ANGEL is a documentary that will be started shooting mid-March. A road movie exploring important places of Angel’s life, that include animated sequences.
Thanks to the commitment of the production company Le-Lokal (Toulouse, France) I received the support of the Midi-Pyrénées Region, the Bretagne Region and the broadcaster France 3 Languedoc-Roussillon.
But now I need your help to finance the animated sequences that will allow the spectator to dive into Angel’s imagination, his fears and fantasy.
Angel is 86 years old. Born in Barcelona, he has seen his mother die before his eyes in 1937 and went into exile on the Catalan roads. He was then 10 years old and in charge of his 6 years old sister and his 4 years old brother. The siblings get imprisoned in the French concentration camps of Argelès-sur-Mer and eventually find their missing father in Sarlat. Years later, as Angel has become an anarcho-syndicalist activist, he gets arrested, tortured and sentenced to death.
Throughout the movie Angel will travel with his friend Dominique, whom parents where Spanish exiliados. Dominique’s father died when he was 10 as a result of an injury received during the Spanish Civil War. Angel will confide in him, tell him his memories, show him his notes, his pictures, his drawings… open his heart. Their conversations throughout the journey in Angel’s past will be the central element of the movie.
A LIFE PATH FROM A CHILD’S-EYE VIEW
Angel could be the grandfather I've never met, who died too soon during the war. He is the same age and we have the same last name.
Angel lived this war with his child eyes. When he had to go into exile he was only 10 and in charge of this brother and sister. His mother was dead, his father missing, fighting somewhere against Franco’s troops.
But ANGEL is not another movie about the Spanish Civil War. It is a movie about a life path. The path of a child who has become a man in such trying circumstances of exile, uprooting, abandonment and later imprisonment and pain. In the evening of his life, Angel tells us his story, remembering his mother and the child he was then. He reveals a necessity to pass on this memory. To pass on the torch.
I want to tell Angel’s story on a human-scale view… a child’s-scale view even. I’ll be seeking this child’s look, these buried words, and distant memories by going with Angel to the most striking places he’s been to in his life. This return to places of remembrance is the central element of the film.
The animation was self-evident to me as an essential way to go deeper in Angel’s personal world since he told me that he would always see his mother beside him.
Supporting the narration, the animation will be the link between a realist and a fantasy world. It will guide us to Angel’s deepest dreams, fears and imagination. It will allow us to see the world around him with the eyes of a child that he still has today.
Angel has drawn the house where he used to live in Barcelona, the place his father used to work at, the streetcars, to show it to his grandchildren. He also drew himself on a bike with his sister. These drawings will inspire the animation.
In order to feel Angel’s symbolic and fantasy world, we will use Marc Ménager’s animation work with sand. Marc also explores the Spanish Civil War memory combining several animation techniques. For ANGEL we will use animated sand. The sand will be worked with brushes, modelling tools and a box cutter. These techniques make it possible to have an either flexible or tough line, more or less blurred and to gradually move from one decor to another one. Forms drawn in the sand can fall to pieces, be transformed from one shot to another or change scale.
STÉPHANE FERNANDEZ, writer and director
Stéphane Fernandez worked as a journalist for 15 years for associative press and alternative medias. He’s had an interest in collective memory topics for a long time.
After taking the directing workshop organized by Ardèche Images in 2009 he directed his first documentary, Goulag, la mémoire enfermée (Mecanos production) in 2011. It was shot in Madagan, a town from the ends of the earth located at the edge of Siberia, where the last survivors of the Stalinist Gulag still live, next to the former camps. Four women relate the arrests absurdity and violence, tortures, hard labor camps, the warden’s arbitrariness, the inhumanity. Goulag, la mémoire enfermée was broadcasted on KTO, the Radio Télévision Suisse and on Public Sénat.
He also directed in the same town a 26 minutes documentary, Les derniers survivants de la Kolyma (Mecanos Productions/CFRT) telling the story of Sofia, who came from the Ukraine to Magadan in 1949. Diana, her granddaughter, is her first audience. She is our guide in the present society that is still affected by the Gulag.
DOMINIQUE TRIPIER-MONDANCIN, D.O.P.
Director of photography for 25 years, his professional choices have always been led by passion and friendship. He especially likes working on documentary projects like ANGEL that combine history and humanity.
GWLADYS DÉPREZ, sound ingineer
Gwladys Déprez creates sound pieces and documentaries that question links between humanity and its physical and existential landscapes (La Panification des mœurs / Pechiney, et après ? / Que tal Argentina, etc). She also works as sound engineer on her own projects or for other directors.
MARC MÉNAGER, artistic director of the animation
Marc Ménager started his artistic career in the street arts domain as an author, decorator, comedian and stage designer. He has also been writing and directing animation movies for 15 years, using different techniques (pixilation, modelling clay, drawings…), broadcasted on TV and selected in several festivals.
He often creates animated sequences for documentaries and takes part to film productions as a set designer and an animator. Co-creator of La Ménagerie, he also teaches in animation techniques workshops.
Philippe Aussel has created Le-Lokal in 2003 in Toulouse after working for 15 years as an editor and special effects supervisor. Now surrounded by Cindy Cornic and Maurane Cugny, he develops creative documentaries, fiction and animation films.
LA MENAGERIE STUDIO
Animation studio, initiation workshops, artists residences, street performances, development of creative tools, La Ménagerie has been exploring every forms of expression of the animation film for 14 years.
Known for its savoir-faire in traditional animation, the collective develops author projects giving priority to original and involved artistic approaches.