“The Girl Who Cannot Speak,” a documentary with local connections, will have its premiere today at the prestigious Festival de Cannes.
But film editor Krysia Carter-Giez, who lives in Carbondale, cannot attend the event.
“Sadly, no, I can’t be there. I just moved house, and it was impossible for me to go,” Carter-Giez said Thursday.
The 21-minute film follows five women’s true stories of sexual abuse. It includes women from different countries, ages and walks of life. The title character of “The Girl Who Cannot Speak” is one of the victims, 15-year-old Charlotte, who embodies a thread to each woman’s story: She never speaks.
“It is, of course, a tremendous honor to have this documentary at the Cannes Film Festival and gives important visibility to the ongoing issue of sexual abuse and sexual predation,” Carter-Giez said. “We the filmmakers used our talents to bring the film to this point. The real victors are the women in the film who tell their stories and hopefully give courage to every girl in the world that cannot speak.”
The documentary — one of 45 films (out of 1,815) chosen by the festival’s Coup de Coeur jury — was directed by Stefano Da Fre and Laura Pellegrini of Rosso Films International. Da Fre, who has gained much attention for his acting, is a frequent visitor to the Roaring Fork Valley. He worked with Carter-Giez on “Tu Me Manques” (translated: you are missing from me), which screened last year at Cannes, winning third place in the Short Feature category. It also won a first-place award at the Silk Road International Film Festival in Dublin earlier this year and was overall winner of the 2017 International Film Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Tu Me Manques” was shown at the Wheeler Opera House last year, not in the big theater but in an intimate lobby setting. Carter-Giez hopes a Roaring Fork Valley screening of “The Girl Who Cannot Speak” can be arranged later this year when Da Fre and Pellegrini visit and work with her. Currently, the three filmmakers are involved in a full-length feature film about a blind painter. It has a working title, “La Reve Secret” (translated: the secret dream), and filming has been underway in New York City.
For the last three years, Carter-Giez has been filming and producing videos for Huts for Vets, a Basalt-based nonprofit that brings veterans and active-duty soldiers into the Colorado wilderness to share nature, camaraderie and healing.
“It's always been important to me to help shine the spotlight on important social, human or environmental issues through my work,” she said.
As for “The Girl Who Cannot Speak,” Carter-Giez notes that the film’s five subjects, at one time or another, had all received assistance from the same women’s shelter in New York, either by contacting the facility or actually living there.
Filming took place in November. “The concept was really in the works about three years ago … well before the whole #MeToo movement rose up,” she said.
In this instance, Carter-Giez’s work as film editor began after the shooting was finished. On some projects, she likes to be at the shooting location, because she’s able to provide key advice that will improve the final product.
“I’m hoping to out in New York in July, for the remaining filming on ‘La Reve Secret.’ I like to be there, to be connected with the project, and as a film editor I can point out some extra things that I might need on the film set (to improve the final edit).”
Shooting is difficult in New York because of the noise, she said. “I like to be sure that I’m going to get all of the sound that I need for editing,” she added.
Carter-Giez, a native of the United Kingdom, is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker who has worked as an editor for the BBC and numerous broadcast and independent film companies. In the United States, she has edited documentaries and series for PBS, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and National Geographic.
She is not the only area resident involved in “The Girl Who Cannot Speak.” Post-production sound was handled by Dave Taylor of Cool Brick Studios in Carbondale.