Tilda Swinton spoke on Tuesday about the "therapeutic importance" of believing in ghosts as she presented a haunting, semi-autobiographical new film about a woman dealing with the death of her mother.
Swinton's latest collaboration with British director Joanna Hogg is "The Eternal Daughter", competing at the Venice Film Festival, which draws heavily on both women's experience of losing their mothers in recent years.
Set in a spooky country mansion, it is a deeply emotional film with a ghostly, haunted atmosphere.
"I certainly believe that we need to project ourselves into the idea of ghosts. There's something very important and therapeutic about that relationship," Swinton told AFP.
"One of the main motors of grief is the feeling that you have to give up that relationship. And then you come to realise, if you're fortunate, that you can keep the relationship going," she added.
"They may not be present but you can keep the conversation going."
Hogg has become a favourite of the festival circuit following her two-part film "The Souvenir", based on her younger years with a drug-addicted boyfriend and her attempts to turn the trauma into art.
But she told AFP that the new film was even more personal.
"It's a bit terrifying to be honest," she said of the imminent premiere of the film.
"All my films are personal but... I feel more exposed with this one than I have with the other ones."
Swinton, who lost her mother in 2012, said the film was "a joint autobiography in a way".
"We were very brave, there were no holds barred," added Hogg.
"There was nowhere we weren't going to go in looking at the minutiae of this relationship between mother and daughter."
Hogg said she, too, believes in ghosts -- or at least wants to.
"I think we project a lot as human beings and sometimes these projections are confused -- is it coming from me or someone else?
"But I can believe that people hang around after they die, some are ready to go more easily than others.
"I feel that I've sensed things, seen things, heard things and I don't think they were just coming from me."