Paris (AFP)

The film school created in 2018 in Seine-Saint-Denis by the director Ladj Ly, in the running for the Oscars, launched on Monday a new training in art and image led by the artist JR, a member also from the Kourtrajmé collective to which he says "owe a lot".

The filmmaker of Montfermeil, whose first film "Les Misérables" has experienced an irresistible rise since his jury prize in Cannes, has dreamed for 20 years of opening a film school in the district where he grew up and started as a director by filming the urban violence of 2005, born at the bottom of his house.

"We started together 20 years ago, and here we are with our students ... We are very proud to give this new generation a chance. With the network we had formed, we thought that 'we had to send the elevator back,' he explained to the 30 students from the scriptwriting, directing and post-production sessions, joined by 13 aspiring artists during a morning at the National Cinema Center (CNC) in Paris. At his side, his friends directors Romain Gavras and Kim Chapiron, founders with him of Kourtrajmé.

"The Kourtrajmé collective was created by these three young people, I had the chance to meet them when I was 18-19," said JR. "Much of my path has been fueled by the boiling of the collective. This is something to which I owe a lot. It has inspired a lot of young people of my generation, and perhaps yours too," launched this artist who became known worldwide with his photographic collages.

It is in the city of Bosquets, in Montfermeil, that Ladj Ly and JR, both self-taught, began their careers in 2004 with monumental wild works. They then co-directed several documentaries on this disadvantaged and landlocked neighborhood.

The new art and image session run by JR, lasting six months, aims to teach these young artists, photographers or painters, mostly from the Parisian suburbs, "how to navigate this world independently".

The Kourtrajmé school, free and without qualification requirements, will continue to expand. An antenna will be launched in Senegal by Toumani Sangaré, also a historic member of the collective, Ladj Ly announced on Monday. And a music session should be opened at the next school year under the leadership of Kim Chapiron, composer of the soundtrack for "Les Misérables".

Hosted initially by Ateliers Medicis, installed by the State in Clichy-sous-Bois, the school will move in February to its own premises, in the neighboring town of Montfermeil.

© 2020 AFP