"I wanted to make the viewers feel they watch something between dream and reality"
Although people love comedies, it's rare that a comedy wins a major award that is not related to the genre. Most of the "Best Picture" winners (and nominees) are touching dramas, and filmmakers who make comedies need to find a way to stand out.
Our big winner of July, Once Upon a Dream (M'aime pas en rêve), is a beautiful romantic comedy, directed by Anthony Nion. This short film managed to become one of those rare comedies that can beat drama. Once Upon a Dream was our judging team's favorite film, and won four awards: Film of the Month, Best Comedy, Best Director and Best Actress (Sarah Brunel).
We asked Anthony to join us for an interview about his work, and share some of the challenges and thoughts he had while creating this outstanding short.
Once Upon a Dream deals with the thin line between dreams and reality. What were you guidelines and your visions when approaching a project like that? I wanted to tell an attractive and cute story halfway between the classic romantic comedy and the sentimental tale. It was important for me to make a fun movie, in which the relationship between the two characters remains the most important thing. So I tried to find the right balance of comedy and emotion to create a real love story.
Through my choices of direction, my goal was that the viewers would feel they watch something between dream and reality. Is the meeting of Valentin and Ludivine a dream or reality? I think that the answer had to depend of the sensitivity of each of us.
What in your opinion was the biggest challenge creating this film?
Creating an independent movie with a low budget is a big challenge, especially because it was my first movie. But I think that the most difficult thing was to find professional comedians and technicians.
Thus I needed a lot of time to make this movie because it was necessary to find competent, motivated, available and... voluntary people! I was lucky to be able to meet this challenge, and to push away the budgetary and material limits, all thanks to the talent of each person working on this movie.
The chemistry between your actors works very well. How did you cast them?
I cast the actor and actress together. The audition scene was the first scene of the movie when Valentin meet Ludivine. It was an interesting scene because actors also met for the first time. After the first day of casting, I didn't find the right couple but I chose Sarah Brunel to play the role of Ludivine.
On the second day, Sarah was there to star alongside every actor. And finally, I saw a great chemistry between Sarah and Thomas Jeand'heur. Both Sarah and I agreed that Thomas would be the right actor for the role of Valentin.
What was the most exciting part for you, when making this film?
Definitely, it was to work with Sarah and Thomas either during rehearsals or shooting. I feel very lucky to have worked with them, they are so talented but also always smiling and friendly.
What reaction were you hoping to get from the audience?
I was hoping to make a movie with a good feeling, that would make people smile and would also make their hearts beat.
And finally, people's reactions are often positive, some are rather attracted by the humor tone of the movie and others by its sensitivity. There are also a lot of positive comments about the actors and about the mood of the film.
Were any ducks hurt during the shooting of this film? :)
I guess they are fine! Anyway I can testify that ducks are not very cooperative with directors.
What is next for you?
I co-directed a new movie with the french actress Flore Lussato. It is also a kind of love story but.. I couldn't guarantee a romantic end this time! This new film will be available to watch online in a few weeks for a french contest. Is there anything you'd like to add? I would like to thank once again all my team and every people who supported the movie and make my dream come true.