Jeanne and the Perfect Guy
Film director and screenwriter Olivier Ducastel is best known for his collaboration with partner Jacques Martineau. They earned a César nomination, a Golden Berlin Bear nomination and an Étoiles d'Or Award for their first effort, “Jeanne and the Perfect Guy” (1998). They have since directed and written “The Adventures of Felix” (2000, won Reader Jury of the “Siegessäule” and Teddy's Jury Award at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival, a Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival Award, a Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Award), “My Life on Ice” (2002, won a Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: Award), “Côte d'Azur” (2005, won a Berlin International Film Festival Award), “Born in 68” (2008) and “Family Tree” (2010). Prior to the successful partnership, Ducastel served as sound editor in various film in the early 1990s.
Childhood and Family:
Olivier Ducastel was born on February 23, 1962, in Lyon, France. He spent his adolescence in Rouen, Martineau before moving to Paris, where he studied film and theatre at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. He met companion Jacques Martineau in 1995 and began professional partnership three years later.
The Adventures of Felix
Olivier Ducastel got his start in the film industry in 1988 when served as assistant director to his mentor, Jacques Demy, on the film “Three Places for the 26th ,” the last film Demy completed before he died in 1990. He also worked on the sound department. In the following year, he directed and wrote a short musical called “Le Goût de plaire,” starring Anne Alvaro, Jacques Bonnaffé and Christiane Millet.
Ducastel spent the early 1990s working as a sound editor on a number of films, such as “skanderija, kaman oue kaman,” “Outremer,” “Transit,” “Sam suffit,” “Faut-il aimer Mathilde? ,” “Letter for L...,” “Al-mohager ,” “Adultery: A User's Guide” and “ Le maître des éléphants.” He also became an assistant director on “Sam suffit” and Maroun Bagdadi's “La fille de l'air (both 1992) and an editor on the 1991 short “1 Comédie d'un soi” and the 1994 docuemntary “We, the Children of the 20th Century.”
His collaboration with Jacques Martineau began in 1998 when the two wrote and directed “Jeanne and the Perfect Guy,” a HIV/AIDS themed drama/musical film starring Virginie Ledoyen, Mathieu Demy and Jacques Bonnaffé. It was shown at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, and was released in the United States on April 16, 1999. The film brought the two a César nomination for Best First Work, a Golden Berlin Bear nomination at the 1998 Berlin International Festival and a Golden Precolumbian Circle nomination for Best Film at the 1999 Bogota Film Festival. They also won Grand Prix Spécial from the 1999 Étoiles d'Or.
In 2000, Ducastel and Martineau reunited for their second film, “The Adventures of Felix” (“Drôle de Félix”), a road movie starring Sami Bouajila as the title character. It premiered at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival in February, where the film picked up Reader Jury of the “Siegessäule” and Teddy for Jury Award of “For its refreshing portrayal of a man living with HIV who finds an enthusiasm for life and his chosen family,” and received limited theatrical release in the US on June 15, 2001. The duo also nabbed the Audience Award for Best Feature Film or Video at the 2000 Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival and the Best Film Award at the 2001 Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival as well as nominations for Emden Film Award at the 2000 Emden International Film Festival and Grand Prix at the 2000 Paris Film Festival for their efforts.
In 2002, the pair wrote and directed “My Life on Ice”
(originally “Ma vraie vie à Rouen”), starring
Jimmy Tavares as Etienne. It received a Golden Leopard nomination at
the 2002 Locarno International Film Festival and Best Film for
Special Mention at the 2003 Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film
In 2005, Ducastel co-directed and co-wrote (with Martineau) the comedy/musical film “Côte d'Azur,” starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Jean-Marc Barr, Gilbert Melki, Jacques Bonnafé, Édouard Collin, Romain Torres and Sabrina Seyvecou. The film earned mixed reviews from critics. It won a Label Europa Cinemas at the 2005 Berlin International Film Festival.
Three years later, Ducastel and Martineau directed Laetitia Casta, Yannick Renier and Yann Trégouët in the drama film “Born in 68” (“Nés en 68), in which they also c-wrote the screenplay with Guillaume Le Touze. Casta won a Golden Swann for Best Actress at the 2008 Cabourg Romantic Film Festival for her portrayal of Catherine.
In 2010, Ducastel and his partner directed and wrote the drama film “Family Tree” (“L'arbre et la forêt”), which starred Guy Marchand, Françoise Fabian and Sabrina Seyvecou. It was shown at various festivals throughout the year such as the Berlin International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Espoo Film Festival, the Athens Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Gent International Film Festival and the Französische Filmtage Tübingen.
Also in 2010, they directed the French TV film “Juste la fin du monde de Jean-Luc Lagarce,” starring Pierre Louis-Calixte, Catherine Ferran and Elsa Lepoivre.
Berlin International Film Festival: Label Europa Cinemas, “Côte d'Azur,” 2005
Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: Best Film, Special Mention, “My Life on Ice,” 2003
Milan International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival: Best Film, “The Adventures of Felix,” 2001
Berlin International Film Festival: Reader Jury of the “Siegessäule,” “The Adventures of Felix,” 2000
Berlin International Film Festival: Teddy, Jury Award, “The Adventures of Felix,” 2000
Toronto Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival: Audience Award, Best Feature Film or Video, “The Adventures of Felix,” 2000
Étoiles d'Or: Grand Prix Spécial, “Jeanne and the Perfect Guy,” 1999