AFC’s Conversations

Lubomir Bakchev

Outside the AFC: "The Secret of the Grain", an interview with DoP Lubomir Bakchev
by Eric Guichard, AFC

At the last Cannes Film Festival we started a series of interviews with directors of photography who were not members of the AFC.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lubomir Bakchev at the special screening, organized jointly with the CST, of A Secret by Claude Miller, photographed by Gérard de Battista.

I knew that the release of The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le mulet) by Abdellatif Kechiche was imminent and I asked Lubomir to see a preview. I then suggested to Lubomir that we extend our conversation with the present interview.

If I had one wish to make for the AFC, it is that interviews, like the one of Gérard de Battista by Wilfrid Sempé, become a means of strengthening relationships and kinship between members, and of reinforcing that most important subject for the future of our association: the image of a film.

Enjoy the interview. Eric Guichard

Brigitte Barbier

Laurent Dailland, AFC, speaks about working alongside Maïwenn for "Jeanne du Barry"
By Brigitte Barbier, for the AFC

The 76th Cannes Film Festival’s opening film, Jeanne du Barry, is American actor Johnny Depp’s first French-language role, alongside Maïwenn, who directs and stars as the lead character in her sixth feature film. She entrusted Laurent Dailland, AFC (French Society of Cinematographers), with the cinematographic direction of this film of an unexpected genre in her filmography. Experienced in period films, – but not only – , Laurent Dailland talks about his work using 35mm film, and the choices he made to create a sober yet modern world to accompany the story of King Louis XV’s favourite. (BB)
Lucie Baudinaud

Lucie Baudinaud discusses her work on "Les Enfants Terribles", by Ahmet Necdet Cupur

Lucie Baudinaud is a young French cinematographer who has recently signed off on many shorts and feature films, both documentary and fiction. Noteworthy amongst her recent projects is Elie Grappe’s Olga, in competition at the Cannes Critics’ Week, and which will be released in theatres on Wednesday. Today at Camerimage, she is presenting Les Enfants Terribles, a documentary by Ahmet Necdet Cupur. (MC)
Christophe Beaucarne

Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, discusses the shooting of "Serre-moi fort", by Mathieu Amalric

With Serre-moi fort, his eighth feature film, Mathieu Amalric returns to the Croisette for the third time, where he won best director in 2010 for Tournée. Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, the faithful DP to many directors, has worked on almost all Amalric’s feature films. He has created a discreet and minimalistic lighting for this melodrama and has selected shots that are in perfect alliance with the plot. Serre-moi fort is part of the Cannes Première selection. (BB)
Christophe Beaucarne

Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, discusses his work on "Barbara", by Mathieu Amalric

Barbara, which isn’t a biopic on “La Dame en noir”, releases in theaters for the twentieth anniversary of the singer’s death. Mathieu Almaric shoots his sixth long feature film and comes back on la Croisette, where he won the “Prix de la mise en scène” in 2010 for Tournée. Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, Almaric’s Director of Photography for all his films, signs a glamorous photography and tries to transcend the image of the mythical singer, played by Jeanne Balibar. Barbara opens the Un Certain Regard for this seventieth Festival de Cannes. (BB)
Christophe Beaucarne

Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, dicusses his work on Nicole Garcia’s film "From the Land of the Moon"

Nicole Garcia ’s latest feature is an adaptation of the eponym novel written by the Italian Milena Agus: From the Land of the Moon. While she is no stranger to the Croisette with films like 15 Août, The Adversary, According to Charlie, From the Land of the Moon is in competition for the 69th Festival’s Palme d’Or. For the cinematography of her 8th film, Nicole Garcia called upon Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, and loyal partner of Jaco Van Doermel, Mathieu Amalric or Anne Fontaine. (BB
Christophe Beaucarne

Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, discusses his work on Jaco Van Dormael’s film “The Brand New Testament”
Directors’ Fortnight

Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, works with loyal directors who call upon his talent to make most of their films. The list of these directors, from very different worlds – including the Larrieu brothers, Anne Fontaine, Bruno Podalydès, Mathieu Amalric –, recently grew with the addition of the name of Christophe Gans. The work of Christophe Beaucarne on Beauty and the Beast was nominated for the 2015 César awards. After Mr. Nobody, The Brand New Testament, a film by Jaco Van Dormael, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, the opportunity for Christophe Beaucarne to make his second film with his Belgian compatriot.
Christophe Beaucarne

Cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, discusses his work on "The Blue Room" directed by Mathieu Amalric

Christophe Beaucarne has been working for over twenty years with very different directors on films with very different visual worlds. He has worked with the Larrieu brothers on Un homme, un vrai and Peindre ou faire l’amour, and with Anne Fontaine on Coco Before Chanel and Perfect Mother, with Jaco Van Dormael on Mr. Nobody, and recently with Christophe Gans on Beauty and the Beast. With The Blue Room, the fourth feature film by Mathieu Amalric, competing in the Un Certain Regard section, Christophe Beaucarne is once again working with Amalric, following their collaborations on Stade de Wimbledon and Tournée. Adapted from the eponymous novel by Georges Simenon, Mathieu Amalric plays the lead role alongside Léa Drucker. (BB)
Christophe Beaucarne

Interview with cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne, AFC, SBC, about the film "On Tour" by Mathieu Amalric
In competition at Cannes 2010

For the past twenty years, Christophe Beaucarne has been working on features steadily, collaborating with many directors, including Bruno Podalydès, Cedric Klapish, Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, Jaco Van Dormael... So it was fitting to see his cinematography credit on not one but two films at Cannes this year: Outside the Law, by Rachid Bouchareb and On Tour, by Mathieu Amalric.
Simon Beaufils

Simon Beaufils speaks about image and the directing of "Anatomy of a Fall", de Justine Triet
"Sun, snow, and a criminal court", by François Reumont

Justine Triet’s (Sybil, Victoria) new film is multidimensional, layer after layer being progressively peeled away as the film progresses. Starting as a family drama involving a Franco-German couple and their visually impaired son, the film evolves around a series of characters, in the context of a high-profile criminal trial. Simon Beaufils created the images for this closed doors thriller, with 2.5 hours divided between a high mountain chalet and a courtroom. Anatomy of a Fall (Anatomie d’une chute) was awarded the 76th Palme d’or. (FR)
Christian Berger

The White Ribbon
Interview with cinematographer Christian Berger, AAC

During the last Cannes Festival, the AFC published a series of interviews on its website of cinematographers with films in one of the selections.
On the occasion of the first screenings of The White Ribbon by Michael Haneke, the Palme d’Or winner for the Festival’s 62nd edition, we published an interview with the Austrian cinematographer Christian Berger, AAC, where he discusses his work on the film, and a lighting system that he helped develop.
Renato Berta

Renato Berta, AFC, hails the legacy of Jean-Marie Straub

The cinema of Jean-Marie Straub and his companion Danièle Huillet was a radical and demanding body of work. Since their Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1967), which was a rigorous portrait of the Leipzig cantor’s wife, the filmmaking couple never stopped exploring literature, theater, music and poetry. Renato Berta, AFC, was one of their longest-standing collaborators, and he filmed over a dozen of their movies. He reflects with us upon this unique cinema experience. (FR)
Luca Bigazzi

Cinematographer Luca Bigazzi discusses his work on Paolo Sorrentino’s film “Youth”
Luca Bigazzi falls for HDR

Cinematographer Luca Bigazzi and Paolo Sorrentino together form one of the most successful tandems in Italian cinema today. Winners of over sixty awards, including the Oscar for Best Foreign Film with The Great Beauty in 2014 – which, although it was screened at Cannes in 2013, was ignored by the jury – the two men meet again this year at Cannes with their movie La giovinezza (Youth). This film portrays two octogenarians played by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel and was shot between Switzerland and Italy. (FR)
Peter Biziou

Manaki Brothers Conversation with Peter Biziou, BSC
By François Reumont, on the behalf of the AFC

Doubly honored in 2023 (at the Manaki Brothers Festival and soon at Camerimage), British cinematographer Peter Biziou, BSC, shares with us some memories from his long and prestigious career on commercial and fiction sets. Although Mississippi Burning (Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1989) was undoubtedly his highest distinction, his name has appeared in the credits of films such as Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, Richard Loncraine’s Richard III, or Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. (FR)
Jarin Blaschke

The Light is Mine
Video interview with cinematographer Jarin Blaschke about his work on Robert Eggers’s film "The Lighthouse", conducted by François Reumont for the AFC

After their first success with a film whose meticulous recreation of a 17th-century community caused a sensation (The Witch, 2015), the duo composed of Robert Egger (director) and Jarin Blaschke (cinematographer) has taken on another, even more concentrated historical fantasy project. Namely, the meeting between two men (Robert Pattinson and Wilhelm Dafoe) alone on an island where they are the caretakers of a lighthouse in the early 19th century. The film was shot in Nova Scotia and has very dense visuals evocative both of silent film and period fantastic engravings. The film was presented in the Directors’ Debuts competition at Camerimage 2019.
Patrick Blossier

Patrick Blossier, AFC, discusses the shooting of "Ouistreham" by Emannuel Carrère

Author Emmanuel Carrère and cinematographer Patrick Blossier have known each other for fifteen years. They worked together on La Moustache, an adaptation of one of the writer’s novels. They also crossed paths on Les Revenants, a Canal+ television series directed by Fabrice Gobert and co-directed by Emmanuel Carrère. Today, they are working together on Ouistreham, an adaptation of a best-selling novel by journalist Florence Aubenas, which she wrote after spending six months with day laborers and jobseekers in Caen. (FR)
Nicolas Bolduc

Interview with Cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc, CSC, regarding his work on Kim Nguyen’s film “Two Lovers and a Bear”
Directors’ Fortnight

Somewhere in Canada’s Great North, Sam and Lucy are passionately in love with each other. But when she decides to leave their small town for her studies, Sam considers breaking up. Their love will be put to the test… In this video interview, Cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc, CSC, discusses the cinematography of this romantic story filmed at -40°C with snowmobiles, a rifle, the aurora borealis… and a whisky-loving white bear.
Eben Bolter

Cinematographer Eben Bolter, BSC, talks about his work on “The Last of Us” serie
20 Years Later, by François Reumont

Following the series "Chernobyl", which remains to this day one of HBO’s most successful historical dramas of all time, screenwriter and director Craig Main has decided to adapt one of the most recognized video games for its originality and ambience. This is "The Last of Us", an immersion in a post-pandemic world where the protagonists’ survival is at stake. In order to surprise audiences and take distance from the average zombie flick, the director has performed many feats in terms of the screenwriting in order to portray the ambience and the characters as they were originally developed in the game. Young Russian cinematographer Ksenia Sereda was chosen to film the first two episodes, while Eben Bolter, BSC, took over on episodes 3-5. We are overjoyed to have Eben here with us to share what was at stake in this adventure. (FR)
Olivier Boonjing
Dominique Bouilleret

Director of photography Dominique Bouilleret, AFC, talks about his work on "The Life of Riley (Aimer, Boire et Chanter)", directed by Alain Resnais

Life’s vicissitudes led Dominique Bouilleret, AFC, to cross paths with Alain Resnais on his last film. Discussing Life of Riley, he reveals the gaiety and creativity of a very pleasant shooting. He is so glad to have been able to share this creativity with the great director and is only sorry that he won’t be able to repeat the experience. Following Alain Resnais’ demise, unfortunately their collaboration has ended just as it was beginning.
Céline Bozon
Céline Bozon

Cinematographer Céline Bozon talks about his work on "La France" and "Un homme perdu" ("A Lost Man")
interview by François Reumont

Upon graduating from the Femis in 1999, Celine Bozon made her debut with Jean-Paul Civeyrac on Fantômes, a low-budget film freely shot on video with a tiny crew. The result, feature film Fantômes, was given a theatrical release. Then came Le Doux amour des hommes (Man’s Gentle Love) and Toutes ces belles promesses (All the Fine Promises). At the same time, she shot medium-length Mods with her brother Serge Bozon, then two films by Tony Gatlif (Exils (Exiles) and Transylvania). In 2007, two of the films she photographed were selected in the Quinzaine des réalisateurs: her brother’s second feature La France and Lebanese Danielle Arbid’s Un homme perdu (A Lost Man).
Natasha Braier

Cinematographer Natasha Braier, ADF, discusses her work on Nicolas Winding Refn’s film "The Neon Demon"
Paint it Black

Natasha Brier was very much in view at Cannes in 2014 for her work on the Australian suspense film The Rover, and she is back at Cannes this year with Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. The Neon Demon is set within the fashion industry, and portrays Elle Fanning in the role of a young woman who arrives in Los Angeles to work as a model. The ambiance mixes horror and sophistication for a film that seems to be one of the craziest by the director of Drive, which won the award for Best Director at Cannes in 2011. (FR)
Fiona Braillon

Interview with Fiona Braillon, SBC, Cinematographer for Rachel Lang’s film "Mon légionnaire"

Fiona Braillon, SBC, began her career in cinematography together with Rachel Lang, a young Belgian director. After graduating from the IAD (Institute of Broadcasting Arts) in 2010, Fiona Braillon signed in 2016 the cinematography of Rachel Lang’s first feature film, Baden Baden, then, four years later, that of My Legionnaire. This film was selected at the Directors’ Fortnight of this 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. (BB)
Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, DFF, talks about his work on Gunnar Vikene’s "War Sailor"
"Journey to the End of Hell" by François Reumont

War films without soldiers are few and far between. Yet, this is what Norwegian Gunnar Vikene opted to do on his impressive film Kriegsseileren, which was screened in official competition for the Golden Frog for Best Cinematography 2022. Its narrative arc is evocative of Michael Cimino’s Deer Hunter (although it would have been entirely fitting for it to have adopted Cimino’s film’s French title: Journey to the End of Hell), this film whose title means “war sailor” is a film full of nuances in which destiny, friendship and survival combine to provide powerful dramatic fuel. Danish cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, (Rams, 2015, winner of the Silver Frog) shot this epic yet very intimate story... (FR)
Nicolaj Brüel

Nicolaj Brüel, DFF, speaks about the shooting of "Pinocchio", by Matteo Garrone
A Romantic Pinocchio

After Dogman, in 2018, the Roman director Matteo Garonne once again teams up with Danish cinematographer Nicolaj Brüel, DFF, on a new adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s popular tale Pinocchio. In this adaptation Garonne’s passion for the marvelous is obvious – it was already present in Tale of Tales, 2015, with a parade of characters and places that transpose the children’s tale into a world sometimes close to German romanticism. Pinocchio is selected in the main competition at the Camerimage 2020 festival. (FR)
Laurent Brunet

Laurent Brunet, AFC, talks about his work with Michel Gondry on "The Book of solutions"
"The Marc Becker method", by François Reumont for the l’AFC

Wacky and offbeat as per usual, Michel Gondry talks about himself in his latest film: a film director, in conflict with his producers, runs off to the Cévennes with the dailies to finish the film. Pierre Niney stars as Marc Becker, Gondry’s clone, alternately irritable and great, trying to finish his film at his old aunt Suzette’s (Francoise Lebrun) home, accompanied by his faithful editor Charlotte (Blanche Gardin) and his scapegoat assistant Sylvia (Frankie Wallach). Laurent Brunet, AFC (French society of Cinematographers) – now a part of the "Gondry family" since working on Microbes and Gasoil – was the cinematographer on this film... (FR)
Laurent Brunet

Interview with cinematographer Laurent Brunet, AFC, about his work on Annarita Zambrano’s film “After the War”

For her first feature-length film, Italian director Annarita Zambrano decided to make a film about the exile of a father and his daughter against the backdrop of the post-Red Brigade Italian political context of the 1980s. This story takes place between Italy and Southwest France, and was photographed by Laurent Brunet, AFC. It is in official selection at Cannes this year in the “Un certain regard” section (FR)
Laurent Brunet

Interview with director of photography Laurent Brunet, AFC, about the film "A Screaming Man" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Official Selection, 2010 Cannes Film Festival

Laurent Brunet, who has photographed all of Raphael Nadjari’s films (including Tehilim, selected at Cannes in 2007), has a lot of experience filming abroad. But he didn’t know Africa, which he discovered while collaborating for the first time with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the only African to compete at Cannes 2010, with his fourth feature film, A Screaming Man. The original title was A Screaming Man is not a Dancing Bear a quote from The Notebook, Returning Home by the poet Aimé Césaire.
Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Director of photography Charlotte Bruus Christensen speaks about the shooting of "The Banker", by George Nolfi
Heist without guns

Adapted from a true story, The Banker is directed by George Nolfi (screenwriter of Ocean’s Twelve and The bourne Ultimatum). This movie tells the uncommon journey of Bernard Garrett and Joe Morris, two black businessmen who eventually bought banks in Texas and democratized loans for the Afro-American community in the late 50’s. Written as a heist film with an Hitchcockian visual tone, Charlotte Bruus Christensen signs the image of this Apple TV production. (FR)
Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen discusses her work on Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt”

Charlotte Bruus Christensen is a Danish cinematographer who completed her studies in England. Upon returning to her native country, she began to work on a number of short films, one of which got her recognized by Thomas Vinterberg who hired her to do his film Submarino in 2009.
Since then, she has signed her name on two other films, Hunky Dory by Welsh director Marc Evans, and Min bedste fende by Danish director Oliver Ussing. Then, Thomas Vinterberg provided her the opportunity to earn her first selection at Cannes with The Hunt.
Sébastien Buchmann

Film for the Mayor
Interview with cinematographer Sébastien Buchmann, AFC, about his work on Nicolas Pariser’s film "Alice and the Mayor"

A graduate of the Ecole nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière with a major in Cinema, Sébastien Buchmann, AFC, has been working on both documentaries and fiction films ever since. He has worked a number of times with Dominique Marchais, who is a director of activist documentaries (La ligne de partage des eaux, Nul homme n’est une île). On the fiction side, he is the faithful associate of Valérie Donzelli, La guerre est déclarée, Mickhaël Hers, Amanda, and Nicolas Pariser, alongside whom he has just completed a new philosophic-political opus entitled Alice et le Maire (Alice and the Mayor), in selection at the Directors’ Fortnight.