The Island


FRANCE / 2023 / French / Color / DCP / 73 min

- Director, Editing, Composer: Damien Manivel
Photography: Mathieu Gaudet
Sound: Jérôme Petit, Simon Apostolou
Based on an idea by: Damien Manivel, Julien Dieudonné
Apperances: Damoh Ikheteah, Olga Milshtein, Ninon Botz, Youn Berder, Jules Danger, Celeste Dumenil, Rosa Berder
Producers: Martin Bertier, Damien Manivel
Source: MLD Films

The night before her departure to Montreal, Rosa and her friends decide to extend their last party of the summer around a rock they call “the island.” The film is comprised of multiple layers and the story unfolds along with scenes of actors rehearsing Rosa’s Last Party in their rehearsal space, intersected with rehearsals at different points in time. The filmmaker’s unique approach is realized in each facet of the film, from the emotions that emerge from the story and within the performance itself, to the slightest trivial expressions and movements of the faces and hands of the characters as they fade into the darkness of the summer night. (YH)

[Director’s Statement] This is the memory of Rosa, who spends her last party with her group of friends, it’s the end of her adolescence. We hang on her face and relive the gestures and words that marked her during this last night. It is also a document on seven young actors who try, thanks to their imagination, to give birth to a film. And it is the portrait of a film crew, the one that has accompanied me for years and whose generous presence the film records. It’s a very personal film for which I wanted to invent a cinematographic form where the superposition of images and sounds creates this feeling of eternity and nostalgia specific to adolescence and filmmaking.

- Damien Manivel

After working as a dancer, he directed several short films including The Lady with the Dog (2010), which won the Jean Vigo Prize. Since 2014, he has written and directed five feature films presented at major festivals: A Young Poet (2014), which received the Special Mention of Jury Cineasti del Presente in Locarno and won Best Feature Film at the Pesaro Film Festival among others; The Park (2016), presented at ACID Cannes and winner in Jeonju; Takara—The Night I Swam (2018, Co-directed with Igarashi Kohei), presented in Venice; Isadora’s Children (2019), awarded with the Best Director Prize in Locarno; Magdala, which made its world premiere at ACID Cannes 2022.