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51th Directors’ Fortnight May 15-25, 2019

Robert Swaim

Filmmaker and director, Robert F. Swaim is the long tradition of the creators of the Atlantic who have chosen, like Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Richard Wright and Arthur Miller, to take root in France in order to better combine their work on the double cultural heritage of America and Europe.
There is little doubt that curiosity is the driving force behind this anthropologist by training, born in Chicago in 1943. After a first initiatory stay in France, Swaim moved to Paris where he studied language Fulani and receives lessons from Georges Balandier at the Ecole des Langues Orientales-while following the course of Claude Levi-Strauss at the College France.
But France is also a historical film, and this admirer of the New Wave quickly to catch the virus 7th Art, moving from full days to complete his education at the Cinematheque Francaise. A passion that led to integrate the Ecole Nationale de la Cinematographie and the photograph of the rue de Vaugirard – the future Louis Lumiere School – which he graduated in 1970.
The decade ahead will give him the opportunity to hone his skills author and director through the universe documentary, while live, through advertising, the family he founded in France . But while the fictional cinema, it remains closed, Swaim took the decision to base with other young filmmakers an independent production company whose catalogue grows quickly fifty shorts.
Three of them, written and directed by Swaim, attracting the attention of the profession as critics and won several international awards. This initial success will pave the way for writing and making A Night of Saint Germain des Pres, his first feature film in which one discovers for the first time in cinema, along with Michel Galabru and Mort Shuman , A talented young actor named Daniel Auteuil. But the merit of the film does not stop there, since it also allows the public to rediscover a forgotten author, Leo Malet, whose hero, Nestor Burma, will thereafter a fine career at the screen.
Despite critical success met during his presentation at Cannes in connection with Directors’ Fortnight, La Nuit de Saint-Germain-des-Pres is little room in revenue and Bob Swaim will save more than four years to raise funds necessary to accomplish its next feature film, The Balance. This time, the film is one of the biggest commercial successes of french cinema, revolutionizing the way the face of « polar ».