"When I see a well-made horror film, be it at 14 years old or today, the ground comes apart under my feet. It’s almost metaphysical. Questions abound in my mind not only on what I’m watching, but also on if it’s a good idea that I be doing so." It is clear that French filmmaker Pascal Laugier was very right to question himself, from very early on, about the special relationship he had with Fantastic film. The child who proudly hung pictures of Dario Argento and David Cronenberg in his bedroom has become today’s advocate for a cinematic genre largely underestimated in France; one of angst, of Fantasy, of horror and of all things disconcerting. Speaking of the latter, it was to such an extent that his second feature film, Martyrs (2008), shot in Canada, was nearly banned from being shown to those under 18 years old. In the public’s eyes, Pascal Laugier’s filmmaking debut occurred during the making of the film, Le Pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf / 2001) by Christophe Gans. His first feature film, entitled Saint Ange (House of Voices / 2004), starring Lou Doillon and Virginie Ledoyen, satisfies every ounce of the audience’s enthusiastic appetite for the filmmaker’s signature infatuation with horror and Fantasy. With the releases of Martyrs (2008) and The Secret (2012), Pascal Laugier enables his loyal fans to make his obsession their reality. Lastly, it is only recently that the French general press rolled out a warm welcome to him for his latest film, entitled Ghostland (2018), a psychological horror thriller that received the People’s Choice, Syfy Jury and Grand Prix awards at the Gérardmer International Fantasy Film Festival (formerly Fantastic’Arts).
Having specialized in Film Studies as part of her high school degree, Karel Quistrebert knew her place down the road would be in the film industry, and made a "B"-line for it shortly thereafter. Among the roles she embraced have been PR Manager for the Outdoor Short Film Festival in Grenoble, film archivist at the Cinémathèque in Grenoble and then Coordinator of the Ciné-Club (…in Grenoble, yet again). In 2009, Karel Quistrebert founded the Maudits Films Festival. In existence for over a decade, the festival has been offering filmgoers a warm and cozy venue during the winter season wherein to feast their eyes on the best (and worst!) of B- through Z-grade flicks.
Nursed on Westerns and French Quality films from as early as she can remember, her heart oscillates between Orson Welles and Rob Zombie, with a flutter or two for Ernst Lubitsch and John Carpenter, and boundless, heart-skipping admiration for Germaine Dulac and Ida Lupino. Her "cuddle-up" film, aka a gloom-and-doom chaser and patcher-upper when feeling down in the dumps, is Infernal Affairs by Alan Mak and Andrew Lau, for whose Scorsese remake, The Departed, she feels a particularly intense feeling of disdain.
President of the Tous Courts Short Film Festival in Aix-en-Provence, Guy Astic has been at the head of Rouge Profond Publishing for the past 20 years. In addition to the two books he published on David Lynch, Lost Highway and Twin Peaks, he also oversaw two collectives on Stephen King, and authored, among others, the two-part work, entitled Outrance et ravissement. Images et mots de l’horreur 1 and Territoires de l’effroi. Images et mots de l’horreur 2. In 2008, he wrote the preface to Frédéric Astruc’s book, entitled Martyrs de Pascal Laugier: Mélancolie du chaos.
In 1979, Catriona MacColl received her first leading role in Lady Oscar directed by Jacques Demy. She is best known for her myriad roles in the Italian horror films by none other than Lucio Fulci, who seized the opportunity to offer her the leading role in his violence incarnate work, L’Aldilà (The Beyond or 7 Doors to Death) in 1981. The same year, Catriona took on her third consecutive film for him in The House by the Cemetery (Quella villa accanto al cimitero) considered, at the time, to be the nec plus ultra of his cinematographic career. The actress, however, craved other horizons beyond the Fantastic realm. She appeared in Les Diplômés du dernier rang, a comedy directed by Christian Gion (1982), and met up again with Jacques Demy in the pseudo-documentary retracing the life of Yves Montand, entitled Trois places pour le 26. In 1998, she played Mrs. Smith in La fille d’un soldat ne pleure jamais. Her sanguinary cinematic past made her long for the early days of her career, taking on a role in Pascal Laugier’s Saint Ange (House of Voices) in 2004. She also appeared as a witch in a segment of the anthology film, The Theatre Bizarre, in 2011.
Christophe Taudière has been heading up the Short Film Division at France Télévisions since April 2011. After completing studies in Humanities and Modern Literature and earning a Master’s degree in Media Techniques and Languages (at Paris IV Sorbonne), he went on to work as literary contributor in 1999 for France 2’s Short Film television program, Histoires courtes, alongside Alain Gauvreau. In 2003, he became its Programming Coordinator and Editor-in-Chief.
Born in Beirut, Joyce A. Nashawati grew up in Athens, Accra and Kuwait City. After Film Studies in Great Britain, she moved to Paris. She produced three short films before shooting her first feature film, entitled Blind Sun, a dystopian thriller released in 2016 that was chosen to be part of the Toronto, Sitges and Neuchâtel Film Festivals, among others. She is currently working on two Fantastic feature films in France and Japan.
Trained at the Comédie de Caen (Normandy National Center for the Dramatic Arts in Caen) and at the Nouveau Théâtre d’Angers (Pays de la Loire National Center for the Dramatic Arts in Angers), Hervé Mahieux is an actor and interpreter. With 10 feature films under his belt, he has been casted in films directed by Cédric Klapisch and Gérard Jugnot. In 2019, he may be found on the bill of Roxane by Mélanie Auffret, Rebelles by Allan Mauduit, and Le mystère Henri Pick by Rémi Bezançon. Extremely versatile, Hervé Mahieux is just as comfortable performing on the silver screen as he is on stage or television. That said, shorts make up an undeniably significant part of his career. As such, he was nominated for Best Actor in 2006 at the Lutins du court métrage Festival.