Community//

Matt Beurois: “Define what you show to others”

As a filmmaker, try to get some distance. Try to look at your film and at what you do with outside eyes. Define what you show to others. What they see is already influencing their relationship with you. As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

As a filmmaker, try to get some distance. Try to look at your film and at what you do with outside eyes. Define what you show to others. What they see is already influencing their relationship with you.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Beurois.

Matt Beurois is a recognized film director and established event producer who built, over the years, an international network of artists through his many ventures and activities.

Being a filmmaker himself, he understood very early the need for exposure, promotion, and networking for all independent directors and creators. He created his first film festival, the Paris Art & Movie Awards (PAMA), in 2011 “when Withoutabox was still king”, and years before the film festivals became a business. The annual event has since become the number one festival in Paris, France, with screenings on the Champs-Elysees, and in all the most historic movie theaters of the City of Love.

Under his leadership, the network also kept growing with the creation of the Hollywood Art & Movie Awards (HAMA), and more recently with the Yucca Valley Film Festival in California, where he resides.

Titular of a Government issued Cultural Engineer degree, Matt Beurois also has a background in Modern Literature, and another degree in Advertising and Marketing. He’s been anticipating the digital pivot in the Festival industry long before Covid, and the opportunities he creates for his own films he then shares with all filmmakers entering his circle.

He is credited to more than 50 films, TV shows and productions, including the French version of Masterchef, a David Bowie biopic documentary, a TIFF award winning Northern drama, or the critically acclaimed French social chronicle Palme d’Or nominee at Cannes: “At War”. His directorial debut “The Barn” was released in 2018, his second feature “American Game” filmed before the pandemic.

The Paris Festival even celebrated its 10 years anniversary in September 2020, with international sounding success.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I feel I am living multiple lives at once. If you meet me in Los Angeles, I’ll probably introduce myself as a movie director and we’ll talk about which movie we can work on together.

If you meet me in Paris, it’ll probably be for the Paris Art and Movie Awards, the film festival I created 11 years ago, and we’ll discuss promoting and supporting filmmakers, likely your own film or brand.

I’ve always worked in event creation, marketing for cultural events, and I always angled my work to put the light on the artists. Regarding the Film Festivals, long story short: I traveled a lot, presenting my short films on three continents to many screenings. Overall, I was a little frustrated by the festival experience. I invested a lot of time and money to travel and promote my films, but at the end of the day it felt like I had little opportunities to really talk about films or share my work process.

Anyway, I could feel an enormous potential in the festival thing, and with my experience in event management, I decided to create a film festival.

My personal goal was to offer screen time and stage time to my fellow filmmakers. That’s what I was expecting from the film festivals, and that’s what I wanted to give: some valuable time on stage, mic in the hand, to talk about your films. That’s how the Paris Art and Movie Awards was created, and our talks, QnAs, interviews are still our signature and the core value we bring to our network.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Disruption depends a lot on the time stamp you put on things.

We disrupted the festival market in the first place because we provided value to the filmmakers, and a quality of content that was not accessible to mainstream, emerging filmmakers at the time. We provide Ted-Talk-like quality speaking time, we cross promote filmmakers in printed press, radio, from the red carpet to everywhere digital.

Let’s be honest: everybody wants to go to Sundance, Toronto, SXSW. But these festivals are multi-million dollar machines (which is not bad) that are not accessible unless you already have a strong connection backstage in the film industry. And this is where we provide an alternative. The PAMA and the festivals I run are a step in the direction of professional filmmaking. We’ll give your robust credentials so you can step up and stand out.

If you put the timestamp today, in 2021, I think the switch is simple. Filmmakers used to submit to festivals in hopes to win an award. Then, with thousands of festivals, being nominated or selected by a real festival with a proven track record became a milestone in itself.

What do filmmakers need today? Credibility. You want producers higher in the food chain to believe in you, to trust you with a budget, to see you like an asset. Our network with the PAMA, the HAMA and our other platforms offer clean exposure and directly help filmmakers build their brand and be taken seriously.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The mistake I made was to make short films without thinking about how I was going to sell them, pitch them, or market them. Years before I moved to the US, I was flying to Los Angeles once or twice a year. I had meetings with producers, distribution companies, agents… My energy got me there, but I didn’t have a strong enough package or identified product to convert, at the time. One day, in an office on top of a tower in Hollywood, an entertainment lawyer told me the plain truth. She told me I would fit in the business, but I needed a feature film under my belt, and a film that would be market friendly. She said that would support the idea that I was trustworthy of a full-blown budget. The meeting lasted maybe 10 minutes. But these 10 minutes were key in me understanding what I had to do next.

That knowledge, and everything else I learned since, I am sharing in every keynote, every talk, or in private.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve never had a mentor, but I wouldn’t be at the level of achievement I am today without my wife, who is my business partner, safeguard, and inspiration. She follows my crazy ideas, grounds me everyday to more realistic actionable projects, and still pushes me towards real ambitious stuff because she knows what I feed from. I am extremely lucky not to be alone in this life adventure. I know that and I appreciate it every day.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Is disrupting always good? I think it is if you bring value to others.

Either you are the disruptor bringing something strong, or a solution, or innovative to others… Either you adjust or react to a disruption and you need to be smart and humble enough to realize others have been faster than you, better adapting, and you must learn from them.

Competition is good. Competition fuels creativity. Creativity makes people happy. That’s the endgame.

If your business or your venture stands the test of time, it usually means you have a strong hand and you know how to play it.

The Paris Art and Movie Awards is still here 11 years later, after several economic and social crisis, actual terrorist attacks in our neighborhood and cities, a worldwide economy becoming virtual, and we are still expanding and bringing value to filmmakers. We are still putting together a real, sparkling festival with bad-ass content, and robust promotion in person and online.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

As a filmmaker, try to get some distance. Try to look at your film and at what you do with outside eyes. Define what you show to others. What they see is already influencing their relationship with you.

As an entrepreneur, listen and learn. If you want to provide value to others, read books, listen to podcasts… Solicit your brain every minute of the day.

As a person, try to find balance. Between professional and personal life, between the present and the future.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We created a local TV channel in the Mojave Desert, Yucca Valley TV, emitting since Nov 5, 2020. It’s very macro, positive stories only and people oriented. It gives me the opportunity to meet, talk, exchange with everybody in the area.

For the Paris Art and Movie Awards, we now have a weekly simulcast live show, “Spotlight” to promote filmmakers all year long, not only during the festival itself.

On my own creative side, as a director-producer, my second feature “American Game” is in post production. It was a crazy script, crazy project, a disruptive production process, and I want the final product to bring all that craziness to the table for people to have FUN.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

As a filmmaker and entrepreneur the two founding events that had a lasting impact on me were the first time I attended the Film Market at the Cannes Film Festival, and the first time I attended the AFM.

On a daily basis, I have a YouTube window opened non-stop on my computer and I listen to random videos, from Gary Vee (the old stuff as much as the last week stuff), tech talks from bloggers and content creators, camera tests…I I also listen and watch a lot of other Film Festivals QnAs and panels.

I only pause it when I’m editing or taping a show or an interview!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

You never know what someone is going through in their life. Be kind.

Make memories. Chase happiness, not money.

And do not overthink. Take action. Those who DO will always be a huge step ahead of those who talk about doing.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In a perfect utopia, I would initiate a movement to move towards a more balanced everyday life. Imagine if everybody was doing what he likes for half the day. And then working his pay-the-bills job the other half of the day. Then going back home to his family or buble or rest.

For most people, that would mean a ⅔ of the day would be positive and self nourishing.Everything would be more bearable.

There are still so few people who like what they do or do what they like for a living. If I could, I would try to bend things to rebalance some of it.

How can our readers follow you online?

I am mostly on Instagram and Facebook @mattbeurois. The Paris Art and Movie Awards and our other festivals are on all major platforms of course. The PAMA is currency accepting film submissions for 2021. Yucca Valley TV is at yvtvchannel.com.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Thank you for offering this platform to share. Cheers to you.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Rejecting Films Will Be The Hardest Thing You Do” 5 Insider Tips With Three-Time Emmy Winner Gustavo Sampaio

by Yitzi Weiner
Darwin Reina with Paz Vega & Fele Martinez at the premiere of Don Mendo Rock La Venganza
Community//

What Makes Him To Unlock- Light, Camera and Action

by Roshan Bhondekar
Community//

Dawna Lee Heising: “Prepare yourself with a good education as a basis, and then keep training after that”

by Edward Sylvan

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.