Fri, 08 Dec 2023

He would have never imagined that his modest films, created with a minimal budget, would find their place on the biggest American streaming platforms. At just 26 years old, this filmmaker, starting from scratch, managed to distribute his works across the United States. In this intimate portrait, we discover the story of a Frenchman from Asia who came from far away to make his dreams come true. Always in search of meaning and infused with a deep sense of humanism that he strives to breathe into each of his audiovisual projects.

Dylan comes from afar, his native land has given birth to masterpieces like Trn Anh Hng's film The Scent of Green Papaya and Marguerite Duras's The Lover . Vietnam, this beautiful country that has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, has not prevented some rural families from living in poverty. It was in this context that Dylan was placed in an orphanage. Having never known his father, who passed away at birth, Dylan was adopted by a French woman at the age of 2. A whole new world opened up to him, barely setting foot on French soil, Dylan already felt an unconditional love for this magnificent country that is France .

His childhood was spent in a modest home with a single mother employed at a bank. Lacking nothing, Dylan thrived in drawing, his main passion discovered through the french animated series Titeuf . At school, he was neither the best nor the worst; he was average. In order to continue his education at the prestigious Catholic Institution of Saint-Gabriel/Saint-Michel in Saint-laurent-sur-Svres, France, he had to undergo an IQ test with an accredited psychologist. The result was remarkable; on the WISC III, he scored an IQ of 124. If he had managed to secure the missing 6 points, he might have been able to join MENSA (the international association for high IQ individuals >130). Nevertheless, he struggled to be studious but succeeded in obtaining his general baccalaureate in economics and social studies.

He pursued studies at a law university in France with the goal of becoming a lawyer but redirected his path to study cinema at an art school after a revelation while watching Park Chan-Wook's film The Handmaiden . It was decided, Dylan wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking. To cover tuition expenses, he worked at McDonald's for two years. In 2020, Dylan crossed paths with the director Thierry Mauvignier, the brother of the renowned French writer Laurent Mauvignier. At the time, Thierry was working on a short film project, and he invited Dylan to come and observe the set. Dylan saw this as an opportunity to create a documentary on the subject. This artisanal documentary, titled The Legend of Thierry Mauvignier captures the 7 days required for Thierry's shoot by embedding himself among the cast, which included the French actor Frans Boyer and Yannick Jaulin, a survivor of the Order of the Solar Temple cult. Continuing his collaboration with Prime Video, The Legend of Thierry Mauvignier would be broadcast in both the United States and France.

Over time, Dylan developed a humanistic desire to bring about change in French society. Troubled by the persistent inequalities in the country, he founded the Wooksart Foundation to offer assistance to other organizations by providing them access to audiovisual resources for conveying their message. It was within this context that he produced the film The Venus Chained, entrusting the directorial role to his friend Guillaume Gevart. The film was released on Prime Video in 2022 and received the prestigious honorable mention at the renowned Student World Impact Film Festival in 2023, an American event that brought together more than 13,000 films from 120 different countries.

Dylan then embarked on a documentary project about Anne Bouillon, the most powerful lawyer in France. He shed light on her feminist activism and her dedication to defending women who were victims of domestic violence. This documentary was selected for the most prestigious Documentary Film Festival on Justice organized by the Paris Bar Association, with a jury presided over by the director Serge Moati.

It's with sheer perseverance that Dylan managed to carve a niche for himself in the American film industry. Starting from scratch, he skillfully built, through the strength of his determination, a genuine independent organization that offers multiple French audiovisual works each year. Contributing to the global growth of French cinema, Dylan still has a long journey ahead. He has demonstrated that, even with limited means and very tight budgets, it is possible to secure a place in an industry where many are called, but few are chosen.

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