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Ruth Mader: "Women don't participate in my film for being one, but for their high professionalism"

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Austrian director Ruth Mader presented Life Guidance, competing in the 55FICX Official Section
Life Guidance is the second fiction feature film by Mader, who had already been to Gijón with her debut Struggle (2003). "I wanted to do another film first, about a Catholic boarding school for girls, but I couldn't find financing".

Fourteen years after her debut, a raw approach to the life conditions of the strawberry seasonal workers, the Austrian is once again exploring the least amicable face of capitalism. To achieve the visual of this dystopian tale about a heartless society, Mader focused in classics like George Orwell's 1984 and Kubrick's imaginary in A clockwork orange.

In contrast with the rough visual line of her first film, here she chose to frame her characters in a rigorous planning. "We started to rehearse two weeks before with the actors", at the same time she took special care of the costume design and the setting to achieve the desired effect. Life Guidance bets on the absence of electronic devices for the narrative, looking for a timeless feeling "because otherwise the movie would have been obsolete soon enough". She worked on that setting using photography with her operator Kristine A. Maier. "The orange tones had an aggressive component, but also kind, like the film itself", she explained.

Meder is one of the female presences in the 55FICX competitive sections, with a 40% female presence. Although she declared she was "against percentages", and indicated that in her team "women don't participate for being one, but for their high professionalism". She considers that in Austria "it's not hard to get financing" for her projects, but cinema "is increasingly repressed by television". Now she's thinking about going back to the unfinished project before Life Guidance".

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2017