Women make up half of the world, and half of film audiences, but they’re shockingly under-represented behind and in front of the camera. 5 years ago, we set out to change this. Our vision was to create a more equitable and representative film industry. So, we launched Share Her Journey to amplify women filmmakers and film professionals, with a focus on mentorship, skills development, and other opportunities for emerging women creators. This summer we were thrilled to announce that we are making Share Her Journey a permanent initiative and a permanent part of TIFF’s work. This global movement is dedicated to building frameworks, empowering creators, and forging paths for women to succeed as storytellers who help shape our cultural landscape. As part of TIFF’s work in amplifying stories by and about women, we are proud to share what we’ve accomplished as part of this year’s Festival. 76 73 titles in this year’s TIFF lineup are directed, co-directed, and co-created by women, two-spirited or viviannon-binary creators 14 women have access to important talent development opportunities with TIFF Filmmaker Lab and Rising Stars, making up 50% of participants in each programme And in partnership with L’Oreal Paris and MGM, we are honoured to award Danis Goulet with the TIFF Emerging Talent Award at the annual TIFF Tribute Awards, airing this Saturday at 7 p.m. on CTV in Canada and streamed worldwide byVariety The Festival is just one part of Share Her Journey’s year-round impact and offerings. You can join the movement and support women in the film industry together at SHARE HER JOURNEY.ORG. Some of the highlights from this year have included conversations with incredible women filmmakers such as Euzhan Palcy and Tracey Deer. And now, we have another woman to add to that list: Kristen Stewart. It’s my great pleasure to introduce your host for today’s conversation: Diana Sanchez is Senior Director of Film at TIFF. She oversees the programming strategy for the Toronto International Film Festival and for TIFF Cinematheque, among other things. She and her team have put together a fantastic film programme for this year’s Festival. I look forward to her conversation with Kristen. Over to you Diana!
>> Thank you, Joanna. It is a great pleasure to introduce our special guest. Kristen Stewart is one of the most exciting actors of our time. She started working in the film industry at an early age starting alongside Jodi foster in "panic room." among many other roles. She went on as Bella twilight franchise. Since worked with celebrated film makers of our generation including Walter SALIS and Kelly Reichheart. She started in trail blazing "happiest season." this year presents newest film at the festival, Spencer. Collaboration with Pablo LARRAIN. We are so glad she can join us in celebration of share her journey. Welcome, Kristen Stewart.
>> Welcome thank you for being with us, it is a huge pleasure. I wanted to start, I love a lot of the film makers you have worked with. Kelly Reichheart. It is incredible. Diversity of roles you take on. When we are thinking of working with film makers, different P pacing, a lot of ambiguity in the roles. Not just the narratives, film makers presenting but in the roles. Clouds value teen. What attracted you to those roles, those characters. If you could talk to us about that?
>> Um, yeah, I mean I -- I love movies. And primary ones that are able to externalize inner life in ways even just talking to people doesn’t do for you. Like certain, certain conversations sometimes you get close. Always feels like you need something a little more high t heightened what it is like to have a heart and mind and body that doesn’t always connect. I am much more interested in films that reflect that inner life verses plot heavy here is what happen, let me tell you something. It is a cliche. I like movies that ask you questions verses telling you things.
>> There is a lot of the of details between big moments of dialogue, mannerisms, gestures, the way you express through sigh ENS. Personally when I saw you "into the wild," I just remember the gestures, you communicated so much through gestures. Wow, who is this actor. It was so exciting to see you. That climactic scene. How you manage silence in cinema. I think it is really impactful.
>> Thanks. Thank you. How do I do it? I don’t know watch this.
. >> There are these smaller elements of the character. How do you work through those?
>> Um, well, I am lucky. I have had a lot of time to work on sounds lame, but my craft. We, I always feel like the larger communications between us are always wordless. Every little manipulation, the way you move through the world is so defining. It is not always what you say. Even sometimes the things you say, betray, what you actually mean and sometimes sometimes the lie is truer than the truth. If you are able to decode it. I just think, as I have gotten older, easier for me to understand and feel comfortable and confident in silence, because as an actor, you are supposed to tell a story you are trying to communicate all the time. Yeah, without filling every moment kind of spoon feeding an audience. It is balancing -- I always aware of the where the camera is and want the audience to feel. If you can forget that an live in a moment that is always what sings. I am probably incredibly annoying actor to work with as a director unless we are totally in love with each other. How are you going to see this? where is the camera going to be? really great directors or people I just jive with usually are able to shut me up. Um, yeah.
>> I think what is so interesting, too about silences and close ups, you never get that close to somebody -- most people you know, you don’t have that proximity to. Having that proximity in film. You can communicate so much. And so exposed. It is pretty impactful.
>> It is strange, though, I always think about perspective. I feel like we have Zoom lenses in our brains, do you know what I mean? yes, I am further away from you now. You can choose what to focus on. I used to think it would be so great to have a lens that reflected what is in here. It is frustrating.
>> Thank you.
>> I wanted to talk about the role of Maureen in "personal shopper." love that movie. ASSAyAS is a wonderful director. You worked great together in so many ways. Talking about that collaboration, the role of Maureen that you said you didn’t approach her -- think about what she was think more of her back story. Beyond what is in the script. Was that an unusual choice for you? can you talk about why you chose with that particular character?
>> Yeah, I felt like she couldn’t really remember. She is dealing with such devastating loss. She is a twin in the movie. Smaller detail that is only mentioned once. We talk about my brother all the time. They were twins. I have never been a twin, I am not a twin. I think there is always like she lost half of herself when he died. The displaced reeling feeling, that she is having in this sort of searching she is doing because she completely lost herself. Suddenly, at sea. I didn’t really matter who she was before. Didn’t matter at all. There are, I think there are shreds, indications she is interested in art. She has a fashion job. I think I have said it. Sort of didn’t matter.
>> That makes a lot of sense. Fits in with the character.
>> Also her life is fairly normal before. Whether or not I apply details, fine. Maybe she went to school, maybe she didn’t. Doesn’t matter.
>> I love the ghostly elements not truly super natural. Just the fact she is a medium. That medium piece so interesting.
>> I know it is so weird the way she is so -- you know, she proclaims that as well. I am a medium. That is a fact? what are you talking about? I also think it is something her brother really recognized in her and had more of. She is stealing from him a little bit.
>> The melding of personalities and identity.
>> So weird to talk about a movie I did so long ago. It is tripPy.
>> And so is clouds of sills Maria having that collaboration, sounds like it was a very freeing collaboration.
>> Yeah. It is so crazy what he is able to do. I can’t in an intelligent way describe how he infewses himself into everything he does. But really wordlessly. His scripts are very concisely drawn. Siri, I am not talking to you. How many times do I have to tell you?
we didn’t have many involved conversations about what these movies meant. I think he is so interested and so excited by hearing his words come out of someone else, and like, for whatever reason we intrinsically, we are both weird wall flowery freaks that want to be revealed. He is so unbelievably intelligent. That I -- I felt so enlocked by him. So visible.
>> We are going to talk a little bit about Spencer shortly. Before we go there, I love Pablo’s work. He is a fantastic film maker. he said it was your performance in "personal shopper" that led to being cast in "Spencer." how did you connect with Pablo?
>> Um, via Iphone. He called me on the phone. At first I hadn’t read the script. He proposed this idea and doing a sort of weird tongue poem about Diana. Asked whether or not I would be interested in tackling the subject before he sent the script. Before thinking irresponsibly, I said yes, absolutely. In the way, I mean, I think my favorite kind of movies explorations and cultivating this controlled chaos is absolutely how you make these discoveries worth photographing. But it is also when you take a movie, you have to say trust me, I know I can do this. Give me the job. I did not have this for this. I could have totally -- messed it up. In the moment I was going to say in a word yes or no. Who are you if you don’t say yes? just a pussy. I didn’t want to be there. Sorry.
. I have always gotten the impression she comes out to here. She is a live wire and somebody who has this incredibly disarming casual contagious beautiful empathic warm energy that reaches out. You always feel like something is wrong. She is protecting something. This is after I said yes. She feels like you never know what is going to happen. She walks into the room, earth starts shaking. I knew there was no way to play this part perfectly and easier not to be so intimidated and daunted. Only way to capture something so wild is to be that. I could only be my version if I learned everything I could learn about her and absorb her and be both me and her. For some reason, Pablo was like I think you can do this. You are pretty smart. Here we go.
>> We are going to show clips of the performances. It is interesting. Start with the "personal shopper" interesting when Pablo speaks about you in the film. It is those silences captured and how that is where cinema begins which I think is so fascinating.
>> I love how he talks about movies so much in his accent.
>> Me, too. I have seen all his films. Tony manARO onwards. Incredible film maker. So prolific. He does one type of film and completely different. It is a great collaboration.
>> Cool, thanks.
>> Can we show the clip now.
>> She was visited to her, felt like a dream today, not. It was very real. He could smell her, see her so clearly.
>> do you believe that?
>> Yeah. I do. It is not a religion thing. I do.
>> Do you think Louis is here?
>> I don’t know. I don’t think so.
>> I feel his presence. He is here.
>> That might be your guilt talking. You don’t need to feel guilty. Laura deserves to be happy. And you do, too.
>> I would like to think so but something is stopping me.
>> I hope it has nothing to do with me.
>> No. But you also have to free yourself of Louis.
>> I wish he would let me.
>> Wherever he is, he would never forbit it. Even if he is nowhere, hold on to the memory of his freedom. Put it into practice.
>> I know what you mean.
>> Yeah, there is a whole range in this very quiet moment I just appreciate so much.
>> It is very trip PI watching that. That person was so locked. I remember being there and feeling this person’s voice is so hard to get out. It is like strangled.
>> It is interesting, when we see Spencer, such a range there that we get to see. So speaking a bit about lady DI Diana, did you have a strong perception before you started the role? obviously the way you approach it, deep going into a psychological study, almost. From the beginning, can you tell us about that difference how you went into the project and what you discovered about lady Diana?
>> Um, yeah, no. My whole relationship with the royal family as a sort of entity in her being sort of marketedly detached. I was really young when she died. I always knew she was different. I didn’t know much about anything. And um, I mean my initial feelings she was incredibly attractive, cool. She seems like a lovely person. Seems basic but, I don’t know. She to me feels like such an odd mixture of things that don’t necessarily go together at all and are confusing. That is why it made for a compelling story not just the movie but in life. She is somebody who reaches out and I think feels, you feel her craving nature so palably. She wants to feel connected and accompanieded yet she is the most isolated and difficult to relate to. Nobody could know what it could feel like to have that job and those relationships we think we know. But can’t know it from the inside. No one can except for the people that really lived it. Strongest impressions that I got of her were as a mother. It was the only thing in her life that felt sure. She wanted to feel unconditional. Her strength and power and Ferrell, unstoppable, force of nature came out when she was with her kids. She wasn’t very good at protecting herself but very good at protecting them. That is just as an outsider looking. This weird mix of hunger and starvation. She is someone to me in interviews exceptionally manipulative. She has been backed into the corner and bearing her teeth and also opening herself up so completely. She wears her heart on her sleeves like no other. I feel like she can’t eyed anything. Yet we don’t know anything about her. She is someone you lean in towards. That was something she was talented at, born with.
>> That is why this script is so fascinating. Almost like a fairy tale in reverse. there is a lot of like surreal moments in the film. Did that approach -- I guess that made it easier to not really focus on the facts that nobody has. Did that way of telling the story, how did you find that appealing?
>> The subjective internal nature of it?
>> Also going into this you know, fairy tale. Negative fairy tale story. Feels like we are able to tell more than just her story. It is steeped in oppression. It is an interesting way of showing things have been going kind of the same way for a very, very long time. breaking the cycle is beyond just her and her immediate family. It is a historical liberation and something for her a legacy. She had a really powerful and impactful thing to say with that large decision she made. It is courageous and obviously, self-sacrificing in a way that I think is so hard. I can’t even imagine. It would suck.
. Yeah, I love also that the movie is definitely, maybe I have said this. I have done a few interviews today. I hope I am not repeating myself. It is like we can imagine and dream and sort of right poetry about how she makes us feel in trying to get closer to her in how she felt. She provides this incredibly lush and complicated terrain to make art about. She is somebody who is so inspiring and changed the world. And I have been asked a lot about whether or not it is cool to try to tell someone’s story when they are not around. Somebody was already invaded and taken from. I think because we really don’t profess to know anything or present any new information her whole sort of life force mission statement thing was we need to come together. And find connection. The fact she has inspired so much of that still, we can’t stop talking about her. My hope is because we made it so personal, you know, just that whatever we are not TRAPSing on something, we don’t feel advantageous.
>> Does feel very respectful. The parts where you are with the kids are so beautiful. I think that you really managed to elicit that difference, that total protection she had over her children. We are going to go to a clip in a second. It details that. Let’s do that first then we’ll continue chatting. Can we go to the Spencer clip please?
>> Mommy, why do we have to open our presents on Christmas eve? why not Christmas day like anyone else?
>> You know at school you do tenses, past, present, future. There is no tense, past and present are the same thing.
>> Daddy told Harry it is because father Christmas kings and queens, we get the best presents.
>> Thank you true.
>> Still believes it.
>> Actually that was my fabrication.
>> Daddy did confirm it.
>> If daddy confirmed it, it must be true.
>> You two are both going to get coal for Christmas.
>> Can we go to the house where you used to live?
>> Boarded up. It is dangerous, you know. Those voices.
>> Did Granny order that?
>> The others are waiting.
>> So much happens in that short amount of time. So much communicated. How did you work with the kids how did you and Pablo, scenes are natural. There is one you are playing a game I loveed in middle of the night with the circle. Feels authentic. Very warm. There is such a warmth. How did you work together to make that happen so naturally?
>> Got really lucky. I really liked them. Not only were they incredibly smart, cool, funny and sweet, I don’t know. They really opened themselves up to this experience in a beautiful way. I was scared about a couple of things. Obviously accent is daunting. Technically, if you have time, you can learn anything. If someone taught me how to do a really beautiful incredible dialect coach who is more then that, an artist and another set of eyes. Accent is going to be hard, I can’t make the kids have -- like me. They just have to do it. I can’t control them. I can control everything else. This was the one real wild card. That is why it is the coolest for me, the three of them together. We just, I don’t know. We just they were great actors. They were really nice kids. There is one scene in the movie. Candle lit scene fairly underwritten. We had a template to work off. Primarily we did go off book and just play this game together. Actually remarkably these kids knew a lot. They are English. They grew up in this culture very aware of the royal family. There are certain lines both of them through in that were from any adult person that was being in a movie trying to play a character would feel so on the nose. It was so genuine from these kids.
At one point Harry goes: William do you want to be king one day? do you think they sit around and talk about this maybe they do. They must at some point. It was cool following them I guess there is no better answer. We got very lucky they were beautiful little guys.
>> It is really they are my favorite parts of the film. When you see that side of her so beautiful. All right. We are moving over to audience questions I am getting here in the chat. The last time you were at TIFF you were at seaburg whose privacy also compromised a lot. Interesting to play a woman in these situations in history, was that something important to you to also discuss or portray?
>> For both of these so satisfying to take somebody who felt so muzzled and give them a platform and obviously it is imaginative version. What a cool fantasy. Just sort of like voiceless people finding some where to scream is really satisfying. So yeah, I -- yeah. I think we are entering this really awesome territory right now obviously this has been covered and been articulated in more beautiful ways then this. I think that I can’t wait to start seeing the movies -- luckily, I have just had certain stories brought to me that feel quite poignant. Those two did feel good to sort of, I don’t know retro actively liberate these people.
>> Yeah, give them a voice.
>> I agree.
>> I too am really excited for woman film makers what is coming down the pipeline. I feel like it is very exciting. We are going to go to audience questions, we have eight minutes before -- this is from Ashley: The way you talk about your love of film is magnetic. It is clear you love the process of film making and something you are equally passionate about. Anything new you discovered through working with Pablo that shifted your perception of film making?
>> Shooting on film. I have always romanticized it and recognized the grain and tone -- I have had many DP’s say they can accomplish that digitally. HAB that is true and can do side by sides. Making the movie you can. You stand at attention when you hear film rolling through a camera. You can always hear that little -- I think everyone kind of hops to, it is now. The time is right now. Also we shot a lot of the movie on 16 which is fickle and constantly hairs in the gates. There are things you are missing and losing. But that means what you catch is gold compared to let’s roll for an hour and see if we can get the kid to cry. It is not as magical. And, I guess Pablo, he just hates a lazy person more than anything. I don’t want to say hates. He has mad contention for people who are not workers. Sometimes you have to be humane and not destroy your crew and not take advantage of people and performers and artists. If it is coming from a right place you can drive someone into the ground and they like it. That is as somebody with ambitions to make movies, I was like, really, really kind of revived by and blown away by his commitment. There is no other way to say it. Sounds obvious you need to have commitment and vision. His commitment to his vision so particular and so weird was Ferrell. It was very cool. Those are the only types of people who should be making movies. Yep.
>> Thank you.
>> We have a question from Alanna. What extent do you think your physical transformation and helped you embody Diana’s spirit? um, well, she is much taller than me. I think her struggle with food and her relationship to her own body was really self-diminishing. But at the same time, when she needed to feel herself she felt so powerful. And so, I really wanted -- this is embarrassing. I really wanted to sometimes hold myself together when nobody else would physically. That is a part of our story we never wanted to fully articulate. Royal family doesn’t hug. To say that is on the nose. There were times I said hold yourself. That broadcast that aspect of the story. Physical. She is an odd combination of things. She has this beautiful floaty and quite angular and jets. I mean in a theoretical way. She is bracing. Everything about her is always holding, holding, holding. So in the moments we could release her, felt incredible.
>> You worked really closely with the cinemaTOGRAPHER. You talked about shooting on film and creating this vulnerable character. How you worked with the cinemaing to FER to elicit a lot of that.
>> Claire is a genius. It is she is a woman of very few words. I don’t think it is because I don’t speak French. She is so watchful. She is not thinking about what she is putting out when she is working. the room and she could get there before me. So aware of what it takes to look at someone. Some people are very caught up in you know, their own stuff composition, lighting. What they want you to do verses what you are going to throw at them. And she is also a really lovely person. I think we all, me and Pablo and Claire and my coach, William was a huge part of this animal. We all felt so connected. I feel you know, I am an actor. I was cast to play her. They all could have played her. Pablo would be the best Diana. Not quite the right look. But I felt like we all held this thing together so equally. And that I could just, I don’t know. I have never been given so much freedom and reverence. I felt so much love from all of them. Claire especially. She doesn’t say much. I felt so accompanied by her when I was at my lowest points. She was alone! I was not. I had people holding me. In the moments where I really felt like I needed to go to the lowest, I had a safety net to do so. When you feel bad, you put walls up and start protecting yourself. What happens you are not able to cry. You are not able to feel. When you are scared and when you feel like truly actually lonely. So yeah.
>> No, it is a wonderful film, Kristen. I want to thank you for sharing with us today very much looking forward. It is going to show first time in Toronto. So it is the first screening is this evening. Looking forward to your other films you directing. This is very exciting.
>> Thank you so much. Thank you very, very, very, much.
>> Thank you, Diana. Thank you. Thank you so much.
>> Yeah, thanks, guys, appreciate it.
>> Have a good flight.