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Sophia Antipolis

Virgil Vernier
France 2018 / 98’
Lapü The Juniper Tree

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. 

Ewa Szabłowska

Virgil Vernier

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.

Selected filmography

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

Cast & Crew

director Virgil Vernier
screenplay Virgil Vernier
cinematography Simon Roca, Tom Harari
editing Charlotte Cherici
music James Ferraro
cast Dewi Kunetz, Sandra Poitoux, Hugues Njiba-Mukuna, Bruck, Lilith Grasmug
producer Jean-Christophe Reymond
production Kazak Productions
language French
colouration colour