“If one day it happens to me”… The specter of sexual violence is on everyone’s minds among the recruits of the Kourtrajmé school, in the Paris suburbs, which trains future talents, actors and directors, from a shaken environment by

What’s tormenting her? “To think that potentially, to succeed in the environment that we love, the environment that we like, we have to go through this kind of thing,” she adds, weighing her words in her sweatshirt. gray hood. Most of the young talents rehearsing classic texts that day in early March were not born in the 1980s, at the time when director Benoît Jacquot, then in his forties, began a relationship with his young actress, Judith Godrèche, aged 14 years old. After decades of silence, the latter publicly denounced the control, the rapes and the violence that she allegedly suffered from this figure of auteur cinema, against whom she filed a complaint, as well as against another director , Jacques Doillon. An investigation has been opened.

The actress has since become the leading figure in the fight against sexist and sexual violence in French cinema. “It’s very important that we have models like that for young girls, even young men, who enter this environment,” judges Beïdja Yahiaoui. Like Judith Godrèche, she believes that the question applies to “any other environment”. Young actresses must be able to express themselves. “OK, I can talk and it doesn’t matter if, in the end, I sacrifice something,” she continues.

Director of the actors section of Kourtrajmé, actress Ludivine Sagnier, 44, knows the industry like the back of her hand, having been filming since the early 1990s. She says she is full of hope of training young people who are better equipped to face these violence.

“It’s a generation which, because of the movement that is happening at the moment, is much more alert than the youth of twenty years ago that I knew,” she explains. They are much better equipped to deal with this type of deviance because they have many examples. So I feel that they are more suspicious, less unconscious than we could have been at their age.”

The first victims, young actresses and actors are far from being the only ones affected by a phenomenon which affects all cinema professions. “I have already been confronted, personally, (with a) casting which does not go very well, where you may be asked to undress,” says Fahina Bousba, 32, who has since chosen to train. writing at Kourtrajmé. “On the screenplay aspect – I’m going to talk about what I know – I think I said to myself above all: it’s by writing new stories, with a new point of view, that we will little by little make change the overall state of mind.

An awareness shared by his male colleagues. “You can do anything, there’s just one way to do it. And it’s not very intelligent reasoning to say that new mentalities and change will censor anyone,” said Hadi Naïmi, 21, also a screenplay student.

Far from distracting him from his vocation, the current upheavals of the seventh art make him “want to change things for real”. “It makes you want to try to do things differently and (…) show that we can make cinema while being respectful. And without being a big pig. I have no other words, sorry.”