Interview with Camille Fleury, Writer and Director of Hide & Seek

The 2017 Fine Cut Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Award went to Camille Fluery for her short film, Hide and Seek. 


Camille Fleury studied Film at University in Paris. After her master degree, she worked as assistant director on french feature films for five years. In 2015, she directed her first film Hide and Seek.She recently moved to Berlin and works both in France and Germany.


Witer/Director Camille Fleury
Witer/Director Camille Fleury

Do you think filmmaking is important for society?

Camille Fleury: I think filmmaking is important because films make the audience think about our society and feel empathy.

Both fictions and documentaries allow us to access a new point of view on our world. Making and watching films represent for me a way to stay curious and open-minded towards other people. It also gives you a critical distance.

The emotion I get while watching films make me feel human, because I can relate to people who are far from me (geographically, culturally or in their way of life). I think this can make us more tolerant and less judgmental.

What do you hope an audience takes away from your film?

CF: Above all, I hope the audience won’t stay indifferent, but will empathize with all the characters, with Alice of course, but also with the mother, the sister and the other patient. Hide & Seek tries to show the bipolar disorder without psychological explanations, but in a realistic and palpable way. Therefore, I hope that the film will help to fight some clichés and fears and that the members of the audience – especially the ones who never went to or visited someone in a mental institution – will consider people suffering from mental illness and their family with more tolerance and understanding.

Making this film is a way to open the doors of psychiatric hospitals, which are places well hidden and isolated from the rest of society.

What does having your film play at Cannes mean for a filmmaker?

CF: As a French filmmaker, for me Cannes Film Festival is one of the best opportunities to watch the most interesting and innovative independent films and meet the people (directors, producers, distributors...) who make and show those films.

I’m very proud and thankful to be part of it this year and very excited about the screening of Hide & Seek at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase.

Why did you make this film?

CF: I made this film, because I visited a relative in a mental institution when I was 13.

This experience was very difficult. But what was even more difficult was my own inability to explain to my friends what a mental illness was like.

I think Hide & Seek was a way to show and recreate the reality I’ve seen and to confront my own fear and shame. 

How do you come up with an idea for a film?

CF: My way of coming up with an idea for a film is very autobiographical. Generally, it comes from the desire of expressing a strong emotion or remarkable situation I experienced in my life. It can also come from a location and the desire of filming a story that happens in this specific place.

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What was the biggest obstacle you faced?

CF: I would say that the biggest obstacle was the time it took to finance and make the film. It was indeed difficult to persist, face most challenges alone and to keep trying to convince institutions and production companies to finance the film, when I knew that hundreds of other filmmakers were also trying.

How did you finance your film?

CF: I first got a scholarship called Bourse Déclics Jeunes from Fondation de France It is a fund for people under 30, having a professional project with a social dimension.

That was crucial in realizing that I should really try to make my film in a professional way with a team, budget, and the right equipment. Six months later I applied for funding at G.R.E.C.. This association finances short films for first time filmmakers, with public funds. The aim of G.R.E.C. is to find new talents and help filmmakers, who are not well-enough known to be produced by companies of the traditional system. The money of this second scholarship allowed me to make my film with a great team and professional equipment.

Why did you want to become a filmmaker?

CF: It wasn’t so much about becoming a filmmaker as an abstract idea, but more about that I felt the need of expressing myself through films. Film has always been the art to which I’ve been the most sensitive. Even when I was young watching a film in a movie theater was an experience that especially touched me. For me, because films combine so many artistic pieces, they have the potential of creating very complex and long-lasting emotions.

In addition, I’ve always been fascinated by the team work and how demanding and exciting it is to collaborate with so many people in order to create a movie. One cannot make a film alone and must rely on so many other people.

What is your next project?

CF: My next project is a short film about jealousy. I’m still working on the script.

What would you tell an aspiring filmmaker?

CF: I would tell her or him that he or she can only succeed step by step. Thinking about the whole process from the beginning of writing a script to showing it at festivals can be overwhelming and frightening at times. I would also say that it is crucial to choose people, who understand your project and who want to make the same film. It is probably one of the most important part to find the right people. And at last I would add that you should always keep in mind why you wanted to make the film in the beginning.

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