Vincent René-Lortie (‘Invincible’ director) on his 1st Oscar nomination: ‘We cried, we screamed, we jumped into each other’s arms’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

It didn’t take long for Vincent René-Lortie earn his first Oscar nomination. The Canadian writer and director’s first narrative film, “Invincible,” is nominated for Best Live Action Short at the 96th Academy Awards. A video posted on YouTube shows René-Lortie and his team reacting to the nominations announcement. In an exclusive video interview with Gold Derby (watch above), René-Lortie recalls that joyous moment. “I’m not gonna lie — first I don’t think we were really expecting it,” he says. “We cried, we screamed, we jumped into each other’s arms. That video was probably 15 minutes longer. We just cut it to like 30 seconds.”

“Invincible” follows Marc (Léokim Beaubier-Lépine), a troubled teen whose quick temper and impulsive behavior has landed him in a juvenile detention facility. The film, which is based on the experiences of a young man René-Lortie knew, invites viewers inside Marc’s mind and surroundings, revealing the complex problems surrounding mental health and its treatment.

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Because the film is based on someone from René-Lortie’s own past, the director had to grapple with balancing his emotions with his responsibilities as a filmmaker. “I needed to work on the film for almost five or six years, so if I was so emotionally involved in the film, that would have been a very hard five or six years,” he explains. It wasn’t until the film screened that René-Lortie allowed his emotions to emerge. “The emotion and the grief came back at the first screening of the film in front of family and friends,” he says. “From that point, it became a beautiful journey of screening it around the world, and meanwhile going through all these stages of emotion where I felt finally that I could maybe understand a little bit more about my friend.”

René-Lortie says that attending the Oscars is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. “I watched the Oscars almost every year and it becomes like a far away dream,” he recalls, referring to both the event itself and to the filmmakers that inspired him. “Just the idea that we’re going there is both a childhood dream, but it’s also a little bit intimidating.” However, René-Lortie says that he is doing his best to experience things with a healthy perspective. “I want to enjoy it. I want to have fun,” he says. “I think this whole thing is also a bit stressful, but I don’t want to have too much stress on my shoulders. I just want to have fun and see how this goes.”

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