Aurel © Moreau-Perusseau / Bestimage


From the moment we have a means of expression, we have a public window to showcase (...) certain subjects that we feel drive society forward.

A press cartoonist for different daily newspapers and mainstream media, in 2020 Aurel produced his standout début feature-length film on the figure of Josep Bartolí, a socially conscious artist during the Spanish Civil War. 

Published on 26/10/2021

5 min

Aurélien Froment was born in 1980 in the Ardèche. After his A-levels, he began studying biochemistry before changing direction and switching to press illustration. His first sketches appeared in 2003 in Montpellier's local press. He began to make a name for himself, with his work appearing gradually in different journals and daily newspapers such as Le Monde, Politis, Marianne, Jazz Magazine, L’Infirmière Magazine and more.

Meanwhile, Aurel began undertaking more long-term projects. Since 2007, he has created a major report every year with the journalist Pierre Daum in Le Monde Diplomatique. To date, he has also published around fifteen graphic novels, the majority of which scrutinise eminently political subjects (Sarkozy et les riches/Sarkozy and the rich in 2011, Hollande et ses deux femmes/Hollande and his two wives in 2013 and Rase Campagne - La politique vu d'en bas/Back of beyond - Politics from below in 2015), with others focusing on music (Django Reinhardt in 2003 and Thelonious Monk in 2004). In 2016, five years after his first short film, Aurel began making Josep, a feature-length project on the illustrator Josep Bartolí, which was presented at Cannes Film Festival in 2020.

Aurel is convinced that his job as a press cartoonist makes him a stakeholder in public life. As such, he puts pencil to paper to highlight aspects of society, information and extraordinary stories. One such story is that of Josep Bartolí, a Catalan press cartoonist who, at the age of 25, became and anti-Franco militant and was imprisoned before escaping the concentration camps and migrating first to Mexico, then New York. Aurel chose to pay tribute to his fellow cartoonist with a particularly sensitive depiction in his film Josep, which won the César award for best animated film in 2021.

Previously, in 2011, with Octobre noir (October 1961, co-directed with Florence Corre) Aurel told the shocking story of the Algerian workers’ protest of 17 October 1961 in Paris, which took a tragic turn when Algerians were thrown into the river Seine by French police. Both his press drawings and films have a very fluid style, his vivid pencil lines bringing just the essential to life, without excessive embellishment, with his signature humanist tone.

Celebrated in France, where his drawings feature in a host of press publications, Aurel has made a name for himself around the world with his film Josep, which was selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020 before winning at the Athens International Film Festival and the Festival Internacional de Cine in Guadalajara. The film also won the Prize for Best Animated Film at the 33rd European Film Awards Ceremony and the Prize for Best Director (ex aequo) in Valladolid at SEMINCI – Valladolid International Film Festival. 

Josep - Bande-annonce
Josep - Bande-annonce
  • 2003


    2003 He starts working as a press cartoonist, beginning his career as a comic book author with the BD Jazz collection, a combination of CDs and comic books, publishing Django Reinhardt.

  • 2011


    He co-directs Octobre noir (October 1961) a short film written with screenwriter Florence Corre.

  • 2010


    He writes his first comic book about Nicolas Sarkozy, Sarkozy et ses femmes, with the journalist Renaud Dély; they subsequently work on Sarkozy et les riches, Hollande et ses deux femmes and La République des Couacs (The Republic of Blunders).

  • 2020


    Josep is released after four years of work.

  • 2021


    Josep is awarded the César award for Best Animated Film 2021.

The Institut français and the artist

Josep, by Aurel, is screened internationally by the Institut français. The Institut français offers a catalogue of over 2,500 titles, enabling the French cultural network and its partners to screen French films around the world. Discover IFcinema 


L'institut français, LAB