Sarah Gignac and the Rage Monster

Rage Monster screens as part of the Atlantic Shorts Program at the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival

A screenshot fromSarah Gignac's film short Rage Monster.
A screenshot fromSarah Gignac's film short Rage Monster.

Halifax Presents concludes its special film series, speaking with local filmmakers to find out more about their film shorts at this year’s FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.

In this Q&A, director Sarah Gignac talks about her animated film Rage Monster, which screens as part of the Atlantic Shorts Program 2.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about Rage Monster. What can audiences expect?

Rage Monster is a two minute animated film about a little kid struggling to understand her uncontrollable anger issues.

How did you find the story/what was your inspiration for the film?

"It was the idea screaming the loudest in my head, so I had to make it to get rid of the idea and make room for other thoughts." - Sarah Gignac
“It was the idea screaming the loudest in my head, so I had to make it to get rid of the idea and make room for other thoughts.” – Sarah Gignac

I’ve been moving towards putting more of myself in my work, telling more personal stories. Rage Monster really comes out of my own experiences as a child trying to navigate and understand powerful emotions that were regarded as unseemly or unladylike.

Why this particular film now?

It was the idea screaming the loudest in my head, so I had to make it to get rid of the idea and make room for other thoughts.

What was your biggest challenge in making the film?

I think finding the style of art/animation. I’d originally been planning on a different aesthetic for the film. But once I had the narration recorded, the quality of the narrator’s voice really changed the feel of the film, and for the better. So I ended up redesigning the animation to more fit with her voice, giving the film a more childish, scribbly picture book quality. Once I found that style, everything else fell into place fairly easily.

What will surprise audiences about your film?

Hmm, maybe that a film called Rage Monster is about a little girl?

What do you hope audiences walk away talking or thinking about after seeing the film?

Oh, that’s hard to say. Everyone brings their own experiences into a screening, so they see each film through a different lens. If I think about what I want people to walk away with while I’m making a film, then I get too caught up in worrying about getting it wrong. I focus more on trying to tell a story and express what I want to express, but I don’t think about what I want people to get out of it, specifically if that makes sense. I hope people enjoy it while they watch it, and if they think about it afterwards, I’d be very curious to know what it made them think about.

What’s next?

I have a few features in development with my producer Becky Parsons and her company No Fear Films. One will incorporate some of my animation, which is really exciting. I’m also developing another short animation.

The 2020 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival continues through September 24. Visit finfestival.ca for a complete listing of film and tickets.