Familiar titles like Joker, Jojo Rabbit and Knives Out were major highlights of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, but one of my favorite parts of attending any festival is finding a hidden gem that I can’t stop talking about. This year, that honor goes to Sea Fever. It’s the feature directorial debut of acclaimed TV director Neasa Hardiman. It stars Hermione Corfield as a marine biology student required to spend time out in the field. She boards a trawler with a crew in desperate need of a big catch. When they reach prime territory to make that happen, they’re shocked to realize an enormous octopus-like creature has latched itself onto their ship.
In an effort to stop myself from rambling on about how much I adore this film, I’ll direct you to my full review right here but highlight that Sea Fever is everything you’d want from a creature feature but with a stellar amount depth and subtext. At this point, this probably goes without saying but I was beyond thrilled to welcome Hardiman, Corfield, Dougray Scott, Connie Nielsen and Ardalan Esmaili to the Collider Lounge in Toronto to talk about making the film. Give the video at the top of this article a watch to hear all about why Hardiman chose to make her feature debut with this particular story and their experience shooting some of the movie on a real trawler. On top of that, the group also plays a round of “Collider’s Most Memorable” where they discuss most memorable scenes shot, favorite meals and more!
We also need to send a big thank you to our presenting sponsor Nordstrom Canada and supporting partners Marriott Bonvoy and Ciroc Vodka for supporting the Collider Lounge at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and helping to make these interviews happen.
You can find a full breakdown of the interview and the official TIFF synopsis for Sea Fever below.
Hermione Corfield, Dougray Scott, Ardalan Esmaili, Connie Nielsen, Neasa Hardiman:
00:20 – Why did Hardiman decide to make her feature debut with Sea Fever?
00:40 – What is Sea Fever about?
01:09 – The cast highlights a key quality about their character.
03:10 – The variety of filming locations – on a real trawler and on a sound stage.
06:33 – “Collider’s Memorable Moments” begins!
Siobhán (Hermione Corfield) is a brilliant young marine biology student, more at home amidst laboratory equipment than people. As a component of her studies, she boards a trawler overseen by a couple (Dougray Scott and Connie Nielsen) whose amiable demeanour shields both financial worries and profound grief. Siobhán is not exactly welcomed aboard: her cool, scientific perspective is at odds with that of the salty, superstitious crew of “fishmen,” and her red hair is considered bad luck. Not long after setting sail, the old ship’s hull is glommed onto by a bizarre, bioluminescent creature of unknown genus.