Interview with Julien Regnard, Winner of Best Animation at ASFF 2015

At the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2015, Julien Regnard was awarded Best Animation for his short film Somewhere Down the Line. In this beautiful and captivating animation, a man’s life, loves and losses are shown through the exchanges he has with the passengers in his car. We speak to Regnard about the inspiration behind this work, the challenges and the rewards in working in animation.

ASFF: Our animation category included a stunning collection of short films shown during the festival. How does it feel to have produced the winning film?
JR: I’m really happy of course, it means a lot to me to get this award. I really didn’t expect that film to get so much attention and recognition, we worked so hard on it for months and now that it get rewarded it feels like it was worth it to do it so thank you so much!

ASFF: You have travelled and lived in a few places during your life, in terms of the continuous movement of this film, would you say it is autobiographically inspired?
JR: Yeah I think any kind of personal work is a little bit autobiographical, one can only talk about what one knows but what’s important is that people can relate to that, so I was trying to start from my own experience but then to create a story that talks to everybody in the end.

ASFF: There are highly poignant themes running through this film, such as the passing of time, growing older and losing touch with people. Do you hope that these ideas will touch audiences?
JR: Yes I think it’s part of the human condition to be aware of time passing and losing people we love on the way, so anybody from any culture can relate to that and have some compassion for the characters in the film.

ASFF: You use a combination of 2D and 3D animation techniques, was this a new experience for you and how did you find it benefited the final film?
JR: It was a new experience and it was very complicated, I knew I would need 3D in this film so I asked my friend Pascal Giraud who knows 3D, to come from Belgium to help me with it. I didn’t realise how much work it would be and Pascal really made half of the film in the end so thanks to him. I think the final result looks great because the 3D and 2D are blended nicely. This method doesn’t affect the unity of the film. I mean, you don’t think about it when watching the film which is good because the main thing is the story.

ASFF: What interests you about animation, and how do you think it compliments short films in particular?
JR: I think I am doing animation because I love cinema, painting and music and animation seemed to be the media that gather all these things. It’s a really interesting media because you have to create everything which is really hard but gives to your film so much strength. In the case of a short film it’s a great way to tell a story really fast and to go to the essential.

For more information on the films of Julien Regnard, visit www.cartoonsaloon.ie

ASFF 2016 opens for entries on 1 December 2015. Visit www.asff.co.uk/submit

Credits
1. Julien Regnard, Somewhere Down the Line (Cartoon Saloon, Ireland).