Long-time theatre enthusiast, I started by playing some parts in a theatre troupe based in my hometown. When I moved in Paris to join “Cours Artefact” school to learn how to play, I discovered acting with a friend of mine who made a movie and needed an actor for a small part in it.
It was quite a revelation to me and I decided to start a new formation to learn how to make a movie : I join the “Studio Alain de Bock and Katherine Gabelle” school where I made my first movie ever, a drama which has the particularity to be mute, without any line because it encourages the viewer to focus on what’s on screen rather than becoming self-explanatory.
With friends of mine I regularly take part in movie competitions (48 Hour Film Project, Nikon Film Festival,…) for the fun and the entertainment of making a film together but “What I am worth” is my first professional movie.
Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
“What I am worth” is a short movie whom the topic is the inner quest of self-esteem and the limits we are ready (or no) to cross to get it. Here, we follow Felix, a young photographer, who has issues to get new customers and has to rely on his boyfriend Max to pay the bills. Felix’s dependency towards Max becomes each day harder to live. Moreover, when Felix, witnessing Max’s success as an escort, asks his boyfriend to help him to apply for the job, Max declines, stating that Felix can’t withstand and hurting Felix’s feelings in the process. From this point, Felix’s initial goal to gain money becomes a blind desire to prove himself worthy to Max and himself.
What are your ambitions with your project?
I completely produced “What I am worth” on my own and it was quite a challenge that I’m proud to have taken on. As I have others films which will require greater resources, I hope some producers could see (sorry for the pun) what I am worth as a filmmaker and would be interested to work with me upon further projects.
Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
The two first days of shooting were dedicated to all the scenes happening inside the escort agency. When I discovered the work of all the set dressing team to make the places look like what I wanted, it was amazing.
For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
According to the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), the movie was rated as “suited for all kind of audience”. Nevertherless, because of the harshness of some scenes in it (nudity and sexual harassment), I’d rather say that it’s not suited for young audience.
Why should distributors buy your film?
“What I am worth” is a movie which highlight a problematic that is somehow part of any of us : the desire to be self-accomplished and to feel accepted by our social environment (family, friends, colleagues,…).
It also bring the spot upon the relationship to the other in a couple which in this case features two men but could apply to any kind of lovers because it’s a problematic that every couple could face eventually.
The movie delivers a
strong message about acceptance of the other but above all of oneself.
How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
The very initial statement who led to the creation of “What I am worth” was simple : when the topic of sexual harassment is treated in movies, it’s often women who are depicted as the powerless victims. I simply wanted to switch the roles once to show that every one may experience it one day. Then I developed the plot to have a story with a deeper statement and this is how “What I am worth” was born.
Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
For better and for worse, I’ve always been a dreamer. Some of them were so heart touching that I wanted to share them. So I started to write, all kind of stories : poetry, novel, play…
One day, I had the chance to be an actor in a movie made by a friend of mine. It was a small part but I really enjoyed the experience. And I discovered a new path I should follow to narrate my tales.
Who is your role model?
I’m a huge fan of Xavier Dolan’s work. For instance, one of the scenes of “What I am worth” hides some sort of reference.
Which movies are your favorites? Why?
I love Japanese animated films. One of my favourite filmmakers is Satoshi Kon (Tokyo Godfathers, Perfect blue,…).
As a dreamer, I also have a strong love for fantasy, Sci-Fi, music.
To be more related to “What I am worth”, I, of course, do love social movies.
Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I can rely upon several medias to do so. It can be by listening a music, reading a book, hearing one sentence.
Then I often watch movies which are related to the topic or the ambient I want to put in mine.
Which topics interest you the most?
I’m really interested in social topics, dealing with problematics that are not often discussed in movies to enlighten some parts of the society and make us reconsider the very trouble notions of what is good and what is bad.
What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
With a total lack of objectivity, I can say that having filmed “What I am worth” was not a small accomplishment. Jokes aside, I’m very proud when I see where the project started, where it is now and I’m very impatient to discover what it still have to experience.
What do you consider most important about filming?
In my opinion, the bet is won when you manage to make the viewers understand your bias while giving them the opportunity to form their own opinion, whether they agree or no. It’s always very interesting to discuss with viewers about how they experienced the movie.
Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I have an appetence for sequence-shots. I believe that they are a concentrate of all the team’s (actors and technicians as well) expertise. It’s like a huge choreography where everyone works together to get the best without the right to make a single mistake. It strengthens the team spirit, I might say.
How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I’m glad to see more and more independent films from various countries succeeding to emerge in an environment that gives pride of place to big productions.
What can disappoint you in a movie?
What disappoint me the most about a movie is when I can see what is its message, what it has to defend but the screenplay got many flaws that leave you unable to understand or just believe to the story.
Who supports you in your film career?
I consider myself lucky to have my relatives to help me with good advises. I also can count on the help of my former cinema teachers to help me reviewing my screenplay and my edit. Finally, I have close friends of mine who always are very good support in my projects.
What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
To be honest, as I portrayed the main character and because of the harshness of some scenes he has to experience, I was a little (a lot) worried about how “What I am worth” would be received by my relatives, colleagues and friends. Luckily for me, I always got good critics (mainly about the fact that it was interesting to see a male character experiencing what it mostly lived by a female character) but also constructive ones upon some aspects of the film that I could have deal differently. But I’m glad to see that everyone so far saw where I wanted to go with this movie.
Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
So far, I didn’t have the opportunity to visit any of the prestigious film festivals but I know it would be an amazing experience to live.
What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
I have two more scenarios already written which deal social topics and that I look forward to film. They are close to “What I am worth” in that way where they will bring the spectator to question himself about morals but they also have their own identity and universe that are completely different?