We can assess that the point is to record on the very screen no less than the entirety of lifespans: from the deadly outcome to the movements of birth, the former intertwined with the latter and, it would be no spoiler to say, the whole obviously tied by desire or love. With simple magic, and obvious faith in the power of a cinema without resources: like in Giotto’s work, we are all saved, including viewers.
Hello Narimane, many thanks for talking to TNC, how are you doing?
I am well and I hope you are too.
Are you looking forward to be bringing Holy Days to FID 2019?
This isn’t your first time at FID, what have your past experiences been like at the festival?
Always good. First of all, because it’s possible during this festival and even at the time of selection, with the team, to get along very well. What I mean is that it is important to be chosen by people who understand our films and very often, it happens that festivals choose because of the course of a film. Since mine is a little special, it's always a pleasure to be there. The audience is there too, critical as well as receptive and that's nice. I would like it to be more open to the Marseille public, the public of the city which is very diverse but the economy does not really allow it as in the 3 continents for example where the city subsidizes part of the tickets of the Nantes people. For the films I produce and that the festival sometimes selects, the impact of its requirement serves the film's journey to the place of our interest.
You also took part in FIDLab 2014 with Le Fort des Fous, how did your time at FIDLab help you on your filmmaking journey?
Unfortunately, I was unable to come to present my project in 2014 for health reasons. But despite that, the Fid team supported the film, we worked from a distance and managed to propose something that made sense.
I always look at the path of the films that have been shown there and those and their path afterwards, including those who are invited to make these encounters. They are always good people, open to writing.
This will be the World Premiere of Holy Days does this add any extra pressure on you?
No, I don't like this kind of pressure, it's not exciting and as I told you, the most important thing for me is to be with people who have seen the film literally and figuratively.
Do you ever get nervous when you’re watching your films with festival audiences?
No, first of all, because I almost never watch my films with the audience or only when it is very cold outside! Also because if I watch it, I am no longer the one who made it, so I am the audience too. It's more interesting to live like this. But I am moved to see all these people giving their time to live an adventure and that is not always obvious. I am always touched by the immense curiosity and desire to experience emotions that are external to yourself.
It's an adventure, not really dangerous, but it's there anyway.
What do you hope to take away from your time at FID 2019?
Living in the emotion of what this moment of encounters, understanding, misunderstanding, friendship evokes, also because I have sometimes met people with whom life continues together, far or near, because of our films. And what I find to be a radical position on the part of the Fid team reassures me on the film market. It is to FID that I would like to give all the premieres of my films, if they like them, of course.
"It is to FID that I would like to give all the premieres of my films, if they like them, of course."
Can you tell me a little bit about Holy Days what can we expect?
It's a 40' film, so it's a pretty short trip elsewhere. I hope that those who will see it will be able to bear, in a short time, that the narrative ways are not in the common language. It is a film that can be considered silent but which is nevertheless very telling. I was denied it at all grants, considered incomprehensible. For my part, it's a very simple film. So I don't know what to say to you about what to expect when you see it. You will tell me.
What was the inspiration behind this film?
The true story of a man who has lost the bonds of desire, in every sense of the word.
What is around it is what cannot be kept silent.
What was the most challenging part of bringing this film to life?
None. I did it under holiday conditions.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
It’s exciting, as all the arts, as much as anything that helps you meet yourself, no matter where you are. It is an easy form to work with, and very playful. It gives a lot of pleasure, in the conditions in which I work, that is to say with people who get along, listen to each other and have fun, over a given period of time.
How much has your approach to your films changed since your debut?
My quest is always the same, the exploration of languages, narrative routes, temporalities.
I always explore a little more with each new film. I am currently engaged in a film subject in which I believe that this quest can come to life.
Looking back at your work is there anything you would like to do differently or change?
Even if that were the case, and if it can be the case, I am not interested in thinking that way. The route is certainly the most interesting thing and we are elsewhere all the time.
How important is the collaborative nature in filmmaking for you?
It is the most fundamental thing, even beyond the people whose free intervention I appreciate and even ask for, I find that everything has its part to bring, from the fly to the weather I take as it is and which always gives.
What is the best piece of advice you would offer an emerging filmmaker?
Do as you wish.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
Emotion, no matter if it is connected to what they recognize in them or not.
A friend told me: It's disturbing and I like it.