Olivier Afonso, GIRLS WITH BALLS, and Having Fun with Movies

“I want people to have fun watching my movie” 

Film Daddy talks to director Olivier Alfonso about his film Girls with Balls.


Film Daddy: How does it feel to see your film on the screen? 

Olivier Alfonso: It's a little bit strange because in France, movies like this are always difficult to do. When you arrive with this kind of movie and explain what it's about and say "It has guns, and gory parts" and "it's girls" people say "what?". So when I see my movie on a screen with the audience, it looks like a kind of dream.

FD: You worked in other roles in film and television. How did that prepare you for directing? 

OA: I have worked with a lot of directors and ended up working in makeup effects by accident –– I love sculpture and cinema and I became a makeup effects artist by accident. It was the same with directing. I worked with a lot of them and I helped them do things and spoke with them about how to do [things] so they told me "perhaps you should do your movie" and I thought, "Why not? I can try". 

FD: The film has a great vibe of slasher and cannibal films. What film, if any, influenced it? 

OA: I think 80s movies like Peter Jackson's early work and also Sam Raimi –– I love Sam Raimi. In the 80s films felt like a cartoon to me, so if I have any influence for Girls with Balls it is those types of movies. When I was a child I stayed in watching films like these so Girls with Balls is only that: the type of film I would watch as a kid. I just want people to have fun watching the movie. It doesn't matter if you believe the story or not, it is just fun. 

FD: How does it feel getting such positive recognition for the film? 

OA: Like I said before, it is very strange. Like if you were in your garage and you were making stuff and people say "oh it’s good" — it's crazy for me. A critic came to me at Fantastic Fest and said "I am sorry, but I don't like your movie". I said "that's okay," but then he said "but I laughed a lot. It is great I loved this part, and that part… but I don't like your movie".

And to me this is funny, because sometimes people don't really want to recognise that they can only have fun in a movie. Now people have to have a political point of view, etc., but the only thing I recognise in my movie is that it was a desire to me to give a good part to women. Because I am bored of male characters, because female characters are more interesting and complex in a good way. This is the only really serious part of my movie — to give a good part to women. But I have to say it out loud, over and over again: “It is only fun, and it is okay to have fun”.

 Jan Siery and Olivier Alfonse. Photo courtesy of Jan Siery at  Grimmfest 2018 .

Jan Siery and Olivier Alfonse. Photo courtesy of Jan Siery at Grimmfest 2018.

FD: The film has a great vibe of slasher and cannibal films. What film, if any, influenced it? 

OA: I think 80s movies like Peter Jackson's early work and also Sam Raimi –– I love Sam Raimi. In the 80s films felt like a cartoon to me, so if I have any influence for Girls with Balls it is those types of movies. When I was a child I stayed in watching films like these so Girls with Balls is only that: the type of film I would watch as a kid. I just want people to have fun watching the movie. It doesn't matter if you believe the story or not, it is just fun. 

FD: How does it feel getting such positive recognition for the film? 

OA: Like I said before, it is very strange. Like if you were in your garage and you were making stuff and people say "oh it’s good" — it's crazy for me. A critic came to me at Fantastic Fest and said "I am sorry, but I don't like your movie". I said "that's okay," but then he said "but I laughed a lot. It is great I loved this part, and that part… but I don't like your movie".

And to me this is funny, because sometimes people don't really want to recognise that they can only have fun in a movie. Now people have to have a political point of view, etc., but the only thing I recognise in my movie is that it was a desire to me to give a good part to women. Because I am bored of male characters, because female characters are more interesting and complex in a good way. This is the only really serious part of my movie — to give a good part to women. But I have to say it out loud, over and over again: “It is only fun, and it is okay to have fun”.