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Visionary French director Lou Dubigeon
One of the reasons why film is such a powerful medium is its ability to transport us into a world different from our own and offer new perspectives, perhaps ones that opens our eyes to different ways of navigating life, or at least, ones that allow us to escape our own reality for a little while.

However, for that power to be utilized there has to be an incredibly creative and skilled director driving the production forward. French female director Lou Dubigeon is one of those rare filmmakers that truly knows how to create potent stories and touch audiences with her work on screen.

Hailing from Paris, Lou has recently been recognized across continents for her visionary work as the director behind the multi-award winning films "The Blank Page," and "Return to Sender," which was recently awarded the Best Short Film Award from the Around Film Festival International in Paris, where it will screen next year, as well as the Festival Award at the Tokyo Lift Off Festival, which will have the film screen in Los Angeles in September. 

Leco Moura, the cinematographer on Dubigeon's award-winning film "Return to Sender," says, "I love working with Lou, she knows what she wants and at the same time is always open to new innovative ideas. I always joke about the fact that Lou has a special persuasion power, she always seems to have the ability to get things working her way, which is a great skill for filmmaking in general.

 Some of the things that make Lou's work so unforgettable are her focus on the visuals and production design within her films, and her talent for representing life experiences in a way that is simultaneously relatable and foreign to viewers.

"I definitely have a very eclectic background. I was first more into sciences and economy in high school, then I decided to get a degree in literature and human sciences, as opposed to hard sciences," explains Lou. "I travelled, lived in different countries, had different jobs, entered a masters... I tried a bit of everything in the filmmaking universe and ended up realizing that it was directing that was really for me. But all these life experiences, travels, studies, jobs, etc are today my strength to make movies. Making films is telling stories about life, so you've got to go and live, see different things, be open, curious and adventurous."

Last year Lou released the quirky comedy film "The Blank Page" starring Naomi Greene ("Silhouettes," "Bus Palladium"), who Lou directed the music video "Collision" for, and Max Baumgarten ("Confused," "How to Talk to a Person"). The film follows Elena, who's played by Naomi Greene, a young writer who exhausts all her resources in search of inspiration before finally turning inward in order to discover her own voice. 

As a writer and director, Lou draws much of her inspiration for her work from her personal experiences, and "The Blank Page" was no different. 

"I had been working so much that I had no time to write or think of anything in a while. Thanksgiving came around the corner and I decided it was gonna be the time for it since I'd be off that day. I woke up early, very excited, and sat at my table looking for inspiration for ? something like 8 hours straight. I did everything but write, came up with the worse ideas and weirdest concepts. The classic blank page," explains Lou. 

"I was trying to force myself so hard to invent something that it became ridiculous. It ended up making me laugh a lot. I decided to just give up on it that night. The next morning I woke up and decided to make a story out of what happened the day before. I decided to make it extremely simple and just have fun with it. Just make it colorful and playful."

The production design and overall visual look of the film is outstanding, so it's no surprise that film earned the award for Best Production Design from the Ushkyn International Film Festival. The mid-century modern furniture and eye catching colors, such as a canary yellow telephone, turquoise typewriter and the geometric prints on the tangerine wallpaper set the perfect stage for Elena's workspace in the film while giving us layers of insight into the character's unconventional and eccentric personality.

A fan favorite among audiences and festival judges across the globe, "The Blank Page" earned the Gold Award from the Mindfield Film Festival Los Angeles and Best Cinematography from the Around Films International Festival in Paris, nominations from the Sydney Film Festival and Burbank International Film Festival, as well as numerous Official Selections from festivals including the New York Los Angeles International Film Festival, Chain NYC Film Festival, Williamsburg International Film Festival and the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.

About creating the film, Lou says, "I wanted to have fun and demystify the process of writing and creating. Not that I don't think it's important or anything like that, but I believe we put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes when trying to create. We always want it to be perfect or 'the one story we want or need to write,' the one that will define you as an artist and as a human being. I decided to do the opposite, to write something very light, with no crazy stakes, and just play with the concept... I just wanted to enjoy shooting something and play with quirky characters, sets, costumes." 

Its playful nature is part of what makes "The Blank Page" such an endearing film. As a director, Lou pays quite a bit of attention to the score in her films. The music in both "The Blank Page," and her recent film "Return to Sender," which screened at the Silicon Beach Film Festival in Southern California last month, create the perfect rhythm for her uniquely crafted stories. 

She says, "Working with the composer on the music is also one of my favorite parts. It adds a whole new layer to the story after you think you're almost finished with it. I won a little competition last September and got to work with very talented composers, in some incredible studios at the Musicians Institute where we live recorded the score of 'Return to Sender' with a super talented orchestra. It was amazing."

Lou is currently working on the upcoming film "Raspberry Yogurt," which is in post-production and is expected to be released later this year. Starring August Alexander ("The Hollywoudln'ts," "Stealing Stolen Bikes") and Brian Ramian ("Dead Stop," "Dirty Martini," "Murder by Numbers"), "Raspberry Yogurt" follows a 15 years old boy who, after the death of his mother, moves into his father's home where he has no choice but to overcome over a decade of silence that stands between them.

Drawing on personal inspiration for the upcoming film "Raspberry Yogurt," Lou wanted to focus in on the feeling of being a stranger to those that are 'supposed' to be closest to us and what it's like to feel like a stranger in a place that was meant to nurture us. 

Lou says, "Working with the actors is still the best part when making a film from A to Z. My favorite moment with them is the first exploration. When we discover together the character in detail, explore possibilities and get in the persona, mind, habits and the past of the character... Once that part is done, I actually don't really rehearse much. I don't want to make the whole process too mechanical and I like when there is freshness to every take."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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