Tell us about the genesis of your film
I started writing En attendant les hirondelles (Until the Birds Return) in 2009. I was questioning the concept of engagement, or how individuals develop awareness. For me, this question is mainly asked at the key moments in life when we are forced to make choices. And that is how I decided to tell the stories of people who are faced with choices.
The atmosphere during the shoot? An anecdote from the set?
For this filming, I brought in technicians I had enjoyed working with on my last film. And other new people were integrated into the filming. I believe that it was one of the most intense moments of my life. Our complicity enabled us to hold out during the difficult times.
For the anecdote, I would just say: "minibus !!!" The film crew will understand.
A word about your actors?
This film tells three stories with at least two central characters in each story. I had to find actors who corresponded to the characters as I had imagined them. For some of them, like Mehdi Ramdani, Mohamed Djouhri and Sonia Mekkiou, I knew very quickly that they would be part of the film. For others, I had to go in search of them and do auditions. In the end, I am happy with this blend of professional and non-professional actors.
What did you learn during the making of this film?
That you have to trust your intuition. Don't hesitate to try out many things during the filming before starting the montage.
Your sources of influence?
I have watched many films by great auteurs such as Abbas Kiarostami, Michelangelo Antonioni or even Stanley Kubrick, names that frequently come up in the list of the favourite filmmakers of cinephiles. But I believe that to make films the first thing is to look around yourself and question what you see.