#DirectedbyWomen team member Vida Zukauskas spoke with Martine Blue, award-winning director and screenwriter of the feature film Hunting Pignut, which recently screened at the Female Eye Film Festival, about her experiences making the “gutterpunk”-influenced film.
DBW: Congratulations on all your great achievements and awards, especially winning the award for best film at the Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto recently.
MB: Thanks so much!! What an honour it is to win Best Canadian Feature!
DBW: How long have you had this story in your mind? How long was the shoot?
MB: I had the story in mind for the past 15 years. Originally I was writing it as a novel, but didn’t finish it. I started working on it as a script back in 2010 because I wanted to go to PEI to attend a program called Screenwriters’ Bootcamp. From there I took it through the Atlantic Film Festival’s Script Development Program in Halifax in 2011. The shoot was 5 weeks long.
DBW: I loved watching Hunting Pignut. It has sad, touching moments, though it also comes across that there is a place for everyone. Is that how you felt?
MB: Yes. The theme of the film is that there is a place for everyone, but we sometimes have to go through Hell to discover it. The place or community can be with a group of fellow freaks, misfits and/or outsiders.
DBW: Is it true Hunting Pignut was inspired from your own life?
MB: Yes. The story is inspired by my father’s death from alcoholism and lung disease as well as my life travelling around in the punk/squatting scene.
DBW: You mentioned that your dad had passed. How similar were your dad and Bernice’s dad in the film?
MB: Bernice’s dad and mine share an addiction to alcohol and were both funny and the life of the party, but besides that, they are totally different. My dad was kind, considerate, sweet and did everything possible to give me an awesome life. Bernice’s dad left his family when Bernice had a tragic accident at age 5. He couldn’t deal with the guilt of being a neglectful parent, so he took off and continued drinking excessively, whereas my parents were always the anchor of my life. Because both the character and my dad died suddenly, Bernice and I both looked for signs of love from our dads, such as songs my dad used to sing playing on the radio at the most poignant moments or a rainbow in a strange place. This became the inspiration for the film.
DBW: How would you describe gutter punk?
MB: Gutter punk is an ideology of freedom. Freedom from money, society’s rules and conventions. A certain amount of hedonism usually accompanies this lifestyle, some alcohol and drug use and various methods of living off the system like train hopping, panhandling, hitchhiking, dumpster diving, squatting, etc.
DBW: Are there any women film directors you admire and respect more than others?
MB: At the moment I admire and respect Patty Jenkins for breaking the threshold of success for female directed and driven blockbusters, although I am personally boycotting Wonder Woman due to the politics of the film’s lead.
DBW: Is there anything else you would like to share?
MB: Thanks so much for your interest in Hunting Pignut and my story!
My name is Vida Zukauskas. I am an actor, stand-up comic, writer, passionate about film, and working on a documentary. Thank you for reading.