French Filmmaker Maxime Ginolin Discusses His Passion For Combining Activism and Film-making

Maxime Ginolin is a passionate activist who has translated his passion into movies that can only be described as works of art. The controversial artist has been in the center of some of the most shocking campaigns against animal cruelty including a collaboration with SPA Canada and Kijiji, as well as a bloody staged fight against poaching in Molard Square.

Although his approach is not always ideal to some, Ginolin's only goal is to bring awareness to things that we simply may not otherwise choose to pay attention to. I had the opportunity to speak directly with the inspiring artist/filmmaker about his work, and the recent attacks in Paris.

NL: You are very vocal about your work and separating it from what art because you believe the term is now becoming undervalued, how do you then describe your work?

MG: I am a composer, singer, director and actor. Throughout my career, I have been involved in a world in which most of the artists are not aware of the precious power in their hands. "The pen is mightier than the sword". I'm deeply convinced that art is the key to change our world, our humanity. For my part, I'm trying to make an art which makes people aware of the horrors and injustice in this world. I'm trying to be a voice for the voiceless.

NL: You have been a part of some very controversial campaigns against animal cruelty, what are some of the other ways that you bring awareness to animal cruelty?

MG: Yes, animals are so important in my life. We are currently facing the 6th largest extinction of species in earth's history. That's the reason why I went to Africa, more particularly in Gabon, to investigate wildlife trafficking. What I discovered there is absolutely terrifying. I produced a video clip and a song called "Make the Connection" based on images I shot there. I grew up in Africa and am very upset by the looting and destruction that is currently taking place on this beautiful continent. I would recommend a wonderful documentary that has just come out: "Racing Extinction", by brilliant director Louis Psihoyos whom I greatly respect.

NL: What are some of the ways you are able to use your work as an activist?

MG: All my musical and film productions aim to raise awareness about our world. Most of the time people don't feel like watching a documentary but prefer to watch a movie or listen to a song. That's why I chose the power of entertainment. Intelligent entertainment is the key to getting a message out to people. We are experiencing an environmental disaster. Cinema and music are exceptional tools to change the world. People can change. Everyone has the power to make things change and make this world a haven for peace, justice and harmony.

The Judgement is a film critical of agribusiness lobbies and the devastating consequences on the environment, health and ethics. Through MagiCJacK's dialogue, we come to understand the devastating consequences of our actions - and/or inactions. Upon its release, the film was an immediate success on the Internet, with over one million views. Thanks to this movie, thousands of people have changed their diet. Through this movie, I wanted to show people that the animal genocide is directly linked to mankind's survival, through health, hunger and the destruction of the planet.

NL: As a French filmmaker, what are some of the ways that the recent attacks in France have impacted you and your work?

MG: I have been very affected by the recent attacks in Paris because it reflects the dramatic geopolitical situation of the world, that might erupt at any time. For the last twenty years, occidental wars have killed more than 4 million Muslims. I'm very worried, for wars and violence lead to hate and destruction. I'm afraid this kind of tragedy will happen again.

NL: Were you in France during the attacks?

MG: When it happened I was in Los Angeles for the Premiere of my movie "The Judgement" that was released at Los Feliz Theater. I received text messages from my friends asking if everything was alright, and I learned that one of my friends was at the concert where the attacks happened. But thankfully nothing happened to him.

NL: One of my favorite questions is asking people to describe themselves in 3 words because it is always interesting to hear how we view and define ourselves, how would you describe yourself in 3 words?

MG: Determined, Empathetic, and Just