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Lost birthday girl // What it’s like to feel lonely in a big city

We talked to French artist Anouk Boyer Mazal about her short film “lost birthday girl” that shows what it feels like to be alone in Paris on your birthday.

lost birthday girl by anouk boyer mazal

When/where did you create this film?

I shot this in February this year, in Paris, in the neighborhood where I’ve lived for three years. I edited this short in July.

What was your intended message?

I wanted to show what it’s like to feel lonely in a big city, always surrounded by people but without any connection to them. It’s not sad actually, it’s a lot of mixed emotions such as nostalgia. But I think it’s very important to have these moments, alone facing oneself to meditate. This girl may be alone for her birthday, but she still finds the courage to go out and celebrate it on her own. She’s not totally lost.

What inspired you to create it?

My state of mind directly influenced what I did. I made this at a moment when I felt alone, and started feeling better by going out confronting the bustle of the night and people, but only observing them and reflecting. The aesthetic of a big city at night with all the colored lights fascinated me.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

My friend Helen, my sister Manon and I made this video very spontaneously. We planned this one hour before we shoot. Even though I already knew the atmosphere I wanted to recreate, the ideas came by. Sometimes it’s good to create without anticipating anything, it makes you feel more free and lucky. You can have good surprises!