Romain Goupil

Romain Goupil

After devoting his youth to political activism and professional apprenticeships that put him in the same orbit as Jean-Luc Godard and other filmmaking legends, Frenchman Romain Goupil made waves with his 1982 directorial debut, "To Die at 30." This documentary--a paean to the fighting spirit of a friend who marched alongside Goupil in the momentous street protests that shook Paris in 1968--won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival, among other coveted awards. The following year saw the release of Goupil's first fictional feature, the socially conscious thriller "La Java Des Ombres." In his search for a key actress, Goupil didn't have to look far; his grandmother Lita Recio--a veteran actress herself who began appearing in French films in the late 1940s--was a perfect fit. In the following decades, Goupil devoted most of his energy to television work and began acting for the first time. One of his more memorable parts was a key role in Catherine Breillat's critically lauded character study "Fat Girl." But these small supporting roles were nothing more than minor deviations from a fascinating directorial career, which also includes the semi-autobiographical 1999 feature "A Mort la Mort!," the genre-smashing 2002 documentary "Purely Coincidental," and the futuristic 2010 fish-out-of-water tale "Les Mains en l'Air."