July 26, 2021

“My brother had a founding role in my career”

Born in 1982 in the Paris region, Just Philippot obtained a master’s degree in cinema in 2007 from the faculty of Paris-VIII. Screenwriter and director, he is the author of four short films. The Cloud is his first feature film.

Your father, Claude Philippot, was a distributor, producer and director. What part did he play in your choice to make films?

The fact that I was immersed in video cassettes and TV shows on the cinema necessarily influenced me. I lived with my father a very demanding and cinephile cinema which, for him, was a matter of political commitment. So I didn’t grow up in a disconnected environment. But above all, we were four children, and among us my brother, Gildas, a multiple-disabled 99% who died in 2008, without ever having spoken to us. All my life I have lived in a mystery, wondering what was left in that 1% validity. So we had a separate story that made us able to love stories and tell them.

My brother had a founding role in my career and the way I approach my films, always with the concern to avoid deception, ease, to go scratch in places where it is difficult to speak of love. . This creates balances that can be very unstable, complex but it is also a source of inspiration and a course.

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All this led me to Paris-VIII. I had wonderful encounters there like the one with Pascale Risterucci who was giving a course on monsters in the cinema. The hypersensitive way she spoke about it reminded me of what I loved about my brother, this extraordinary dimension, misunderstood by others. This is what made me want to tell stories about people that we look at too hastily and do not understand well.

How did you manage to make your first short films?

Having left Paris for Tours, I attended the Ciclic [agence régionale du Centre pour le livre, l’image et la culture numérique] which gave me the possibility of making a living from the cinema, directly or indirectly, in particular by being involved in high schools and colleges where I did a lot of image education. I had developed several short films, His Breaths (in 2015), a social drama about a mother who lives in her car with her daughter, and Gildas has something to tell us (in 2016), over my brother’s last year. I was therefore clearly identified by the Ciclic who offered me to participate in a writing residency whose theme was the fantastic. This is how I wrote and realized Acid.

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