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Festival Schedule and Program

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2009 Festival Feature Films (March 27-29)

Mia et le Migou

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[French screenwriter and art director Benoît Chieux presents the animated film Mia et le Migou]

director/producer Jacques-Rémy Girerd screenplay Benoît Chieux, Antoine Lanciaux, Iouri Tcherenkov voices Dany Boon, Garance Lagraa running time 1 h 32 min general audience


Mia is a young girl barely 10 years old. Alerted by a premonition, she decides to leave her native village somewhere in South America in search of her father. He has been gone for some time, working on a huge construction site to transform a tropical forest into a luxurious resort hotel. Mia’s journey to find her father is long. She must cross a remote mountain, surrounded by a dark forest populated by mysterious beings. In the midst of this magical world, the young girl will discover an uncommon tree and be confronted with the true forces of nature.

An extraordinary adventure. ...

Jacques-Rémy Girerd

2008 Mia et le Migou
2003 La Prophétie des grenouilles
1998 L’Enfant au grelot
1988 Amerlock

actor (voice)
Dany Boon

2009 Le Code a changé by Danièle Thompson
  De l’autre côté du lit by Pascale Pouzadoux
2008 Mia et le Migou by Jacques-Rémy Girerd
  Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis
  MR73 by Olivier Marchal
2006 Mon meilleur ami by Patrice Leconte
  La Doublure by Francis Veber
  La maison du Bonheur
2005 Joyeux Noël by Christian Carion
  The Magic Roundabout by Dave Borthwick and Jean Duval
2003 La Vie de chantier
  Pédale dure by Gabriel Aghion
1998 Bimboland by Ariel Zeitoun
1997 Le Déménagement by Olivier Doran
  Amour, travail, santé... by Antoine Lepoivre
  Paroles d’hommes by Philippe Le Dem
1996 Oui by Alexandre Jardin
1995 Le Grand Blanc de Lambaréné by Bassek Ba Kobhio

Benoît Chieux

2008 Mia et le Migou by Jacques-Rémy Girerd
Patate et le jardin potager by Benoït Chieux and Damien Louche-Pélissier
1998 L'Enfantau grelot by Jacques-Rémy Girerd

actor (voice)
Garance Lagraa

2008 Mia et le Migou

Interview with Jacques-Remy Girerd (director)

How does an adventure such as Mia et le Migou begin?
The first moments of a film are born from a succession of more or less chaotic, sometimes rich and luminous ideas … Mia et le Migousometimes completely idiotic, but all clinging to a strong intention. A first selection must be made from what is boiling inside you. You have to press on further, and then an assortment of images, bits of characters, fragments of dialogues emerge, which I put end-to-end at random. The ideas turn over in my head, sometimes for months, and then one beautiful day I feel that I have got something serious, the line is tightened, something wiggles in my hand: a small courageous orphan girl, a Migou like they just do not make any more, a type of road film … a real blessing!

How was the animated universe of “Mia” born.
The set illustrator team, under the direction of Benoît Chieux, sought out the visual atmosphere that would stick best to the text. At the beginning Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy or Paul Cézanne fueled their reflection. Of course, they had the good mind to break away from it. The idea was to go beyond classical illustrations and to take a painter’s approach without fear of revealing the brushstrokes, accidents of the trade tools or the trace marks. Every background in the film is a small work of art in its triumphal pictorial aspects. The miracles of computer technology did the rest — giving each background set light, depth and kinetics. To say it like this, everything may appear simple, but it was a constant battle.

How long did it take to make the film?
Six years in total. Two years to write it, which goes up to the editing of the black-and-white animation. Three years of intense production and the rest to finish up and prepare the opening of the film.

You have been making animated films for 30 years, what outlook do you have on this profession?
Do not tell my mother; she believes that I am a writer! I came to animation by chance. All of my life Mia et le MigouI have been permanently torn between working alone — writing books for example — and, on the other hand, managing large teams. When I am alone I would like to be with others and when I am too long with others, I would like to escape to the end of the desert. Making an animated film is a collective experience of total creativity; we touch on all aspects, it is prodigious, the language is universal, and the possibilities of the imagination are infinite. Animated cinema gave me my most gratifying joys as an artist and as a citizen. It is always where I go back to, like when you return to your parents’ house. Chance has become roots.




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