Film Review: “Waiting For Lou” Represents Concordia at Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Student-Directed Film Engages its Audience From Start to Finish

Amaryllis Tremblay as Jess. Still from the short film “Waiting For Lou”

A flowing narrative, strong characters, and the ability to keep the viewers’ attention until the very end is what made Concordia University professors choose “Waiting for Lou” to be screened at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema this year.

Katerine Martineau, a second-year Concordia Film Studies student, directed this short film. Her main concern while putting this project together was passing the Bechdel test, which consists of three criteria. It has to have at least two named women, the women have to talk to each other, and they need to talk about something other than a man.

“Waiting For Lou” passes this test with flying colors.

For this short film—which was selected to represent Concordia at FNC as part of the Canada-wide student film competition—Martineau focused on the strong relationship between her two non-stereotypical female characters, Jess and Lou.

Jess is a lower-class teenager who is full of hope. Lou is her eccentric grandmother whom Jess visits in prison.

The 15-minute short film is about a dream that these two women share of going together to California, but most importantly about keeping the strong relationship that they have formed.

Martineau worked closely with her two main actresses, Amaryllis Tremblay and Johanne Fontaine—who play Jess and Lou respectively—in order to make both characters as well-rounded as possible.

Martineau wrote the script alongside Tremblay and Fontaine, and was originally inspired by how the actresses worked together. She was especially taken aback by Tremblay, who was the main actress for “The Sun Sets in the West,” another film Martineau had directed in 2015.

“I really liked working with her, and she inspired me a lot,” Martineau said. Tremblay had perfectly portrayed the introverted but strong character she was looking for.

Martineau admitted to having decided to write another film just so she could work with Tremblay again.
Before being selected for FNC, directing “Waiting for Lou” was a difficult process for Martineau, the biggest challenge being time.

Along with five other students that were selected, Martineau only had seven weeks to go through a process that usually takes months for filmmakers.

She often doubted herself as well. “90 per cent of the time I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing,” she said.

However, she knew that she wanted to focus on where to shoot her film and the people she worked with. Martineau focused on scouting for locations to bring the film together.

“It’s one of my main interests when I direct a film,” said Martineau. “I spend a lot of time on the road just to keep my eyes on the environment.”

Martineau is now working on a new film about two teenage girls in love, with Tremblay as one of her main characters once more.

She is still in the script-writing phase, but is hoping to film next summer if her funding allows it.

Katherine Martineau // Waiting For Lou // Festival du Nouveau Cinema