Široko in Kraljestvo vetrov / Sirocco et le Royaume des courants d’air / Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, 8+

Široko in Kraljestvo vetrov / Sirocco et le Royaume des courants d’air / Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, 8+


Agnès, the neighbour of Juliette (4 years old) and Carmen (8 years old), writes children's books that take place in a fantastic world, The Kingdom of the Winds. The two sisters discover a passage between their world and this extraordinary universe.
Once there, the two girls are transformed into cats and separated from each other. They will have to show temerity and daring to find each other. With the help of the singer Selma, they will try to reach the real world by confronting Sirocco, the master of winds and storms... But is he as terrifying as they imagine?

I’m not interested in the classic initiatory storyline, with its trials and tribulations through which the hero reveals himself to himself. This kind of script strikes me as too well-crafted, too expected, with no surprises and, in the final analysis, completely lacking in truth. Sirocco is just a journey, with all that this term implies in terms of the unforeseen, the fortuitous and the seemingly pointless, like those little witches who appear in the film: they have no particular role. And yet, Juliette’s complicity with them leaves a lasting impression. Viewers can imagine whatever they like about the nature of this complicity. I think that’s what life is all about. Every day, we experience trivial encounters, and sometimes trials that build us up and tear us down, without us even realizing it at the time. The most striking events are not always the most important.

Representing what doesn’t exist is one of my obsessions as a director: showing the wind in animation is a formidable challenge! [...] It’s not just the wind itself that interests me, it’s everything it represents. Wind is the air that surrounds us, the breath that enables us to speak and sing. It’s the very condition of life, breathing. Finally, it’s what we call "the Holy Spirit" in the Catholic religion, and which exists in all religions. This idea is echoed in one of the film’s key scenes, when Sirocco, without touching her, transmits the breath of life to Selma to revive her. The wind is present in a variety of forms: the visual presence of clouds, the personification of the storm, sound, music...
- Benoît Chieux

Awards and festivals (selection):
- Audience Award, Annecy IAFF 2023
- Nominee for the Best Feature Cristal, Annecy IAFF 2023
- Best Feature Film Nominee, Valladolid IFF 2023
- COCOMICS Music Prize, Bucheon IAF 2023

Film info

Directed by: Benoît Chieux
Production: Sacrebleu Productions/Take Five/Le ciel de Paris
Festival programme: Animated Feature Films
Year: 2023
Length: 75'
Country: France, Belgium