Chatting with Molly McGlynn, director of Mary Goes Round

Queen’s grad Molly McGlynn has her first feature length film MARY GOES ROUND in the Festival, and we sat down with her to chat about it!


KCFF: Tell me about your film in the festival! What inspired it, and how was the process of filming your first feature length film?  

M: My film was kind of brewing for years in my brain, but the actually process of writing it was very quick. I had gotten accepted into the Canadian Film Centre and kind of gave myself a self-imposed deadline to get it done so I could be held accountable to it in the programme.There’s a lot of emotional truths from my own life that I drew upon to write the movie, but it’s definitely fiction. Making your first feature is kind of a blur, to be honest. I was very overwhelmed by the process, and the risk of failure, but you have to have a great time and just remember that you just have to lay the wall brick by brick.

KCFF: You’re a Queen’s graduate; where have you gone after Queen’s? How does it feel to be back in Kingston (in terms of having your work shown back here)?

M: After I graduated, I moved back to Toronto and took on a variety of jobs in the film and tv industry; working at TIFF, writing trivia questions for Cash Cab, assisting Deepa Mehta, etc. I kind of said yes to everything post-grad and didn’t have a concrete plan and it worked out, I suppose! Kingston is such a special place to me and some of the fondest memories of my life are here, so it feels very bittersweet having my first feature play at KCFF!

KCFF: As a writer/director, you’ve directed a lot of your own work, but recently you’ve been directing other people’s writing as well – what are the differences and challenges there? Is that something you enjoy, or would you like to focus on producing your own work instead?

M: Good question. It totally depends. Generally, I only direct work that I still connect with. For me, that is something that is rooted in honesty and authenticity. It can be funny or sad, but there has to be something honest and real about it. I like to feel that there’s a bit of blood on the page, you know? Interestingly enough, in some ways, directing other people’s writing is both harder and easier because you obviously don’t understand it initially in the way the writer does, but you are also free to imagine it be anything, as opposed to being limited by what your vision for it while writing was. That’s the hardest thing about directing what you write. You kind of have to put on a different lens when you approach the script as a director. You have to ask yourself hard questions about intent, and also what the possibility of the scene could be in a way that didn’t exist when you wrote it. I want to continue to direct my own work and for others (when it’s a right fit).


KCFF: What other projects do you have upcoming in your future?

M: I’m starting to write my second feature now, which somehow does not feel any easier! I’m excited to get into the writing space, but I always struggle with writing. I kind of hate it, but also know I have to do it. I’m attached to direct a feature this summer written by a first time screenwriter Alanna Francis. It’s a really beautifully written script about two mother-daughters contending with the loss of the man who connected them all, under one roof. I’m also hoping to continue working in TV, but we’ll see where the cards land!


KCFF: Can you tell us anything about your second feature or is it still under wraps?

The second feature is a period coming of age, quite literally. It’s set in 2001 and is about a girl who wants nothing more to be a normal, but finds out she’s never going to get her period. It’s about what it means to become a woman. It’s in early days, but I’m excited by it.


KCFF: Last question – any advice for other Queen’s grads looking to write their own features?

M: My writing process is erratic and shouldn’t be emulated by anyone! I tend to sprint write. I write a lot and quickly or not at all. I’d like to find some consistency. That would be my advice – just try to write something every single day. Just so you fingers know what it feels like. The other great advice I’ve heard is to go to the computer to write, not to think. That changed my approach. I do most of the work away from the computer.


MARY GOES ROUND screens on Saturday night at 9:20 pm and Sunday afternoon at 12:40 pm.  Molly will be chatting with Thom Ernst before the Saturday night screening for a live podcast taping of THIS MOVIE’S ABOUT YOU.