Martin’s Pink Pickle, a film that’s part of this year’s VIFF BC Spotlight selection, is a witty and unconventional romantic comedy directed by René Brar. The film tells the story of Martin and Suzanne, who drive into the big city for a “medical appointment” that forces them to re-examine their lives and make some difficult decisions. We had the chance to chat with director René Brar to get some inside scoop on the film. Keep on reading to find out what he has to share about Martin’s Pink Pickle.
VIFF: What inspired you to make this film?
Brar: I was inspired by friends around me who were making terrible life decisions- choosing relationships and jobs that left them quietly unfulfilled. They were confusing security for happiness and it pissed me off to see it happen again and again.
VIFF: What was the biggest challenge you faced while making Martin’s Pink Pickle?
Brar: The biggest challenge we faced was finishing the film. Shortly after wrapping principal photography, the film’s producer- my wife- was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Thankfully, she’s now cancer free but our lives, and the film, were put on hold for nearly 4 years. After such a long hiatus, you never regain your original momentum so you have to chip away at the film little by little. Progress slows to a crawl. Meanwhile, everyone around you assumes the project is long dead- it was quite a stressful time.
VIFF: What’s the main message you want people to take away from your film?
Brar: Happy endings can be be messy. Sometimes you have to embrace uncertainty if you even want a chance at happiness.
VIFF: Who is the filmmaker that inspires you the most?
Brar: Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart (2007), The Killer Inside Me (2010)) is a great inspiration. He’s prolific and he works across diverse genres from comedy to experimental.
VIFF: What advice do you have for aspiring filmmakers in BC?
Brar: Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Just make your film. It’s the only way to grow. The more you make, the better you become.
Check out the trailer for Martin’s Pink Pickle: