Feb. 5, 2020

ARRI sponsorship continues to light up La Fémis in Paris

Renewed support from ARRI Lighting helped to realize short films created by third-year students at the renowned film school, La Fémis.

Feb. 5, 2020

La Fémis (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son) is a large public school belonging to the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, located in the heart of Paris. Since the institution’s inception, La Fémis has been committed to training students on the various disciplines of film: directing, cinematography, producing, screenwriting, editing, sound production, production design, continuity, distribution, and cinema management. Each year, the school produces more than 250 short films, dramas, and documentaries. More than just mere exercises, these films are often true masterpieces that herald the next generation of filmmakers. In order to preserve the experimental nature of these pieces, only some of the films are actually broadcasted outside of the school. Only the second-year documentaries, the third-year films, and the final thesis projects were able to obtain broadcasting rights.

Throughout the company’s history, ARRI has been committed to fostering young talent. Non-profit educational activities like product loans, product and technology presentations, trainings, new product testing as well as sponsorship and patronage are routinely evaluated and consistently supported around the globe. In order to aid third-year graduate students in making their short films, ARRI Lighting in France and La Fémis agreed on a sponsorship package that would best aid the student’s projects. The school regulates that the sponsoring company can, under no circumstances, have an influence on the activity of training of La Fémis both in its contents (intellectual, artistic, scientific, technical) and in regard to the participants who could be involved.

ARRI had the good fortune to speak with three third-year students, Nader Chalhoub, Loïc Maillé, and Claire Vilella about their film projects and their experiences with the provided equipment.

Nader Chalhoub is studying at La Fémis to become a cinematographer. As a DP, he worked on student director Victor Gomez’s film “Black Out.” The science fiction piece takes place entirely indoors in a space shuttle on its return from Mars where five astronauts try to unmask the alien that has infiltrated their ship. Nader Chalhoub shared some background information with us: “The intention of director Victor Gomez was to follow the different members of the crew who were gradually sinking into paranoia.” He continued: “The ship, the sixth character in the film, is very illuminated and neutral at the beginning, however, as the story continues, it is transformed into an increasingly suffocating and anxiety-provoking space.”

In order to help the production create the kind of space necessary, ARRI provided the  set with 8 SkyPanels and 2 L-Series L5-C, 2 L-Series L7-C, and 2 L-Series L10-C. Nader Chalhoub recalled: “All the sources, entirely in LED, were connected to a DMX console, controlled by Francisco Garcia Morteo and allowed for a very meticulous control of the intensity and color of the spotlights. This system also made it possible to program light variations and visual effects such as the rotation of the planet Mars through the porthole of the spaceship or various alarm signals that could be triggered instantly. The wide variety of pre-recorded gelatins allowed us to find the right atmosphere for each scene.”

Being able to work with ARRI lights on this production proved to be beneficial for the young filmmakers. Nader Chalhoub elaborated: “Having been able to make all these color palette choices already on the set will greatly facilitate the calibration phase. We were well underway in creating a ‘look’ already on set.”

Another featured production supported by ARRI Lighting, was third-year student director Loïc Maillé’s “Listening.” A mystical thriller with a storyline that is scripted to shake up the audience. The story is set in a somber and somewhat bleak space that  serves as the location of a spiritism session. Throughout the film, messages from the other side are revealed; a task well aided by ARRI lights.

“I would like to thank ARRI for lending us equipment and allowing us to make a short film,” mentioned Loïc Maillé. “We were able to experiment with different things while working with the shadows, darkness, and some bright elements,” he added and elaborated: “We were able to work in detail and find the atmosphere I wanted for my film. It was a great studio experience.”

Director of photography, third-year student Claire Vilella was also very happy about being able to employ ARRI lights for the piece. She commented: “It allowed us to carry out an ambitious aesthetic style and to create the special atmosphere that the director was looking for. We hope you will enjoy the film.”

For more information about La Fémis, please visit

Photos 2, 6: La Fémis© 2020

Photos 1, 5: Hugo Pagnier

Photos 3, 4, 7: Mina Laporterie