Festival Daily

By Nicholas Davies

Who: Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
What: Top secret
Where: That’s top secret, too
When: September 9, 3:30pm

I meet up with my friends Richard and Wash, who are in town with the film Pedro. As its producers, they’re here for the premiere that happened on Sunday. They’re busy doing press all day, but we manage to squeeze in a bit of time for a chinwag – and we arrange that I’ll look in my closet for the shirt Wash left behind (the boys were staying chez-moi at the start of the Festival). We lament the fact that they’re leaving so soon, and we’ve barely had time to say hello…

ND: The last time you were here was for The Fluffer. It showed right after  9/11 – and that was a bit of a problem.

WW: We had our press screening at 9am on September 12. That wasn’t good.

ND: So how has your experience of the Festival been this time?

WW: A lot better! We came in a few days early so we could see films, which is what we love to do. And then yesterday we had our premiere, which was really exciting – a very emotional and wonderful screening. So we’re kind of buoyed up on that Festival buzz, which is like a drug.

RG: It was interesting also because we were brought into this film – it wasn’t something that we originated – so there was already a script, and somebody had already done all the research into the Zamora family and so on. And here we were presenting this film to people about their lives – Mily Zamora, Hector Zamora, Pam [Ling] and Judd [Winick] – and not really knowing if it actually reflected everything. So it was really great to have them here and be so supportive.

ND: Now, did you meet them here? Or had you met them before?

RG: We met Pam and Judd in San Francisco. We did a two-day pick-up shoot there, and we had them be extras in the shoot we were doing. They were really terrific, but you still don’t know how people are going to react when they see themselves depicted onscreen. So it was a great thing for us to see them embrace the movie.

ND: When you think about your films The Fluffer and Quinceañara and Pedro, do you think there’s something that draws them together?

WW: I think there’s an interesting connection between Grief, Quinceñara and Pedro. Because Grief is about working on a TV show and about dealing with AIDS, and Q is all about clashing interests within a family [over issues of] sexuality – and it’s also based in Latino culture. So Netflix would say, if you like these two movies, you’ll like Pedro.

RG: I think that’s a theme that only really hit me [after] seeing it yesterday. The movie is really about integrating this new-found family in [the reality show] The Real World. As Wash says, looking back at Grief, it’s about this weird, makeshift group of outsiders working together on a TV show, so there is definitely some parallel there.

WW: And we had the same [cinematographer] as we used during The Fluffer, so with certain shots we went, “Ah! That reminds me of The Fluffer!” So yes, I suppose after a while there is an accumulation of themes and ideas.

ND: What films have you seen at this year’s Festival?

RG: We were very impressed with Hunger and with our friend Kelly Reichardt’s film Wendy and Lucy.

ND: Is there anyone you’re dying to meet while you’re here?

WW: We wanna meet Sarah Polley.

ND: Everybody does!

WW: A few years ago we had a script called Lot’s Wife, and Sarah really loved it, and we spoke on the phone and it was wonderful. Unfortunately, it’s one of those films that hasn’t happened yet. So we’d love to meet her in person.

ND: What are you working on next?

RG: We are working on a working-class vampire movie called Hello Darkness, set in the north of England.

ND: You’re going to work on it right now, yes?

WW: Pretty much. From Toronto we’re going to Paris, where our production company is based, and then we start in earnest, rolling our sleeves up in October in terms of pre-production.

ND: When will it shoot?

WW: February and March, the coldest, most miserable months.

ND: And where will it premiere?

WW: Well, if we can get it finished in time…

RG: We’d love to premiere it in Toronto!

WW: Who knows – we love this Festival. This is our third time here. We love the audiences, we love the city and we love the Festival.

RG: And we love the people who run the Festival so seamlessly.

ND: Oh, good! Well said!