Aymeric interview for MIMPI 2017

Here is the interview from MIMPI festival where they talked with Aymeric about skateboarding festivals and films, cultural exchange and about the two films he will exhibit at Mimpi.

This will be your first time in Brazil, what do you expect from Mimpi and Rio de Janeiro?

  • I will be staying in Rio for a pretty short time so obviously I won’t get to check out the whole immensity of the city and everything its cultural heritage has to offer, but I’m really looking forward to catching my first glimpse of it and hopefully soak in as much information as possible, and experience just as many of the wonderful sights, places and people the place has to offer. About Mimpi, as a fan of skater-curated events I am really looking forward to seeing how you guys run yours, and most especially how you tackle (and celebrate!) the more independent aspects of the culture; I’ve heard many appealing stories about you guys’ take on it! I feel like this is going to mark an important and uplifting moment of cultural exchange, and make a lot of skate lifers aware of even more dimensions to the art of skateboarding than they thought it comprised. Really can’t wait to get to meet, discuss and skate with everybody I’ll see there. Thank you for having me!

Do you have any links or knowledge with the Brazilian skateboard? Skaters, photographers, directors, storytellers, etc.

  • In Europe, a lot of people hear ‘stories’ about Brazilian skateboarding but in reality, geographically the lands are so far apart that a lot of the fundamental essence gets lost in translation and it’s hard for Europeans to fully grasp the little details making the scene in Brazil – you get the idea of how gigantic and heavily loaded with history it is, but – especially when there’s a language barrier – it’s hard to track down names! Of course I always knew about the most famous pros who eventually claimed international fame ie. Bob Burnquist, Rodrigo TX or more recently Tiago Lemos but I’ve been talking with Dalmo Roger a fair amount last year when he was interviewing me for Vista and he hooked me up the names of many interesting underground legends to check out such as Alexandre Ribeiro, I ended up watching a bunch of Grito Da Rua episodes too. As far as the newer generations, I’ve also recently interviewed Cotinz for Live Skateboard Media upon the release of his video ‘Doppelgänger’, and more generally, while I can’t help but be sorry for being a tourist I always tend to try and find out about local skating worldwide as much as possible. For some reason Brazil is a bit harder to get to, but I’m fascinated by the history of the local scenes, the people who make them and their respective takes on the love of skateboarding – I’m always down for new styles. Also, I’m really hoping for at least one flatground skate with Fernando Denti…

Tell us more about Stickers, the movie that you directed and that will be displayed at the festival’s competitive show.

  • Quite frankly, fundamentally Stickers is just an edit of footage of me skating but the clips were all filmed by so many good friends of mine who happen to be amazing artists: Zach Chamberlin from SF, Colin Read from NYC, Nikola Racan from Croatia, Josh Roberts from Australia, the great Rios crew from Hungary and even this french underground skater Tetouf, who is an absolute ripper on a skateboard and could pursue a great career but instead chooses to live in the middle of nowhere, so he never gets any coverage – he’s a secluded genius. Anyway, I had all those unused clips of me laying around and realistically they were collecting dust and never going anywhere – they were leftovers or b-roll – so at some point, last year, I threw them together as some kind of web part thing, as to try and showcase my friends’ talents behind the lens but also celebrate my past trips from the last couple of years to places such as Tokyo or Budapest. It’s a pure skater-styled visual collage (hence the name “Stickers”) and even the soundtrack is skater-made, by my friend Sean Cullen (who lives in SF, skates for Snack Skateboards and makes beats under the names MRSEEN / Blu Jeen). Apparently you guys liked it so much that you encouraged me to submit it so I did, but now I do feel awkward having personal skate footage of me on the line-up!

Photo by Henry Kingsford

And the unpublished documentary of the Vladimir Skate Festival that you will present firsthand at Mimpi. Tell us about the recording process and the days at the festival.

  • “Vladimir” is the title of my documentary movie and it’s indeed inherited straight from the name of the croatian Vladimir Skate Festival which – as most everybody may have guessed by now – is the film’s subject matter. Vladimir Film Festival was on its seventh edition this last september and I’ve known its crew for most of the decade, I was there for the fifth time in a row this year. The event is ran by a really tiny crew of people comprising Nikola Racan (main organizer), Oleg Morovic (designer), Elvis Butkovic (technician), Marina Jakulic (PR) and a handful of friends who like to give a hand: Marko Zubak, Iris Mosnja, Tibor Marko Jakulic, Marta Baradic. It’s very much of a cultural oddity as it takes place in Fazana, a 3500-inhabitants-small croatian village with heavy political and military history which, in a nutshell, was just a port to former Yugoslavia president Tito’s summer residency now turned touristic attraction, the Brioni Islands, and home to a pair of factories until a few years ago. But it has a skate scene, and it’s organized itself well enough to set up a yearly festival attracting 200+ people from all over Europe but also the U.S, Australia, Central America, Asia. The organizers have the firmest passion and drive, and damn body and soul in exchange for their incredible (both quantity- and quality-wise) independent work that leaves them in debt every year, all the while having to deal with no acknowledgement from their hometown but spite and complete denial. Their devotion is completely insane, every year I’ve found myself coming I was wishing someone would be there to document it, only to eventually realize that every time, besides a few superficial stories, a handful of photos and a couple of interviews (thanks to Free and Grey Skate Mag), nothing true to the essence of the event would ever really surface. So this year I brought a camera with me, and asked George Toland from London, U.K. and Rémi Luciani from Marseille, France if they would like to help out with the filming, going on the daily skate sessions while I was documenting chunks of the hard labor the organizers were putting in. Just so you can understand how much energy goes on there, the film was filmed in 4 days and I got 10 hours of usable footage, from people skating pre-World War 1 fortresses to all-night-table-tennis-tournament-meet-mini-ramp-sessions, and screenings of skate films at old government-owned outdoor cinemas in the middle of the national park. The film was never meant to be ready by november whatsoever, until you guys contacted me to invite me to Mimpi – then I started working on the editing 15 to 20 hours a day, every day, just because I wanted it to showcase it in the context of your event; I feel like screening this documentary at another festival in a different part of the world is tailor-fit to result in an incredible human experience and a solid instance of, again, cultural exchange. I actually still have a few minutes of the film left to edit, and a couple of days left, so I should make it right on time provided that I keep postponing catching up on my lack of sleep. I just took a break to answer your questions and will go back to Final Cut the second I’m done.

What is a good skateboarding film?

  • A film that makes you want to skate ; depending on the sincerity in your approach, this may prove to be incredibly easy to achieve just as much as it may be impossibly hard.