October 2008 : Yoann Talhouarne [fr]
Introducing Yoann Talhouarne, Broadcasting specialist and EUFF Volunteer
Interview by Corinne Cecilia
Hello Yoann, and thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Is it the first year you volunteer with Eh ! U Meet The Europeans – the European Film Festival (Eh!U)?
Indeed, it’s my first year that I volunteer for the Eh!U. However, I attended the festival last year, and I really enjoyed the possibility to watch very good European features.
Could you tell us more about your role as a Eh!U volunteer – how did you get involved? What motivated you? What are your current responsibilities and tasks?
A few months ago, Pervenche Beurier (Cinema Officer at the French Consulate) contacted me, asking if I was interested in taking part to the organization of the 4th Eh!U. I did not hesitate, I was very excited (and flattered): I’ve been now living and working in the broadcasting industry in Toronto for 18 months and I feel the need to stay in touch with Europe, particularly France; so volunteering with the Eh!U seemed like a great opportunity. For the last two months, I contacted the different European consulates and gathered all the information on all the movies that will be presented at the festival. As we get closer to the beginning of the Festival, I will be given new tasks; this includes organizing the Print Traffic.
What do you enjoy most in this commitment with Eh!U?
I enjoy very much working with all the consulates, the idea that despite our language/cultural differences; we work all together on the same project, which is pretty much why EU was created.
Did you have any other volunteer experience, either in Canada or France?
I already volunteered for a few Film Festivals both in France (FIPA in Biarritz) and in Canada (OzFlix, the Australian Film Festival). I got a great insight of the preparation, the actual festival and the post-festival period.
How long have you been involved with films (or film festivals)? Do you have an interest in filmmaking?
Actually, my speciality is broadcasting. However, we do need a lot of content and since my first internship at NBC Universal France in July 2006 to my current position, I had the opportunity to attend many film Festivals (including TIFF and the Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax), particularly when I was working in the short-film and documentary industry. I have greater interest in the production than in filmmaking but I am always ready for new experiences.
You’ve been very instrumental in the research that was conducted on each film that will be presented during the two weeks of the Eh!U (November 16-30, 2008). What are your favourite movies?
We present a high-quality program, with a wide range of different genres… I can’t wait to watch “The Class”, but I am also looking forward to discover Warden of the dead (Bulgaria) and Simon (Netherlands).
What can you tell us about the final line-up that you think is unique, interesting, and relevant for Toronto’s diverse audiences?
The Eh!U is marked by Europe’s past, current and eventually future concerns. From WWII to today’s issues (immigration, education, sexuality), Eh!U is a unique opportunity to appreciate Europe’s latest features/trends and to remind the audience that Europeans make great movies!
Would you like to tell us more about your life in Toronto? What the best thing that comes to your mind about living in Toronto?
I moved in Toronto in March 2007, to do an internship in a TV station, in order to improve my English and learn about this industry. After my graduation, I came back and started working for different film festivals and other TV stations until I got hired by CBC as a Contract Specialist. I really enjoy the flexibility, the opportunities that Toronto offers. I did not need much time to feel at home: I love the cosmopolitan aspect, the energy of the city (particularly during TIFF).
You must be very busy as a legal professional in the media sector. How do you juggle your work, volunteering, fun family life?
Well, it’s not easy everyday, but I would say I try to balance my life. I try, as much as I can, to work out a few times a week, and to allow myself enough time to go to the cinema or catch the latest TV shows. Volunteering is a great complement to my job, which is more on the abstract side of the business; while the Eh!U represents an opportunity to work with people who don’t necessarily have the same background, but share the same passion, a great getaway! Besides, I really enjoy the atmosphere: stimulating and friendly!
Why do you feel it’s important for you to support the 4th annual European film festival by contributing your time and skills?
With the current economic crisis, culture is always the first to suffer from “cuts”, and it’s very important to promote this great art that is cinema. Besides, due to the development of a “world culture”, I think it’s essential to support local initiatives, particularly since I live in North America. To my mind, Europe is often under-represented in Toronto, and the Festival is a great opportunity to show that we too, are a community.
What other occupations or passions are you currently pursuing?
I am looking forward to the winter so I can start cross-country skiing. I very much enjoy visiting Northern Ontario to go camping, canoeing. If I have the opportunity, I would like to go to Yukon, which represents to me “True Canada” with wide space, wild nature and no… sky-crappers!
Thank you Yoann!
For more information on Toronto’s 4th annual Toronto European Film Festival, please visit http://www.eutorontofilmfest.ca/