Film / Interviews

Jessica Hinkson & Laura Nordin breakdown their inspiration for JOEY

07 November 2020 / by Adriana Fiorante (author)
Joey holding a conversation in the woods (photo: Filmcoop & Clique Pictures)
Joey holding a conversation in the woods / (photo: Filmcoop & Clique Pictures)

Joey marks the second collaboration between co-director/writer Jessica Hinkson and co-director/producer Laura Nordin, this time on a funny and sharp short film about a woman to be wed, suddenly lost in life. They began shooting on a frozen day with a group dance while a quiet and easy set ushered in a calm and collaborative workspace. 


Adriana Fiorante: What was the inspiration for the film?

Jessica Hinkson: The inspiration is based loosely off my health experience over the last five years. In 2015, I had found a lump in my breast. And I waited seven or eight months to go to the doctor, I was at the cancer center a week later, and then spent the next three weeks getting tests. I remember standing leaving Princess Margaret standing on University Avenue and it was one of those really gorgeous late summer days where the sun is bouncing off of the buildings and it just looks really beautiful and I think because I was so present, everything was elevated in beauty.

I just remember, allowing myself to be emotional for the first time and acknowledge that something was not right. I wasn't going to get out of this for free. The similarity and the inspiration come from that - is this where Joey really wants to be in her life? Do I stay and do everything that is against what I think I should be doing? It's always scarier to listen to ourselves and follow our hearts and intuition as opposed to doing what we think is being good.


Fiorante: What drew you towards a comedic approach?

Hinkson: Comedy is largely how I cope; I think how so many of us do. Comedy can really allow you to have an amazing cry if you need to, you can laugh so hard you start crying or maybe you’re crying because it’s true. 


Joey ridding around in a toy car

Joey ridding around in a toy car | Courtesy: Filmcoop & Clique Pictures

Fiorante: What are the major themes?

Laura Nordin: Following your truth, rather than what you think you should do. Letting go of control, you don't know what the right choice is. There's no right choice. There's just a choice.

Hinkson: There's the fear around that and it comes back to being a good person and doing the good thing but really the disservice that you do by not listening to and the repercussions are way worse, as opposed to being authentic and being accountable and following through with what you really want.


Fiorante: How can Joey relate to a younger audience?

Hinkson: Joey is relatable in the sense of ‘You don't have to do what society tells you that you have to do.’ It's so easy to stand on your own to stand your ground, be your own person, however you present. The most important thing you can do is choose yourself, that’s the most valuable gift you can give yourself. That’s self-worth. It's relatable in that it's just a fun quirky wild ride. And 2020 has been surreal. If it hasn't been surreal before, if you haven't had a health journey, we certainly are in that place now.


Fiorante: What is it like being a female filmmaker today?

Nordin: We have come a long way. Right now, we're in a period of growth. New roots have been planted and those roots are now growing and moving and opening eyes and doors and inspiring movement from everyone from all walks of life. As women filmmakers that's all we've wanted - to be equal.


This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 


The author

Adriana Fiorante

Thrice the comedian, twice the cinephile, once the journalist. @dickraspberry

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