One day French filmmaker Armel Hostiou discovers he has a second Facebook account: a fake Armel who uses photos of the real him and who has many female friends, all of whom live in Kinshasa. According to the profile, the fake Armel invites these women to audition for his next film, which is supposedly set in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After having discovered the existence of his other profile, the filmmaker’s first reaction was to notify Facebook about what clearly seemed for him an identity theft, naively thinking that this will be solved quickly. Two weeks later he received a message from the social platform, declining his request because according to them this other profile was not a false one. Meanwhile the double was publishing more and more messages about the auditions he was organizing.
Bewildered, the real Armel decides to travel to Kinshasa in order to look for his double himself. He’s welcomed in the artist residency ‘La Vie Est Belle’ – straight in the heart of the lively Matonge neighbourhood. Conscious of the complexity of a quest in the massive city of Kinshasa, the residency’s manager, Peter, and Sarah, one of the artists, immediately decide to help him. Days are filled with absurd meetings with lawyers, IT specialists, marabouts – anyone who could help get them on the right path. Time is running out, the tiredness rising, and slowly Hostiou’s hope in finding his digital double fades. Until a an old fisherman crosses his path, taking the filmmaker on a totally new type of journey. New horizons open up and the borders between the true and false Armel start to blur.
SCREENINGS & AWARDS
World Premiere: CPH:DOX Main Competition 2023
2023 Cinema du Réel (French Premiere)
2023 Beldocs (Serbian Premiere)
2023 Undehill Festival
2023 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival
2023 Dokufest (Kosovo Premiere)
2023 Rab Film Festival (Croatian Premiere)
Upcoming: Zurich Film Festival (September 28 – October 8)
Reviews: Cahiers du Cinéma (FR), Kabyles.net (FR), Sight & Sound, Filmmaker Magazine, La Estatuilla, Politiken.dk, Filmuforia, Le Polyester, Business Doc Europe, Soundvenue review, Variety, Business Doc Europe, Soundvenue – Top 15 must-see films at CPH:DOX (DK)
Interviews: Télérama.fr, RFI
“… this self-aware investigative venture gently skewers our myths of uniqueness and authenticity, and embraces the modern city and media as nexus of elusion, illusion and intrepid creative expression.”Nick Bradshaw, Sight & Sound
DIRECTOR’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
After studying Political Science, Armel Hostiou studied cinema at La Fémis film school in Paris in the camera department. His graduation film SoLoS, that he directed, has travelled and won several awards nationally and internationally. He has since dedicated himself to directing, first of short films but also installations and music videos. His first feature film Rives premiered in ACID Cannes and was distributed in France in 2012. His second feature, shot in New York, Une Histoire Américaine, premiered at Lincoln Center in New York at RDV with French Cinema and was distributed in France in 2015. His first documentary La Pyramide Invisible premiered at Cinema du Réel in 2019. His last feature The Other Profile will premiere at the main competition of CPH:DOX and will be released in theatres in France by Météore Films in June 2023. He is also working on a script for his next fiction feature film.
Rives (Day), 78’, 2011
Une Histoire Américaine (Stubborn), 86’, 2015
La Pyramide invisible (The Invisible Pyramide), 66’, 2019
The Other Profile (Le Vrai du faux), 82’, 2023
Direction, screenplay Armel Hostiou
Image Armel Hostiou, Elie Mbansing
Editing Mario Valero
Sound Amaury Arboun, Arnaud Marten
Producer Jasmina Sijerčić
Production company Bocalupo Films
PRODUCER’S BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
Originally from Bosnia, Sijerčić studied in Prague, first International Relations at the University of Economics and went on to study Film Production at Prague’s FAMU. She spent a year at University of Sorbonne in Paris at the Cinema Studies Department after which she decided to move to France. She joined documentary production company ISKRA where she worked as an executive producer. In 2014 she started to collaborate with Bocalupo Films as an independent producer. Armel Hostiou’s feature film ‘Une Histoire Américaine’ was her first project as a producer within Bocalupo Films, followed by experimental documentary feature ‘Dead Slow Ahead’ by Mauro Herce that premiered in Locarno IFF and won a Special Jury Award. Since then Sijerčić has continued to produce fiction and documentary films, mostly in international co-production. She is a Eurodoc, Emerging Producer and Berlinale Talents alumni.
Bocalupo Films is a production company based in Paris. Founded in 2008 by directors Armel Hostiou and Mauro Herce, they were joined by producer Jasmina Sijerčić in 2016. They share a communal passion for films that explore original narratives and they defend a strong collaboration between authors and producers. Since the creation of the company they have produced and coproduced titles such as Rives by Armel Hostiou (ACID Cannes 2012), Stubborn by Armel Hostiou (RDV with French Cinema Lincoln Center 2015), Dead Slow Ahead by Mauro Herce (Locarno IFF 2016 – Jury Award Cineasti del presente), Invisible Pyramide by Armel Hostiou (Cinéma du Réel 2019), Merry Christmas, Yiwu by Mladen Kovacevic (IFFR 2020), The Last Bath by Davide Bonneville (Tokyo IFF 2020), Landscapes of Resistance by Marta Popivoda (IFFR Tiger Competition 2021), The Last Chapter by Gianluca Matarrese (Closing Film of Settimana della Critica Mostra de Venise – Queer Lion Award 2021), Another Spring by Malden Kovacevic (Karlovy Vary IFF Proxima Competition 2022), Il Posto by Gianluca Matarrese (Visions du Réel 2022).