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The Seeking: An Interview with Director Yan Imbeault

I have always been convinced that I have little creativity since a very young age. Until I began to see a larger world, then I stopped and refused "eating shit". I am referring to the over-suppressing, violent family atmosphere and various social norms as “shit”, and I am trying to cleanse my body from all the “shit” I had eaten up to now. This is a continuously painful process, and in this contradiction, I have reestablished a connection with my own body, which is fascinating to me. I am obsessed with feeling the texture of my skin, being connected with my own body, and hearing what she has to say to me.

What was your first job in the art field?

I had been working part-time during my college years teaching students drawing, and I hated that job.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

I don't want to eat “shit” anymore; I've decided to find a way to deal with this matter. I think I am finding that language of mutual acceptance and method of love between people with no judgment involved. Although there is an immense gap between finding it and practicing it, it is worth learning from. I make film works entirely out of the desire to record our confusions and emotions at this age.

My themes include sex, gender issues, and intimate relationships.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

I would like to appeal to everyone to re-establish their connections with their own bodies, and to listen to others by starting with listening to the signs of their own bodies. When you understand the expressions of your body, it will be a huge breakthrough. You will discover that your body is so intelligent, astute, and takes care of yourself more delicately than you do consciously. It has strong plasticity and resilience, and you can also establish a fine relationship with your own body, which can help you establish relationships with other people or objects as well.

My works pursuit to express the important parts of life, perhaps one’s intinctions in some exact moments, or perhaps one’s own narrative. What I will do is probably to feel the parts of a new project, understand its underlying logic, and to me, the production process is more important than the outcome.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

Movies are destined to transcend reality and establish a beautiful utopia, but they cannot do without the emotions and connections between living beings.

I think reality and real emotions are the influences behind my works.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

I cannot provide an answer. Can I understand this question as whether the works created by people after experiencing crises will change? I think so, because crises make people see what's important and rethink their own and others' lives, and so on.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

Don't give up creating. Creating aside, please take good care of your body. Life is short, please cherish it!

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

Movies/stories are the art of love, and I think they can change the world. When people start to love, the world will definitely change.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

I have no idea what everyone else likes to watch.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

I am planning to shoot a short film about my own personal experience, a story about my partner's suicide and how to deal with the issue of life and death.


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