THE FRENCH BOYS, PART 1 - Short Film Collection
The new short film collection from NQV Media is out this week to watch on demand. The French Boys, Part 1 features five shorts collected from the across the Channel from the country that basically invented romance. Ranging from quaint Gallic villages to idyllic Parisian streets, each film captures a unique Queer story from France. Take a look at each of the short films in the collection below.
SO LONG, PARIS.
Starring: Arthur Igual, Paul Gaël Kamilindi, Lucy Pouchoulin
Director: Charles Dudoignon-Valade
Lucy’s parents are divorced and split between London and Paris. Staying with her Dad in the latter, she convinces him to let her stay longer than agreed, only to be surprised to accidentally meet his new boyfriend, of whom she knew nothing. An ode to Paris, with its gorgeous streets captured in glorious golden-hour technicolour, this is a sweet short that romanticises the city - not that it needed any help with that. Whimsical and cute, its characters are as idiosyncratic as its art direction as Lucy clambers across the grey roofs with a birds-eye view over the stunning city below. Sugary and sweet, this is fluffy, light and fun.
Starring: Alassane Diong, Yoann Zimmer, Emile Fofana, Steven Dagrou, Nacima Bekthaoui
Director: Josza Anjembe
In a French prison, an inmate just days away from release must keep a lid on his emotions as he meets and falls for a new arrival in his block. Trying desperately not to draw attention to himself, the heart wants what the heart wants but in a prison that can only do exactly that. A character piece about a good soul trapped in a dangerous place, this hyper-masculine world is drenched in hazards; those that he wants and those that he doesn’t. With a spectacular performance from its lead, we follow this tortured soul through a transition that he both longs for and dreads. A superb short film.
VINCENT BEFORE NOON.
Starring: Jacques Bonnaffé, Mathias Labelle
Director: Guillaume Mainguet
Vincent is packing to move house when his estranged father arrives. Insisting he stays to help, all Vincent wants is for his Dad to leave, but the older man has news that he wants to share. Underpinned by a sense of urgency by both parties but bogged down by their years of anger, is a reconciliation on the cards, or will their past continue to stand between them? A well-written short with conflict at every line, the characters are trapped both between the half-packed boxes and between their past and future. A moment of both physical and emotional transition, this fifteen minutes in Vincent’s life is captured exquisitely by a director confident enough to let his characters breathe.
Starring: Quentin Dolmaire, Théo Augier, Julien Gaspar-Oliveri, Lou Chrétien-Février
Director: Roman Kané
Joseph is struggling with depression. He has always relied on his brother for support, but when the latter dies of cancer he is forced to confront the demons that he has long been battling. A film about finally admitting the truth, the short follows an adorably messy character who can’t help but bumble his way through every interaction. Almost comedic, he gets everything wrong and makes constant mistakes, but you can’t help but fall in love with this gorgeous character whose grief manifests itself with clown-like silliness. An exquisitely drawn and beautifully composed film.
Starring: Simon Royer, Marvin Dubart, Mathias Houngnikpo, Louise Malek
Director: Florent Gouëlou
In a small town in rural France, a village is holding an “open theatre” event at which anyone can perform what they want. Seventeen year-old Léo takes this opportunity to make his drag debut, much to the consternation of his older brother. A film about toxic masculinity, this short about drag queens invading a sleepy backwater is territory that has been trod oft before, but it doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Sassy, fun and fabulous, this is glamour with a heart, then rolled in glitter and let loose on a public not ready for them.
The first in a quadrilogy, this initial instalment of The French Boys is a fantastically diverse but distinctively French collection of disparate LGBT+ voices. Capturing the essence of a country known for its poise, elegance and innovation, these shorts give an accurate slice of the daily lives of our nearest and dearest neighbours.
UK Release: 3rd December 2021 on VOD, released by NQV Media