Award-Winning Screenwriter Noé Debré’s Journey to His First Feature Film

From Series Success to Silver Screen: An Interview with Noé Debré

Noé Debré, the 38-year-old screenwriter behind numerous successful projects including the European Parliament comedy series “Parliament,” recently made his feature film debut with “Le Dernier des juifs” (The Last of the Jews). In this exclusive interview, we discuss his career, inspirations, and the process of creating his first feature.

Heading the European Parliament Drama

Noé Debré has become a recognized screenwriter in the international scene thanks to his work on the hit television series “Parliament.” The show, set entirely within the European Parliament building, delivers an insightful look at the complex political landscape while providing its audience with doses of humor.

The Birth of “Le Dernier des juifs”

Debré’s impressive resume leads to his journey into filmmaking, where he wrote and directed “Le Dernier des juifs.” Featuring Agnès Jaoui as a Jewish mother in an unnamed city and Michael Zindel as her son, the story revolves around the reality that they may be the last living Jews in the area. The movie is written from collective personal experiences and represents many aspects of contemporary life for Jewish families in France.

  • Film Inspiration: A short film titled “Masel Tov Cocktail” discovered by Debré at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival prompted him to create his feature project. Directed by Arkadij Khaet and Mickey Paatzsch, the film depicts a young Russian Jewish man living in Germany.
  • Untouched Territory: Realizing the limited representation of Jewish life in working-class neighborhoods in France, Debré took it upon himself to bring this unique perspective to the screen. He based his characters and situations on real-life stories from people he met throughout the writing process.
  • Location: The film was shot in the lively neighborhoods of Noisy-le-Sec, a far cry from the usual dreary depiction of housing projects. The choice allowed for a genuine sense of nostalgia and loss, reflecting the true feelings some Jewish families experience when they decide to leave their communities behind.

Learning from the Masters: A Serendipitous Encounter with Thomas Bidegain

Taking a trip down memory lane, Debré recounts how he managed to become an apprentice under famed screenwriter Thomas Bidegain, who penned classics like “A Prophet” directed by Jacques Audiard in 2009.

Upon learning that Bidegain was giving a lecture near him, Debré seized the opportunity and approached the successful writer before subsequently asking via email if Bidegain would take him as an apprentice. This event turned out to be a turning point in Debré’s career, as he was exposed to many projects and practical knowledge during his time spent under Bidegain’s mentorship.

Past Works: Suburbia and Social Commentary

Before diving into filmmaking, Debré already had considerable experience writing about suburbia for projects such as those undertaken by the Kourtrajmé collective and director Jacques Audiard. His background helped him approach the subject matter of “Le Dernier des juifs” without relying on common clichés or stereotypes.

A New Milestone Reached: First Feature Film Future Prospects

With his debut feature, Noé Debré has demonstrated that he can shine just as bright on the big screen as he has in television. While it remains to be seen what direction his career will take next, one thing is for sure – this talented writer and director has a promising future ahead of him.