Hot off our recent Fuse feature on local women in filmmaking, we had the opportunity to chat with filmmaker Mattea Pyette about her new film, Kalopsia, and its debut screening at Good Sport this Saturday night.

Behind the Camera

Currently, Pyette studies English and Film Studies at Western. She has produced her own short video content since childhood, but it was tuning into the Independent Spirit Awards last March that sparked her to try for a longer scripted film.

“People were saying that everyone has a story inside of them,” she said. “I remember Timothée Chalamet saying in his speech that people are gonna keep making independent movies because you’re always gonna need independent movies. I felt really inspired after that.”

A production still from Kalopsia. Image provided by Mattea Pyette.

Following the awards, Pyette returned to a story she had written in her last year of high school. She retooled and rewrote the outline into the Kalopsia screenplay.

“The story kind of stuck out to me because it was relevant to my life now just as much as it would have been in high school. I think it had a bit more lasting power,” she said.

What’s the Story?

Kalopsia is about Milo and Frankie, a brother and sister duo, as they navigate turning points in their lives. Frankie is trying to save up for the trip of a lifetime, while Milo is contemplating telling his longtime crush how he feels.

“The big theme to the story is being a dreamer, and having this optimistic view on life,” Pyette said about the film’s core. “At the heart it’s a story about a brother and sister bond, and just how things you go through and your childhood together make you closer and stronger together.”

Nick Pyette and Natasha Hustry play brother and sister Milo and Frankie in Kalopsia. Image provided by Mattea Pyette.

The plot of Kalopsia has some personal significance for Pyette that played into the decision to revisit her original story.

“I’m kind of connected to the Frankie character. The kind of trouble she gets herself into is the kind of stuff that I used to do in high school,” Payette said. “Then there’s the whole brother-sister element. I have two brothers, and I have a really close relationship with both of them.”

“It still felt like a good story to me because it still made me feel like this is something that can last.”

Making Kalopsia

It was a DIY, collaborative process that brought Kalopsia to life. Family and friends helped Pyette with funding, and she called on friends to act in the film.

A production still from Kalopsia. Image provided by Mattea Pyette.

Kalopsia was shot over the summer of 2018. Pyette credits her crew, including cinematographers David Estanol and Felix Mux Wahl, with helping her learn filmmaking processes on-set.

What surprised Pyette about producing a short? “Genuinely, it was how many moving parts there are,” she said. “A lot goes into doing it, I think especially when you’re on such a small scale.”

Well-Versed in the Arts

Kalopsia is not the only project that Mattea Pyette will be debuting Saturday night. The multi-talented artist is also debuting her poetry book, Vineyard Crimes. The volume contains roughly 40 poems. Pyette has carefully culled the selection from hundreds of poems she has written within the last few years. Similarly to Kalopsia, Vineyard Crimes is based on an emotionally resonant theme.

“It’s definitely like a volume of love poems, whether that be self love, the hateful side of love, the addictive side of love,” Pyette shared. “It’s not all about a person. It’s about love for other things, and how love can have a negative side to it as well.”

So, how does it feel to be simultaneously debuting a short film and a poetry book? “I haven’t really taken time to think about it too much,” Pyette said. “I think if I think about it too much, I’ll get a little freaked out.”

The Sophomore Film

What comes next after the big night? Although Pyette has not currently written anything along the scope of a longer narrative like Kalopsia, she is planning to take on some shorter works. Certainly, it seems that between her wealth of writing material and nearly lifelong fascination with video, Kalopsia is not the only film we’ll be seeing from Mattea Pyette.

“I always have little little ideas floating around.”

Check out the debut screening of Kalopsia on Saturday, May 11 at Good Sport. Doors open at 8:30, and the screening begins at 9:30. Admission is free.



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