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Video Interview: Ariane Labed & Balthazar Lab – Olla (Short Film) | 2020 Sundance Film Festival

After a whirlwind fest tour that began back in Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight section and ended just after Sundance with a showing at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, I got to sit down with filmmaker Ariane Labed and her Cinematographer Balthazar Lab to discuss her short film debut Olla —- the atypical heroes journey of a Russian mail-order bride who finds empowerment in small acts of defiance: from fellatio, to sandwich making and to applying a bit of make-up on someone who is also feeling trapped. Shot in 16mm, notions of objectification and ownership are intertwined while Labed lets ferment the comic and dreadful flowering process of her protagonist with repetition and a distinct roadmap. Here is my sitdown with the filmmaker in Park City.


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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