If you’re feeling a bit cooped up, then this film should give you a momentary blast of freedom. Gabriel Dugué’s recent short La Cible is all about a motocross biker called Sebastien, who lives on the French coast with his family. Sebastien was born with a condition that would normally have prevented him from riding motorbikes, but he's defied the odds to pursue a sport that makes him feel truly alive. The rough texture of film grain, the hard, dusty tracks and the warm winds whipping round the roads – here’s a short that shows just how transporting film can really be.
It’s the latest in Gabriel’s Boucan series of shorts, set in Southern France, which uncover the interesting communities and characters who populate the area. Gabriel himself is from sun-soaked Montepellier and he was determined to show the local youth that the area is full of cool and exciting cultures, as much as anywhere else in the world. So take a moment, kick back and enjoy.
LBB> What was the genesis for the entire Boucan series? What inspired it?
Gabriel > Boucan is a way for young people see that everything they like about commercials and music videos exists here in the south of France. It was a way to show that people from the ‘dirty south’ of France do different things like drift or motocross, using the visual language they relate to, and to shine a light on some charismatic people that nobody talks about. Since this is our home, this culture is obviously something we feel deeply, but we wanted to find the right way to portray this to a larger audience.
LBB> The series is about the culture of the south coast of France - it's an area that many around the world in the advertising and production industry are familiar with, with Cannes Lions... but what do we get wrong about it?
Gabriel> Cannes is a very small part of this coast. To be honest, that it's not my thing. It's a too rich to be interesting in my opinion. Haha.
LBB> How did you come across La Cible and why did you want to share Sebastien's story?
Gabriel> We met all our protagonists through relationships. People who know people who know other people. It was very close to where we live so it was easy for us to shoot whenever we wanted. Another element of this series is that these people are also confronting societal clichés in their own community in some way. We wanted to find a twist, something raw and extraordinary.
LBB> What was it like spending time with Sebastien and his family?
Gabriel> Seb and his family were very welcoming. It was very easy to spend time with them. We had barbecues, we talked about his life, his way of thinking. We felt from the beginning that he had something to say.
LBB> Sebastien seems like a really inspiring person, what he says about 'feeling more' when riding. As a creative person, what have you absorbed from the experience?
Gabriel> Today everyone has an opinion on everything. I think you have to know how to listen to the right people at the right time. Here, Sebastien is telling us simple things, but his life and his situation make the words resonate in a particular way, and his observations become very powerful.
LBB> So... it's an interesting film to talk about right now because many of us are at home, shut down... and this film is all about that sense of freedom - big question but what role do you think creativity and art can play in these challenging times?
Gabriel> I'm not sure I have any particular advice to give. Like everyone, I'm just trying understand what's happening and why. I am convinced that this period will change us. I will try to make that change be positive. I draw. I watch films that I have never seen. I read and write to stay sharp and ready.