Featured Short

ANIMAL

Production /
Starring /

In a near future, Jawak leads a recluse life with a strange animal he’s taking care of. At night, haunted by a painful childhood accident, he prepares his vengeance…

Every once in a while we get a short film that breathes aspirations and brings innovation to the world of Science Fiction, a little like when Neill Blomkamp brought ‘Alive in Joburg’ – Which lead to the feature ‘District 9’ as we know it. ‘Animal’ probably does not have all the Sci-Fi baggage that Blomkamp’s original story brought, but it definitely carries the spirit of breaking the boundaries as we know them. Created by Fabrice Le Nezet and Jules Janaud, the story takes place in an imaginary community in the near future, between various cultures. Jawak is the last representative of a tradition he strives to pass on. He leads a recluse life with a strange animal he’s taking care of. At night, haunted by a painful childhood accident, he prepares his vengeance…

We had the idea of writing “Animal” by leafing through “Hyena and Other Men” by Pieter Hugo. We can feel some surrealistic strength and brutality from those pictures of men proudly posing with their animal. Those visual elements in mind, we decided to create a new mythology, with its own codes, rites and traditions. An original vision of a near future in which hybrid cultures would be the norm!

Fabrice and Jules magnificently create this obscure story progression with little hints and huge impacts. The audience is left to take in and construct from the bits of information given, all while the character keeps growing and developing. But absolutely nobody would be able to predict the unusual and unsuspecting conclusion – which is an immense payoff for the patience.

The movie was treated with a realistic approach, following our main character in his daily routine, taking care of his beast. The idea was to create an intimate relationship between them, as a team to form a duo. We want the spectator to dive into a spiritual journey following a lonely man, sharing his passion for animal fights and the ancestral rites that he practises. Jawak had a very strict upbringing, in the respect of the “worm” taming art. Tradition is disappearing and he is the last representative of a caste of fighters, overwhelmed by a new generation who uses brute force. Jawak represent the utter hybridisation of this society ; hybridisation of traditions and times, of the mankind and the beast. Forming one body with his animal, Jawak tells us the strange union between the organic and the cultural. A union which evoke, behind encaged animals, the destiny of men who have to struggle in order to escape their condition.

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