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DUIS. L'école de la normalité

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DUIS. L'école de la normalité
Directed byHenri Ballester-Colonna
Produced byHenri Ballester-Colonna
Written byHenri Ballester-Colonna
StarringArthur Otheguy
Juliette Vincent
Erwan Trichet
Alexis Destours
Music byDorian Pâquet
CinematographyHenri Ballester-Colonna
Edited byHenri Ballester-Colonna
Distributed byThe Dream Manufactory
Release date
March 22, 2020
Running time
39 minutes
Country France

Search DUIS. L'école de la normalité on Amazon.

DUIS. L'école de la normalité is a French drama film written and directed by Henri Ballester-Colonna, released in 2020 on the YouTube channel The Dream Manufactory[1].


Valentin, 16, is brutally kidnapped while walking with a friend. His attacker injects him with a product that keeps him unconscious for 48 hours.

When Valentin wakes up, he is in DUIS, the school of normality. Welcomed by the school headmaster, he meets young people of his own age who are reluctant to play games and make friends. As he explores the place, Valentin discovers the real purpose of this institute: to teach young people (some of whom have been students for more than ten years) to live "normally" to conform to the moulds (homophobic, sexist, etc.) shaped by society.

Valentin must discover his "anormality" and join forces with his classmates to escape.



The realization of DUIS. L'école de la normalité lasted a year and a half in total[3].


The name of the school, "DUIS", is a French neologism derived from the Latin durst meaning "normal"[3].

However, a phonetic resemblance exists with "devoir" ("must" in French) which is a conjugation of the imperative mode of the verb "devoir". The title of the film would thus allude to the "duty of normality" that society imposes on us in our daily lives.


The shooting of DUIS began on June 25, 2019 and ended on July 8 of the same year[3].


The release date of "DUIS" has been postponed twice. Initially scheduled for November 15, 2019, it was moved a first time to January 24, 2020, and then a second time to March 20, 2020, due to numerous problems related to the post-production of the film[4]. Henri Ballester-Colonna notably lost the first edit after an update of his editing software.


The official trailer is unveiled on February 14, 2020, Valentine's Day, in reference to the first name of the main character as well as the general subject of the film[5].

The first public screening of DUIS, originally scheduled for March 20, 2020 at the theater in Saint-Martin-de-Londres[6][7], has been postponed due to government measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic in France. Henri Ballester-Colonna certifies that the release of the film on YouTube is maintained on the scheduled date[8].

The film DUIS. L'école de la normalité releases on March 20, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. (CET) on YouTube. Nevertheless, many errors are noted: indeed, the director, present live on the platform, notes that "some of the shots are missing". Henri Ballester-Colonna then decided to delete the video and to correct as many of these multiple errors as possible in order to put the final version of the 42-minute film online in high definition the next day[9].

Indeed, the corrected version of the film appears on YouTube on March 22, 2020 around 4 in the morning (CET).

A few hours before the film's premiere, Henri Ballester-Colonna hopes to release a making of "three or four weeks maximum" later[3], but his commitment to a new project (Les lanternes de la résistance) makes him abandon this plan.


Immediately after the release of the film, in November 22, the main composer of the film's music, Dorian Pâquet, begins publishing the scores of his soundtrack on the MuseScore software's community platform. This community being international, Ivan Preobrazhensky, a subscriber of the composer, watches the medium-length film in French, but makes do with the original version of the film, without subtitles. He then posts a comment under the video asking if English subtitles can be integrated into the film. The director, Henri Ballester-Colonna, responds by saying that he would do so. Dorian Pâquet joins him during the day, and proposes to mobilize the English-speaking knowledge of Romain Gandillet. (who lived in the UK for eight years) for the English translation.

After the team's reflection, the dialogues were first transcribed into French with the aim of making the film accessible to people with a hearing impairment[10]. The French subtitles were put online on May 24, 2020.

The English subtitles are online on June 9, 2020. On this occasion, Vilega decides to publish the last title of its soundtrack on, and takes the opportunity to announce this update[11].



Almost the entire soundtrack of DUIS. L'école de la normalité is composed by Dorian Pâquet (alias Vilega), Erwan Trichet and the director himself.

Vilega works on 5 scenes of the film between September and December 2019, after a first contact with Henri Ballester-Colonna on August 14, 2019[12].

In January 2020, Vilega states that he plans to release his own work on his YouTube channel and Instagram account[13].

The scores of the piano pieces composed by Vilega are finalized on May 21, 2020 and have since been available for free download[14].

Additional music[edit]


In November 2020, the film counts 882 views, 64 "likes" and 9 "dislikes" on YouTube.


  • Valentin's date of birth, which he communicates to Wards at the beginning of the film, is identical to that of the writer and director[22].
  • Most of the computers used as props on the set are laptops offered by the Occitanie region to its young people attending high schools in possession of a "numeric label".
  • At the 24th minute of the film, Laura says that in the past, Wards had tried to kill a fellow student of Herk's by strangling him with shoelaces. In addition, Wards had put a gun to Herk's head as he passed by at the time, so he wouldn't raise the alarm. This is materially impossible.
  • The two actors did not actually kiss in the final scene.
  • To play the character of Jack, Alexis Destours was recruited two hours before shooting began, because the actor originally intended for this role "had stood up" to the film crew[23].
  • The shooting took place while the heat wave was raging in the South of France and the red alert had been triggered[23]. The scenes shot outside were shot outside the alert period.

Notes and references[edit]

  2. Official poster of the film:
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Stories on the director's Instagram account:
  4. Henri Ballester-Colonna, The next project? What are we waiting for?, on, January 2020 (consulted on 15 March 2020)
  5. Henri Ballester-Colonna, DUIS l'école de la normalité ENFIN une date de sortie, on, February 2020 (accessed March 15, 2020)
  8. Henri Ballester-Colonna, Preview postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19, on, March 14, 2020 (accessed March 15, 2020)
  9. Henri Ballester-Colonna, Problème dans la diffusion de DUIS l'école de la normalité, on, March 20, 2020 (accessed March 21, 2020)
  10. Henri Ballester-Colonna, The Dream Manufactory mobilizes for the accessibility of DUIS l'école de la normalité to hearing impaired people and English speakers, on, May 17, 2020 (consulted on May 21, 2020)
  16. 16.0 16.1
  23. 23.0 23.1 Private message from Henri Ballester-Colonna to Dorian Pâquet

See also[edit]

Related articles[edit]

External links[edit]

Other articles of the topic Film : Independent filmmaker, Film, Josh (2000 film), The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, Spaghetti Western, 1971 in film, Rotten Tomatoes
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