LA PROVENCE NEWSPAPER
"WHITE MANE OF CAMARGUE" revisited by an American director
A regular visitor to Camargue, the photographer Ejaz Khan shot the story of an apprentice
gardian at the Maguelonne estate. A film intended for video streaming platforms, he assures us that it is “the actors who have chosen (him)”, and not the other way around. Ejaz Khan is nevertheless the director of the upcoming film titled, “White Mane of Camargue.”, translates to “Crin Blanc de Camargue” in French. The main role is played by a young boy answering first name – another happy coincidence? –from Folco.
Should we then see in this 120-minute fiction, whose editing is not yet complete, a simple remake of Crin-Blanc, the wild horse by Albert Lamorisse, released on cinema screens in 1953? It’s still too early to tell. Because Ejaz Khan, whom La Provence met this week in
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, has planned to return to Camargue in April, in particular, to record a scene of the birth of a foal.
The film’s teaser, online on YouTube, summarizes the scenario with “the difficulties of a young boy in the Camargue” whose “dream is to become a real gardian”. A story that differs, therefore, from that of the friendship between a young fisherman and a horse as indomitable as himself, whose fame crossed the Atlantic Ocean.
Ejaz Khan, who lives and works in New York, ensures that it is back in the “Biig Apple”, by viewing his first rushes, that he imagined the plot of the film, without a script at the start, he filmed as a kind of challenge that a Canadian friend had thrown him. During a meal taken at Saintes-Maries last spring: “Why don’t you make a film about Camargue horses?” A question far from being incongruous. Because the Indian-American artist (born in Bombay) had just released his first feature film “Before They Vanish.”
(“Before They Vanish”), a drama with a western setting shot in North Dakota, recounting the fight of a Vietnam veteran suffering from cancer to save the herd of 300 Nokota horses used for equine therapy. “For me, horses represent strength and beauty at the same time, confides the director. I have always been attracted by these two characteristics, which I also find in my wife!”
Evolving in the world of fashion at the start of his professional career, Ejaz Khan discovered a fascination for wildlife photography after a stay in Alaska in 2013, on the trail of the tundra wolf. A trip to unknown land to heal a depression following the commercial failure of his first feature film, “The Telling.” It was the same year that he set foot on Camargue soil for the first time, in the footsteps of Patrice Aguilar, accompanying photographer for safaris in the delta. “I said to myself that I wanted to do the same thing as him”, says Ejaz, now linked by an unfailing friendship with the one who also serves as his interpreter. And who appears in “White Mane of Camargue.” A film first conceived as a documentary, which became fiction along the way, in which Tony, the older brother, teaches his younger brother the basics of the job of caretaker on the land of the family estate of Maguelonne. “Folco, who is rising today without any problem, had to play with the hesitations of his childhood years”, reveals Patrice Aguilar.
Ejaz Khan, who hopes to be able to present it at the CANNES Film Festival, where he has already competed with a short film in 2012, would like to reserve the preview of “White Mane of Camargue” in Saintois, in mid-July, at The Feria du Cheval. Another preview will then be organized in New York*.
Laurent Rugiero, LA PROVENCE
Folco Pierini, 11, shares the top billing of “White Mane of Camargue” with his older brother Tony, on the land of the family estate of Maguelonne.
ABOUT THE FILM
White Mane of Camargue, currently in post-production, tells the story of a young boy’s determination to fulfill his legacy and become a gardian just like his older brother and father. Set in Camargue, France, the gardians’ sole purpose is to protect the purity and preservation of the Camargue horse breed that goes back to ancient times. The film highlights the codependency between the gardians, bulls, and the beautiful horses that reside in the awe-inspiring region.
A film by Ejaz Khan, director of “Before They Vanish.”
Follow our film’s production on IMDB
MOVIE PREMIERE GIVEAWAY
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