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VENICE 2008 Critics’ Week / France

Collardey explores rural world in L’apprenti

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Collardey explores rural world in L’apprenti

Samuel Collardey’s L’apprenti [+see also:
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film profile
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(“The Apprentice”) combines documentary and fiction to tell the story of 15-year-old protagonist Mathieu. The latter is a student in an agricultural institute and is doing his apprenticeship (whence the film’s title) on a small farm in Haut-Doubs (Franche-Comté), where Paul and his wife, Martine, produce milk.

The son of separated parents, Mathieu is unstable and aggressive and adapts slowly to life in the countryside with his host family, finding in Paul a missing father figure.

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"I need to start from the real", explained the director, who shot the film in 35mm. "Naturally, I take liberties. What’s important is that the audience shares the emotion". For Collardey, the desire to explore the rural world springs from his roots: "It was my parent’s world. But I’m the one who left to study in the city, the artist. I nevertheless maintain a role in that community: they make milk, I make a film about them, I represent them".

The director attended the Fémis film school and his graduate short, Sun in Winter (2005), won awards at numerous festivals. The film explored ideas that are developed in his debut feature, L’apprenti (produced by Lazenec).

Collardey continued: "When I met Paul, I was fascinated by this man who doesn’t receive apprentices in order to have free labour but to really build something with them. I found Mathieu in the high school where I filmed my short. He told me about his life and I was moved".

The title is set to be released domestically on December 3.

(Translated from Italian)

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