Indie Shorts Awards Cannes

"Cinema is a window onto the human soul, a playground for experimentation in the storytelling experience."

Émilie Pigeard

Émilie was born in 1990 in the French town Les Lilas. She dreamed of becoming either a magician or a lawyer. In the end, after a year at the Sorbonne and a foundation year at the Atelier de Sèvres art school, she entered the prestigious Arts Décoratifs school in Paris, specializing in Animation. Alongside painting, illustration and animation, Émilie has a natural flair for storytelling, as well as a great sense of humour. After five years of research, much wordplay and some hard graft, she earned a distinction for her short graduation film Encore un gros lapin ? (or Big bunny again?) which was noticed and produced by Les Films Sauvages.
In 2014, Émilie studied at the German Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen (HFF) as part of an Erasmus exchange. There she met Anna Bergmann, a German film-maker who shared the same enthusiasm for animated movies. They got on so well that, the next summer, Anna asked her to come and help her with her latest movie in Chicago, then in New York in November 2015.
Since then Émilie has been making films as a freelancer in Paris, while continuing to draw and run workshops for kids (until the next trip).
In February 2023, Émilie Pigeard received the César for best animated short film for her film Granny's Sexual Life (co-directed with Urška Djukić).
IG @emilie.pigeard

Recordings are based on the anonymous testimonies gathered in the book "Fire, Ass and Snakes are not Toys". What was it about the book that impressed you most and motivated you to make this film? And why was it important for you to centralize the voices of four old women, in one, that of Vera?
“Fire, Ass and Snakes are not Toys”is a Slovenian book translated into English by my co-director so that I could understand the testimonies. I was immediately struck by the violence of the testimonies and the courage of these women. It made me want to work on this subject. We imagined Vera, a little girl who will live through all these testimonies to make a universal story, that of women at that time.
The drawings are very meaningful and original, and the way they are brought to life is captivating. What were your main sources of inspiration?
My inspirations are many. But mostly children’s drawings are my favorites. I’m also very inspired by the work of Christopher Hinton, a Canadian film animator, film director and professor.
Over a minute of the film is a black background, proving just how impactful and memorable the only use of sound can be. Was it important for you not to show any images at this particular moment?
We experimented a lot on this sequence, but nothing worked. It was my co-director’s idea to use a black background for over 1 min, and I think it’s a brilliant idea. It immerses the viewer completely in this scene, which is so harsh and violent.