Robin Campillo speeds up the pace of the Competition

Film still of 120 battements par minutes (BPM (Beats Per Minute)) © Céline Nieszawer

This is a film that’s been eagerly-awaited by the French press. 120 battements par minute (BPM (Beats Per Minute)) is catapulting Robin Campillo into the Competition for the first time, four years after the noteworthy Eastern Boys. For his third feature film, the filmmaker has worked with Adèle Haenel and Arnaud Valois, exciting talents in this generation of young French actors and who are joined by the Argentine actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart.

120 BPM. The average heart rate. The protagonists of 120 battements par minute (120 Beats per Minute) are passionate about fighting the indifference that exists towards AIDS. We are at the dawn of the 1990s, the virus is bringing devastation and the association Act Up is taking drastic action. Nathan (Arnaud Valois) joins the movement and is soon thrown off balance by the radical stance of some of the members.

If Robin Campillo had followed his dreams as a young filmmaker, 120 battements par minute would have been produced twenty years ago. At that time he was a campaigner for Act Up, seduced by the words of media types, but most of all staggered by the spread of AIDS. But the producer, at the time a young film editor, didn't feel comfortable enough to write such a film. Not then anyway…

While he waited, Robin Campillo avoided the pitfalls and started to make his way in the French film world. First, in the shadow of some great names, as a film editor for Gilles Marchand (Qui a tué Bambi ? (Who Killed Bambi), Out of Competition in 2003), or co-scriptwriter for Laurent Cantet for Entre les murs (The Class), Palme d’or in 2008. The first film to carry Robin Campillo's came came out in 2004, Les Revenants (They Came Back), later adapted into a TV series. With Eastern Boys (2014), the producer won over the critics by recounting an uncompromising tale of seduction, cunning and love between a bourgeois forty-something and a young boy from eastern Europe. Compassionate, psychological and lyrical.