“Private life has become a social matter.”
This appropriate and surprisingly up-to-date reflection could perfectly sum up the cinematographic career of Émilie Jouvet, although the quote is actually from Honorine, “The Human Comedy” by Balzac, 1843.
Émilie Jouvet is a film photographer, director and producer and, after studying Fine Arts at the Higher School of Photography in Paris, she joins the group of artists called Queer Factory in 2004. Through her work, Émilie Jouvet analyses the mechanisms of power, where our body has become the last weapon available to us: private, sexual life as the essential and natural expression of the human being, the female role in such a male professional world—so exploited and so little explored—as adult film (Histoire d’Ovidie, a moving portrait by one of the few female directors of this genre) or queer motherhood and fatherhood in societies that hinder and make this possibility difficult for part of the population.
But what is most surprising about Émilie Jouvet is how natural her perspective is. While there are those who try to find a provocative or immoral side, the filmmaker, at all times, takes a tender view of her actors, the lucidity of their actions and the beauty of their gestures and shows a—physical and social—body with infinite possibilities displayed in its most natural forms.
In 2006, she directed the first French queer, lesbian and transgender film, One Night Stand, achieving great international renown. Three years later, she formed an artistic group and accompanied them on a tour around Europe, visiting large capital cities and small towns, and recording their performances, both on and off stage. Through these performances, with explicit sexual content, and the conversations between them, her ideology is profiled and formed regarding sexuality, the prejudice surrounding it and the vindication of their bodies as queer feminists, removed from the labels of what is politically correct and social conventions and inhibitions. Using all of this rich material, she produced Too Much Pussy! Feminist Sluts, a Queer X Show – an exciting road movie, which was released in commercial cinemas. Crude, sexually explicit cinema that is a political assertion about the appropriation of feminine sexuality itself. Another success and the acknowledgement of intellectual, queer and feminist circles and, among others, the Award for Best LGTB Film at the Independent Cannes Festival.
In 2014, her first collection of photographs, “The Book”, appears, followed by exhibitions at galleries and photography events such as Arles, Tokyo and Copenhagen.
In 2016, she was selected for BIM – Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Geneva, where she presented Aria, a view of assisted reproduction for lesbian women in France and queer motherhoods and fatherhoods and also an analysis of the growing homophobic environment in that country.
In 2017, she released her fifth feature-length film My Body My Rules (Special Jury Prize for the Best Documentary at the Chéries-Chéris Festival in Paris) – a brilliant feminist manifesto that provides a voice to women with bodies that do not fit the social archetypes, that have been made invisible or taboo, questioning rules and possible resistance, through a gallery of portraits that question gender, colour, motor skills, hairiness, weight, age or identity.
Our honorary award aims to raise the value of and awareness about difference, determining who defends a society with no barriers of any kind and respect for all those who make it up.
For all these reasons, we acknowledge Émilie Jouvet, a brave and committed artist with universal tendencies in a titanic struggle to transform that old Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 that resulted from the French Revolution into a modern Universal Declaration for each and every citizen with their enriching differences, as a result of the Queer Revolution.