A poetic and raw web series, the second instalment of Dominos (S2) (CAN) follows Montreal’s tormented youth as they try and take charge of their lives and become better.

Melbourne WebFest spoke to Director & Screenwriter Zoé Pelchat to discover the ins and outs of the second season.

Dominos is described as an ode to life and an ode to Montreal. How integral was this within the storytelling of Season 2?

I think you can really feel the “Montreal vibe” within the music, the locations, the diversity of the characters and the rugged-yet-poetic aesthetic. The “franglais” (a full-on mix of French and English) spoken by the characters is also a very Montreal thing. Nowhere else in Quebec or Canada is franglais that popular! The whole soundtrack is from Montreal, featuring artists like Chilly Gonzales, Alexandra Stréliski, Jean Leloup, Marie Davidson, Les Louanges, etc.

I think Dominos is an ode to life because despite the precarious situations lived by the characters, there’s a lot of light. It’s very dramatic but there’s so much situational humour and the characters’ say a lot of funny stuff. There was one TV critic from Montreal who said that the characters from Dominos are just trying to express their love for each other, and I thought that was hella cute. Besides that, the series celebrates the beauty of human vulnerability, friendship, family, romantic love, music, courage, resilience. And on top of it, my name (Zoe) means “life” in Greek so I have no choice.

A complex series with lots of intriguing characters and themes, what is your favourite thing about the series?

I’m just so proud of this project… It changed my life. It was the first time I was really doing my thing as a filmmaker and putting out what I felt was right. Through the two seasons, I was able to further develop my writing and cinematographic style. In the second season, I’m especially proud of Episode 4 because I think narratively and dialogue-wise it’s the strongest thing I’ve done, especially the scene when Fred and Marie’s characters are fighting at the end. I like it because it’s very simple but the rhythm is good, the drama is ON and there is humour even though it’s heartbreaking. I’m also very proud of the acting of ALL the actors of the show. After two seasons we really developed a way of working together and communicating, and the actors bring a lot of suggestions on set to make it even better. I am so fond and admirative of all of them!

Besides that I think the visual universe and the mise-en-scene of the second season is strong. We gave it all we had.

Dominos (S2) Trailer

What was your greatest challenge creating the series?

Season 2 was all about challenges. The whole team was very ambitious and wanted to make everything better than season 1. I think because we had won the Best Web Series award at Canneseries for Season 1, we were putting a lot of pressure on ourselves for the sequel to be great. It was also just an intense set, with lots of things to overcome, lots of unexpected events, and LOTS of locations. But it was fun!

How important is the message/theme in your series?

What I hope people can get from this series is empathy. The characters are voluntarily shown in certain ways first, and then you discover other parts of them, vulnerability and nuances that you didn’t expect. In real life if we could see more nuances there would be less hate, less conflict, less war. When we see people’s vulnerability, we learn to love them.

Dominos is now into it’s second season. How have audiences responded to the season so far?

The reaction has been very enthusiastic despite the pandemic, from critics and the public! I think people like Season 2 even better than the first one!

Any last words?

Thank you for watching!!!