Film director

Lyes received a writing grant for his next feature film.


What is your artistic background?

I went through a private course (cours Nicole Mérouze) when I left high school before joining the Chaillot National Theatre School. In 1995 I entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD) where I worked with Jacques Lassalle, Stuart Seide and Daniel Mesguish. After graduating from the conservatory, I went on to work on several theatre productions with Stuart Seide, Sylvain Maurice and Nathalie Mauger. In 2001, I directed Jean-Farès, my first short film, which was selected for a large number of national and international festivals. In 2003, after meeting producer Isabelle Madelaine (Dharamsala), I shot En Algérie Cousines, a 32-min short film which also did really well (several grand prizes, César for the best short film of 2005...). My first feature film Mascarades, also shot in Algeria, was a very rich experience. It was released in 2008 in France and was met with critical success (nominated for a César for best first film). L'Oranaisis my second feature film released in November 2014. At the same time, I am pursuing my acting career in cinema and theatre.


How do you view your profession today?

I'm not sure about the question, do you mean profession as business venture or as artistic vocation? As far as the business side is concerned, it is capable of the worst as well as the best. It offers the most beautiful moments of life and sharing, but also the most difficult ones. If it is a question of looking at the artistic aspect of my profession - because even if it is certainly a vocation and a passion, it is nonetheless a profession - I believe for my part that it is the most beautiful and most useful thing I can do. I bring my view of the world and I offer it to others who are grouped under several possible names: public, spectators... At best this view of the world and people creates emotions and constructive questioning, at worst they are indifferent to it. In both cases I expressed myself and they listened.


How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

More serene. Comforted in the idea that what I do is necessary, that it helps others as much as myself to understand this world a little better. Freeing myself from the useless constraints linked to the environment of this profession. And above all, I see myself happy.


This interview was conducted in 2014

Photo credit: Emilie Arfeuil