Versailles-born Céline Abbache began writing poetry in her early twenties. Through a passion for film and a love of acting she later turned her attention to screenplay, using her writing as a way to illustrate modern society. Earlier this year Céline entered a competition to produce a screenplay for ‘Femmes et Cinema’1, the theme of which was to give a positive representation of women at work.
In the bustling terrace of a popular Parisian café we catch up with Céline to discuss her work, inspiration and the portrayal of modern women in film.
In short, what is the basic synopsis of your screenplay?
My screenplay is about a recently divorced housewife who decides to work in a supermarket despite her children’s disapproval, especially her ambitious daughter.
This short film is about sacrifice, freedom, motherhood, moving on with your life as you get older and the difficulty of managing a career and children.
What drew you to these particular themes?
The fact that housewives are seen negatively nowadays. A modern women has to work. It is seen as a weakness and non-feminist to prioritise your family and not your job.
Housewives give their lives to their families and they even enjoy looking after their children, it is a real sacrifice to put your life on hold.
Through the character of the daughter, I wanted to illustrate the difficulty to manage a career and having children.
Did you wish for your screenplay to put across a particular message or do you write to illustrate modern society?
I wanted to illustrate modern society because older women starting new careers are not often seen in films.
I feel this is what my cinema should be about: real life, dreams and laughter.
Are you fond of film? What films have you found the most inspiring?
Yes, I am a fan of mostly independent films. So many, many films! One of the films that really moved me recently was Mustang. It was moving yet funny and spoke about an issue that most women in the world can relate to: their emancipation. I am fascinated by the complexity of human relationships.
I have seen a new screenplay competition that I want to apply for, so I need to find a new subject!
I am also working on a piece about being a father.
1 ‘Femmes et Cinemas’ is an association that was set up by Stephanie Douet and Sandrine Pillon and seeks to promote women through film and television. The competition was posted on ‘Comment Faire un Film’.