Lapland, the kingdom of Father Christmas, and terre des rennes as Aïlo who has just been born. Very quickly, it is necessary that it stands on its legs trembling to face the polar cold. Through the adventures of this Bambi snow, William Maidatchevsky tells us the reality of the migration of these kings of the North. An odyssey in the wonderful scenery of Finland, directed to children, without frills and with a twist of humor.
carried by the voice of the musician and storyteller Aldebert, the staging alternates between scenes of the funny provided by an ermine excited or a glutton in love with a willingness to not hide the harsh laws of nature. In total, William Maidatchevsky and his team have spent 150 days filming in Norway and Finland, to bring in 600 hours of raw footage. Director of documentary films, animal for France 2, France 5 and National Geographic, the old biologist has decided to come out of the classical framework of the documentary. A tale of the animal that has wowed the spectators Finnish making the best score for a French film in the last fifteen years.

LE FIGARO.- You insist to say that Aïlo is anything but a wildlife documentary, why?

Guillaume MAIDATCHEVSKY. – I’m fed up of the doc on the web. There is a very catalogue, very scientific. I think that the genre has done much harm to the animal. I wanted to tell a story. Aïlo is a story, a tale that allows me a freedom of setting a scene. The children are accustomed to see at the cinema heroes, main characters, secondary, a climax, a dramatic. I believe in the next big show. And I really wanted to adapt it to the universe animal, because the nature also offers this. The man has not the privilege of the emotion, the animals also have fears and joys. The kind of documentary I would have blocked. There is a setting in scene but all we see in the movie is true. I want to reach a wider audience than the people watching the documentary on France 5 and who are accustomed to it. It is a popular movie.

We do not film of wild animals as actors… How can we stick to the scenario?

The frustration is part of everyday life. All purposes of weeks, I rewrite the scenario to keep a mise en scene. I didn’t want to wait the assembly, at the end of each week I watched the rushes and I rewrite sequences. Every morning I gave directions for the staging cameramen Finnish. I told them “this morning, you’re a weasel and you’re going to shoot a fox.” They put themselves in the mind of a weasel, so he had to adapt to the optical axis of the animal. Each had a post-it on their camera. The Bear of Jean-Jacques Annaud, inspired me a lot because he was filming from the point of view of the animal. This technique has been difficult to implement at the beginning because the Finns are good in the documentary animalists “classic”. The first few days, they settled down with their tripods and their seat foldable, but they quickly realized that the filming would be different.

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the scene of The birth of a child is one of the highlights of the film. Has it been difficult to shoot?

We followed the female for several days, but they gave birth always far away from us. One of them followed us for six days, she remained behind, two feet. And then she put it down to just ten meters from us. When filming such a birth, and that we see the mother begins to give up his small, one wonders if it was bullshit. The question to keep or not this scene is hard enough. But he had to show that nature is not just cute.

With temperatures close to -40°C, the filming was done in extreme conditions…

The arctic cold is especially problematic for optical cover of fog. © Borsalino Productions Gaumont MRP Matila Rohr Productions

I had already done a lot of documentaries in Africa, but it was the first time that I was filming in the cold. I wanted to feel to the image, this side harsh climate. At the hardware level, the batteries were holding the shock but the most complicated was the level of the optics. Condensation forms when you turn and there you cravings. But you can’t scream because otherwise it scares away the animals…

there has never of shots in your film.
Why this choice?

I don’t like shots. To me they tell nothing. In a medium shot, the eye is lost. Nature lies in detail. The close-up allows you to capture a movement of an ear, an eye, a paw that moves. A discussion took place between the animals. The wide shot is the moment of breathing, it allows to give any appearance of grandiose landscapes of Lapland.

Aïlo addresses the environmental issues only in the watermark. Is it a desire not to make a documentary activist?

I’m not here to be preachy. I want that the kids were amazed at first. Already be amazed by the nature before the protect.

Aïlo, an odyssey in Lapland conte animalier de Guillaume Maidatchevsky, 1h26