Carte Blanche Gareth Evans

…or the improbable story of a Welshman who directed a classic of Indonesian action
cinema. Nothing initially predestined Gareth, an office worker in Cardiff - where he produced
educational CD-Roms - to such a career, except maybe one essential element: a persistent
child’s dream, a love for action movies caught at a very young age, when with friends he
shot improvised remakes of Fist of Fury or Big Trouble in Little China, imagining he was the
new Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan.

In 2003, as a dare, he directed his first short film in Japanese: Samurai Monogatari, the story of a samurai waiting to die, played by Tokyo students from Cardiff University. That same year, he mastered in scriptwriting at Glamorgan University. After a first feature film, Footsteps, in 2006, he was commissioned to direct a documentary in Jakarta about Pencak-Silat. It was a triple revelation: of a martial art, a country, and a man, Iwo Uwais, a Pencak-Silat champion, who was a delivery man for a phone company and became his fetish actor for three films. With Uwais, Evans will shoot Merantau in 2009, but consecration will really come with the immense The Raid. In a building, during 1h40 of violent combat scenes, we see action movies be reinvented. An unclassifiable object bordering abstraction, The Raid appears like a long sequence shot, leaving us breathless, washed out. Those who saw it never got over it. After The Raid 2, even better as it avoids repetition, Evans returns home to Wales to shoot Apostle for Netflix, a terrifying folk horror story, a splendid nightmare of rising tension, in which he never forsakes himself. He also breathes his input into the electrifying series Gangs of London, co-created with Matt Flannery, as a sort of answer - and tribute - to Martin Scorsese's mafia sagas. We’re eagerly awaiting his next film, also a Netflix production, Havoc, with Tom Hardy as a haunted detective trying to save a politician’s son and to dismantle a too powerful criminal ring…

Gareth Evans is not only a virtuoso filmmaker, he’s also a cinephile. His carte blanche will surprise many, as eclectic as his inspirations, from silent Buster Keaton movies to Sam Raimi’s horrific tales.