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Praise for Yves by Joost Jansen at Ghent Film Festival

29 oktober 2007
The shorts jury at this year's Flanders International Film Festival Ghent gave a special mention to Yves by Joost Jansen praising this remarkable graduation short for its original mix of documentary, animation and live-action.
Jansen finished Yves last August and put the film entirely on his website. ‘People tend to become silent after seeing it, it appeals to their emotions’, says the young animator, who recently graduated as a Master in Animation at Sint-Lukas Brussels. ‘Nevertheless, I was quite surprised to receive a special mention from the jury, because among the other shorts in this student film competition there were a number of little technical masterpieces.’ Yves is also chosen in a selection of animated documentaries at IDFA in Amsterdam this November. Yves Joost spent most of his last year at school working on the film. He had been planning to make an animated documentary for quite some time: ‘It is a rather unusual genre. I knew only a couple of films, by Chris Landreth for instance (Landreth won an Academy Award for his animated short Ryan, you can watch it here. But Erik van Drunen, organiser of the Holland Animation Film Festival and the teacher who led me through the process of making Yves, introduced me to some more work in animated documentary.’ ‘I really wanted to tell a story that was close to my personal life and experience. Because, when you spend a year elaborating on an idea that came into your head at one point, it can get quite boring. In that respect, little assignments are not that interesting to me.’ One day, Joost found the story for his film at a bus stop near his house. ‘I met Yves there, I did not know him at that time but I noticed that a woman was staring at him in a rather discomforting way.’ Yves and the woman ended up quarelling and Joost stood up for Yves. Later on, Joost contacted Yves and told him about his idea for a film. ‘Yves was very positive and open about it, he likes the attention. He had already played a part in a theatre show as well. I interviewed him for about an hour. I wanted to tell his story without cutting out too much, so it became a rather long and slow film.’ Yves himself is pleased with the result, according to Joost: ‘It is a fantastic experience for him. The only thing he is a bit embarrassed about is that he did not succeed to speak dialect free Dutch all the time, but to me that makes it all the more authentic’. The element of surprise in Yves is crucial for the film. Joost uses the metaphor of a pair of antlers to symbolize Yves’ identity: ‘It was hard to find the right way to approach this. But in the end it was a good solution to express what I wanted to tell. The antlers come across as rather innocent but they remain very conspicuous.’ Music also plays an important part, particularly because it is Yves himself who performs it and who wrote the lyrics. ‘He had already written some lyrics’, says Joost, ‘and after the interview he ended up improvising on his harmonica.’ Joost is determined to make more animated documentaries and to learn more techniques in order to be able to go further. ‘Right now, I am taking 3D animation classes in Kortrijk. To make it as an animator, I have the feeling I need to acquire more skills. An animated documentary like Yves is so rewarding to me, that it motivates me tremendously.’ To watch the movie Yves see above.