Five young students in a Shanghai school of arts audition for a part in a film. They talk about their inspirations, their personnal story and about what drives them to act. Being adolescents, their motivations are as ingenuous and unclear as the film they are auditioning for. Combining documentary and fiction, the script writes itself around one question: if they could act anything, what would it be?
National competition - Short films - FNC 2020
Through its elegant simplicity, Jean-Sébastien Beaudoin Gagnon’s work gives us fleeting access to the fantasies of a Chinese youth that is opening up and externalizing itself to gain a greater self-understanding. Filmed with a collaborative and playful spirit, the film takes form through the desires, dreams and cultural influences of these young actors, who take a visible pleasure in ditching real life for a few minutes to put themselves in danger. Whether it’s to empower themselves more, break away from the everyday, have fun with cinematographic codes, overcome the fear of ridicule, accomplish a childhood dream or take symbolic vengeance against past trauma, the exercises offer them a welcome outlet, an exhilarating break from the at-times overwhelming seriousness of life. Acting Out brilliantly succeeds in providing its viewers with a contagious good time.
Tënk's programming assistant
Jean-Sébastien Beaudoin Gagnon gratuated in 2008 from UQAM school of cinema. As a human swiss-army knife, he developped 3 web-series, directed 7 short films, produced 9 shorts and 2 features, worked as a sound recordist on roughly a hundred shorts and a dozen of features, and clocked many hundreds of hours in dark rooms as an assistant-editor. Artisanal and collaborative are the two words that characterize everything he worked on.