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Made Here

Quebec film features five fiber artists from across North America showcasing technique and tradition

Across North America, five artisans weave the meshes of a female story.

Interwoven, the latest Made Here documentary film premiere is from Quebec filmmaker Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux. It features five Innu, Franco-Québécois and Zapotec artisans conversing about their work. From their techniques, objects and textile traditions, intersecting stories emerge.

Filmmaker Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux answered questions via email with Vermont Public's Eric Ford. This interview has been lightly copy edited.

Eric Ford: What made you decide to create the film?

Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux: In my family, textile techniques have been passed down by women for generations. Our mothers taught us how to sew, and our grandmothers left us their knowledge, their materials and their stories. This feminine tradition is part of a dynamic of transmission and affirmation of identity. The gloves we knit and the patterns we choose reflect where we come from and the customs that shape our culture.

During my studies in Mexico and my stays in Innu territory in Canada, I understood that, between these techniques, traditions, experiences and stories, which come from many parts of the world, there are links and resonances. Then I asked myself, how does textile work contribute to the condition of women? Where do these techniques that everyone seems to share without knowing each other come from? In this common experience, what unites us and what differentiates us?

Eric Ford: What were some interesting things you learned while making Interwoven?

Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux: There are a lot of textile techniques, traditions, and history that I learned while I was doing this project! Travelling in different locations, meeting all the collaborators, and even spending precious time with my own family was really enriching.

Also, I started the project with a focus on documentary collaboration. I wanted people in front and behind the camera to be part of the decision process. I worked with local people to develop the idea and contacts in different locations. It was a slow process, but we were able to develop a methodology of creation by filming, editing and validating all the footage over different locations with the people involved. Watching the footage after every shooting allowed people to directly comment on the images, and so to create a dialogue with women from another space. This experience definitely made me grow as a filmmaker.

Eric Ford: What is a takeaway you hope people will have after seeing the film?

Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux: I hope that the audience can get to know a bit of those wonderful and strong women who make up our society. I wanted this film to reflect identity and otherness from a feminine and everyday point of view. I hope the film highlights feminine expression and artisanal techniques, but also the oral expression in indigenous languages. The short film contains four languages and was completely translated in four languages. I deeply hope the audience can connect with those women, even if they are not coming from their land, and take part in this intercultural correspondence with an open and curious mind.

Eric Ford: What has happened in your journey as a filmmaker after Interwoven?

Ariel St-Louis Lamoureux: After this short film, I had the chance to direct the documentary web series Matrimoine (2021), which presents seven young women and their grandmothers discussing the condition of women throughout the ages. Their conversations take place at home, and go from the anecdotal to the historical, from the personal to the social, the struggles and choices they went through. As in Interwoven, Matrimoine also talks about feminine transmission!

For the last two years, I've been working on a feature film script, which mixes documentary and fiction, and addresses the majority presence of Canadian mining companies in Mexico. In this project, I wonder how far we are willing to go for development? And to what extent does the wealth of some depend on the exploitation of others?

"Interwoven" premieres on Vermont Public's main TV channel 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 and is available now on demand.

As Director of Content Partnership, Eric works with individuals and organizations to make connections leading to more Vermont stories. As Producer of the Made Here series, Eric partners with filmmakers from New England and Quebec to broadcast and stream local films. Find more info here: