Here’s your look at the very subtle short film, Philippe, about a young immigrant from Paris trying to adjust to his strange new world in New York.
Shot over the course of three days this past April, the film is directed by Luca Repola and produced by Jared Rosenthal. It stars Loubens Louis, Jennifer Tchiakpe and Farah Ward who plays Philippe’s sister in the film, and who had never acted before this.
Repola said that he was determined not to cast a "stage kid," and that he “wanted to find someone who had never been in front of a camera before and who didn't have any pre-conceived notions of what to expect.”
The director was also was very much influenced by classic European cinema, and adding that he “looked at a lot of French New Wave and Italian neo-realist films," and further stating, "I wanted to portray a really normal, everyday kind of family that you could drop in on and instantly connect with. Philippe's story needed to be one that you could immediately relate to. I chose to do the film completely in French, even though I don't speak a word of it.”
The screenplay itself was first written in English and then translated into French, which was beneficial, since the main actors were all native French speakers.
However, for Repola, directing in a foreign language ended up turning out to be a “blessing in disguise” since “the process forced me to focus completely on character and emotion... to look at what was going on with their faces instead of getting caught up on line readings."