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Director's Bio

Danielle Sahota

Hometown: England
Age: 21

Danielle Sahota is an English-born director and production designer. Her films aim to create ethereal representations of emotions, often exploring irrationality. Danielle entered Ryerson University’s Film Program with backgrounds in visual art and experimental fiction. A recipient of the Harvey Hart Directors Award, HSBC Filmmaker’s Directing and Writing Awards, and Maximum Exposure Art Direction Award, Danielle’s work has screened at venues including Toronto International Film Festival and Gimli Film Festival. Danielle currently enjoys experimenting with shorts and music videos, and is writing new long-format work, which she hopes can be produced in the near future.

Name three of your interests (not film-related) and one pet peeve. 

I love fashion, reading a good book or article, and riding Hugo (my bicycle). One of my biggest pet peeves is soggy cereal. The milk has to go in a glass beside a dry bowl of cereal.

What is your favourite movie and why?

I can’t say that I've watched a huge number of films, but one of the first that ignited by passion for filmmaking was Lars von Trier’s Dogville. I absolutely love the film’s raw visual engagement with emotional upheaval and social portraits. I also adore its innovative use of production design, which evokes a unique connection with both the subjects’ psychology and the overall themes of the film.

When did you make your first film?

I made my first complete film when I was 17, in my first year at Ryerson. It was an adaptation of a short story I wrote called Palliation, which follows a middle-aged man as he walks down his tiny, abstract driveway to throw out his garbage. A narrator describes everything in his garbage bag, which transitions from mundane objects to intangible things. As he reaches the end of the driveway, there are certain things he must sift through the garbage to retrieve.

Sum up your film, We Blinded the Sun, in a 5-word sentence. 

Being dirty isn’t always bad.

Which films or directors inspire you?

I wouldn’t say that any single film directly inspired this one, since I didn’t really watch films for a period before writing it (so that I wouldn’t get distracted). However, after reading my script, my producer showed me Jane Campion’s The Piano as a reference which she thought would be suitable; I absolutely love this film now that I've seen it. Other than the obvious similarities in symbolic musical instruments, I think that there are a lot of qualities that are similar.

What's your motto as a filmmaker?

Engulf every detail of the film into a concept or feeling.

What's your dream film project?

My dream film project would dive into experimentation of the film medium itself, while still exploring a narrative. I would love to create a longer-format piece with a passionate, stimulated team that shares a common drive to create vivid and evocative images. Essentially, I’d just love the resources to be as crazily imaginative as I’d like, and to create work that can affect a lot of people!

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Comments… or add another

Marc Navabi

Friday, November 2nd 2012 00:48

Lori Fischburg

Friday, November 2nd 2012 13:56


Sunday, November 4th 2012 10:39
A fantastic movie. Must see.


Wednesday, November 7th 2012 14:58
Great Young Actor in this film!!


Wednesday, November 7th 2012 21:12
Excellant, unique perspective.
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