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Stella

Sylvie Verheyde
France 2008 / 103’

Stella is 11, her beautiful face is absolutely innocent, her friends could be acquaintances of any serial criminal, she can play cards, her parents have a "working-class" café in the outskirts of Paris and she owns a dog. Stella has no friends of her age, she doesn't know French literature or orthography, she doesn't wear clothes other girls wear and she lacks many experiences which are common to 11-year-old girls. But she knows everything about football, pop music, sex and fighting. She spends days and nights at the café. When she goes to a prestigious secondary school, she wakes up in an entirely different world. As Alice having passed through the looking glass, Stella discovers a reality of distinct rules and emotions. Sylvie Verheyde tells an uncommon and unsentimental story about crossing the line between childhood and maturity, about alienation and building one's identity.

Stella is based on my childhood memories and in particular, on my first year of secondary school in 1977. Like Stella, I grew up in a working-class café, a world that was tough, violent, far from the world of childhood. Like her, I was catapulted into a famous Parisian secondary school. And like her, I arrived there alone with my soccer ball under my arm.

Monika Kocbuch

Sylvie Verheyde

Born in 1967, French director, screenwriter, actress. She studied geography, music and drawing. Her first short films, made in the 1990s were appreciated by the critics: Entre chiens et loups received the Canal+ award at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival, La maison verte obtained the Grand Prix of the festival in Nancy. Verheyde's full-length debut, A Brother with her own screenplay was presented at the Cinémas en France section of the 50th Cannes festival. Emma de Caunes who played the main character, was awarded the César for the Most Promising Actress. After making Princesses, she directed TV films and co-authored the screenplay of the action drama Scorpion. With her third feature-length film, Stella, Verheyde returns to cinema after a 7-year-long absence.

Filmography:

1993 Entre chiens et loups (short)

1995 La maison verte (short)

1997 Un frère... / A Brother...

2000 Princesses

2002 Un Amour de femme / A Woman's Love (TV)

2006 Sang froid / Cold Blood (TV)

2007 Stella

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