Sophia Antipolis is the name of a futuristic utopia built on the French Riviera in the 1970s. Intended to be a French response to Silicon Valley, it has become a tourist and technological curiosity. For Vergil Vernier (Orléans, 13th New Horizons; and Mercuriales, 15th New Horizons), it is not so much a symbol of modernity and progress as an emblem for moral decline. In the scorching Mediterranean sun, among the steel and glass, the stories of four people seeking emotional and spiritual renewal are intertwined in an “anti-city” that is like a magic box. New Age, technology and violence create the framework for modern witch-hunts, behind which is not superstition but calculated political action. Vernier’s films (often compared to Ballard) are current and political in nature, but their structure is reminiscent of tarot cards. Every character and every element has several meanings at the same time, and specific characters take on a dimension of mythological allegory.
Vergil Vernier was born in 1976 in Paris, where he studied philosophy and fine arts. He is a director, screenwriter, actor and cinematographer. In films that walk a fine line between fiction and documentary, he plays the role of an alchemist: I want to process banality into a myth, to make the viewer see the world through new eyes. Orléans and Mercuriales have been presented at dozens of festivals around the world, including New Horizons in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
2001 Karine (short)
2009 Commissariat (doc.)
2010 Pandore (short doc.)
2012 Dziewice z Orleanu / Orléans
2013 Andorre (short doc.)
2015 Wieżowce / Mercuriales
2018 Sophia Antipolis