“Bumper” is the English title of my French short film, called in French, “Le Créneau”.
BUMPER – Synopsis:
For many years, Max, a young man full of ambition, has been dreaming of being accepted in a prestigious school of political sciences. The day before the interview, he plans to spend the night at his grandmother’s house which is near where the oral exam will be taking place the next morning, thus hoping to be in the best mindset to succeed. But once he gets there, Max finds out his Grandma has decided to take her driver’s license again…
Nirina Ralantoaritsimba (also known as Nirina Ralanto) is a scriptwriter. In 2013 she co-wrote the feature “Love is in the air” produced by Universal, Révérence, Thelma and Manchester. She is an autodidact director. In 2010, she directed her first short film “Double word score” in France. In 2012 she started a docu-webseries called “Travel Journal in Abu Dhabi”, based on her life in the UAE as a French teacher. In 2013, she edited her new docu-webseries about her grandmother, “My weekend with Mémé”, and got an award for “Family genre” at Vancouver Webfest in 2015. Nirina is half from France, half from Madagascar. She is a writer and director. As a multidimensional artist, she is a painter, calligrapher, musician, singer, actress. Holding a PhD in French literature about travel journals in California, she is also a linguist and taught French in schools and universities in France, the US and the United Arab Emirates at Sorbonne University of Abu Dhabi.
Julien Ralanto, producer at Reverence, produced the French comedy called “Amour et Turbulences” (English title: “Love is in the air“) coproduced by Universal, Manchester and Thelma. He also produced a short film called “Beau papa” and directed two short films called “Instantané” and “Hand to hand”. He’s now working on his own feature film.
If you are a producer and want to get more information about our comedy project, please contact us!
Our short film had its World Premiere in the United States, on October the 13th and the 14th 2018 in San Diego (city where I used to live as a French teacher) ! I take this as a sign and a blessing…
“Bumper” is a 18-minute short film inspired by family and made by family! It is a tribute to lineage and unity.
Our main characters? You see them on the poster above, at the dinner table: a grandson and his grandmother. We all experienced relationships with our grandparents, mythical and sometimes anachronistic heroes of our lives…
My brother and I wrote a script for a feature film (full length of the short) that we want to produce soon! While looking for producers and the best partnership for our feature, Julien and I decided to produce a short film, as a sample of our vision. We were convinced that by making this jewel, it would be easier for us to show the chemistry between Max and Mémé (the grandson and the grandmother).
Max is played by the French actor Hugues Jourdain. He is currently playing a successful one man show in Paris, called “Dans ma chambre”.
Mémé (Grandma) is played by the French actress Marie-Pierre Casey. In her very long career in the French TV and cinema, this is her first short film! She is currently playing in a TV series called “En Famille”.
Marie-Pierre Casey: Mémé (Grandma)
Hugues Jourdain: Max
Jana Bittnerova: driving instructor
Christian Abart: passerby
François Rabette : driving license examiner
What about the short story?
We invented a life situation about ambition for two different generations, in order to put Max and Grandma together in the grandmother’s house, in the countryside of France. This knot would make them play their best facets of their personalities. The scene of “Bumper” doesn’t belong to the feature script. In fact, Julien got this idea of a grandmother willing to pass the driving license again, and I found it an efficient and funny plot to start writing a short film. We wrote it quite quickly, because we were so used to write about our characters since the feature script.
Then we started the pre-production in September 2017, shot the movie during 6 days beginning of December, started the editing around Christmas and finished the post-production in June.
San Diego International Film Festival in California, October 10-14 2018.
7e Festival Eurydice in Fécamp, Normandy, November 8-11 2018 – National Première in France!
Prague Film Awards, in Czech Republic, on January 11-12 2019.
“Bumper” is nominated in the category Best short comedy!
On Saturday the 12th of January 2019, “Bumper” received its first award: Best Comedy Short!
21st San Francisco Independent Film Festival, January 30-February 14 2019.
“Bumper” received the Audience Award.
16e Festival des 24 Courts, in Sarthe, February 3-4 2019.
22e Festival européen du court-métrage de Bordeaux, March 28-29.
Cleveland International Film Festival, March 27-April 7 2019.
Bumper will be on screen on Friday, the 31st of May 2019 at Apollo cinema in Pontault-Combault for the “Soirée Courts-Métrages” :
Other movie project: adaptation from my first novel
I am a writer and I wrote a novel, in French, called “We are the ancestors of the ones who are not born yet”. This is a French-Californian novel, a cross-cultural journey from women’s eye helping to question stereotypes and clichés about the mythical California from a French Old Continent’s point of view… A travel in Time and Space because it is necessary to explore the past, if we want to understand the present with an open heart.
I am now looking for a translator to translate my novel from French to English, because I feel that the American audience would like this fiction based on America and California history. The ideal translator will be able to give the special French-American touch! I decided to do a crowdfunding to finance this translation, so that the public can be more involved in the meta-process of translation, which is also celebrated in the book (in the story, Ninon is actually translating a French manuscript into English!).
Here is a critic about my novel, from a Californian reader who knows French and who read it:
“This is a parallel story of two women who leave France in search of gold of different sorts, for different reasons, in different times. While neither find gold, they both end up richer in the end. As an American living in France, I was touched by the two characters separate journeys in discovering my home state of California. With a fresh lens and an objective perspective, Nirina has a way of making us appreciate, yet question, the mentalities, lifestyles and habits of both cultures. The amalgamation of history, fictional romance and adventure reminds us that we are all in search of our own personal “gold rush”, but usually we have to leave the comfort of our home to find it.” (Jesse Bray on Babelio)
One of the reason why I wanted to write this novel is to talk about the unknown history, especially one of the hundred tribes that used to live in the bay area before the Europeans arrive. In fact, I did a PhD about the travel journal of French travelers in California from the gold rush until 1913-1915 and I got the chance to read around 40 testimonies from that time. Then I did an anthropological research about this indigenous tribe called Ohlones, who lived in Mission Dolores in San Francisco in the 19th century.
This novel is basically a mixture between my PhD research and my life in California, because I used to live in San Diego from 2004 to 2007, as a French teacher in San Diego French American School. I live in total immersion in the American culture, making a lot of Californian friends who taught me their way of life. This book is a way to show my gratitude to all of them. They inspired me so much!
Two French women travel to California. Ninon Février travel there in 2004 and will discover the myth of Californian dream. Geneviève Legrand travel there in 1849 because she heard about the gold rush and wants to change her life and be reborn. Both women meet through the power of writing and translating: an old manuscript… Time and space will cross each other from the 21st to the 19th century, building an unexpected genealogical tree that unfolds forgotten French-American history.
“We are the ancestors of the ones who are not born yet” is a celebration of peace within past and present, in order to build a more peaceful and more aware future on this planet.
As a scriptwriter and director, I am looking for collaboration to adapt my novel to a series or a feature. Ideally I am aiming for a French-American co-production. If you like cross-cultural projects and want to get more information about this French-American adaptation project, please contact me!
Photo credit: Elia Weppe and Pierre-Alain M’Barga