this kind of project. At the same time, I love my characters and this universe so much that I want to make them live another adventure. But, for now, I like the idea of ​​pretending I’m retiring from screenwriting. I want to live without pressure for a while, writing my books slowly, at home. I don’t feel like having lots of other projects at the same time. I just want to take the time to breathe a little.

December 23 has been in theaters since November 25.

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