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Céline Sciamma: "I would love for someone to make 'Petite Maman' into an anime"


As one of the most interesting and creatively ingenious filmmakers of the modern era, Céline Sciamma has changed the landscape of contemporary cinema with the likes of 2011s Tomboy, Girlhood and the Palme d’Or nominee Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Her latest film, Petite Maman is a subtle French fairytale following a young girl who meets a younger version of her mother in a forest near her home. 

Seemingly inspired by the likes of Studio Ghibli, Petite Maman is a short, compact fable about the importance of family, childhood and memory that takes place in an ethereal space influenced not by time. Starring sisters and twins Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz alongside Nina Meurisse and Stéphane Varupenne, the film looks to be a major contender in the imminent award season. 

Discussing her brand new film with Little White Lies, the publication discusses the influences of Studio Ghibli noting My Neighbour Totoro as well as the French animation My Life as a Courgette written by Céline Sciamma herself. Addressing the film’s influences, Sciamma comments, “I thought about animation for Petite Maman while I was promoting My Life as a Courgette and feeling a lot of gratitude towards that film for how it made me grow as a screenwriter”. 

Continuing, the Sciamma added, “I thought Petite Maman would be a perfect animated film because people would take their kids. But then there’s the time scale of making an animated film which isn’t what I’m used to, and it’s not even a craft I can pretend to have”.

Putting the possibility of a future collaboration out there, the director also suggests, “I would love for someone to make this film into an anime”. 

Petite Maman is in cinemas from November 19th and is released by the streaming service MUBI, a company built on spreading the influence of world cinema from the industry’s most remote corners.