Interview. Sleeve. At the heart of a documentary, Estèphe realizes her dream of working in the cinema

The journey of young Coutans Estèphe Lesaulnier, here on the set of Les Rois de la Piste in Quinéville, serves as a common thread for the documentary film by Hugo Guillochin and François Dourlen. (©Jean-Paul BARBIER)

News: Your journey serves as the framework for a 52-minute documentary film entitled “I don’t know anyone”, directed by François Dourlen and written by Hugo Guillochin, produced by Nolita, Maxime Delauney’s production company. What is he talking about?

Estephe Lesaulnier: It’s a film about a young person’s transition to the working world. Making movies when you live in Coutances seems super far away. We think we have to be in Paris. Because Paris, it is 80% of the intermittent contracts of the show.

Maxime Delauney and François Dourlen spoke about this documentary film in front of the college students of Montebourg during the presentation by the Cotentin of the “Ambition profession” scheme, which aims for young people to break down the psychological barriers to access to certain professions. “It’s the network of those who don’t have a network,” said David Margueritte, president of Agglo Cotentin. That’s right on topic.

EL: Exactly. I’m also going to take part in “Ambition profession”. The starting point of the film is that I am the common thread to show that you can make films in Normandy and not just in Paris. At the base of the documentary, we were going to meet film professionals: Jean-Paul Rouve, Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Fabrice Eboué… to talk about cinema in Normandy. Filming should have started in April 2021. Since the first contact in February 2021, it lasted a year and a half. I took part in the voiceovers and I went back there this Saturday, October 29 to finalize.

First… on the waiting list!

So what is your background?

EL: Cinema has been my passion since childhood. The Fémis competition (National School of Image and Sound Professions) was my goal. It’s kind of the Holy Grail for people who want to make films. The first round, I got it. The second round, I got it. But in the third round, I was the first… on the waiting list. There were only six people taken in the department out of about 500 applicants. Huge disappointment. It was in September 2020. I find myself in a master’s degree at the University of Rennes. It was total depression… My father, seeing this, sent an email, without knowing it, to Maxime Delauney. He did it without my knowledge. It was touching. Me, in parallel, I sent messages to Nolita (Editor’s note: the production company co-created by Maxime Delauney and which also broke through without any network in the world of cinema). In February 2021, Nolita offers me a one-week observation internship on the set of Storm, an 11 million euro film! It was the last week, end of May. It impressed me a lot. For me, it was amazing. This set experience was impressive.

It went well since you are now working on the set of Les Rois de la Piste at the moment in the Cotentin, a film also produced by Nolita.

EL: Yes, I am a stagehand on the set of Les Rois de la piste which lasts seven weeks. We manage the movements of the cameras and all the structures that surround the proper functioning of the image. Internships, I did plenty: 3rd assistant director on two feature films, assistant cameraman on the set of Cadors. But this is my first paid feature film. Next door, I do video management, more in Alençon. This is my takeoff. I’m just starting to make a living out of it.

“I don’t know anyone” will be broadcast on France 3 Normandie and the Slash platform of France TV but also in preview during the Egaluantes festival in Carentan. Can you tell us a bit more?

EL: There will be three screenings planned during the Egaluantes: Thursday November 24 and Friday November 25 (at the theater at 10.05 a.m.) for schoolchildren and Saturday November 26 at 2.45 p.m. in the village hall. We will be present to interact with the public.

If you had one message to pass on to the young people of Cotentin and La Manche, what would it be?

EL: You must never give up. You have to persevere if you think you have found your way, your passion. Perhaps we won’t find what we’re looking for behind the first door, but behind the second or third. We have to fight. You have to believe.

Interview by Jean-Philippe MASSIEU

Videos: currently on Actu

Was this article helpful to you? Know that you can follow La Presse de la Manche in space My News . In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.

Interview. Sleeve. At the heart of a documentary, Estèphe realizes her dream of working in the cinema