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Sport movies are very popular in the USA, much less so in Europe. But you decided to tell two stories about sports.
My first movie, Les Petits Princes, was very personal, it was about a boy and his dream to become a football player. I probably am set up for these kind of stories. But as a matter of fact sport interested me less for Les Beaux Esprits, I was interested by the team’s interactions and its following thought about disability. Moreover shooting sport sequences is very hard, it takes a lot of different angles and a strong editing work. I shot all those scenes in one week and it was the hardest.
This is your first time in Locarno and your movie will be screened on the Piazza Grande. How do you feel?
It’s amazing, this is the world premiere and I feel proud and lucky, because it’s a comedy and to present the movie to the audience of Locarno is a great satisfaction. I love making popular movies that could cross borders and reach a different audience. At least I try.
As a matter of fact your way of mixing the genres is very interesting.
Les Beaux Esprits has a lighter mood than my first movie, though there was still some comedy in there. I need this balance to keep the interest about the story alive to myself in the first place.
And what interested you about this true story?
The internal dynamics of the team made of disabled and “healthy” people. The story of the Spanish mental disabled basketball team at Sydney Paralympic Games is sad and dramatic, but it’s been kind of an excuse to explore these interactions and give a different point of view about disability.
Did you wanted to be a professional football player?
It was something I gave up quite soon, when I was sixteen, but it had been a dream for a short period of my life and I tried to tell this story in Les Petit Princes. I was not determined to become a professional football player and everything went its way naturally. But I still love football. Basketball not that much.