Antoine Priou

I am a 33 years old filmmaker. I have been working in the film industry for the past 13 years as an editor and FX artist working on projects such as movies, tv series and corporate videos. I directed "Pete" which was my first animated first film received 8 nominations in festivals. After that two I've made short documentaries: Rail's farm and The Chestnut house which were selected in festivals as well and for which I won 3 awards for Best Short Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. "Luke and Oscar" is my fourth project as a director/writer/editor/producer. The film is really well as it has been nominated in 39 festivals around the world and won 46 prizes for now including Best Short Film, Best International Cartoon film, Best Director and Producer and Best editing. I will open soon a production called Atom Studios based between Paris and Mexico.

What is the story behind your film?
My project initially came from a joke I thought about after watching some cartoons as I am a huge fans of them. But the joke has been developed into a more concrete project as I tried to build it. The joke to call it like that was the ending. I will keep it a mystery for those who haven’t discovered the project yet. The challenge was the process I had to do to develop every step of the film until I had the beginning. It didn’t come so easily as I wanted it to be well crafted so I searched inspiration watching comedy and reading comics. Step by step, some images made sense and helped me get the project as it is finally shown now.


What should people take away, gain, realize after watching your film?
First of all I want them to have a good time and a good laugh. That would be something positive to take from the film and make their day. Moreover I really hope that they see the message behind the comedy. I realized after finishing it that it was much more than a cartoon and really put some of my personality in it. I hope that they can appropriate the film to themselves and make it a positive experience and maybe help shaping the world or their own world with more colors.

Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
I think films in general have the capacity to change people more for the better than the worse. Everyone that watch films have I think a movie that made an impact on them and make them more realize about human topics which I think is great. I would like to add that some movies have strong impact on society and can help change the world or the way people think. Of course when you go see a movie for most people is to be entertained but every emotions you can gain watching it, can make you think about anything. For me this is a powerful tool and we sure need movies and stories in our society.

What creation style did you use in the production of your project? What cameraman elements did you use?
Actually the intention was to use 2D animation until the beginning to make the project. As looking at the different test done for the characters. I felt something was missing. I found different inspiration and asked Cédric the designer to create the characters with some indications. The result was really original as it’s a mix of comics, anime and cartoon drawing. I was really impressed by the quality and the emotions driven by the drawings. He has made an impressive work and I am glad I did ask him.


How did you select the actors for your project?
I didn’t have any actors but my friend Jean Marie which is the sound designer and the composer of the score on the project did all the voices of the characters. He really did a great job and work on all my projects since the first one. He really gets into the projects and have a great gift of creating characters only using his voice.

Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?
That’s a good question actually. I think it should appeal to distributors because the project can be seen by a wide range of people starting from young audience to adults and it’s really entertaining.

At which festival has your film been screened?
It will be really long to make a list of all the festivals as it has receive a warm welcome in a lot of festivals. I am really happy about that and surprised as well to receive a huge present like that. The film has been screened at 58 festivals around the world and received more than a hundred awards. It has been screened in France, USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Canada, Greece, India, Portugal, Georgia, Sweden, Poland.

How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film?
Well the first word I heard was “I love the style and it made me laugh”. In majority a lot of people reacted well to the project not just for the aspects I told before, but as well they told me it has some kind of poetry in it that makes the project emotional and touching.

If you could change something in your film, what would it be?
I think I won’t change anything as it appears to me as it is, and I think the construction is efficient until the end. Moreover it’s easy to watch and understand.

Which movies are your favorites and why?
The first movie that was a shock for me when I was ten years old was Luc Besson’s “The Professional”. The movie is a modern version of the tale “Beauty and the Beast”. I am really fond of tales because they can talk to everyone and I’m not talking about the Disney version. Related to the upcoming question they really explore the human in all its way: their best or their darkest aspects.

What topics do you like to address in your stories?
I want to speak about human topics even if it’s through an entertaining way. There is a proverb that really speaks to me when it comes to the short film: “Don’t judge me by my appearance, it doesn’t define my worth or character”. In this way proverb are a great way to build synopsis and construct a clear structure of what you want your project to be.

What is your motivation in making films?
I think making films is a great way of expression. You can talk about any subjects and make them yours, even some that are taboo. Each film you make is motivating by a side of your personality that can be revealed and shown, even if you aware of it or no.


Which contemporary filmmakers motivate you the most?
The filmmaker that motivates me the most now is Guillermo Del Toro. I have never seen someone so creative and capable of creating inspiring and magical world, even if it’s dark. Every project he does is motivated by powerful ideas even if it’s visual and/or through the storytelling. The most I discover about him the most I am inspired which is about his personals history or every projects that he makes. Another one that impresses me is James Cameron for the capability he has to use the technology to explore filmmaking in all its way.

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
Actually I have 6 projects to realize in the future, shorts animation and live action projects with actors. But the most ambitious I want to realize is an 45 minutes adaptation of a story coming from the “Popol Vuh” the mayan bible which is about a journey of revenge of two twin brothers to the city of Xibalba to avenge the death of their father.