Focus on another filmmaker with a project in the Cinéfondation Atelier: Léa Fehner from France. She has brought a project to Cannes which, once funding secured, will be her first feature film: Qu’un seul tienne et les autres suivront. "This is a choral film where three stories are played out within the walls of a prison,” related the filmmaker. In this world of constraints and rules, the characters each have a different relationship with prison, arriving at decisive moments in their lives. There are three stories: a young man who will swap places in a prison waiting room with a crook so that he can escape; a woman who will meet the one who killed her son, and a 15-year old adolescent who will give up on her man locked up in prison."
Where does Léa Fehner find her source of inspiration? "In French cinema; I love directors like Audiard or Kechiche. I also like the work of Kieslowski; a certain complexity mixed with the sensitivity of the characters, the places, the faces that are familiar enough that we can’t necessarily imagine their stories. That’s the type of influence that has nurtured my own story."
Looking back on how she came to filmmaking: "I grew up in a theatrical family, itinerant theatre under a tent. I became aware early on of what it means to be before an audience and how cruel it can be. My parents gave me a taste for storytelling, show time, but in the end, I prefer a sort of back seat, a position from which we can develop our art, and that is why I prefer to tell stories through others who incarnate the characters."
In response to being in Cannes, Léa Fehner declared, "It’s my first time in Cannes, a real discovery for me. I’m pleased to be in this selection, to meet the other people from different countries who might be able to help my project come alive. Arriving in Cannes is quite surprising; we arrive with a project under the arm and then find ourselves confronted with other projects, a place where hundreds of stories intersect. At first we feel quite alone, but gradually it all falls into place and becomes quite interesting. Many deals are made in Cannes, and we will see if it is possible or not for a French filmmaker to find financing."
She commented on her first encounter with a prospective producer, "It’s a bit weird, they are not always that interested in the subject of the film. I feel a bit disarmed since the meeting revolved around financial details. I think it is necessary to know how to talk about the project with a certain knowledge of the financial stakes, which is what this Atelier is all about.”