Taylor Hackford

American film director, former DGA President, FACF Board Member


The FACF was founded 20 years ago and its concept was simple: to create a dialogue and an understanding between filmmakers in the U.S. and France. Of all the cultures in the world, the U.S. and France have always had an intimate love affair with cinema —a Frenchman will say the Lumière brothers created cinema and an American will say that Thomas Edison did, but it doesn’t matter—they were just weeks apart. And this affinity is what has kept the FACF going for 20 years—after two decades something must be right! The Americans on the FACF board have always been filmmakers who were heavily influenced by French cinema. Personally, the films of Goddard, Chabrol, Truffaut and Rivette woke me up to the provocative power of filmmaking in the 1960s. Cinema is a visual, not a spoken language. You don’t need subtitles to understand a great film. Their New Wave inspired me to make cinema my profession. Of course, I don’t make films like those French filmmakers, but their work kindled my desire to tell stories about real people. It’s fascinating to note that all of these French directors started as writers and critics at the Cahiers du cinéma—and what were they writing about: American films. They were all influenced by Ford, Hawks, Huston, Sturges or Sam Fuller, but their films didn’t look like the work of those American Masters—they were uniquely French. That’s what the FACF is all about—Cinema is visual communication between human beings—artists, writers, directors, cultures mixing with one another. Our languages may be different but when you translate your vision onto a screen you immediately start speaking to an audience. It’s a visual, not a spoken language. You don’tneed subtitles to understand a great film.

Taylor Hackford

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