The BYT Interview: Bridget Arsenault and Fatima Martinez-Moxon

This month, we point our pens at the film club's founders...

How did the two of you meet? 
Fatima: I had wanted to organise a film screening for about two years but something would always keep coming up that stopped me, until one day I said: enough I am going to do it! - but I didn’t know where to start. Then I remembered I had been invited to a film screening by Vanity Fair so I thought of giving them a call to get the manual on “How To Screen A Film". I was put through to Bridget, who I then found out had organised the screening I attended. I told her about my plans, she kept asking questions and I just wanted to get the manual! We decided to meet in person, and the rest is history.

How did the idea for the film club come about?
Bridget: That's a loaded question! It came about in a round about way. Fatima and I hosted a screening of the documentary Mary and Bill at The May Fair hotel. We did it for fun, and out of our love of the film, with the intention of it being a one-off event. We even donated all of the money raised from ticket sales to the director of that film. After that event two unexpected things happened. Firstly, we kept getting asked, by people who attended, when our "next event” was. And we met two filmmakers that night who approached us about working with them to screen one of their films. Our heads filled with ideas, we started to think that perhaps we really had a good idea on our hands. We went back and met with all of the brands who had supported us from the beginning, put together a proposal, and in December 2013 we officially registered The Bright YoungThings Film Club as a company.

You're stranded on a desert island with only three films. Which do you choose?
Fatima: In The Mood for Love: For introspection. The story is magnetic and poetic and emotionally resonant; it’s visually stunning and the soundtrack is incredible.
The Goonies: For a happy ending and to make me feel good. I love those coming-of-age films from the 80's. Full of adventure, friendship, geeky characters and supernatural circumstances.
Dumb and Dumber: If I am on a desert island I need something to make me laugh and get my mind off ofthings, right? 

Bridget: A League of Their Own: It's funny, feel good and has a strong dose of feminism.
Kids: It was a seminal film when I was growing up and just never gets old.
Annie Hall: Great script, great character: a pretty perfect film.

Who is your dream Q+A subject, dead or alive?
Fatima: Tough one! If we’re talking about film, I'd choose Guillermo del Toro. There is a child’s fascination with the supernatural that infuses his early work, I find it captivating. He uses fairy-tales as powerful symbols to describe the human condition.  I’d love to ask him how he creates imaginary worlds and how living abroad changed his perspective and impacted his work.
Bridget: I'm an SNL junkie. When they get it right, I think there's no one doing political and social comedy in the same league. I would love to interview Lorne Michaels, but in the old school way where you shadow the person for a couple weeks, integrate yourself into their world, ingratiate yourself with their friends and colleagues, like Meryl Streep in Adaptation (without the hallucinogenic drugs). I would love to know how he's stayed so sharp and fresh for so many years. That's someone who knows how to reinvent the wheel. 

What's been your favourite thing about running the Film Club so far?
Bridget: The people! The people we have met and worked with. Both those who attend the events and help us at the events, our sponsors and the filmmakers, many of whom I now consider to be friends. I have always been someone who finds inspiration in others and I love meeting and surrounding myself with talented people. The film club is like a petri dish of talent. 
FatimaI agree with Bridget, it’s the people. We’ve met wonderful people and the only reason our paths have crossed is because of the film club. It’s also incredibly exciting to come across these amazing films that you just want the world to see. You’ve just finished watching one of them and you think, "OK what do we have to do to make sure people find out about itcome and see it and tell their friends." Scary, but worth it!