Zoé Wittock

France, Luxembourg, Belgium, 2020 / 93 min / French OV with English subt. / Drama, Fantasy

Luxembourgish Premiere

Jeanne will have to fight to make her mother accept her strange amorous feelings towards Jumbo, a fairground attraction.

Jeanne, a shy young woman, lives at home with her uninhibited mother and works the night shift as a cleaner at an amusement park. Her mother wants her to meet a man, but Jeanne prefers tinkering in her bedroom with wires, light bulbs, and spare parts, creating miniature versions of theme park rides. During her shifts, she begins spending intimate time with the park’s alluring new flagship ride that she decides to call Jumbo. Finding herself seduced by Jumbo’s red lights, smooth chrome, and oily hydraulics, Jeanne decides to pursue a thrilling new relationship with the machine. Soon, it appears that the colourful merry-go-round starts communicating with her too. As the young woman begins a fling that leads to self-discovery and exhilaration for her literal object of desire, her mother struggles to understand and accept her unconventional choices.

“Writer-director Zoé Wittock brings gleeful energy, buoyant humor, and surrealistic style to an unusual type of love story—one between woman and machine—in her debut feature.” Sundance Film Festival

Sat 07/03 19:00 Ciné Utopia FR OV with EN subt. Avant-première

"Portrait of a Lady on Fire star Noémie Merlant seduces a massive tilt-a-whirl in this tender and erotic Belgian charmer. […] Splitting the difference between Terms of Endearment and David Cronenberg’s Crash in a way that’s often sweet and surreal (but never sinister), Wittock essentially takes an ultra-familiar premise and coats it with the candied shell of something you’ve never seen before. It’s enchanting stuff […] The scenes between Jeanne and Jumbo are […] evocative and beguilingly erotic” David Ehrlich, IndieWire, 24/01/2020

Jumbo’s production design, by William Abello, is riveted by how thoroughly modern humans have divorced themselves from their natural instincts. At Jeanne’s home, the peas are canned and the flamingos are plastic, and the wallpaper printed with leaves and flowers is a wan mimicry of vegetation.” Amy Nicholson, Variety, 24/01/2020

Cast & Credits
Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Sam Louwyck, Bastien Bouillon
Zoé Wittock
Thomas Buelens
Ingo Dumlich, Maxence Dussère
William Abello
Thomas Roussel
Insolence Productions, Les Films Fauves, Kwassa Films
Les Films Fauves

Originally hailing from Belgium, Zoé Wittock grew up travelling the world. At only 17, she left Australia for the International Film School of Paris where she wrote and directed several shorts and worked in parallel on fiction and documentary projects as director of photography, developing her sense for visual compositions. In 2008, she was chosen to participate in the Berlin Film Festival Talent Campus #6. That same year, she was also accepted into the directing programme of the American Film Institute during which she was awarded the “Hal and Robyn Berson” scholarship for excellence in directing. In 2011, she graduated with honours as the youngest of her class after finishing her thesis film, This Is Not An Umbrella (2011), which was chosen by the Directors Guild of America to showcase young, emerging talents. Zoé Wittock has since collaborated on a documentary in the Middle East and has directed various narrative shorts. In 2019, she finished working on her first feature, Jumbo (2020) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. She is currently working between Brussels, Paris and Los Angeles.

  • 2020 – Jumbo
  • 2017 – Maman Warrior (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)
  • 2014 – A demi-mot (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2013 – Tangled (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2012 – Still (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2011 – This Is Not an Umbrella (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2008 – Réveille-toi Sonia (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)