‘Samba’ co-directors met at summer camp in France

French filmmakers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, who have co-directed five feature films together, first met at a Jewish summer camp in France.

Their latest film, Samba, about a man named Samba (Omar Sy) and his struggles as an immigrant from Senegal to France, is now playing in theaters stateside.

Nakache talked about meeting Toledano in a September 2014 interview with Screen Daily after Samba debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“We met in summer camp in France almost 20 years ago,” he said. “I was 17 and I heard there was a guy who always talked about Woody Allen movies. I was a very big Woody Allen fan already. We connected that way, and from there we grew up together…together we were mad about cinema.”

The dynamic duo drew on their shared experiences in a 2006 summer camp movie they co-directed and co-wrote called Those Happy Days (Nos jours heureux). The film came a year after their first feature Let’s Be Friends. Their last film, The Intouchables, was the second biggest box office hit ever in France.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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