An Audience of Chairs: Interview with filmmaker Deanne Foley

An Audience of Chairs
“An Audience of Chairs” is an enthralling new family-friendly movie by a talented Canadian filmmaker named Deanne Foley.

“An Audience of Chairs” is a new movie by Canadian filmmaker Deanne Foley. Although she was raised as a Roman Catholic, Deanne says movies were her religion. The Newfoundland-native explains how a heart-warming family film from Steven Spielberg inspired her career, and a resume that now boasts such incredibly emotional stories as ‘’An Audience of Chairs’’ available Tuesday September 24 on digital.

Meagan Meehan (MM): Do you enjoy this part of the process, Deanne? The promotional phase?

Deanne Foley (DF): That’s a fun question! Yes and no.  I’m much more comfortable behind the camera but this is an important and necessary part of the process. So, I’m in.

MM: Where do you hail from, Deanne?

DF: East coast of Canada. I’m from St. John’s, Newfoundland

MM: Has filmmaking always been in the blood?

DF: Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a young girl. I was raised Roman Catholic, but movies were my religion. I was most comfortable sitting in a dark theatre and still am today.

MM: Would you say there’s a particular film or filmmaker that helped spur that interest?

DF: E.T.  – that film had a huge impact on me as a kid.  My mom tells the story of me crying my eyes out in the theatre bathroom and unable to console me. She had never seen me that emotional before.

MM: And what was the first thing you ever shot?

DF: I made a short 10-minutefilm, shot on 16mm, 19 years ago. It was called Trombone Trouble about a little girl who hates her trombone and tries to lose it but it keeps coming back to her. It got a lot of interest and also my first job working as a field producer for a TV show called Street Cents.

MM: Can you look back at some of the earlier work now and see where you’ve improved as a filmmaker since?

DF: Absolutely!! I never went to film school so I’ve learned by making short, and features. I’m very critical of my work and could write thesis on the flaws I see in each of my features.

MM: Are happy you with “An Audience of Chairs”?

DF: I’m extremely proud of An Audience of Chairs. I believe it’s my best work. I was surrounded by an incredible team.I was fortunate to work with lead actress, Carolina Bartczak, and cast members Gord Rand, Peter MacNeill to name a few. I had a fantastic cinematographer James Klopko, editor Weibke von Carolsfed, production designer, Bill Fleming and music composer, Duane Andrews. Everyone poured their heart into this project and it’s reflected on the screen.

MM: When did you discover the book? 

DF: The book was discovered by screenwriter, Rosemary House, who optioned it not long after it was published.

MM: How many years have you been on the project? 

DF: Rosemary worked for years developing the script and I came on board once the project was ready for financing. I spent about two and half years working on the film.

MM: Was it difficult translating the book to the screen? I guess some things need to be trimmed or modified for the different medium?   

 DF: Rosemary House adapted the novel and she did a brilliant job. The novel is much larger in scope. 

MM: Tell us where you discovered Carolina Bartczak?

DF: Through our cast agent, Stephanie Gorin. We had done a few rounds of casting and then we found Carolina. She’s an incredibly gifted actor. I was looking for a subtle, nuanced performance and that’s what she gave me.

MM: What’s next for you?

DF: I’m currently developing a few feature scripts and a TV show. I’m looking for a novel to adapt but haven’t found one yet.