May 1, 2020
Q. What made you decide to pursue a career in movie distribution/production? Did you always know it was something you wanted to do?
In France in the 1990s/2000s, it was difficult to figure out that one could pursue a career in film without knowing anyone in the field, as was my case. I had several jobs in other industries, before reading an ad about a film distribution department set to open in France’s best film school. I was working in a publishing house at the time and left everything to resume my studies – a decision I never regretted.
Q. As a leader in your industry, what are some of the most important takeaways of the past 10 years of your career?
The talent of filmmakers counts more than anything. You can be smart, you can be timely, but without talent, the best idea at the right moment won’t lead you anywhere. Although cinema is an industry, it will always remain an art.
Q. How has your family adapted to the pandemic? After six weeks at home, is there anything you are doing with your partner and children that you would like to share?
I take advantage of this time in confinement to show my kids films that I love and that I hope will shape their understanding of the art. Namely: Chaplin, the king of them all, who wrote some of the best timeless stories ever seen and performed them with a unique touch, with fantastic music he composed. And Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort… they watch this one at least once a week. Another gem is a TV series called La Maison des bois made by Maurice Pialat in the beginning of the ‘70s. It takes place in a village in the French countryside during WWI and it is a masterpiece. I haven’t checked if it is available on US platforms, though.
Q. Could you share some movies that you recommend watching at home? Classic French movies and some from around the world?
Among recent productions, I would definitely recommend Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma which had fantastic results at the US box office before the theaters closed. Just like Parasite, Portrait is a must-see of the year! You can also try The Whistlers by Corneliu Porumboiu (both films were competing for the Palme d’Or this year and are available on VOD in the US) if you like original, unexpected and offbeat thrillers with lots of humor!
Q. You traveled with French and American leaders in Chicago in October 2019. What elements of American culture would you like to see more of in France? Is there anything that inspired you while traveling to the US?
Enthusiasm and pragmatism. I know this is a quite commonplace, but it makes sense, you know?