Cannes Film Festival
24th Cinéfondation 2021
Maximilienne discovers a new side of herself while playing with her appearance alone in her bedroom. One night, she finds herself in a nightclub at a drag king show. A new world opens itself before her. She has found a new family.
Hi Adèle, thank you for talking to TNC, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times?
Hi! Thank you for giving me this interview. It was quite difficult but now normal life is slowly coming back. It’s great to go out again!
Have you been inspired to take on any new creative opportunities?
I took this time to develop two scripts. One for a short film about Catherinettes, a traditional French tradition. And another one for a feature film about the male gaze on first periods.
Congratulations on King Max being selected for the 24th Cinéfondation, what does it mean to you to have your film part of this year's festival?
I’m very excited. It’s awesome! It’s a great chance to see his work have such visibility. And I’m very happy that the queer community and drag kings community are visible.
It’s a real need!
Can you tell me how King Max came about, how much did you know about the Drag King community before you started making this short?
I have always been interested in gender studies since I was a teenager so I have already heard about Drag King.
Due to the covid pandemic, I had to change my screenplay at the last minute. I had to think about another subject, another story, another character etc. I wanted to go back to my first themes, those that were close to me. And Drag King popped up in my mind, it was obvious that I had to talk about it. It’s essential to communicate on these subjects.
Why do you think Drag Kings have less visibility on the LGBTQ scene?
Most of the drag kings are women or a fab person so like in society, these people have less representation than men. Sexism is very strong.
Moreover, one of the principles of Drag King is to make fun of men what is, of course, less common and more complicated than making fun of women. This is another reason for drag kings to be less known than drag queens.
Because of the lack of films that look at the Drag King community would you consider adapting your screenplay into a feature film?
The queer community and young queer people need to have films with which they can identify. They need representation. So, yes, I’m currently thinking about a feature film about Drag King. This is an amazing and rich subject!
Do you allow yourself much flexibility with your screenplay or do you like to stick to what you have written?
Most scenes were written precisely but I like that actors feel free to try a different version. However, some scenes were improvisation like the make-up scene or the dancing scene. Before shooting, I determine with actors the goal and the feeling of the character and I encourage them to free themselves and to do as they feel.
It creates precious moments!
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
I always love filmmaking! I discovered cinema by practising. Since my childhood, I film or animate stories, often alone. Quickly, I brought my family and friends to take part in my short films.
However, I’m officially launched into cinema much later after studying engineering.
"It was very important for me that the actors were concerned people. So, all the drag kings in the film are real one in life and belong to the queer community."
How different was your approach to King Max compared to your other films?
I always try to adapt myself to the subject. For King Max, the preparation work was special. It was like a documentary. I went to the field, I met people with whom I spoke at length, I tried myself at Drag King too. It was very important for me that the actors were concerned people. So, all the drag kings in the film are real one in life and belong to the queer community. I wanted to stay closer to reality.
Do you have any advice or tips you would offer fellow filmmakers?
Don’t think too much! Don’t hesitate! Just do it! Take your camera and shoot what you want.
And finally, what do you want audiences will take away from King Max?
It’s a film that can be understood differently by everyone. But the most important thing to remember is to be who you are and try not to be afraid of it!