Directors Biographies – Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet, May Taraud, Marie Toury

Come and meet Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet, May Taraud, Marie Toury, some of the directors selected for the 13th Edition of the Festival du film Merveilleux et Imaginaire.

The Team

At the outset, our team was formed around common themes to be explored during the course of this project. Mystery, tales, adventure, encounters, chance and fantasy were recurring themes for us. Very early on, the idea of having a strong location and a temporality that could last the length of a short film, avoiding temporal ellipses as much as possible, for example, was a real common thread in the writing and creation of the film. The hotel, as a place of passage, a meeting place with strange potential and a strong symbol of cinema, was the ideal setting. Sometimes eerie in Kubrick, sometimes a stage for comedy in Mr Hulot, this place, often remote and mysterious, provides the perfect setting for an out-of-this-world encounter.

Following the example of Kurosawa’s fantastical Dreams, we wanted to add a more fantastic feeling to this symbol of cinema, more loyal to our shared references, with the idea of using the freedom offered by animation to build our own establishment: Midnight Hotel. Inspired by the themes of Magnolia and The Lobster, the enchantment of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and the boisterous madness of House, the concept of a choral film seemed a natural choice for a colourful encounter.

Our first instinct was to ‘film’ a night at the hotel, where different characters meet by chance and change the course of their destinies. Our hotel would be a meeting place in the fantasy world of dreams, where 3 strangers (a child, a young woman and an old man, to keep things as universal as possible) dream together. Like each of us, they bring with them the torments of the day that sometimes tend to haunt our dreams. Each character desperately needs to turn the page, to grow up, to mourn a love, a death and a fantasy, and it is together that they will take the plunge that night.

The film’s narrative aims to remain nebulous and haunting, just as dreams are. It doesn’t matter who our three characters are, where they come from or where they live. What unites them is also what unites every human being. We all spend our nights wandering through our dreams, whether we remember them the next day or not, and they often serve as an outlet, vague omens that are subject to our whims and sometimes the scene of strange encounters.

As far as the form is concerned, we thought it would be a good idea to use the tale as a link, as its codes are familiar and allow for a simpler rhythm. Where landmarks can get lost in the blur of dreams, the chaptering acts as a lighthouse to guide the audience and the characters through their dreams. With this film full of themes and references that are dear to us, from Chihiro to Oneohtrix Point Never, we want to create an evening tale, a short film where viewers can immerse themselves for a moment out of time and live this little dream.

Vincent Albert

Vincent Albert is a storyboarder, visual development artist and director of animated movies. He was born in October 1998 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. Since his childhood, he loves to hang out with friends, drawing, reading books and playing piano. From 2018 to 2022, he studies at Gobelins school to finally co-direct the short movie Midnight Hotel which is a 7 minutes-long poetic and fantastic tale.

Neïl Dieu

Neïl Dieu is a director, concept artist and art director born in Paris from a Moroccan mother and a French father. Since a child, he grew up in a multicultural environment between France and Morocco. He developed a great interest in history and journalism, which led him to study Political Science in Paris before joining the “Conception and Animated Film Direction” curriculum at Gobelins in 2018.
It was during his years of study in cinema that he had the opportunity to meet Vincent Albert, Malo Doucet,
May Taraud and Marie Toury, with whom he conceptualized and directed the film Midnight Hotel.

Malo Doucet

Malo Doucet is a French animator, storyboarder and director for animation films, born in Paris in 1998. He entered Gobelins in 2018 where he co-directed a student short film: Midnight Hotel with Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, May Taraud and Marie Toury. After graduating in 2022, Malo decided to do Storyboard and 2D animation.

May Taraud

May Taraud is a French director, concept artist, illustrator and animator who graduated from the Gobelins school. During her training she co-directed several short films including Petite Mort and Awoko 70’s (opening credits of the Annecy festival 2020). Between 2021 and 2022 she directed with Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet and Marie Toury the graduation short film Midnight Hotel.

Marie Toury

Marie Toury is a French illustrator, concept artist, animator and director born in Reims. She joined the Gobelins school in 2018 and co-directed several short films, including L’invitée and the credits of the Annecy 2020 festival, Nosy Mena. During her last year of study at the Gobelins school, she directed the short film Midnight Hotel with Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet and May Taraud.

Film in competition: Midnight Hotel

Synopsis: What if it were possible to meet one another in our sleep? One night, three strangers find themselves in a Hotel of dreams. They must navigate this strange world together before dawn.

Year: 2022

Runtime: 6’46

Production: Gobelins

Country: France

Language: French

Student Project: Yes – Gobelins


Animation: Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet, May Taraud, Marie Toury, Clément Delaby, Marie Hareux, Pauline Joury, Jean Lagorce, Odelia Laine, Camille Lherminier, Hector Lollier, Candice Loret, Lucille Rizzo, Alessandra Rosmarino. Script: Vincent Albert, Neïl Dieu, Malo Doucet, May Taraud, Marie Toury. Key cast: “The inhabitant” – Christian Pelissier, “The bereaved” – Elise Pettigrew, “The child” – Aloïs Le Labourier Tiêu. Sound engineer: Nadège Feyrit, David Couturier. Sound editor: Nadège Feyrit. Mix: Clément Naline. Soundtrack: Félix Meyer, Jonas Roth.