Cloe Bailly – Opening The Cannes Film Festival, London or New York and Her Inspirations

Our next oversea’s talent is the effervescent french creative and filmmaker Cloe Bailly. We had the pleasure of speaking to Cloe first!

Q: Hello Cloé! Can you introduce yourself to us by telling us what you do? 

CB: Hi! I am a director and screenwriter (commercials, music videos, and fiction). My thing is comedy: a bit quirky and absurd, slightly dark, always fun.

 Q: What country do you originate from? And what town were you born?

CB: I am French, and was born in Saint-Cloud, in a boring part of the Parisian suburbs. Aged 6, I moved to the South of France (near Marseille) where I was raised until I moved to Paris right after high school.

 Q: Do you prefer Paris or Marseille?

CB: I love both equally and for very different reasons. Paris is my home as I’ve been living there for 10 years… Marseille is like my oasis, my escape to reboot from Paris which can get aggressive and oppressive like any big city… I love to leave Paris, and I love even more to go back.

CB: Even if it’s very cliché, Paris DOES feel and look like a postcard sometimes: the architecture, the streets, the bistrots and cafés, l’Art de vivre… (I mean, yeah, we do have red wine whilst smoking cigarettes pretty much everyday). I still get caught up by a bohemian fantasy when I’m walking around, it’s impossible not to romanticize Paris… Marseille, on the other hand, has to be tamed. But once you get to know the city, you fall in love with it. It’s such a surprising, heteroclite, rich and warm place. And it’s getting better and better on many levels.

Q: London or New York?

CB: London. For personal reasons, I am very attached to London. I’ve spent a lot of time there and yet, I still feel like I know only 1% of this city… I love London’s diversity and multiple facets, and I feel it’s more open-minded than Paris.

And because I love clichés, there’s nothing like a fresh lager in a pub’s backyard in the summer, or like a good old Sunday roast in winter.

Q: Favourite food?

CB: Fresh butter on warm bread.

Q: Les Marches was a fantastic short film, which was shown at the Cannes Film festival which is an amazing achievement! We loved it. How did it feel seeing a film that you Directed open the closing ceremony?

CB: To be honest, I was dreading it more than I was excited about it… Post-production had been tricky, and we had to change the edit last-minute because Laurent Lafitte (the actor and master of ceremony) was in the middle of a media storm at that time. On the day of the closing ceremony, I didn’t even know if my film was going to be screened or not. So as I had no idea of what to expect, I distanced myself. But looking back to it, I am really glad for this film. It did open some doors…


Q: What do you feel could be improved in the film industry in France? 

CB: I feel like French films could take more risks. In general, they are redundant, not very daring, a bit vanilla – especially in comedy. Maybe French people have relied too much on their supposedly artistic-intellectual-prestige and are now far behind. I do feel things are changing though. There are many new talents and inspiring young directors taking a new stand and bringing an exciting energy to the industry

Q: Do you prefer France, L.A or Sydney? And why?

CB: My ideal life would be between Paris and L.A! The 2 cities are drastically opposite but they balance and complete each other perfectly: Paris is culturally, intellectually and creatively stimulating. And as Parisian people are judgmental and hard to please, you are constantly questioning yourself, your craft… and learning more. On the other hand, L.A fills me with optimism and determinism, this ‘American Dream’ feeling that everything is possible. You act on things rather than intellectualising them.

Q: Name your top Actors/Actresses.

CB: Monica Vitti, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Tilda Swinton

In a very different genre, I am also obsessed with Kristen Wiig at the moment.

John Goodman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Steve Carell and…..Leonardo DiCaprio

Q: What actor would you like to work with the most and why?

CB: Zach Galiafinakis because he is the most hilarious man on earth. Seriously, his only presence on screen makes a scene absolute genius.

Q: Who motivates you?

CB: As cheesy as it sounds: myself. In this competitive industry, no one is waiting for you… You have to constantly push yourself. I’m also very motivated by other people’s work; whether they are movies, commercials or music videos, watching good work is always nourishing and stimulating.

Q: What is the proudest moment of your blossoming career so far? 

CB: I’d say when I saw that my last music video was well received (‘Stay’ for French band Talisco). Because it’s the piece that resembles me the most, so a person liking it was real gratification.


Photo credit: Julie Lansom


Q: Who are your inspirations in the film industry?

CB: There are so many!! The Coen Brothers, Paolo Sorrentino, Pedro Almodovar, Luca Guadagnino, Paul Thomas Anderson… Judd Apatow and all his clique (the SNL, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen… etc) Not to mention Mankiewicz, Hitchock, Buñuel, Fellini, Visconti, Rohmer, Tarantino, Polanski, Kubrick…


Q: Tell Levile about 5 people you know from France/L.A to look out for in the filmmaking industry. (Ie friends you know who are talented in Actor, Directing, Producing).

  1. The trio Dimitri Basil, Laura Gorun & Cooper Roussel. I’ve lived and worked with them a few years ago back in L.A. They taught me to think out of the box, to never take no as an answer, to be resourceful, and to always stay focused. They are such creative, determined, self-made people… And most importantly, their work is brilliant.
  2. Lola Bessis & Ruben Amar. After writing and directing short films, they auto-produced, co-wrote and co-directed their 1st feature film « Swim Little Fish Swim », in which Lola also has the lead role. After years of hard work, the movie came out and was a true – well deserved – success story… Since then, they’ve been non-stop. These guys are insanely inspiring… They always have an idea, a concept, a story. They are so committed to their passion, and there’s nothing I admire more than that. They also are the most generous people I know: they are genuine, helpful friends who are always here for a piece of advice or for giving me a hand.
  3. Zoé Philippot. She is a very talented French actress; We’ve worked together a couple of times and are about to shoot a short film together. Not only is Zoé fascinating to look at, but her acting is intelligent, subtle, profound, rich, generous and never self-conscious. She is so passionate and dedicated to her craft… Seriously, watch out for her.
  4. Cyprien Clément Delmas. We’re both represented by the same production company, Caviar ( There’s no pointless rivalry between us, only genuine support… Which is something I cherish! Why maintain a toxic competition when directors can stick together? I look up to Cyprien’s dedication and absolutely love his work, which is quite doco-orientated. Just check it out if you haven’t.
  5. Laurie Lynch. He is a British director and screenwriter, and the best storyteller I know. He can create the most beautiful, poetic, composed tales in a blink… both narratively and visually. It has always blown my mind. He is going to be a great feature film director; I’ve no doubt about it.

Q: What is the best film you have seen in 2017?

CB: Moonlight.

Q: Can we expect anything new from you in 2017? Any new projects you are working on?

CB: I’ll be shooting two short films. One is a dark comedy in English (12 min), the other is a drama in French (20 min). I’m also writing my first feature film, which I’m VERY excited about.

You can also expect more music videos and commercials!

Q: And, Finally… Can you leave some words of inspiration for people who may be struggling to stay motivated in what is a tough industry?

CB: Never, ever take no for an answer and don’t let the competition destroy you. There will always be competition, there will always be people you think are better or more successful than you. What only truly matters is for you to focus on your craft. A good artist is someone who is dedicated to their work, who practices again and again, who gets their hands dirty.

My other piece of advice is to be kind, respectful and easy to be around. As cheesy as it sounds, with competition being tougher and tougher, people will more likely want to work with you if you have a good attitude…. Being a director in 2017 also means being your own entrepreneur.

Feature image credit, Micha Barban-Dangerfield

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