Thursday 29 July 2021

Mathieu Buchholzer, the director with an atypical background

A 31-year-old French, born in Alsace in the East of France, who would have never guessed he will become a short-film director. However, it was through photography, during his photoshoots as a model, that this man wanted to switch to the other side of the lens.

What made you want to do this job, what was the trigger ?

I come from a working-class family, I first had a classical education: I majored in math. Then, I looked for myself, I did the army in Saint-Cyr, and I worked in the catering industry. Then I went into modeling. What I liked was playing in front of the camera, but I realized that I wanted to be behind the lens, to convey emotions, and to create the story.

How did you manage to become a director ?

For the moment, I don’t make a living out of cinema, I mainly make music videos and commercials, but in the long run, I’ll make a living out of it. My relatives told me that it was not realistic, it took me a year and a half or two years to become professional. It was a Youtubeur friend from Strasbourg who taught me. It’s now been 3-4 years since I started making my first short film, « Les démons du passé ». The director of the Vox cinema in Strasbourg gave me the opportunity to cast it in her cinema. I came from nowhere, so it gave me credibility. And this year, I took the step to create my production company « Blue Mount Films ».

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Mathieu Buchholzer in the middle of shooting. Photos by Maéva Freyburger

Do you have inspirations ?

I enjoy all styles: from thriller to fantasy. I’m more inspired by American films and Christopher Nolan.

What is the project you are most proud of ?

My last short film: « Fantasmagoria ». Because I didn’t think I would solicit so many people on this project; we were 150 to participate! It’s about a man who has to confront himself and face his opponents… It is not availaible on the web yet. However, thanks to this short film, we were able to distribute it in several international festivals.

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The poster of the film » Fantasmagoria « , a 7 minutes short film. Photo by Mathieu Buchholzer

By the way, did you receive awards for this short film ?

Yes, we did! This year we received the jury’s special award at the « Short of the year » festival in Spain. The « Indie For You Film Festival » awarded us the prize for the best film in Los Angeles. And I won the best director award at the Oblikon Film Festival in Paris.

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The short film Fantasmagoria received three awards in 2020. Photo by Mathieu Buchholzer

You make exclusively short films, when is a long production due ?

It’s hard to answer that, because it depends on so many things. Short films are a way for me to practice. I had the opportunity to explore different styles: action, drama… Now I would like to try psychological thriller. I have a small idea for a long film but I can’t say anything at the moment… I would like it to be different from what has been done, I would like to innovate, to bring a new touch.

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Confrontation scene from the short film « Fantasmagoria », by Mathieu Buchholzer. Photo by the director

Mathieu Buchholzer and his team also received three new international selections for the short film « Fantasmagoria ». One in Egypt at the « Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival », then two others at the « Hollywood Venus Awards » and at the « Andromeda Film Festival » in Istanbul, Turkey.

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