Petite Maman

Eight-year-old Nelly has just lost her beloved grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mum, Marion, used to play and where she built the treehouse Nelly has heard so much about. One day her mother suddenly leaves. That is when Nelly meets a girl of her own age in the woods, building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.
Taking part in the Berlinale for the second time, Céline Sciamma’s fifth film is a work of great intensity and maturity. Expressed via Claire Mathon’s luminous autumnal cinematography, the director’s gaze explores an important moment in the transition to adulthood with poetic precision. Once again, Sciamma examines the big questions in life from a resolutely female perspective. The power of memory and imagination are explored in a unique, emotionally resonant experience.
by Céline Sciamma
with Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne, Margot Abascal
France 2021 French 72’ Colour

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Joséphine Sanz (Nelly)
  • Gabrielle Sanz (Marion)
  • Nina Meurisse (Mother)
  • Stéphane Varupenne (Father)
  • Margot Abascal (Grandmother)


Written and Directed by Céline Sciamma
Cinematography Claire Mathon
Editing Julien Lacheray
Music Jean-Baptiste de Laubier
Sound Design Valérie de Loof
Sound Julien Sicart, Daniel Sobrino
Production Design Lionel Brison
Make-Up Marie Luiset
Assistant Director Delphine Daull
Casting Christel Baras
Production Manager Claire Langmann
Producer Bénédicte Couvreur
Co-Producer Cécile Négrier
Co-Production France 3 Cinéma Paris

Produced by

Lilies Films

Céline Sciamma

Born in 1978, she studied French literature at Paris Nanterre University and then screenwriting at the film school La Fémis. Her debut feature film, Water Lilies, premiered at Cannes in 2007; her second, Tomboy, opened the 2011 Panorama and won the Teddy Award. Girlhood screened in the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at Cannes and won numerous international awards. Portrait of a Lady on Fire, her fourth feature film for which she also wrote the screenplay, premiered in competition at Cannes and again won numerous prizes, including the European Film Award for Best European Screenwriter.


2007 Naissance des pieuvres (Water Lilies) 2011 Tomboy 2014 Bande de filles (Girlhood / Mädchenbande) 2019 Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Portrait of a Lady on Fire / Porträt einer jungen Frau in Flammen) 2021 Petite Maman

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021