Interview: You Can Live Forever Duo Sarah Watts & Mark Slutsky

Image Courtesy of Good Deed Entertainment

Film Obsessive sat down with the writer/director duo behind You Can Live Forever, a new queer romance now available to digitally rent and own. This queer romance masterfully captures coming of age in the 90s in a community that is predominantly Jehovah’s Witness. While inspired by Watts’ own childhood, You Can Live Forever is not autobiographical. The film centers on Jaime (Anwen O’Driscoll) whose father just passed away. Her mother sends Jaime to live with her aunt (Liane Balaban) and uncle (Antoine Yared) who are devout Jehovah’s Witness believers. At a church meeting, Jaime sees Marike (June Laporte), the congregation leader’s daughter. The two are drawn to each other immediately and their relationship grows quickly.

One of the most interesting aspects of You Can Live Forever‘s journey is that Watts and Slutsky celebrated the fact that their film began popping up illegally online. Before the film was available to legally see, an entire fandom had already been created. Fans were providing their own translated subtitles so that queer people all around the world could see and understand the movie. Watts mentioned that people in mainland China and Qatar have been able to see the movie which likely would not have happened otherwise. You Can Live Forever is a small, queer Canadian movie, but its themes are universal—as proven by the worldwide response.

Marike rests her head on Jaime's shoulder in the back of the car
Good Deed Entertainment

Watts and Slutsky approached the film with honesty and compassion and it’s one of the reasons why the film has spread like wildfire. In a time in the United States where LGBTQ+ rights are coming under attack, it’s refreshing to see genuine depictions of the queer experience on screen. Those who have seen the film (legally or otherwise) will be pleased to know that You Can Live Forever is only the beginning of the creative partnership for Watts and Slutsky. In our interview with the duo, they teased that they’ve already started work on their next project and it will also be a queer story. This new film will have a religious aspect to it and will also be a period piece like You Can Live Forever, but it will be set in the “mystical world of computer game development in the 1980s.”

Watts and Slutsky chatted with Film Obsessive assistant editor Tina Kakadelis about the upcoming digital release of their film after widespread success at festivals in 2022. The trio discuss the similarities to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, the Taylor Swift connections, and the undeniable chemistry between the film’s leads.

You Can Live Forever is now available to digitally rent and own. Check out the full interview (with spoilers!) with writer/director duo Sarah Watts and Mark Slutsky below:

Written by Tina Kakadelis

News Editor for Film Obsessive. Movie and pop culture writer. Seen a lot of movies, got a lot of opinions. Let's get Carey Mulligan her Oscar.

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