Interview with writer, director, and producer Mark Datuin

Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Mark Datuin. We met through several acquaintances. He may not know this, but I was honoured to meet him. His friends speak very highly of his skill set as a writer, director, producer, singer, and much more. I decided to take it upon myself to see if he would like to have a quick conversation.


1. When did you know you wanted to be in the film industry? How did you start in the business?

I got into filmmaking by accident. Before I was a screenwriter I was a songwriter and music composer. Eight years ago I decided to try my hand in screenwriting, gathering some close friends to film a YouTube video. The project turned out to be a bigger deal than originally intended and there I was on Day 1, directing a film with absolutely no idea what I was doing. It was that experience, and the realization that it’s possible to love what you do, that pushed me to become a better filmmaker.

2. Do you film a particular genre or have you tried different genres?

Most of my work is grounded in dark comedy and dysfunctional domestic drama. I have however produced a horror film and a musical stage production which we toured across the country.

3. You had your French-language directorial debut in 2016. Can you tell us about this project?

The film was called Pardonnez-moi Mon Père (Forgive Me Father) and started off as an experiment when a good friend whispered in my ear that my writing reminds him of European cinema. I was up for the challenge of writing and directing a film in a foreign language, particularly French, and keeping the story raw. The film, focusing on a dysfunctional family, ended up being a festival success, winning multiple awards globally, and being one of my personal favorites.

4. Do you have any future productions planned?

At MAD Resilience Films, we are constantly working on film and theatre projects, about 3-6 per year. We have 4 films that are fresh off post-production, including “Limited”, “Oksana and Viktor”, “Mug”, and “Far From Exceptional”. I am currently writing my first feature.

5. Just for fun. Tell us about a hidden talent that you possess?

Hmmm, I don’t really play sports, but I grew up playing baseball and I’m pretty good at it. I also play chess.

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Jovin Tardif
Jovin Tardif is a freelance writer, storyteller, interviewer, reviewer and conversation starter.