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Jury Duty | Zoel Aeschbacher

Zoel was the recipient of the Grand Director award at the 2018 PRINDIE Film Fest and if now a member of the 2019 PRINDIE Jury. We asked him a few questions, and got some good answers.


Born in Paris in 1993 of Swiss and US nationalities, Zoel's first passion was music, which resulted in a fulfilling collaboration with Tony Tran and the genesis of the duet band Ugly Kids in 2010. This led to subsequent collaboration with another artist from Velvey, Julie Hugo of Solange La Frange, as well as regional artists (Montreal Jazz Festival, Babelec, etc.)


This creative experience, in its unimpeded growth, and guided by his formal studies at ECAL, became manifested in video, clip, and then short filmmaking which became an indisputable and transforming passion. 


In 2016, he joined force with fellow director, Christophe M. Saber, to found Apollo Projects with its unique contribution to the 7th Art.

What attracted you to PRINDIE: Princeton independent film festival?

I discovered this festival thanks to my distributor. Then, I had the wonderful surprise of receiving a prize for my short film BONOBO! It was such great news because I did not think my film could find an audience in the United States! For me, it was almost a consecration to see my film broadcast in the United States and being appreciated! I have always admired the American independent cinema!


What is your favorite movie/ what is your favorite type of movie? (action, drama, etc.)

It's always difficult to answer that question. I always have a different answer. If I'm talking about something recent, the film that marked me the most was GOOD TIME from the brothers Safdie: two young film directors from New York. It's an immersive film from the first seconds, and we are then shipped with them into a long night of adrenaline. There is only a rare moment when one is able to take one's head out of the water as the audience witnesses a man's descent into hell.

What I like is the fact of wanting to cross the boundaries between genre cinema, author cinema, realistic cinema, and fiction cinema. All under visceral observation on our contemporary society. The films that speak to me the most are generally observations, criticism, even satire on the absurdities of our modern world.


Besides Film, what are your passions? 

Music!  Music is also my first passion. With the development of the internet, music became more democratic, and I illegally downloaded programs and spent my days composing from a computer. It's through music that I first discovered clips, then cinema, because I was very sensitive to soundtracks. I depend greatly on music to write scenes.

Is there anything you would like to share about yourself to the people of PRINDIE?

I am currently developing my first feature film. In the meantime, I hope to be able to create a second short film!

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PRINDIE: Princeton Independent Film Festival will be held virtually from September 10th - 13th. We showcase short films that will be topped off with educational speakers, great music, and relevant non-profits - for an opportunity to get involved. PRINDIE: Princeton Independent Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

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