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SxSW 2017 Interview: GOING TO BRAZIL director Patrick Mille

by Jason Whyte

"GOING TO BRAZIL tells the crazy adventure of three friends invited to the wedding of their best friend. Upon their arrival, they end up in a party and accidentally kill a man who has pushed one of them too far with his rude manners. From then, it all goes wild. GOING TO BRAZIL is a sexy comedy with a feminist message in a country ruled by men." Director Patrick Mille on GOING TO BRAZIL which screens at the 2017 South By Southwest Conference.

Congratulations on GOING TO BRAZIL playing in Austin at SxSW this year! Is your first time here and are you planning to attend your screenings?

Of course I will be at the premiere! I can't wait to hear the reactions from the American audience.

Looking forward to meeting you. So how did you get into this movie business?

I am an actor since I was 20. Yet I always wanted to direct films and learned a lot by working with Alain Corneau, Benoit Jacquot, Francis Veber, Jan Kounen and Lou Ye amongst others.

I was able to direct my first feature film MAUVAISE FILLE, a drama adapted from a novel written by Justine Levy in which stars Izia Higelin. She did receive a Caesar at the French Academy Awards in the Best Emerging Actress category. Her prize was for me a strong incentive to write another script and direct a second feature, that I presented in New York at the Lincoln Center within the online festival MY FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL.

How did this project come together for you?

My debut film was not fun nor entertaining. It was actually quite dramatic as it dealt with themes of birth and death. In GOING TO BRAZIL I wanted some more lightness and headed towards a genre that I also like, the adventure comedy. Yet, I wanted to keep directing and working with actresses in a country which has nurtured my admiration for a long time and works perfectly as a setting for this kind of story.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? Any special drinks or energy?

It is a struggle between me and the rest of the world; being on time, discussing with unions and financiers, struggling with reality, scheduling everything, monitoring stunts, directing actresses and make-up artists. Cope with zealous hairdressers and the mood of a crew that can be sometimes down. I drink a lot of coffee, ginger juice, and guarana during the week, and lots of caipirinha and beers on our days off.

What was your biggest challenge with GOING TO BRAZIL, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you?

Shooting every day was the biggest challenge. The scene I am the most proud of shows a baile funk in a favela where we were about to lose control. A decisive moment where the situation was close to slip through our fingers. It made this scene exciting and filled with danger, a moment of documentary truth that is noticeable on screen.

I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie; what camera did you film with, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed.

I spent hours talking about the support and the format with my cinematographer. We felt like filming in Super 16 and finally opted for a digital camera, Alexa XT, with Cooke anamorphic lenses. They bring more light and subtlety to compliment the faces of the actresses. This film is meant for a big screen as it is shot in scope to magnify the landscapes and the four girls on screen. As for the light inspirations, we took a close look to the work of Gabriele Basicilo, his urbanity almost apocalyptical and its ghostly towns. Another influencer was Mario Testino who has taken photos of the Rio parties. The colorimetry derives from reels photographed by Benoit Debie, including SPRING BREAKERS and ENTER THE VOID.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Austin?

I am very happy and proud to take part in this festival. It is already exciting, and I hope that the audience will be entertained by these four women going on crazy adventures. If we can find a US distributor of the film, it'll be the cherry on top.

After the film screens at SxSW, where is the film going to show next?

The French theatrical release is on March 22nd. I don't know about any other release around the world.

If you could show your movie in any theater outside of Austin, where would you screen it and why?

I would love to show it across the United States! I would love to visit the US this way. Of course I would also like to show this film in Brazil to all the Brazilian actors who have been fantastic.

What would you say to someone who was being disruptive during a screening of GOING TO BRAZIL or any other movie you attend?

There's a sequence in the movie that perfectly captures what I would say to such a disruptive person. It's not popcorn but pistachios and I am not saying any more.

We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies or get into the industry somehow. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business?

Firstly, that the film you want to direct is the most important thing. Secondly, never give up.

And finally, what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?

I would have liked to be an adult back in 1979 and seen APOCALYPSE NOW for the first time in Cannes.

(Editor note: Me too Patrick. Me too.)

We hope you enjoyed this SxSW filmmaker interview as part of our coverage of SxSW 2017. To see the entire series click on the Live Report sidebar on your right. We will have interviews posted all throughout the festival so be sure to visit us often for more coverage!

This is one of the many films screening at the 2017 SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas taking place March 10-18. For more information on this film screening times, point your browser to or use the SxSW GO App for Android and iOS.

Jason Whyte,
Twitter: @jasonwhyte / Facebook: jasonwhyte / Instagram: jason.whyte

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 03/11/17 01:41:34
last updated: 03/11/17 01:44:32
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