Stephane Brize

Despite a recurring theme in his work, Stephane Brize really isn’t so blue. His first feature, “Le Bleu des Villes (Hometown Blue), screened in Directors Fortnight at Cannes in 1999 and received the Prix Michel d’Ornano for best screenplay at the Deauville fest a few months later. And though the pic has been released on only 50 screens in Gaul, it’s playing to critical raves.

Still, given that one of his short films was titled “Bleu Dommage” (Blue Damage), his next pic centers on a young man’s suicide and one of his favorite films is the far from jocular “Little Odessa,” one could draw the conclusion that the helmer has some melancholy issues to work out.

Not so, Brize says. The 33-year-old former technician from France’s Brittany region says his work is “not depressing. What makes me excited is to see what happens around us and to think about life. It can still be funny or not so funny, but it’s important to think about it.”

In Brize’s upcoming adaptation of the book, “Loin d’Eux” (Far From Them), rumination is all the rage. Story centers on a young man who plots to kill himself as a means to bring those around him closer.

Brize is working on the script with his longtime collaborator and muse Florence Vignon. TS Prods. will produce the under-$2 million pic.

As far as moving West, Brize says he wants to find himself first, stressing, “I don’t want to be a prisoner in a tone or a style. I want to be very free.”

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