My name is Ismaël Auray.

Recently, I've decided to relocate with my family to pursue my career outside of my home country: Canada. I'll share the highlights of this experience with you here. 

Europe 2005

October 18th 2005 

October 18th 2005 

To move forward in the story, I think we need to take a step back.

Let me introduce you to the 19 years old me! You might be wondering: "Why are you showing us this picture of yourself with some strange markings in french all over your arm?" I think it's an honest question, and I'll get to the point of this picture really soon. But first, let me add a bit more context to this. 

The story goes back to 2005. The era when a 5.6 oz, click wheel iPod was an awesome thing to carry around with you. 

Ipod 20gb - Click Wheel 4th Gen - Grey screen 

Ipod 20gb - Click Wheel 4th Gen - Grey screen 

When I was 19, I left home for about 2 months to go around Europe with a backpack, a guitar, and a huge Europe Lonely Planet Europe travel guide. At that time, Google Maps didn't exist. You had to figure out your location by comparing landmarks, streets and maps. 

During this trip, I went to France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands. 

It was a profound experience for me. I think I could write a lot more material about this, but lets now go back to the picture of my "handwritten inked" arm. This picture was taken in Como, Italy. And this is when cinema started to emerge as a predominant subject in my mind.

Lago di Como, Italy.

Lago di Como, Italy.

Have you ever had an unexpected, iconic, weird moment that would define a big part of your life? If yes, please share some of your experiences in the comments section below!

For me, one of these moment is linked to a good story. 

On October 14th 2005, I spent the night awake at a youth hostel, under really weird circumstances.

At this place, there was €1 cheap glass of wine and €4 pastas so it was a pretty decent place to be if you were traveling on a budget. At night, I was playing guitar so the owners were filling my cup for free during most of the evening.


The menu for that particular evening was seafood pasta. I don't know who thought serving cheap wine and seafood pasta was a good idea... Personally, I didn't order it... But, other people did.

Reference :

Reference :

And that is the interesting part! I was sleeping in an open dormitory. To be honest, you rarely sleep well in a youth hostel. But even when I slept on a rooftop in Cadiz (Spain) it was still a better experience than this. At least on a rooftop, there's some fresh air!

It was about two AM in the morning. I can't remember whose face it was, but I remember the smell!

Seafood poisoning mixed with cheap wine makes a mix colors and odors that will never leave your memory. It's a bit like being hit on the nose really hard. At first you have tears in your eyes, and you don't understand what hit you. Then your vision gets clearer, you come back to your senses and "Ta-da" the image appears! And it's like a second blow to your face. 

So this was a really unpleasant and drastic way of getting out of bed. But then, I was awake and there was no way I was going to get back in this dormitory. They changed me to another dorm.

I had no paper, no light, just a pen and my arm and that's where I had my first concept for a short film. I wrote the key ideas on my arm to pick it back again in the morning.

This is the moment and place where I found a sense of purpose in life. On this day, I found meaning and motivation. On this day, I told myself: "I want to be a filmmaker."

2010 - Cabaret de la dernière chance - Short Film Corner - Cannes Film Festival Crédit Photo: Martin Gros  Infographie: Bernard Jean

2010 - Cabaret de la dernière chance - Short Film Corner - Cannes Film Festival
Crédit Photo: Martin Gros  Infographie: Bernard Jean