BLACK BOX, 8min., China, Drama
Directed by Olivier Hero Dressen
"The Black Box" is a romantic drama film that tells the story of Thibaut, a Frenchman, and Sai, a Chinese girl, who fall in love during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis. Despite the harsh quarantine restrictions, they decide to meet and spend time together, with Thibaut having to endure 28 days of quarantine to do so. The film explores their relationship, which is narrated through dream, reality, and Sai's fantasies. At one point, Sai describes herself as a black box, the memory of their relationship and the moments that never happened. The film also touches on their shared fascination with planes and airports, with Thibaut collecting photos of X-rays with his suitcase and Sai being fascinated by plane black boxes. The film ultimately explores the fragility and indestructibility of relationships, memory, and love.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
"The Black Box" was motivated by a desire to explore the complexities of love and relationships, particularly during challenging times like the COVID-19 crisis.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
From the initial idea to the final product, it took us approximately six months to make "The Black Box."
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Two words to describe our film: Emotional and Resilient.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Our biggest obstacle during the film's production was coordinating our heads; this film resulted from multiple brainstorms and schedules between myself, Francesco Fioretto, and Thibaut Royer.
We shot that movie right after the pandemic, so we didn't have to deal with the restrictions.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Watching the audience discuss "The Black Box" in the feedback video was heartwarming. Seeing how our film touched the hearts of different viewers was a rewarding experience. It's also super enjoyable for me to see the different interpretations and points of view from a technical standpoint.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
It came actually after directing many different short films. At first, I started animation films to challenge my drawing skills, and through the years, I became increasingly in love with the format. Movies are an excellent opportunity to work with creative minds in various fields; they also cover many disciplines I like as an artist. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to tell stories, first drawing, then comics book, followed by animated films, and finally now, short movies and soon feature films.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Hard to say, many... Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Back to The Future, Star Wars (old ones), Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, and many other movies. I usually watch at least one movie per day.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Connect filmmakers with producers, studios, and big players in the industry.
Making movies require funds, and being a good filmmaker doesn't necessarily pair with the ability to find money to finance it.
I also loved your previous format in the cinema; it makes the presentation neater and improves the impact of the review and the experience with the audience in an actual theater.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How have your experiences been working on the festival platform site?-
Our experience with FilmFreeway has been smooth and efficient, allowing us to submit our film to various festivals seamlessly and gather many awards through our different projects; our third film wins your competition; we love your festival!
10. What is your favorite meal?
A Belgian meal I ate when I was younger; chicken, fries, and apple sauce with homemade mayonnaise ;)
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Next for us is working on two new features films projects, "The Passport," an extended version of our award-winning movie that got more than 18 awards and 70 nominations worldwide, and an original story I wrote called Backpackers, a love story with serial killers.
And for the rest, the usual suspects, more short films and commercials projects, and expanding our storytelling horizons in different genres.