Batch. André Clamagirand returns to his roots to shoot his new film “L’étang du Drac”

Director André Clamagirand started shooting his film “L’étang du Drac” on April 23, 2022 in Salviac. Filming is planned on the Lot until Sunday, May 1. (©Luc Getreau)

the Director Andre Clamagirand started filming his film “L’etang du Drac” on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Agricultural and Automotive Heritage Museum from sage. The film is a free adaptation of a book from michel souladie.

Many movies to his credit

It will soon be 45 years since André Clamagirand has been shooting documentaries, commissioned films, short films. Today, at seventy-five years old, with the same enthusiasm as at twenty, this cameraman from Lotois can boast of almost 450 films to his credit. On the occasion of a joyful day of filming that took place within the framework of the Salviac agricultural and automobile museum, reconstituted the kitchen of a peasant inn, we were able to interview both the director and his accomplice, the writer Michel Souladié du Vigan, author of the initial plot.

News: What were your sources of inspiration to write the novel entitled “Two extraordinary adventures”?

Michael Souladie: For this novel, I was inspired by the memories of my childhood, by the stories that my father told me and all those who met at night to work around cantou. My parents, on both sides, were sharecroppers and I remember my father talking about his own childhood when he followed his father’s herd on foot to go to the Gramat fair, which is twenty kilometers from Vigan, twice as long, we counted the return . My father used to tell me very colorful hunting stories, colorful in patois… Besides, I am viscerally attached to the land of the Lot. From my earliest childhood I traveled the countryside, populating it with creatures, legends, imaginary stories. This novel responds to the desire to write that has lived in me since I was a child. It has two stories, and to my surprise, André was able in his adaptation to merge the two into a single plot. Very young with André, we forged a strong friendship at Gambetta High School, which at that time had up to fifty students per class. The discipline was very severe, harsh and ruthless, and to compensate for this, there was great solidarity among the students. I recounted my high school memories in a book about this period and suddenly, for the presentation of “Two Extraordinary Stories”, I invited all of Gambetta’s former classmates. Sixty years later, I had no idea that André had become a director, so imagine my surprise and pride when he asked me to adapt it for a movie!

“I immediately fell in love with its story, which is a true country thriller”

Andre Clamagiranddirector

What seduced you from the plot of the book “Two Extraordinary Adventures” by Michel Souladié, adapted by you under the title “L’étang du Drac”?

Andre Clamagirand: Michel is a childhood friend and three years ago he called me to invite me because he was presenting his new novel to the press. But as from Saint-Malo where I live and work, I couldn’t come to Cahors, and to be forgiven, I offered to send me his book. As soon as I received it, I devoured it. A native of Cahors, where I lived until I was twenty years old, and still linked to the Lot, I immediately fell in love with his story which is a true rural thriller with a disappearance, an investigation, mysteries, suspense, unexpected twists to give you goosebumps and I offered myself to make a film adaptation. I worked on the script for two years, with many successive versions.

Why did you insist so much on shooting in the Lot?

Andre Clamagirand: This session offers me an unexpected opportunity to rediscover my childhood memories and friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in fifty or sometimes sixty years. This is the shooting of friendship. All the actors are volunteers but with real roles and custom dialogues. For the music of the film, Claude Villières is also a childhood friend with whom I kept in touch. We made music within a Cadurcian group, the King Boys, and for the soundtrack of “L’étang du Drac” he knew how to translate the spirit of the film, an atmosphere that flirts with the fantastic and the supernatural. I still can’t tell you the final duration of this medium-length film, because what matters less to me is the total duration than finding the right rhythm, internal to each film, during editing.

Through this film, I would like to share the richness and beauty of the Lot with all audiences.

Andre Clamagiranddirector

How will this movie be released? How will the Lotois be able to see it?

Andre Clamagirand: Filming takes place for a week. I record as my own producer and with a very small budget. The means are modest but the ambition is great. Because I want this film to live as long as possible and to be able to reach all audiences. I hope to interest a television channel for its broadcast. But I will start with a preview on Vigan, because it is the country of the author of the novel: Michel Souladié, and it will be a way of thanking all the local actors, merchants, private donors, Crédit Agricole, the head of Carrefour Cahors, foie gras Martegoute and especially the municipalities of Salviac, Vigan and the entire team of the Salviac automobile museum federated around Benoît Jouclar. All these enthusiastic, generous and warm people helped me to carry out my project. I’m going to present the film at festivals like the one in Marseille and I’m also going to show it at the Gindou film festival.

LUC GÉTREAU Interview

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André Clamagirand surrounded by his team of actors.
André Clamagirand surrounded by his team of actors. (©Luc Getreau)

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