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portrait of mistressesÉCU – The European Independent Film Festival 2014 brought fresh talent to the big screens, while also highlighting the work of highly regarded and established players in the independent film scene. One of the most talked-about celebrities this festival season is the French actress Julie Gayet, who starred in the European Dramatic Short film by Rocco Labbé “Portraits of Mistresses”, which was honored with Best Cinematography this year.

While Gayet’s involvement with the president François Hollande has brought her into the national spotlight, the scandal has eclipsed a long and fruitful career in cinema. Gayet is in fact a huge lover and defender of the independent film industry. She started her third production company Cinémaphore in collaboration with Charles Gillibert, an independent producer. Before this, she jump-started Rouge International in 2007, followed by Amarante productions in 2012.

Julie-Gayet 2As a producer, she oftentimes gets involved in the projects of first-time filmmakers, championing directors in progress to kick off their careers. She follows her instinct, takes risks, and loves it. Her philosophy is just live simply and appreciate every moment of life, as she revealed to Le Figaro.

Gayet’s love of the arts began with learning classical singing at the age of eight. From there, she switched to pursuing comedy at the age of fourteen. When she was 17, she went to London for an internship with Jack Waltzer at Actors Studio. She also studied theatre, circus, history of art, psychology and cinema, which indicates the depth and breadth of her passions for every corner of the art world.

quai d'orsayAs an actress, her track record is prolific. She has appeared in more than 50 French films and TV movies. While early on she took on quiet, women-next-door sorts of roles, 2013 marked a change of pace: in the film “Quai d’Orsay”, Gayet plays a sex-mad diplomat, whose prototype is the former French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin. With this subversive type of character, she gained universal praise from French critics and was nominated for a César as Best Supporting Actress.

Audiences at ÉCU 2014 in early April loved seeing Gayet’s dynamism and versatility as a performer in “Portraits of Mistresses”, and the ÉCU team looks forward to seeing what she will accomplish next – both in front of the camera and behind the scenes as a productive game-changer in independent film.

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