How ‘Fanboy’ Helmer Cedric Ido Defied Gravity to Make a Genre Movie Despite French Biz Resistance (EXCLUSIVE) Most Popular Must Read Sign Up for Variety Newsletters More From Our Brands

The planets have aligned for self-proclaimed fanboy French director Cédric Ido for his long-running sci-fi caper – set in a futuristic and glamorous Paris, despite the reluctance of the French film biz. Funding for films in the thriller genre “The Gravity”.

The actor-director deftly combines Japanese mythology and a mysterious solar system in his second feature for a realistic approach that slowly twists the stasis of a Parisian suburb into cosmic chaos.

“The Gravity” played as part of the lineup at the 5th Joburg Film Festival in South Africa last week, along with Ido Variety The biggest challenge was buying colors for the project.

‘Gravity’ is a script that I had in mind for so long. At the same time, it’s very personal, like many aspects of the relationships between the characters and also the background – being from the suburbs, the banlieue.”

Ido decided to keep the “gravitational” paradigm in the mold of science fiction. “I’ve always wanted to talk about the talented people I met in the banlieue, especially the very close people – mostly artists – who were struggling to exist in a place where social racism Very strong.

“When you’re telling something personal, you don’t want to be too up front. I needed to find a personal way to be true to my vision, which comes from Japanese cinema and science fiction and all those influences I grew up with. climbed and which I love without shame.

“I like to describe myself as a fanboy of what I want to bring to cinema,” he says.

“Genre helps you tell a story without being too front-end. I felt that incorporating this Japanese myth into ‘The Gravity’ made sense with the science fiction. It was a great way to tell the story.”

Ido says funding remains the biggest challenge “when you say you want to do something different.”

“People get scared when you say I want to make this kind of film but then add some style. They go: ‘Oh, we’re not used to that’ – especially if you come from France. Look at the movies. You don’t see much of the genre. People are still scared of it.

“We knew from the beginning that we weren’t going to have a lot of money to make this film so we had to be careful. At a certain point, we also knew we couldn’t go back and do something more conventional. We decided to push the genre further if we could. We said stay true to what we want to do. I think that was a great move.”

After the global breakout success of something like Korea’s “Squid Game” on Netflix, is it getting easier to get unconventional projects greenlit?

“People are still scared,” he says. “Everybody loved ‘The Squid Game’ and everybody saw it. But it’s not an easy move for a producer, especially a financier, to do that. It’s changing. I think the world saw the reaction in France as well. has been

“People want to see this kind of content and at a certain point producers and financiers have to be able to recognize that, to be able to go for it because we want to see different things.

“I’m part of the audience and I want to see new things. Brave things. Not always the same kind of French film. I’m tired of seeing the same films. When I go to the movies, I feel I’ve seen this kind of film before. The proposition has to be fresh. And I think it’s coming – and it has to be.”

As a filmmaker today compared to when he came up through the ranks, Ido doesn’t think it’s necessarily easier.

“Compared to us, the most important thing young filmmakers have today is that they have references – models – they can refer to. That’s something I didn’t have then.

“You see a new generation of filmmakers and artists emerging – including in France – and that’s what I’m trying to show them: it’s possible. We have some black pioneers in filmmaking in France too. There were but you never heard of them unless I specifically looked for them.

“I remember at that time, most of my references were from abroad. They were from America. They had black directors. The path was tough. Even in Africa, it’s difficult to make films because we’re on funding from Europe. have been dependent on. Now, a new generation has a bigger perspective — they see that it’s really possible.”

“The only way to defy gravity is to do what you love and be true to it because it’s possible,” he says.

“I wasn’t supposed to do films. But I pushed the walls. I pushed the ceiling. You need to work hard and be passionate about it.

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