Angélique is 13 years old, but she already takes care of her three brothers as if she were their mother. She is the oldest daughter of a large working-class family that live in the outskirts of Valenciennes, north of Pas de Calais. Angélique is not docile when in contact with others: she is strong, decided and distrustful. She couldn’t have been any other way. Others treat her as a conflictive adolescent, mistaking insubordination and nonconformity with unadaptability. One day, in high school, she gets a proposal to participate in a casting that could change her life.
‘Chasse Royale’ is a movie that could’ve never existed. It happened by chance, and that gives it special value. In 2015, Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret were looking for young kids from the poor neighborhoods with no filming experience for a movie project. During this process, they ran into Ashley Piete and Corentin Florent. She was 12 and was already a wild and foul-mouthed young girl, stubborn and insubordinate in a natural and intimidating way. He was 11 and was the complete opposite: naive, enthusiastic and absolutely charming. Together they worked on-screen in a magical and unexplainable way.
The improvisation thy did throughout the casting left both casting directors shocked. They were sure to have found the main characters for the film they were working on. Suddenly, however, the filming was cancelled, the director in charge of the project left and ‘Chasse Royale’ became a fiasco.
At a time angered and frustrated, Akoka and Gueret decided that was not to be the end. Together they wrote a script about two women that were looking for the main character for a feature film. Fiction became reality, with Ashley and Corentin as the stellar characters and the medium-length film we have today was born at that moment.
It is a film that displays honesty and compromise with the reality it portrays, and its strength rises from its irresistible closeness through a quasi-documentary perspective, as if Ken Loache’s ‘Kes’ and Destin Cretton’s ‘Short Term 12’ had fused in a molotov cocktail.
Lise Akoka has a degree in psychology and is a professional actress, although she currently specializes in professional castings. She specifically searches for children and adolescents for filming projects. Romane Gueret studied film at Sorbona, and started in the film industry as an Assistant Director and Casting Assistant. ‘Chasse Royale’ is her first film, and it was quite a miracle that it is.
‘Chasse royale’ is part of the Official Section of the 10th Edition of the International Medium-length Film Festival La Cabina, which takes place from the 16ht to the 25th of November at the Filmoteca de Valencia.
CHASSE ROYALE | Lise Akoka & Romane Gueret · France · 2016 · 30 min.