Night was short. “I slept for an hour”, laugh Zakaria. But it is okay : “We couldn’t say to each other ‘We’re going to sleep’ … You’re in Cannes, you’ll have time to sleep whenever you want! And then your brain is so full of emotions that it makes you forget the fatigue.”
And emotions, the young actor from Gaillon (Eure) experienced a lot in just a few hours. Saturday evening, in Cannes, the film crew “Supreme” climbed the steps of the Palais des Festivals. The biopic dedicated to the beginnings of the group NTM was screened, out of competition, during the midnight screening. On the red carpet, we find Zakaria El Baialy alongside another youngster, also from Normandy: Matéo Krikorian.
“I had never been to Cannes in all my life, even for a vacation”, tell Mateo, aka “Mara”, the name he uses for his music. Originally from Rouen (Seine-Maritime), the 21-year-old rapper, who is participating in his first film there, arrived on Saturday afternoon by plane. “In the hotel, in the room, there is a piece of paper on which it is written: ‘We are happy to welcome you for the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival’. Incredible!”
The rest of the events will not disappoint them. “Policemen on motorcycles escorted us to the red carpet, the whole road was blocked”, Zakaria remembers. At 20, the young man already has a little experience in front of the camera, with roles in series like “Plus Belle la Vie” and “The Office of Legends”, or in the film “The Son of a King”. But the Cannes Film Festival is a first.
“I didn’t believe it until I put my foot on the mat, Zakaria continues. And there I felt really good. We did something that all the great actors have done! I said to myself: we have a validated objective, that’s where we need to be. “
“Happy to be together”
“Sure, before I went, I had a stroke of stress, Matéo remembers. But once on the red carpet, when you’re with your friends, the confidence comes back. And there, we go wild. That night, the extra red carpet was really ours! Everyone saw that we were overflowing with energy, even for a midnight session. We were really proud of ourselves. We were happy to be together, as a team. “
Applauded with all the actors when they arrived in the room, Matéo and Zakaria, alias Chino and Yazid in “Supremes”, loved the film they were seeing for the first time that evening on the big screen. And they loved the evening that followed: “We were on the roof of a casino, with only people from the community: actors, producers, directors, etc.”, lists Zakaria. In the morning, we had to get up for a photo shoot (hence the early night).
“Cannes is all rhinestones and sequins”, finally sums up Matéo, who would be able to retry the experience in the cinema. Especially since he has seen the reactions from Rouen on social networks: “I was representing 76 when I was there, and the support of the people really gave me the strength to climb the stairs.” In the meantime, “Mara” will go back to writing music and working on her EP. Back in Gaillon, Zakaria will continue his acting career, with a project announced for this fall.
The film “Suprêmes”, directed by Audrey Estrougo, will be released in theaters November 24, 2021.