Archive of films Sfumato / Sfumato

2016, 71 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2016

This portrait of distinctive Norman artist Bernard Legay, who creates original artistic works based on their materiality, takes an effecting and intimate look at the artist’s isolated life. The film, like Legay’s artefacts, provokes a virtually tactile visual experience as it investigates the creative process itself.


Sfumato is an oil painting technique invented by Renaissance painters in order to introduce greater depth into their paintings. Shapes become more vague, sharp contours disappear, and more attention is paid to shadows, whose dark surfaces become more finely toned. This portrait of contemporary Norman artist Bernard Legay uses the film equivalent of the technique, observing the artist at work within the darkened spaces of his studio, in the dingy interiors of crumbling industrial structures, and in the gloom of the intractable Norman countryside. The movie takes an intimate look into the solitary life of an artist who creates his work in isolation, out of the public eye. His artifacts are inevitably determined by the surrounding environment, whose textures and materiality are an inseparable part of the creative process. Yet so are the past experiences of an artist who always carries with him a reminiscence of his mother’s death. No flashy visuals here: the film reflects an intimate, tactile experience.

Hubert Poul

About the director

Christophe Bisson

Christophe Bisson (b. 1969) studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris before shifting toward visual and fine arts. His first short film, White Horse (2007), was co-directed by Maryann DeLeo, a documentarist who received an Academy Award in 2003. Besides screening in the competition at the Berlin IFF, the movie was picked up by HBO. His other films were also shown on HBO, with ample interest on the part of international film festivals. His movies include artistic videos based on works of literature: Isaïe 43-44 (2011), Feast of Crispian (2011), and Enter the Horsemen and Tigers (Entrée des écuyères et des tigres, 2014). At present he has another film in preparation: Silêncio.


Triptyque Films
2 rue Robineau, 750 02, Paris
Tel: +33 672 130 551
E-mail: [email protected]

Please accept Marketing cookies to watch the video

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Imagina
Director: Christophe Bisson
Dir. of Photography: Christophe Bisson
Editor: Christophe Bisson
Producer: Guillaume Massart, Thomas Jenkoe, Mehdi Benallal
Production: Triptyque Films
Cast: Bernard Legay
Contact: Triptyque Films


Christophe Bisson

Film Director


© 2023 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. [email protected] +420 221 411 011 All contacts

AccommodationsAccommodations Festival Pass, tickets, reservationsFestival Pass, tickets
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days Programme 2021Industry Days Programme KVIFF Eastern PromisesKVIFF Eastern Promises
VideogalleryVideogallery PhotogalleryPhotogallery
ContactsContacts Posters of the 57th KV IFFPosters of the 57th KV IFF
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide