The 2023 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival finished recently, where the SCRIPT POOL AWARD of €5000 was awarded to the T-Port talent/filmmaker, Léon Yersin, who pitched the feature film “What Remains” at the PÖFF Script Pool. Yersin was selected to the Script Pool pitching as part of the collaboration between T-Port and PÖFF.
We caught up with Yersin, whose short film MISCELLANEOUS appears on T-Port, to find out how it felt to make the selection, and what inspires him.
Hi Léon, tell us a bit about yourself:
I am 33 years old, I have studied filmmaking at the HEAD in Geneva. My diploma short MISCELLANEOUS made its world premiere in Locarno Film Festival in 2018. Right now I am developing my first feature film WHAT REMAINS.
Can you give us a synopsis of your PÖFF Script Pool project?
One day, Pierre, a local newspaper photographer, doesn’t come home. His wife Clara, an UN interpreter, soon realises that he has disappeared voluntarily, taking his mystery with him. She chooses to face this impossible grief alone, while shielding their young son Justin from the painful reality.
11 years later, Justin, now an 18-year-old young man in search for identity, suddenly sees the past resurface, forcing him to overcome his own denial and grief in order to break free from his missing father.
A mother and a son in the aftermath of a disappearance, facing the ghost of the missing on the long path towards resilience – from the banks of the River Rhône to the docks of Hamburg. A story about remembering not just what has been lost, but also what remains.
Where were you when you found out about the Script Pool selection and how did you feel / react?
I was at home with my wife and I felt very lucky and proud to have been selected among so many other projects and people of great talent.
What do you hope to get out of the Script Pool Competition?
I hope that through the pitching process and the people I am gonna meet at the Discovery Campus, to find new collaborators like co-producers and sales agents.
What inspired your pitch? Where did the idea come from?
The idea comes from my fascination for the phenomena of voluntary disappearances and on a more personal level, the absence of my father.
What have been the challenges you’ve faced in your film making career so far? How do you view them now?
The most difficult part is to be able to focus on my creative process while earning my life as an Assistant Director.
Could you share any advice for filmmakers who are looking to submit to next year’s Script Pool – what would you suggest they do?
Be sincere about your goals regarding your story and why you want to tell it. Keep it simple.
How did you find out about T-Port?
I was selected at the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival with my short MISCELLANEOUS and got the chance to open a profile on T-Port.
What are the biggest challenges for you in promoting and distributing your films?
Finding the right networking opportunities and the right people that can actually make a difference for you.
What have you learned through your film making career so far that you wish you’d known when you started?
Always trust your first instinct.
If you were to have infinite resources – walk us through your fantasy film project
A chronicle of the 20th century through the prism of my family history. Oh, and also, a huge space opera.
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