The Fish first competed at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner — also known as Cannes Court Métrage. Its Canadian launch will be at Fantasia on July 29 in Concordia’s D.B. Clarke Theatre — a homecoming for the communication studies grad.
The Fish stars Montreal actor Raphael Grosz-Harvey as Jimmy, a young man who unknowingly buys a prize-winning betta fish in a pet store and plunges into the “electrifying and dangerous world of high-stakes fish fighting,” explains Riendeau. He completed the film on a $20,000 budget.
Riendeau, who founded his indie film company No Water Studios in 2010, says he thought of the concept for the film while a student at Concordia in 2012. “The idea came to me for an assignment for Ken Briscoe’s advanced scriptwriting class, after having a random conversation about betta fish at a Concordia cross-country running team mid-season party,” says Riendeau.
It took him a few years to further develop the idea.
“After I graduated I worked as an assistant to director Bryan Singer on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014. It was overwhelming, but I just jumped into the fire. There was no second-guessing. You had to take off running and figure it out. It was one of the most difficult but rewarding work experiences of my life,” he says.