Joannie Lafrenière: Playtime

previous arrow
previous arrow
next arrow
next arrow


For many years, photographer and filmmaker Joannie Lafrenière has been traveling the world for her creative projects. But she never travels alone: her suitcase is filled with costumes and accessories which come alive whenever she finds the right setting to use them. With her pronounced taste for kitsch and humor, she is always ready to create baroque self-portraits in outfits that perfectly match the surrounding architecture and landscape. Passionate about pastime aesthetics, she takes the viewer on a trip in a time machine made of unique, colorful tableaux, where elegance meets nostalgia. Joannie’s latest film took her to Florida. As she documented the daily life of snowbirds, a community of elderly French Canadians who spend their winters in a mobile home park, she became friends with one of her protagonists, Yvette. This seemingly ageless 84-year-old woman immediately won her heart with her candid personality and sense of humor. In between two shots for the film and for the sake of a good laugh, Joannie invited her new partner in crime to create dual self-portraits. Yvette immediately fell in love with this rejuvenating game. Using extravagant costumes and staged compositions to abolish the fifty year gap between them, Joannie and Yvette became the Hallandale Twins. Together, they created Playtime, a playful photo series that travels through time, age, and imagination.


Documentary filmmaker and photographer, Joannie Lafrenière loves humans. Her work is influenced by an anthropological approach. She holds degrees in journalism and photography, Joannie has taken part in several recognized publications. In recent years, she has directed for television, for the web (National Film Board of Canada) and she has collaborated on many different independent projects. Her latest films, The Woman Who Saw the Bear and Snowbirds, has been screened at major festivals across Canada and internationally. She is finishing her new documentary, King Lajoie, a quirky and colorful biopic about an Elvis impersonator that offers a kitschy dive into the world of Elvis Lajoie, a man who shares much more than a name with his idol. Joannie lives, works, and plays in Montréal, Canada–but has been known to escape to faraway places .


Vote for People's Choice

Select this series for the 2019 People's Choice Award