Private Project

Before Boys

Four thirteen year old girls are growing bored at a friend's house. Looking for amusement, they create a fake account on a dating app to flirt with older men. One man gets their attention. They make a date to see him at a bar...

  • Florence Faure
  • Florence Faure
  • Florence Faure
  • Asia Amans
    Key Cast
    Le prince oublié (Michel Hazanavicius)
  • Lou Noérie
    Key Cast
  • Lou Malek-Brière
    Key Cast
  • Zoé Millet
    Key Cast
  • Stéphane Mercoyrol
    Key Cast
  • Richard Fériot
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Comedy, Teen-movie
  • Runtime:
    21 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 16mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Florence Faure

Florence was born in Royan, France in 1982.
Coming from a family of diplomats, she grew up in Spain and the US, before studying cinema in France.
In love with movies and travels, she worked in film distribution in New York for the cultural services of the French Embassy, and then around the world promoting films in the festival circuit.
She now lives in San Francisco where she writes scripts. "Before Boys" is her directorial debut.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I started writing this script after being struck by the physical difference that often exist between teenagers of the exact same age. I used to live next to a middle school and observed girls already looking like women socializing with girls still looking very childish. Sometimes, the more mature girls would ridicule the little ones. I thought it could be interesting to use this physical gap as a starting point for a script examining the emergence of female sexuality and the subsequent conflicts in adolescent friendship.


Implied in the title “Before Boys”, Claire’s sexuality is examined right before she joins her friends in adolescence, before she mixes with boys of her age. This zone between two ages, between two sexes is the source of inner conflict for Claire who, in the first scene of the movie, in front of her mirror, is wondering, “If I am not a woman, am I still a child? Or am I a tomboy?”

I wanted Claire to embark on a sexual identity quest. She is searching for a place in her group of friends but is not a woman for her friends nor an object of desire for the boys of her age. Therefore she temporarily finds a part to play in the group that is masculine, bordering on violent. The way Claire is dressed, her hair style, her body language, and her vocabulary are from a masculine universe. In one scene, she asserts power over her friend Myriam in a judo fight.

By contrast, her friends’ attributes are feminine, like the makeup they wear, their long wavy hair or the transparent dress that Myriam received from Aurore that Claire manages to destroy. That said, I wanted this femininity to be more than the acquisition of external signs and stereotyped characteristics. I wanted them to discover it like an inner power, something profound and organic. I worked on the music with the composers to try to emphasize the mystery of this new energy. During the dating app scene, in which Claire’s friends are testing their powers of seduction, the music evokes witches in front of their magical cauldron.

In an attempt to erase the difference between her and her friends, Claire puts herself in danger by agreeing to meet with an unknown man from the dating app. He represents a sort of “big bad wolf”.

The Big Bad Wolf

I prioritized the symbolic over the real as I was very interested in the form of the tale. To write the script, I was inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and its analysis by Bruno Bettelheim. He sees the stage of puberty as Little Red Riding Hood’s major theme and underlined the danger that young women see in their first interaction with men. It is this risk and the violence of adulthood that Claire is ready to face, as a rite of passage to enter into another age.

However, I did not want to see Claire as the victim of the wolf. Therefore I chose not to put a red hood on her shoulders but a jean jacket and Mick Jagger’s big lips and tongue on her T-shirt. This Rolling Stones reference announces her willingness to kiss (to find satisfaction!) but also to become the wolf’s hanging tongue, with an unquenchable thirst for lust and danger.

In this ambiguous transitional time, Claire suddenly jumps into a raw and sexual adulthood (watching porn movies and kissing an older man) only to come right back to childhood. She is at an age of assumed femininity, an age in which she feels the need to “brûler les étapes” and progress in leaps rather than steps. I wanted to emphasize this uncomfortable and frenzied feeling of dueling identities by using both black and white film and digital color.

The digital red of Little Red Riding Hood is used as the main color of the film. The red, symbol of femininity, of blood, of danger, is present in the film through different elements such as the red lipstick, the decoration of the apartment, the red stop light Claire sees in the car, the buildings’ neon lights. The black and white counterbalances this excess of color and brings Claire to a safe zone, a time of childhood.

The Value of Friendship

This physical differences between the girls reorganize the balance of the group. Claire is not as developed as her friends so she suffers from their mockery and rejection. Myriam was her best friend but now spends more time with Aurore who shares more common interests with her. Nonetheless, Claire is not ready to accept this outcome and fights to win back the friendship of her best friend.

Usually teenagers are seen as volatile creatures who change friends and lovers as often as they desire and are not necessarily attached by profound feelings. But I see them trying to build their own story through meaningful relations, something sacred that would give a sense to their lives. I have noticed that young girls often keep memories, pictures or notes, like sacred totems from their friends as if they were proof of the legitimacy and longevity of their attachment. For me, this age is the time of risk and disruption but also of promises to lifelong friendship. I wanted to show a character who protects the value of friendship as a belief in the other.

I like the idea of a 13 year old nostalgic girl. In the middle of all the changes, Claire’s character is seeking stability. The changing group dynamics are the reason for the character’s growing pains. I use 16mm instead of digital media to examine the unalterable quality of time and Claire’s quest for long lasting friendship. Simply, it is a short movie about friendships that sometimes resist the time that goes by.


The script is not inspired by memories but impressions and sensations I have of this time. I grew up with a certain freedom that provided space for a joyful and energetic youth. It is this experience of adolescence (that is explored in the movies I used to watch) that I wanted to talk about.

The movies include Kids by Larry Clark, the Péril Jeune by Cédric Klapisch, La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz and Petites by Noémie Lvovsky. They have a taste for dialogues and the force of youth that I wanted to explore.

Also I thought about the movies of my childhood, with profound and fanciful characters such as the young Doinel in Les Quatre-cent Coups by François Truffaut or the kids of Jean Vigo in Zéro de conduite. It is a humble homage to these kids that I wanted to create using the same black and white 16mm that they used in
their films.