LES PAPILLONS GRIS is a short movie of Anne Ballon about the world of a little girl living with her big sister.


The project

LES PAPILLONS GRIS is a short movie, a graduation project for the filmschool RITSC, written and directed by Anne Ballon.



(Ryan McGinley)


Anne Ballon will be graduating RITSC this year with her short movie "LES PAPILLONS GRIS".


During her time as a student she discovered her love for Brussels.

This fact combined with her fascination for children and their environment makes it easy to see why she chose to make her story revolve around the inner workings of a child's view  on the world while growing up in a vibrant city. The merging of fantasy and reality makes a child's naivety so beautiful and exceptional.





Sue is raised by her 12 year older sister Lily. In a city full of color and a life with ups and downs, the two search for a way to give each other freedom but nevertheless care and suppor for each other. When Lily falls in love with Basil, Sue is feeling forgotten and alone.





Sue is a 10-year old girl who grows up in Brussels. She goes to school, takes swim classes with her friends and she lives with her sister Lily. Lily is 22 and takes care of Sue.


Sue likes living with her sister; she can eat on the couch, she can go to a bar sometimes and all of Lily's friends are her friends as well. 


Sue's room is decorated with all kinds of butterflies. According to her the most beautiful butterflies are the white ones. They are the most common in Belgium, however,  they are very special to her because she got them from her sister.


Lily meets the charismatic Basil and she lets him lure her into a more exciting lifestyle. This ultimately leads to her spending less and less time with her little sister.


Gradually, Sue estranges from Lily. She feels alone and tries to escape into her own beautiful made-up world. Then she spends a day with Emile, an extravagant friend of her sister, who likes to dress up as a woman. Accompanied by Emile, Sue discovers that life can be as beautiful as her fantasy.





Whenever I have a conversation with my sister Roos, who is 11, I'm always inspired by a certain honesty and beauty I can only find in children's thought patterns. A naif enthusiasm we are all born with, but which we mostly outgrow over time. Like most people, I often wish I could be a child again.

Since the world of adults can be so ugly and monotone, I want to capture the colorful environment children see and experience.


Being able to tell my story throughout the film will naturally be one part of the experience I want to offer the audience, but I also want to really submerge them visually into Sue's universe. Brussels will provide us with plenty of colors and inspiration to get the imagination going.


A while ago I wrote my sister a letter. On that same night I wrote the first script version of "Les Papillons Gris".





Today you are spending the day with me in this metropolis.

You laugh loudly because I showed you a funny video.

You like being here, I think. We eat fries and go to a movie for grown-ups. From time to time you have to ask something. Cute how you don't understand why two woman can't be in love. "Because that was how things were in the sixties". You still don't understand and that makes me proud.


When there is a sex scene you spontaneously cover your eyes with your hands. When it's over you ask me how women do "it". "They are just more creative" I say and you nod like you understand.


I cry for a moment. It's a beautiful movie and I cry easily. 

"Anne!" You say a bit too loud. Then you ask if I'm crying and you don't understand why.

I hold you en I give you a kiss on your cheek, which is still as soft but doesn't like to be kissed that much anymore. You push me away.

"One little kiss?"


And all of a sudden you're watching the movie more focused than ever.

I smile. I'm happy that this little Roos is blossoming more and more every day.


Little Roos, it's been at least half a year since I called you that.









Girls around the same age as Sue are interesting because they are still children but at the same time they're on the verge of becoming a woman. They still play with barbie dolls but their friends can't know. They have a rich imagination, which they don't share with a lot of people anymore. With this movie I want to be able to show a part of this fantasy and world.


I will show a complicated home situation exactly as it is. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes difficult. I'm not looking for the drama behind it all, but for the magic in little things.


Additionally the movie is about struggling with yourself, your environment and the people you love no matter your age. The capital Brussels (the only place I would even consider to be the backdrop for my story) can be described as a supporting character 









Stella Greve is "Sue"


Anne-Laure Vandeputte is "Lily"


Tomas Pevenage is "Emile"


Emilien Vekemans is "Basil"





Script and Director: Anne Ballon


Genre: Fiction / Duration: 20 minutes / Language: French - Dutch / Budget: 9000 euro 





Director of Photography: Xavier Van D'huynslager

Art Director: Stan Maertens

1st AD: Olympia Allaert

Production: Elke Vanoost

Location Manager: Kato De Boeck

Chef Sound: Sven Dehandschutter

Chef Make-Up: Leyla Van Hassel

Chef Costume: Laura Van Haecke

Editor: Joppe Van den Brande

Why fund it?

It's almost impossible to make this movie without your help. The project is very dear to me and the past couple of months I've poured all my time, energy and love into it. 


I will need 9000 euro to make this film. Most of the financing will be done with my savings. This will provide the technical material, the catering on set, the insurances,... Basically, all the "essentials".


Nonetheless, I would like to be able to afford the travel expenses of my hardworking crew. My savings also aren't sufficient for covering location and set decoration costs, both of which are key elements in emulating the right atmosphere of the story.


I'm asking for your support, with the raised money I can finally realize the project of my dreams and hopefully make the world a nicer place, one movie at a time.


Transport crew: 1200 euro

Decor: 600 euro

Locations: 200 euro


If I would raise more than 2000 euro, I'm spending the extra budget on renting a professional grading- and editing room.



(The botanical garden in Meise - Location in "Les Papillons Gris")





(Photo by Gregory Crewdson - Inspiration fantasy Sue)

Anne Ballon

Anne Ballon is filmstudent in the master year at the RITCS. She lives in Brussels. She combines her studies with her work as a setdresser. Inspirations/things she loves: the pictures of Alex Prager, the music in "A Single Man", the movie "Inherent Vice", Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, her city Brussels, the paintings of Egon Schiele, the book... See more

Newest comments

Veel Succes Anne !!!!
Veel succes!
Een laat verjaardagscadeautje van ons! Van je gekke 93-crew. Denk aan ons als je ooit je Hollywooddebuut maakt. #gastrol #wellekunneziekgoeactere #gijkuntda Kusjes van Tine, Isabelle, Tom en Tessa xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx