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Interview With Lilia Le Dieu Director & Producer of the Film Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs won Best Cinematographer Award in the 9th Season of MP Film Award Lilia Le Dieu Director & Producer of the Film Breadcrumbs agree to interview with us.

Lilia Le Dieu

Lilia is a successful independent movie producer from Belarus. Since 2018 she has lived and worked in Los Angeles, where she was involved in numerous film productions that varied in scope and genre. There she went to a film school, for a master’s degree in Film & Media Production. Her projects have collected more than sixty official festival selections in total and have attached such other prolific filmmakers, such as John Morrissey (actor, producer of “American History X”), Andrey Dergachev (top Russian composer and sound editor), and many more. In Spring 2021 Lilia has wrapped shooting of a feature drama “Borderline Mind”, in association with Kalesnikau Productions, and it is currently in post. She is also working on raising finance for “Breadcrumbs” feature along with Konstantin Frolov, LA-based producer.

Poster Breadcrumbs

About The Film: Synopsis: Breadcrumbs Film Synopsis:

C., a needy man, knocks on a stranger’s door hoping to get some bread for his starving kids. P., a lonely and reserved man, opens the door, and they engage in a long conversation about altruism and good deeds. C. confidently says that people help others for selfish reasons, and in order to prove him wrong, P. generously shares his last loaf of bread with C. The next day P. enters the elevator with a neighbor and sees the note: “Recently I came and knocked on every door in this building to get some food and no one has helped me”. Infuriated and filled with confusion, P. removes the note and pays a visit to C. home to find out why he’s been so ungrateful by spreading obvious lies.


What was your drive behind making this film?

Behind the scene of Breadcrumbs

Lilia Le Dieu: When Konstantin Pivovar, a writer and director, has shared this script with me, I was immediately hooked. The themes that “Breadcrumbs” covers hit very close to home and felt relevant for the times we live in. I often thought about individual’s motives to be good and contribute to the society. I’ve seen that there was something off about performative kindness and I had a strong distaste towards it. At the same time I believed that it didn’t matter, why people helped, as long as they did. All these questions are raised in “Breadcrumbs”, and it was important for me to produce work that can leave the audience with their own interpretation and spark conversations long after they finish watching the movie. We really wanted to stay away from cliches and conventional text-book storytelling, it was important for us to make a realistic, unique movie that will stand the test of time.

How you feel when you are awarded with the MP FILM AWARD Award?

Lilia Le Dieu: It was a great honor for us to receive this award and have the film screened in front of so many people. Always a great pleasure to be a part of film festivals that allow new creative voices to be heard and seen.

Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?

Behind the Scene of Breadcrumbs

Lilia Le Dieu: The greatest moment was to see the actors, Patrick Merveille and Mike Ossedryver, giving us a performance that completely turned writer’s words on paper into a real, believable story. Casting process was extremely long and daunting, as the script was quite complicated and filled with dialogue. We knew that it took an exceptional talent to pull off these characters and kept looking. We held several auditions and have locked our actors last minute, which gave us barely any time for rehearsals. Patrick is a NY-based actor and flew over to LA for four days to rehearse and shoot. Working with our actors was an unbelievably rewarding experience that made everything else run wonderfully. When we were in the editing room and all the takes were so good, director didn’t even know what to cut out. This is how you know that the main task is completed, and the rest falls right into places.

How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?

Lilia Le Dieu: I’d say we were very rigorous - a lot of time and thought goes into finessing the script, and by the time we stepped on set, we knew how every line should be delivered exactly. Every action, sequence and sentence was kept, and not a lot of it was cut out during editing stage.

Where there any onset problems during the filming of the film & how did you deal with it?

Behind the Scene of Breadcrumbs

Lilia Le Dieu: We actually had a reshoot: “Breadcrumbs” was basically made in its entirety twice. During the first shoot, a huge earthquake has happened and disrupted our set. We were filming in an apartment complex DTLA, and suddenly the floor moved. We had to quickly go outside for like 10 minutes. It was scary and definitely brought some stress. During the reshoot, things went smoothly but some of the problems were mainly due to time, as we shot 18 pages wishing two days. So, as it often happens, we had to sacrifice some takes and make sure we nail everything from the first try. Things also often go unpredictable, and I had my share of on-set anxiety, for sure!

Do you have any advice for young filmmaker out there? Or like yourself?

Lilia Le Dieu: If I had to give one advice – be careful who you work with, as some first-time filmmakers have to hire their friends and family, or volunteers for their crew members, and I do believe that it can often harm your project. Sometimes extra hands aren’t a help, but a burden. Surround yourself with people that have good motivation and intentions. On low-budget shoots you can often attach students that are willing to learn, but depending on their job position, do not rely on them too much. Be realistic about your expectations from your crew, especially if you do not pay them a lot. You can’t do it all alone, but you also can do it with a minimal crew, as long as they know what they’re doing and do it well.

Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

Lilia Le Dieu: It depends on where you’re from. For me and many other international filmmakers, it would be hard to start out in the US filmmaking industry without a film school and network it provides. I cannot say that the knowledge and practice I’ve received in film school was essentially worth the cost, but attending it was a great shortcut to catapult and gain a foothold in the production world. In my case, all the things that have helped me to gain some success weren't coming from a film school, I genuinely believe that you can make it without an education in film and media.

Which film has inspired you the most?

Lilia Le Dieu: I really like “The Theory of Everything”, a 2014 autobiographical drama about Stephen Hawking. This film inspired me both to be a better person and filmmaker. It has everything a great film should have: well-developed thoughtful story, extraordinary acting and cinematography. There aren’t many movies that leave so many emotions afterwards, and this film reaches the depth of your heart and soul. When I watch it, I feel like I am capable of anything, because a) Stephen Hawking could, b) James Marsh (director) spent a decade working on this project and it turned out to be legendary.

Which particular filmmaker has influenced you the most?

Lilia Le Dieu: Matthew Weiner, a creator of “Mad Men”, and writer on “Sopranos”, was one of the coolest people I’ve ever heard speaking. He is extremely smart, talented and passionate about his work. “Mad Men” is one of the best television series, and Matthew has written characters that are real, multi-dimensional and relatable in many angles. I’ve watched a lot of interviews he’s given and he strikes me as a direct, honest and unique filmmaker. He knows what he’s doing and he’s not afraid to push the envelope. It would be a dream to work with him or get somehow close to the uniqueness of his ideas.

Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?

Lilia Le Dieu: “Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand is the book that needs to be produced into series, for sure. It would be a huge challenge, given the complexity and nature of this book, but definitely doable. I’d love to work on a story like this, as I feel very strongly about the topic of individuality and artistry.

If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes will you opt for?

Lilia Le Dieu: I think that everything is for the better, and it’s pointless to dwell on regrets. If I could change something in “Breadcrumbs”, I’d probably add more budget to production design and make the spaces look closer to initial creative vision. In “My Train Leaves Tomorrow at 7 O’Clock” I’d change some of the wardrobe on a main character for a better color palette (her coat was blending with the set dressing too much).

If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?

Lilia Le Dieu: I am very happy with the result, and all the cons we had, turned into pros or weren’t that obvious. I wish we had more time, rehearsals and takes.

What is your greatest achievement till date?

Lilia Le Dieu:“Breadcrumbs” is my greatest achievement. I love all the projects I work on, but this one exceeded our own expectations, leaving us with feelings of pride and closure. This film covers a lot of different themes at once and is a fountain of topics for discussions. I really want to expand the story by producing a feature film with the same actors. “Breadcrumbs” was very wellreceived by the critics and film festivals, collecting twelve awards in various categories, including “Best Actor” for Patrick Merveille’s outstanding performance.

How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?

Lilia Le Dieu: There’s no “failed film” in my vocabulary, only “failed shoot”, meaning that many things can go not according to the plan, but in the end you learn a lot of lessons and pick them up for the next project. Move on. I’ve had moments when I felt terrible, because of decisions I’ve made that turned out to be wrong. But I realized that beating myself up and focusing on negatives gets me nowhere, especially when so many things actually worked wonders. I try to be objective about ups and downs and make sure I do not repeat the same mistake twice.

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