Kiss and Cry, by Chloé Mahieu and Lila Pinell
With Kiss and Cry, the two directors explore the doubts and aspirations of youth through the story of a young figure skater, following her sporting successes and her teenage desires.
Youth through four eyes
Filmmakers with complementary visions, Chloé Mahieu and Lila Pinell met in 2009 and co-directed several documentaries on the challenges of youth.
With the short film Toe Loop (“Boucle piqué”), they tackle the theme of ice-skating through a training session where young champions express their rivalries and feelings. A discipline which the two directors returned to in 2017 in their first feature film, Kiss and Cry.
Teenagers tested by the ice
After giving up the sport for a while, Sarah, 15 years old, once again puts on her skates at her former club, Colmar. On the ice, she again faces the tyrannical authority of her coach, Xavier, and the pressure of high-level competition, fuelled by her mother's dreams. Torn between her sporting ambitions and her desire for freedom, the teenager rebels and becomes distracted from her goals, against a backdrop of intimate awkwardness and ambivalent feelings.
From the first kiss, to first parties, to teenage rivalries, Kiss and Cry speaks, with precision and spontaneity, about the heartaches of youth.
Between documentary and fiction
If, in Kiss and Cry, the power of a documentary meets the plot of a fictional work, it is doubtless because most actors in the film are playing themselves. In life and on screen, Xavier Dias is the coach of Sarah Bramms, the great hope of the club who plays the leading role.
It was during the filming of Toe Loop that Chloé Mahieu and Lila Pinell met the Colmar skating team. Five years later, the two film-makers rediscovered these characters who allowed them to create a conversation between their writing, improvised scenes and choreography on ice.
A critical victory
Produced by Emmanuel Chaumet and his independent production company Ecce Films, Kiss and Cry was selected at festivals which contributed to its international reach.
In 2017, it was presented at the Cannes Film Festival on the occasion of the 25th edition of ACID. The same year, it was screened at the La Rochelle International Film Festival. A positive critical reception for this independent work which spans the earthquakes of adolescence, and whose universal language speaks to youth from all walks of life, well beyond the Colmar skating rink.
Kiss and Cry (2017) is distributed internationally by the Institut français as part of the “‘The French Touch’ in French Cinema" season in partnership with ACID.
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.