Paul NOUHET
Film director

Paul received a writing grant for his next short film.

 

What is your artistic background?

I grew up in Bordeaux, and when I was a teenager, I used to skateboard a lot with my friends. We were a big bunch of friends; we spent our afternoons wandering through Bordeaux and I was the one who was always filming. Then I edited the images with music we liked and shared the videos on Youtube. That's how I became interested in making images and sounds. It was the skateboarding videos that got me started. I was then particularly attracted by the technical aspect of audiovisuals, by the hardware, the software, the cameras and so on... After passing my Baccalauréat, I moved to Brussels to study audiovisuals at a school called HELB (formerly INRACI) and my attraction for the technical turned into a passion for cinema, for narration and in particular for editing. I made a documentary about Liege's cargo airport,Contrôle(2015), co-directed and edited with my partner Julien Dewachiret. And then, in 2016, I joined the editing department of the Parisian school La Fémis, where I continued to learn the trade: the relationship with the director, with the characters, with the cinematographic material and above all with the film itself. At the same time as I was training as an editor, I made two short films with equipment lent by the school: Les Méduses de Gouville(2018), produced by Tristan Vaslot, and Camille sans Contact(2020), produced by Dorothée Lévesque. I developed a character that I played, a slightly crazy, burlesque and melancholic character who asks himself a lot of questions about love. However, my graduation film has nothing to do with that, it's a very heterogeneous (in its form) documentary on the construction of a future district in the center of Bordeaux in the 1960s.

 

How do you see your profession today?

I think that we are quite lucky, if we want to make films, to be able to make our films in France. There is a great deal of support for young filmmakers: writing and development aid, residencies, public schools, numerous film festivals, etc. It is gratifying to see that cinema circulates so much, that it is so lively and diversified. And at the same time, we can feel that all this is very fragile, especially at the moment. I am thinking in particular about festivals and cinemas, those that screen films and offer to think about them in terms of an audience, that create a link between people, precisely in an era when we are losing these links. Cinema and cinemas hold a central place in social life, in politics, and I believe that this is what we must protect today.

 

How do you see yourself in five years?

I hope first of all to be at an editing table, working with directors I regard, working on films I like; films that are very different from each other, that would be great, because I'm passionate about all cinema, as long as it is personal. And then, a bit like I have been able to do up to now, to be able to make films when I feel the desire and the need to do so. In fact, to continue to nourish my editing practice by directing my own projects, and vice versa.

 

This interview was conducted in 2020

Photography credit: Julia Grandperret