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The character of Audrey Benac was invented for Deragh to act as a stand-in for Sofia in the documentary territory of her real-life family. And Audrey became this sleuth that could be deployed into Sofia’s films as a way of navigating the material of Sofia’s family history. And we started to wonder who Audrey was. In MS Slavic 7, Audrey performs monologues to camera, describing her encounters with letters between two Polish poets. The monologues are composed from three notebooks: notes that Sofia took when she first read the letters; notes that Deragh took pertaining to poetry and letter writing; and notes that Deragh took as Audrey in the filmed encounters with the letters. It struck us in watching the monologues, how lonely Audrey appeared despite being made up of both of us. When she can’t articulate herself, she looks almost devastated. And we realized that we’d made a character up entirely of our combined desires, that pursued our interests and felt our fears.

Sofia Bohdanowicz is a filmmaker based in Toronto. Deragh Campbell is an actor and director and acted in I Used to Be Darker by Matt Porterfield (2013), which screened at the Forum. In Sofia’s films Never Eat Alone (2016) and Veslemøy’s Song (2018) as well as now in MS Slavic 7, which she also co-directed, she plays the role of Audrey Benac, who functions as a fictional stand-in for Sofia in her films.

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