Anton Bialas was born in Paris, France in 1990 to a Swedish mother and a German father. He studied film at the Sorbonne in Paris and directed the mid-length film Derrière nos yeux in 2018.
What was your starting point for À l’entrée de la nuit?
The original starting point of À L’ENTRÉE DE LA NUIT was meeting Alioune Fall, the young man who tells the dream in the first part of the film. He had come to France at a young age, with his mother. I met him on the street in Paris and we started to meet frequently to talk about our lives, and then more specifically about dreams and the interpretations they had in his native country Senegal and sub-saharan Africa, and how they resonated for him regarding questions of exil, distance, and loss.
The second encounter that launched the writing of the film was witnessing the Guardia Civil patrols along the Spanish coast. They appeared to me as hearses drifting slowly through the forest, followed by an invisible procession of disappeared men and women.
Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?
I’m not sure. But I know I have a special affection for the first part where the two men walk in the dark forest, because it was very hard to shoot! We had to reshoot the whole scene because the rushes were damaged the first time. We had very little equipment and walked backwards for very long takes of eleven minutes through a difficult terrain, trying to film on the very tiny screen of the Gopro camera… Everybody involved gave very much to that part of the film.
What do you like about the short form?
When I come up with an idea, I’m very impatient to shoot and also I tend to doubt myself very quickly so I need to get to the fabrication of images as fast as possible to keep the desire burning. The short form allows me to shoot with very little money and not be exclusively dependent on public fundings nor write sophisticated scripts to convince people before shooting.
Short form also has the beauty of being more immediate in its sensations, it feels like the dawn of something that reminds me of childhood. An art form that is dangerous, fragile and uncompromising.
photo ©Dorothea Tuch