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Interview: Mati Diop (Simon Killer)

Hailing from a family of filmmakers and musicians it’s easy to see why Antonio Campos found such a strong collaborator in Mati Diop. A filmmaker in her own right (she would win the Rotterdam Tiger award for her debut short film), the actress was a last minute arrival on the Simon Killer, but quickly immersed herself into the character and creative process – following Brady Corbet’s lead (look for a brief “Simon” appearance at the 15:20 mark of the interview below), portraying a sex worker with nurturer qualities who becomes entangled in Simon’s wallowing of self-pity, auto-distraction and derailment.

I had the chance to sit down with Diop while in Park City at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, we discussed her background in film (her screen debut was alongside Grégoire Colin in Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum) briefly touching upon her filmmaking career, who she immersed herself in the role of the prostitute and how she worked with Brady Corbet. Simon Killer opens one week (IFC Films April 5th) before hitting the VOD route.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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