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HELLO STRANGER

A FILM BY AMÉLIE HARDY

Short Film – Québec – 2024 – 16 min
Color | English with French subtitles | 1.33 | 5.1

SYNOPSIS

Between loads of laundry at the corner laundromat, Cooper shares the story of her gender reassignment journey. Piecing together her memories, from her childhood in a small fishing village through her tumultuous medical process, Cooper attempts to make peace with the last male imprint remaining on her body: that annoying deep voice that sticks to her skin.

Cast

Cooper Josephine Holt

Crew

DIRECTOR : Amélie Hardy
WRITER : Cooper Josephine Holt & Amélie Hardy
PRODUCERS : Sarah Mannering & Fanny Drew (Colonelle films)
CINEMATOGRAPHY : Myriam Payette
PRODUCTION DESIGN : Judith Maltais
SOUND DESIGN : Christophe Voyer
EDITING : Amélie Hardy
MUSIC : Joseph Marchand

Director statement

I met Cooper 2 years ago while working on a documentary series project. Cooper was asked to answer the following question: What lie do you tell yourself most often? Her answer was: the lie I tell myself most often is that I’ll never be considered a woman as long as I have a male voice. After this too-brief encounter, I was convinced that there was a powerful story to be shared through cinema. While I don’t share the reality of being a trans woman, Cooper’s quest for her own identity moves me. Her struggle is a universal one, since Cooper’s story is one of self-acceptance. The film certainly emerges from my own reflections on gender in the broadest sense. What makes us women? Men? How can we uncover these social codes and expectations to prevent them from restraining us?

Early on in the film’s creative process, the desire and the need to collaborate with Cooper during the scriptwriting process became clear to me. Through our exchanges, a film quietly took shape. We wanted to bring to the screen a compassionate and luminous representation of transidentity, in order to demystify for the general public this reality too often portrayed by the mainstream media as a mental disorder or ideological posture that leads to suffering and misery. Hello Stranger turned out to be a formidably rich playground for me, both in terms of human exchange and cinematic creation. Diving into the heart of Cooper’s fluid identity necessarily called for an equally hybrid and liberating approach to filmmaking, blending the codes of documentary filmmaking with those of fiction. As a filmmaker, I’ve always been drawn to dig out the buried stories and silenced voices that so often reveal the beauties and rifts at the core of our world.

DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY

After completing her film studies at Montreal’s University, Amélie directs several short films. Her documentary work, in which humanity, aestheticism and an ingenious way of staging reality define her style. Amélie’s projects (About memory and loss, Ordinary’s Life Chronicles, Happy Life, Train Hopper) have earned several awards and have travelled around the world.

FILMOGRAPHY

HELLO STRANGER | 2024

ABOUT MEMORY AND LOSS | 2022

ORDINARY’S LIFE CHRONICLES | 2021

HAPPY LIFE | 2021

TRAIN HOPPER | 2018

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

SXSW, 2024

Festival REGARD, 2024