Ingrid Franchi

Born in Marseille, I am a self-educated, autodidact sciptwriter, and director. At 18 I made my first short film called In Humain which received two prices, for the category "best young film director" at the" Video and Cinema Festival". Another of my short film called L'Abaya was shot on 16mm between Ouarzazate, and Paris, and was broadcasted during multiple national, and international festivals.

I've learned my skills on set, working as an assistant director, assistant camerawoman, floor manager, and by reading a lot. The condition of women, children, and oppressed ones in general are topics that have been, and still are inspiring my work. All of this led me to shoot portraits of migrants for The Red Cross, and a documentary in an orphanage in the suburbs of Katmandu in Nepal. Afterwards I directed the French part of a feature film called Trainstation, selected several times, and winning film in international festivals as well as a webserie called A billion to one also selected in festivals, and broadcasted on Amazon Prime US. I had the chance to work on two projects with a couple of directors from Detroit; the aim was to combine our competences, and strengths from which I learned a lot. In 2018 I directed Road to Fight for Sfr Sport, a TV show hosted by Lucie BERTAUD, and produced by Punch prod. A portrait of 26 minutes length of a high level sportsman which made me travel to every corner of France, and all around the world (USA, Thailand, and Senegal.)

In 2017 I finally started shooting the first images of Prisoner. Through this 4 year adventure I met over 800 people. In April 2021 my team, and I finished the first 3 episodes, and we're currently working on post production on the next 25 ones. In January 2021 I worked in Mayotte for different types of show, commercials and documentaries. During the post production of Prisoner, I also work on other several projects like documentaries, and feature films.


1. What is the story behind your film?
Prisoner is born from the desire to share the point of view of several characters
around the large subject of trauma. Not just in France. I wished to enlarge my
horizon. Five characters, each one of them having lived their traumaCc hardship. Now
trying to unchain from it and live their adult life in peace.

2. What should people take away, gain, realize aFer watching your film?
Trauma can leave its mark at any age but is not permanent. It can be rebuked. As a
mean to be less present in our lives or to become an engine for moving forward, if we
work on it. It requires strength in order to face it and find soluCons to heal. I hope
that people watching Prisoner might be inspired to find their way. I approached
several ways of coping as therapy, art and meditaCon.


3. Do you think that films can change people for the beLer or for the worse?
Yes, movies can change things up. Laws, mentaliCes, behaviors. There are some shock
movies that bothered, sent shockwaves or even beLer! There are some examples of ficCon
or documentaries that denounced situaCons and human behavior like:
« For Sama », documentary realized by Waad Al Kateab and Edward WaLs. The former being
a young syrian student that recorded her daily life from 2011 to 2016.

« I, Daniel Blake » realized by Ken Loach, denouncing the English poliCcal system.
“Another kind of world is possible and necessary” declared he, while receiving his second
“Palme d’or” prize.

« Philadelphia » by Jonathan Demme changed society’s percepCon about AIDS. First of its
kind about the subject. Its main focused being discriminaCon of which a brilliant lawyer is
subject to.

In all my humbleness, I try to create movies that give some sense and a track for the
reflecCng audience.

4. How was the creaCon of your project at the Cme of COVID-19
We had to stop filming during the confinement. Sadly, we had to wait the end of it
because we needed some sequences containing many extras. So, I made the best of it by
focusing on ediCng the trailer and the first three episodes that I wanted to send in
fesCvals. I worked remotely with the music composer and the sound mixer. And we could
finish in Cme for applying in April’s fesCvals 2021.

5. What creaCon style did you use in the producCon of your project? What
cameraman elements did you use?
In 2017, we started filming with two GH4 and a team of six technicians. The more Cme
passed, the more we had to film, the bigger the team became, and beLer upgraded our
equipment was. We conCnued filming with Gh5 to finish in the end with AS7s and S1h. We
counted 800 in total, adding the technicians, the actors and the extras. Most of the Cme
filming with two cameras and two booms. We had to be reacCve since three quarters of the
Cme the actors were improvising the lines. So, the goal was to not loose anything important
in the lines and centering the actor in favor of the technique.

6. How did you select the actors for your project?
I had different ways to choose the actors. Most of them I knew already, so I asked them
directly to join me in this adventure if they wished so. I also had many casCngs done. The
actress that I first chose was Marion Lechevallier. We filmed together many Cmes, so I
wanted a longer project with her. All main characters were acquaintances of mine except for
Xavier Maly. The anecdote of how we met is kind of funny. Having been second assistant
director for a short film, where he played the main character, in Lyon’s region. At that Cme, I
think, he didn’t remark me so much. Some years aFer I crossed him in a café, République
Square, in Paris. I approached him, told him about the project, and that I would like to
propose him one of the main characters. He asked for pictures, if I had some, and the
scenario. Next Cme we met he accepts to play in Prisoner.


7. Why do you think your film should appeal to distributors?
Prisoner is an internaConal series both in substance as well as in form. The cast is
mulCcultural, many languages are spoken, and each character defends its rich and dense
storyline. There is an interesCng diversity that may appeal to a public. As well as having a
themaCc that touches everyone. Trauma being an element that we all get to know in our
lives. And finally, Prisoner is a project that started in 2017, is self-made, and aFer more than
five years of work and 800 people implied, yes, it deserves to be aired.

8. At which fesCval has your film been screened?
We have been selected in forty-seven fesCvals all around the world. Rio, Berlin, London, New
York, Toronto, etc... Many of them opened their doors for us and gave us a chance to be seen
and recognized.

9. How did your acquaintances react when they first saw the film?
I organized screenings in all the ciCes we’ve filmed. The team didn’t expect to see it like this
at all, aFer watching for the first Cme the episodes. They didn’t imagine so much work
behind the project. Each one of them has been pleasingly surprised to see the storylines of
the others, aFer watching their respecCve part.

10. If you could change something in your film, what would it be?
The financial resources, of course. It’s an enCrely self-made project. I would have liked to pay
the team, and have more Cme to film even more spectacular scenes.

11. Which movies are your favorites and why?
Opening Night of John Cassavetes
Time of the Gypsies of Emir Kusturica
Mother in law of Hafsia Herzi
For all three of them we can noCce an interesCng work with the actors. Such as for
improvisaCon or the wriLen part, all of it passes very naturally. They are movies from
different eras with different techniques. Remarkably, the actor being constantly the director’s
center of work, completely commiLed to the subject of the movie.

12. What topics do you like to address in your stories?
I oFen approach the subject of trauma in my movies. How to free ourselves from the past,
our traumas and our iniCal condiCon.

13. What is your moCvaCon in making films?
I need to express myself on topics that are touching me, so I find that making movies
corresponds me well. Working with the image, the sound, the music, costumes and stage set,
we succeeded every Cme in creaCng something miraculous. But I like this challenge. Most
importantly providing a voice for every actor which is the real part of my creaCon process.

14. Which contemporary filmmakers moCvate you the most?
I want to talk about women directors because we hear less about them: Chloé
Zhao, Nadine Labaki, Deniz Gamze, Erguven

15. What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
I’m working on a short film about feminine football. I’ve also wriLen a long film concerning a
big part of my childhood. As well as plenty mini-series. In the end I hope be able to
collaborate with foreign film socieCes as well.

Prisoner on setJPG