Valentin Boitel-Denyset

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Hi, first of all, congratulations, you are one of the winners of the Europe Film Festival U.K. What do you feel?

I am very honoured, it is a great acknowledgment from experts of the film industry, and I hope that my short film will have many more awards in international festivals.

What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

There is no magical recipe for creating a good film, but in my opinion, conveying emotions through a sincere, realistic, or captivating story is essential to leave a mark on the viewers’ minds. A bad script will never make a good film. Then comes the quality and originality of the framing, changing perspectives, playing on the time perception, and of course creating structured and meaningful dialogues ( although for my part, this film only uses a voice-over). You have to take time when shooting and never rush, even if it means doing some shots 10 or 15 times. And finally, editing and sound effects will allow to tie all the video shots together and give life to the film.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life creating film/acting?

I don’t think to be the right person to advise someone because I am a photographer (IG: @mouchou) and the realisation of this film happened by chance. Personally, my film is about a man (actually myself) who decided to stay alone for a whole winter in a cabin in the Arctic. I simply wanted to keep as many memories as possible and not only images, which sometimes limit the transmission of emotions. So I filmed everything with several cameras, photo lenses, and even a drone in order to have as much material as possible for the editing. One mistake I may have made was not to script beforehand and to record everything without any logical order. Fortunately, my film editor had a clear idea of what she wanted to achieve!

What do you like doing in your spare time?

In fact, I am an engineer and I have a job in Paris. So in my spare time I like to walk in nature, photograph landscapes (website:, edit and post my images, read books and write stories (in French!).

What were the challenges in shooting this movie? 

The main challenges were the weather and filming alone! I was in extreme conditions with temperatures between -15°C (5°F) and -30°C (-22°F). Some batteries lasted only a few minutes, the drone’s propellers froze several times in flight… And my fingers froze too! Sometimes it was very windy and I had to leave the camera on a tripod constantly (sometimes I spent hours for a single shot… Fortunately I stayed there for two months!) Then the editing was also a big challenge because as I said, I hadn’t scripted anything beforehand…

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