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Vera Icona is a film whose intention is to revive the one who gave me life and I have very little known. It is the desire of a final meeting through an experimental film research.
How to recreate the maternal bond and soak up the sweet presence of a mother, just for a moment? How to overcome the unspoken when a person is no longer there?
The first thought that came to my head to initiate such a meeting and bring out this particular bond, is to find and to interview a number of women who share with my mother fundamental criteria such as name, date of birth and above all the likeness of the face, involving look-alikes (doppelgangers) in the movie. This starting point is there, the beginnings of a framework that allows me to get into a special experience.
The issue of content quickly appeared: "how to make unknown women talk about a perfect unknown intimate subject in order to bring out relevant content ". After several weeks of research and to my surprise, I discovered that there is an effective technique of playing role - the family constellation - which, among other things, meets this requirement ideally. Accompanying Vera Icona with this technique, I want to crete the emergence of a new content, unexpected, and touching.
This playing role technique forms the bottom, base, binder, to a supplementary questioning which is that of the Archive. Indeed, "What can I learn from an aged image that I do not know the context? Can I trust it? ". These questions lead to a desire to redraft the archive in an original layout. In fact, I only have very little of my mother filmed footage and these are not necessarily indicative of who she is (was). So I have this desire to recreate the movement from static images (photos) while revitalizing its appearance artificially. It is a way of focusing attention on the experience of the film and bring the archive to a new meaning; symbolic and provocative. I want to confront the depths of intimacy to the superficiality of the image.
In fact, I feel this film as a social experience, which starts from a basic need to achieve a universal meeting. It is a mental projection that is embodied in the real life, with all that that entails accidental and unforeseen. It is an experience of life, simply.
Make this film, it is surely mourn the deceased, but mainly souvenirs, became obsolete over the years. The film makes it possible to update the Remembrance by creating a new situation, livelier, richer than a thought or a frozen archive. It allows me to understand who I am and where I come from, not through the sum of events, but through the experience of a search.
Through the look-alikes women interviewed, I wish to find emotions, sensations, vibrations, beyond the mere memory, that could spring a surprise and rebuild an updated image, it could be the real picture of Veronica. (The name Veronica comes from the Latin "Vera Icona", meaning the true image). In the making of the documentary, the performative aspect, the visual, as well as its modus operandi are questioning both the bottom but also the form. This is a very personal process that inevitably opened up an unknown rich in potential.
Aurian de Wouters
The documentary, created from the questioning of the archive, based on the interventions of the wome, interviewed (the "Veronicas") whose voices run throughout the film.
Two narratives tracks match with each other. The first, embodied by my voice (voice-over of the author) raises questions related to the absence left by the death of a mother and misunderstanding it raises. The second frame, creates the presence of the deceased mother, universal mother. It responds via the women (doppelgangers) interviewed, to the inimate questions of the author throughout the animated sequences.
The dialogue takes place at several levels. The author vis-à-vis to its history. Author opposite of those interviewed and vice versa. And author with vis-à-vis the viewer through the form and substance, is being heavily involved.
Vera Icona plays on the stage of the image to bring out a moment of truth. One can easily imagine that part of fiction is necessary for its implementation.
However, Vera Icona documents a reality. Not that of a memory, or even that of a historical fact, but rather, the lack of a misunderstanding of an adult who has not grown up. Moreover, a true work of documentation is needed to find women to interview based on the criteria outlined above. Their testimonies are not scripted, but spontaneous. Also, the film reflects an intimate reality in which the author is heavily involved. These few items are probably lean Vera Icona of the documentary side.
What's more strange and challenging to see that a number of women sharing the same face as Veronica, my mother in the film space. Isn't a way to question the identification, attachment we made to a face? The participation of doubles in the film is a major element to expand about "simple" biography.
An exploded archive
To speak of this inner adventure, I choose a particular visual approach because it opens the dream world to which I am very attached. Again my approach is not to seek a historical fact but a feeling or emotion that would open the doors of felt. This is partly the viewer to co-create a moment of truth through his involvement in the story. To understand the ins and outs, he immersed himself in the scene beyond the image.
As suggested above, the film questions the Archive depth. The Archive is transformed triturated exploded as far as it can be. It created a new meeting with the sense that it originally proposed. And to let emerge the unexpected, the effect on the viewer. Vera Icona does not trust the intrinsic value of the image can provide Archive. Since it is subject to too many interpretations. And that is exactly what Vera Icona will attempt to undo. This breakdown therefore may allow a new truth to spring. That of emotion, memory, imagination. Not just for the author, but for the viewer who is external to the process and substance that attaches to the process in place.
Through the work of Claude Lanzmann, I have learned to be wary of an Image-Archive too impregnating or too impressive. The archive and / or image "real" gross something reducer. The goal is to find an appropriate way to revive the aura of a person to make a living.
In all the archives that I could find, there are only five small sequences (very short) of Véronica filmed on Super 8 and a hundred photos. Of these five short films, only three are usable. These sequences are close-ups and they force Véronica find a consistency to the camera. Uncomfortable or player, it connects several enigmatic expressions. The question arises, "Who is she? Who is behind this enigmatic face? »
A Diverted Illustration
The illustration is the second pillar of this visual approach. She plays the role of decentralization, relativization of the subject.
The first use is to play on the instrument. The figure brings the counterpoint to the dreamlike atmosphere. Although it remains consistent to the conduct of the "story", it is positioned as a disruptive element. It is a way to bring the viewer to himself for a short time. This is a safeguard that can not indulge in a viewpoint in a single environment.
One way to do this would be to reveal the current device showing for instance how the archive is ground, and the mechanism of creation of the image. It would be a kind of "making of" disturbing the normal course of the film process.
Aurian has been cameraman-editor for seven years for various productions. He has many film companies, music videos, short films and documentaries to his credit. He also worked for many programs on RTBF and was a centerpiece in creating MEmovie, a corporation that carries biographical documentaries. Company with whom he collaborates regularly.
With his experience, Aurian has built a knowledge and excellent skills. And recently, he completed a Master in Filmmaking, Scriptwriting section, a the IAD. Today, alongside his work of cameraman-editor, he started as a writer-director.
In fact, Aurian is primarily an enthusiast. His only desire is to embrace the best he can the world that crosses to live his passion thoroughly. And the way he has found is the seventh art. This medium is for him, the best way to travel, to express his ideas and vision of life. He loves to explore the 'film material "to identify originality, understanding a new function or reality.
Sensitivity, curiosity, optimism and creativity make him a very original storyteller. Today, after a necessary period of maturation, he takes action to bring to the screen the many projects he has written, which is from Vera Icona.
After performing arts studies in Berlin and Metz, Marie-Sophie joined the Free University of Brussels, where she obtained a Master in Cultural Management in 2008.
With the experience gained during internships in documentary production company and film festival, it integrates quickly Saga Film, historical production company in the Belgian film landscape, which then closes the productions "Within the Whirlwind" of Marleen Gorris (Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1995 for "Antonia's Line") and "Julia" Erick Zonca. Very quickly, the endorsed responsibilities went beyond the position of assistant production she occupies and two years later she is officially responsible for the development of projects, thus acquiring expertise in the development, production and co-production.
Rich of this experience and the will to move towards a position independent producer, Marie-Sophie integrates the formation of the Ludwigsburg-Paris Workshop Fémis. This year it will use to greatly expand their professional network and produce short
film "Lifelong" of Liv Scharbatke (HD, 9min duration, total budget: € 60,000), which was presented in preview at the San Sebastian Film Festival and has been broadcast on ARTE in February.
Since then, she developed several feature film projects and is working on creating its own structure: Mérovée Film Production.
Augustin de Bellefroid studied physical geography at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and multidisciplinary live composing. These two have in common the need to observe and innovate. They led Augustin to build his carrier as a live composer and entrepreneur.
Augustin de Bellefroid is the founder and artistic director of Matters Collective, a multidisciplinary platform working in the field of instant composing, with music, dance, theatre and visual arts. The collective's research is dedicated to the development of communication systems that allows a conductorcomposer to create a piece in realtime.
Augustin's work is strongly inspired by the live composing sign languages created by Walter Thompson (Soundpainting, US), John Zorn (Cobra, US) and Santiago Vazquez (Rhythm with Signs, AR).
Life composing. "Tell me who you are, and that is going to be the start of the composition". Multidisciplinary live composing is collaborative and political, as it implies a horizontal way of decision process, and gives people the chance to create together.
Graduated of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Social Communication (IHECS) Brussels (Bachelor in Communication) and the University of Fine Arts in Granada (Master in Art and Education), Sara Benbrahim has a plural and international routes.
She developed cultural activities for young people of the Cinémathèque de Tanger, worked as a guide in Andalusia Museum of Granada, and as an assistant in communication on documentary projects.
Photography is his passion. She works on the theme of anonymity and the body. His work has been recognized and exposed repeatedly.
Sara has evolved in a multicultural environment, multilingual, and very open to dialogue with each other. This personal experience makes her a person who creates links and facilitates mutual understanding between peoples and people.
Vera Icona project is actively looking for women "look alikes" :
(Contact us if you think you have one)
Women born April 23, 1954
Women carrying the first name or Veronique or Veronica
AND ABOVE ALL
Women whose face is very similar to this one:
Vera Icona needs you!
If like others you think this project deserves to emerge and be supported in its action, feel free to contribute to the project. For each contribution, counterparty is given.
A big thank you for the support already granted by
And to 84 kissbankers who funded a magnificent collect
Aurian de Wouters
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