Humbert Balsan

1954 - 2005

Born in 1954 into a wealthy family, Humbert Balsan started his career as a movie actor, his main claim to fame in this field being his performance as Gawain in Robert Bresson's Lancelot of the Lake (1974). But the young man soon gave up acting for production, a task in which he found an avid interest. From 1979 to his premature death in 2005, he imposed himself as a demanding producer, constantly privileging quality over profit. He helped several women directors to put their projects together; in this regard, Sandrine Veysset, Claire Denis,Brigitte Roüan owe him much. Likewise, great foreign filmmakers, particularly Arab, benefited from the support of Ognon Pictures, Balsan's film company, among whom Youssef Chahine, Elia Suleiman, Yousry Nasrallah, but also James Ivory and Lars von Trier. The day of February 2005 when Humbert Balsan took his own life at the age of fifty was day of mourning for French auteur cinema.

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